I still don't quite get your point about the woman who didn't want to be told about Gary Hart's sex life. If you mean it is possible to find something irresistibly tasty (like salted peanuts) without finding it politically relevant, I agree. But your premise, I thought, was that the woman would actually vote against Gary Hart on this basis. And I don't see how not wanting to know something you believe to be politically relevant is an instinct worth encouraging in a democracy. Your woman should resolve her contradictions! Either she should decide it isn't politically relevant or decide that she does want to know after all.
Or maybe not. I suppose she could believe the information was relevant to her vote--relevant enough to be determinative--but not relevant enough to trump Gary Hart's right to privacy. That position--in effect, "I'd rather give the wrong person political power over me than violate that same person's personal space"--is not irrational, I guess.
But that doesn't seem to be your view. Your view is that "personal and inner lives" are completely irrelevant in assessing the public and professional lives not just of politicians but of nearly everybody. You can't mean this. It's true that every fat biography of some great achiever published these days seems to be a "pathography" (Joyce Carol Oates' coinage, I believe), exposing Our Hero as a jerk of some sort. Yet the very fact that biographies get written and read suggests that we generally believe there is some connection between character and achievement. It's also true that life constantly confronts us with the irritating spectacle of success coming to jerks who don't deserve it. (Success eluding fine human beings who do deserve it is also quite common, though somehow not as irritating.) But are you therefore advising us that we needn't aspire to be good in order to be successful? Don't they take away your philosopher's license for that sort of thing?
Seriously, I don't know if there is a correlation, in politics or any other profession. (Do good people make better dentists?) But politicians are a special case. We vote to give them power over us. (I suppose you choose to give your dentist power over you too, but of more limited scope.) I think you're right that the stuff about "moral leadership" is mostly crap. Still, politicians do things like take the country into war, for which the appearance, at least, of good character is useful. (Not an implicit criticism of Clinton. He got that one right.)
Do you and I "feel differently" about the behavior that's got Clinton in trouble? I realize I don't know how you feel about it. I'm actually pretty close to the "three consenting adults" position (Bill, Monica, Hillary) about the behavior per se. I won't repeat my three general reasons for caring about such things, and how they apply to this particular case.
I have a bit of trouble with your distinction between behavior one approves or disapproves of and behavior about which "collective decisions ... should ... govern individual conduct." If by "disapprove" you mean moral disapproval and not just aesthetic or culinary taste--I hate butterscotch but wouldn't ban it--the basic test in both cases ought to be whether the behavior harms others. But plenty of people would discover such harm a lot more promiscuously than I would or, presumably, you would. So I wish you luck in persuading as many of them as possible that they ought to distinguish their moral disapproval from any attempt to do something about it.
Finally, thank you for "pathological communitarianism" (the phrase and the definition). By coincidence my colleague Judith Shulevitz makes a similar point in her piece in the current Slate, invoking Hannah Arendt, no less. As Judith concedes, you cannot argue with a straight face--even with Arendt's help--that Ken Starr is leading us down the road to totalitarianism, but accusing him of fostering "pathological communitarianism" will do just fine.