Maggie Gallagher
Look, under normal circumstances, I can think of a lot more enjoyable things to do than discuss the love life of New York City mayors. Like, oh, scrub the fuzz under my stovetop, maybe? But Mayor Rudy Giuliani's aggressive moral defense of his own odd public conduct ought not pass totally unnoticed.

The New York Post broke the story that taxpayers are footing the bill for police protection of the mayor's "very good friend" Judith Nathan. Ms. Nathan became concerned when a man identified her on the street ("You're the mayor's girlfriend," according to the Post) and made a call to someone, Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik confirmed. But he will not say to who, except that it was not the mayor. The Threat Assessment Unit concluded "that it was in fact or could be considered a possible threat."

The result? Two police detectives have been assigned to protect Ms. Nathan. In a city in which women who are stalked by violent ex-boyfriends normally get a piece of paper called an order of protection, other police officials told The New York Times that the reason for this unusually powerful response to Ms. Nathan's fears is that the threats were made because of her relationship with the mayor.

The mayor, for his part, responded with moral indignation: "I think you should be ashamed of yourselves," he scolded reporters. If the media "had any concern for decency, or people's safety, you'd leave it alone."

Gee, I'm just one simple-minded wife and mother here, but let me get this straight: The powerful man who asserts his right to functional bigamy -- to treat his mistress in public as if she were already his wife -- has nothing to be ashamed of. The people who question the propriety of a woman getting special taxpayer-funded goodies because she's sleeping with the mayor -- they ought to be ashamed?

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.