The time has come to bid farewell to Congressman Aaron Schock, the Illinois Republican who’s no stranger to this column due to his flamboyant style and his horrible voting record on GLBT issues. Schock abruptly resigned from the House in March after various irregularities of a financial nature were disclosed.
There were padded expense accounts and improper junkets, maybe a diverted campaign contribution or two, but nothing all that unusual for Washington. Clearly what did Schock in was the way he’d decorated his D.C. office to resemble a room on the BBC series Downton Abbey. Diverted funds can be concealed, but once the Downton office came to light—the story was broken by a Washington Post reporter who managed to snap a few photos before Schock’s staff stepped in—reporters and oversight committees began to investigate his other extravagances (the exotic trips, the fancy cars), and the jig was up.
The mainstream press largely ignored the gay rumors, but Barney Frank had this to say: “Of course he should come out if they’re true. If they’re not true, he spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man.” What was odd is how blasé Schock himself seemed about the whole turn of events. He must secretly know that now that he’s famous, there’s a wide world of pop-culture celebrity out there—just ask Sarah Palin. Schock sponsored zero bills in Congress, but those soft-core photo shoots for Men’s Health and the workout videos generated a huge following on Twitter and Instagram.
So perhaps the whole Congress thing was just a kind of reality show for Schock with which to launch his media career. He’s got the looks for it, so why not? Prediction: Schock will come out as gay, which will only enhance his marketability as a workout guru or fashionista or reality-show host on cable TV. Stay tuned!