The Political, Technological and Psychological Underpinnings of Why Weiner Will Never Be Forgiven
I will be the first to admit that my position on the matter of Anthony Weiner is utterly bereft of moral considerations.
It is entirely a political calculus
Weiner’s supposed role was as a spokesman and attack dog.
But what can this man, nationally exposed as a liar, sell to anyone any more?
As an attack dog, Weiner has been rendered a gelding. It is a good thing he preserved in photograph form the memory of his waxed testicles, because they now exist only as a part of history.
If Weiner was a wonky work horse who did the detail work, it might be a different matter , but as a spokesman he no longer serves any purpose.
Frankly, I’m not sure he ever did.
After a moderately long career in the center of his party (at least in the New York context), Weiner decided it was in his interest to become a progressive and aggressive hero.
He was a great evangelist, if you define evangelism as preaching to the choir, but I bet he attracted precious few converts.
Who did he ever convince to join the cause?
Firing up the faithful is not unimportant. For one thing, it is how one raises funds. But even in that role, Weiner was mostly self-serving, still screaming about single payer, long after it was a dead issue, in a manner which undermined efforts to instill enthusiasm among the base over the fact that we finally had a possibility of winning the 60+ year fight for a National Health Care program for all.
He had to know better.
But Weiner was notably uninterested in raising enthusiasm among the Party faithful for the program at a time when the lack of such enthusiasm was costing us Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat,
Weiner wasn’t interested in selling the program.
Weiner was only interested in selling Weiner.
There’s been tremendous hypocrisy displayed on this matter on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans who could not be bothered calling for the resignation of John Ensign or David Vitter, and who still take money from Vitter, are not only calling upon Weiner to resign, they are calling his money dirty.
I understand how one might call Charlie Rangel’s money dirty; I understand how one could call Carl Kruger’s money dirty.
In both cases, there is some credible connection between some of the charges raised against them and their fundraising.
What exactly is the dirty nature of Weiner’s money?
Did he raise it from women he enticed with promises of a weekend in Vegas?Meanwhile Democrats who previously found cause to minimize the transgressions of others have no compunction calling for Weiner to be drawn and quartered.
This is all political calculus.
For the same reasons--political calculus, I do not think Weiner should resign, but I think he should not run again, and I think he should and will be sacrificed to redistricting, because someone in NYS has to be, and he is oh so convenient on oh so many levels.Certainly, the millions of dollars House Democrats would otherwise spend against each other lobbying Albany could be put to better uses beating Republicans.
I ask--if you were a Democratic leader and you had to make the Sophie's Choice of who to sacrifice, would not Weiner be the one?
Weiner has been a terrible distraction at a time when Democrats were going to have the opportunity to necklace Republicans with the burning tire of Ryanism.
But I think that if Weiner said he was not going to run again, and receded to the back benches to serve out the rest of his term in silence, he‘d die as an issue pretty fast.
Look at Larry Craig; once he dropped out of further electoral efforts, and narrowed his wide stance, he spent the rest of his term forgotten but not gone.
I know some are asking why Weiner has to go when others who’ve arguably or inarguably done worse things have survived.
There are a few different factors.
So does his being married. In the absence of a twelve year old or use of force, this would probably be a one day story for a single man.
But there are a couple of other factors here not present in the past.
The first is technology.
I wonder if Bill Clinton could have survived in 2011, with an internet paper trail, and a cell phone picture of his testes hanging down below his penis entering a mouth possessing work from some of NYC’s most expensive dentists.
Don’t look to Vitter, or Ensign or Clinton.
Look to Chris Lee.
There was art on the web of his unwaxed chest.
There were future revelations about transsexual curiosity and who knows what else, just a double-click away.
Who knows what is a double-click away with Weiner?
Plans for a weekend meet-up on the Appalachian Trail?
A unvetted fifteen year old he swore looked nineteen?
And then there is another less talked about factor.
Weiner is pathetic.
We often tend to respect alpha men of power. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
We wink at Arnold, a manly man.
But Tony the Hot Dog is a girly man; a skinny, geeky Jewish guy who waxes his balls and whack’s his Weiner, cowardly and compulsively seeking pathetic vulnerable women for internet liaisons, all in the face of the great danger he is clearly aware of, possibly because like some man in a raincoat, the potential humilation of getting caught is what turns him on the most, even though the only honey he ever gets on his stinger comes out of a bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion.
Eliot Spitzer may have been the only guy in Albany ever to pay for it, but at least he got some.
We may be able to forgive a President who spurts upon an intern.
But we will never ever forgive a politician whose erotic exploits would better fit as a fantasy on a Small Penis Humiliation site
For women, Weiner is merely an object of abject laughter and pity (if he‘s lucky).
For men, it is worse.
Weiner reminds us of our deepest and most shameful insecurities.
And for that, we will never, ever forgive him.
Cast my vote for political expedience.
Even if Weiner were still of any use, there is some power which is too futile to be fighting.
Even a member of Congress with friends would have trouble surviving all this. A show horse interested in little but himself doesn’t have a chance.
It is not only crude calculus like that that’s hurt Weiner; there is also an idealistic element.
Since Weiner is no longer of any use in the legislative process beyond his single vote, those of us who care about the party program, those who care about saving and maybe even expanding the social safety net, and everything else Democrats are supposed to stand for, are obligated to do what we can to advance that agenda.
The agenda is bigger than any individual pol, and Anthony Weiner is dead weight on the agenda.
He needs to be cast aside.
The only questions are when and how.
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