On the one hand we have a former president for whom impeachment proceedings were instigated as a result of his sexual indiscretion within the walls of the White House. On the other hand we have a sitting president for whom even censure seems highly unlikely, despite 1) apparently authorizing the disclosure of highly sensitive intelligence information to the media in order to discredit Joe Wilson's views that were contrary to the administration's justifications for the invasion of Iraq, 2) authorizing the wire tapping of private citizens, 3) leading an administration that bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the list goes on and on.
As a private citizen this astounds me. But as an anthropologist I find it intriguing to explore how the nature of contemporary American society and culture allows for such a gross contradiction to occur. Certainly the elevation of a very narrow definition of social morality (i.e., social conservative elements based a great deal on evangelical Christian interpretations of western, Judeo/Christian philosophy and history) to the national level has played a part in this. But it's obviously involves more than this alone, and unfortunately, time does not allow me to expand upon it now. But for those who wish to comment, feel free.