Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Anthony Weiner. Come on, dude.

I was really happy to see Anthony Weiner mounting a comeback in American politics. While short on actual accomplishments, Weiner was a good liberal advocate in Congress. More to the point, though, I’m not really comfortable with people losing their jobs because of their marital infidelities.

Anthony Weiner (NSFW)
America has proven time and again in recent years that, in regard to sex scandals, there can be second acts in politics. Bill Clinton is the most obvious figure here, but more recently, Mark Sanford was elected to congress after stealing taxpayer money to go on a sexy excursion with then-mistress/now-wife. Even Weiner’s NYC pal, Eliot Spitzer, who had some fun with prostitutes on the public dime, is up 15 points in his primary for New York Comptroller. All three of these examples were pretty indisputably worse infidelities than Weiner sending selfies to women not named Huma. And worse still, all of the above cost taxpayer dollars which, unless you’re counting a data plan, Weiner did not do.

So I was happy to see the Weiner surge in the polls. He was up 3 points on City Councilor president  Christine Quinn as recently as last week. Then he had to go and muck it up again.

If you’re not following me, yesterday Anthony Weiner had to have a press conference to talk about more sexy texties he’d sent after his resignation to a 22 year old woman, forcing himself back into a scandal he was coming out of and really making his wife look bad. Apparently, losing your seat in congress, embarrassing yourself on national television, and having to explain yourself to your pregnant wife whose mentor is America’s poster child for being cheated on wasn’t quite rock bottom for Anthony Weiner. After all that, he kept on doing the thing that brought him down.

Now, I agree with his wife, Huma Abedin, who said that this was a private matter. That said, continuing to engage in that kind of behavior after you already dragged your family through the mud, lost your job, and apologized for a thing that was none of their business anyways is kind of difficult to swallow. It is difficult to trust in your sincerity if you are back at it right after the press conference is over.

Truthfully, I hope this scandal doesn’t derail Weiner’s candidacy for mayor (though that seems unlikely, given the calls for him to pull out of the race). I fully expect that it will. While the scandal itself is really none of the public’s business, Weiner knows the rules of the road at this point. And even though sexting without actual sex is the 0.08% blood-alcohol of sex scandals, after you get pulled over for it once and lose your license for a while, it’s really your own fault if it happens again.


Keir said...

He personally only ever had one bill passed, which is exceptional given his refusal to do anything unless he gets star billing and given his more immediate, pressing interests. If his wife admits, after being pressured to publicly respond beside Weiner, that it has taken a lot of "hard work" and a "lot of therapy" for her to save their marriage, what can Joe Public expect with this man servicing their interests?

Matthew Wilding said...

Well, I think it's difficult to attack a congressman for not getting too many of his own bills passed. Plenty of congressmen have that record. What I'd look at is his voting record in the NYC council and US Congress. He was present and took positions, which is kind of what legislators do.

The point of this post was to argue that Weiner is kind of an idiot but not about things that matter in public. I mean, are you seriously going to argue that Bill Clinton hasn't been a productive public servant since he proved untrustworthy to his wife?

Keir said...

You've silenced me with your Clinton comparison. Whilst there's no equivalence between the two men, both did some rather egregious acts; even, if Christopher Hitchens is to be believed concerning Clinton, rape and mass murder.

Matthew Wilding said...

I try.

Thanks for reading and posting!