Tiger may have been the greatest pro golfer but he was an amateur adulterer. His puffed-up ego led him to leave an electronic trail with a string of buffed and puffed babes. Like so many politicians before him, Tiger ignored the obvious rule: Never get involved with women who have 8-by-10 glossies.Amusing writing. But with nothing much to say about Tiger, Dowd makes a column of it by forcing a parallel with Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary who purported to stand on constitutional principle as she refused to talk to Congress about the White House gate-crashers. Tiger, you see, refused to talk to the police.
But Tiger is a private citizen, and he faced potential criminal charges, either for himself or his wife. Dowd doesn't even mention the Constitution in connection with Woods — even as she's going for parallelism — but Woods had a constitutional right not to talk to the police, and I assume he was well advised by lawyers as he chose not to talk. He had a right to do what he thought was best for himself. The public may be interested in him, and he needs to worry about our loss of respect for him, which would hurt his lucrative career in product endorsement, but he doesn't owe us anything.
Rogers, on the other hand was working for the government, in a position of a public trust, and her refusal to account for herself was quite a different matter. The constitutional provision for executive privilege is not like the individual right against self-incrimination. It's a matter of separation of powers having to do with the ability of the executive branch to function independently. If it is invoked, it should not be Rogers protecting her own interests. It should be because it serves the public good for the executive branch to be free of interference from Congress. It may well be that there are legitimate reasons for maintaining secrecy about the details of planning and carrying out a big White House dinner party. There are some delicate, sensitive matters in party planning, no? One could imagine Congress picking apart such things for the devious purpose of distracting and weakening the President.
Both Tiger and Desiree hid and stayed silent because they mistakenly thought they were protecting the Brand. But despite their marketing savvy, these two controlling players spiraled out of control.That sounds clever and amusing, but only if you don't try to imagine what Woods and Rogers might be hiding and how, if they spoke, their words would be used to damage them further. Dowd assumes that the truth has or will come out: "Don’t stonewall. Admit your mistake before others piece together the embarrassing facts." That is: It's the cover-up, not the crime. It will hurt more if you don't come clean. But I think there are things about what happened the night Woods ran into the tree that will never come to light. And who knows what more there is to the gate-crashers story? It sounds pretty frivolous, and we are expected to get over it. A slight glitch that represents nothing else of any concern. But is it?