Like everyone else with a functioning limbic system, I am sick of hearing and talking about Anthony Weiner. But this is one of those controversies where so many people seem to be willfully missing important points, and before you know it, the Dow’s back in the crapper and planes are falling out of the sky while we’re all yelling at each other about a socially retarded congressman who sent prick pics to near-strangers. It’s stupid. But I am going to contribute to the noise because I need to get this out of me so the toxicity of even having to think about this crap does not eventually give me cancer.
I’m glad he’s resigning. I hope this means all the news people will stop saying his name and we can move on now. I think it really, really sucks for the Democrats to lose him because he was an incisive, funny, politically whip-smart pain in the ass to the Republicans. The party needed someone like him because the rest of them, by and large, seem to be able to engage the public about as easily as rotten carp. But you know what? He’s not my ally anymore. He did something exceedingly stupid, he lied about it, he got caught, he needs to go.
Some people keep bringing up other Great Mean in History and pointing to their unsavory personal lives as proof that what Weiner does in his personal life has no bearing on his life as a politician. Saying Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. were dogs with the ladies is a stupid argument. You mean to tell me that American men were freer to womanize without consequence decades and decades ago? When women couldn’t vote or own property or, later, when women were fighting for their civil rights to be recognized as full people and not just homemakerbots and babyfactories? You mean there were men of power who took advantage of their privileged station in life to fuck (and fuck over) whoever they wanted without having to answer for it? Next thing you are going to tell me is that toasters aren’t powered by wishes. Well then, let’s just all agree that since men once upon a time could point their penises at things and declare “WANT!” to a backdrop of trumpet blasts and rainbows, we might ought to keep it that way, or there might not ever be another Great Man In History ever again!
On that note, the Bill Motherfucking Clinton argument needs to go on and die a stabbed death. “Bill Clinton actually had sex with someone who wasn’t his wife and he didn’t step down!” Believe it or not, Dems with amnesia, there WERE people on your side saying that Clinton should step down. Clinton abused his power in egregious ways and then lied about it (just like some of those other presidents Dems love to villify). He should not be awarded sainthood, he is not the best president ever, and conveniently forgetting about or glossing over his fuckups does not make them disappear. Letting Weiner slide because Bill Clinton lowered the personal-morality bar is a dumb thing to do.
Saying “so and so did a much worse thing and kept his job!” is a non-starter. If we continue to set the pace of the present and future based on how much we let people in the past get away with stupid, egregious fuckups, we are heading for trouble. How does that give us any incentive to evolve toward something greater, to strive to be better tomorrow than we were today? Isn’t that the chief charm of progressivism — to move forward, make progress?
Oh, and here’s something to think about: The fact that we consider abusing power in order to get sex a much less serious issue than abusing power in order to get money says something about how we value the human body and human dignity, doesn’t it?
There is a bit of “boys will be boys” attitude floating among Weiner’s defenders. Again, who’s the wacky man-hater in this scenario? Here’s that bitchy man-hating feminist, who wants all people — especially our supposed leaders — to aspire to be better people than the average flailing dumbass with his dick out on ChatRoulette. And then here are people defending Weiner by saying that men are just programmed to be complete idiots who are at the constant mercy of the muscle twitches of their genitals. Hint: It’s not me, the bitchy man-hating feminist who actually hates and devalues men. I think men are better than the bullshit standards they are often held to.
This scandal is not exclusively about sex and wanting Weiner to go away does not make me or anyone else anti-sex. This is not about legislating morality. It’s about judgment, doing the right thing, leadership, and earning the right to be a representative of the public. We’re not talking about a man who is polyamorous and in a marriage where his wife knows about his sexual proclivities and agrees to them. (If that had been the case, then I’d be the first to say we should all shut up and let the man work. But that requires that all parties involved in the the activities are up to speed on what’s going on. Clearly that is not the case.) We’re talking about deception. Sneakery. He took an oath of total commitment to his wife — who is having his child — and look how he treated her. How on EARTH could he ever treat constituents with any more respect than the one person he promised in a fancy frigging ceremony to put above all others?
Remember when we argued that saying George W. Bush is the kind of guy you could have a beer with is a dumb argument for why he should be president? This is along the same lines. I want my leaders to be better and smarter than the average douchebag. Saying “Anthony Weiner is just another dbag in pursuit of poon so give him a break” is not good enough for me. I want my leaders to be better than that. Smarter than that.
It’s a disservice to continue to think that it’s impossible for us to ever expect that kind of goodness from our leaders.