Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weiner Was Limp Before He Started Sexting

King Kong from The New Yorker
I don't get much pleasure kicking someone when they're down but even before his first sexting escapades came to light I never cared much for Anthony Weiner. I always thought he was a monumental blowhard, a stupendous egomaniac, and a political opportunist of unlimited proportions -- much in the same vein as a Dennis Kucinish but with even less to show for it.

For the moment, let's look beyond the compulsive sexting -- granted, an indication that something is seriously "off" with this man -- especially if this woman is typical of his partners --  but there are other signals that Weiner should never again be considered for public office.

Weiner captured the hearts and imaginations of all progressives whenever we saw him ranting about some Republican action -- or inaction -- on the House floor. All one has to do is go to You Tube and search "anthony weiner house floor" to see this firebrand in action.

But being an effective representative of the people isn't about theater. It's about content. It's about substance. It's about accomplishments. It's about, or should be about, integrity. There is none of that with Anthony Weiner and never really has been.

In an in depth article published in the New York Times on June 12 of this year, over a month before Weiner's admission that his Internet shenanigans had not ended in 2011, David M. Halbfinger and David W. Chen scrutinize Weiner's record in the House of Representatives. As the headline indicates, the writers consider his record to be full of "intensity, publicity and limited results." To say the least.
In 12 ½ years in Congress, he sponsored and wrote only one bill that he steered to enactment: a measure pushed by a family friend who gave his campaigns tens of thousands of dollars in donations.
Later in the article we learn that
Mr. Weiner’s bills, however, seldom went anywhere. After Democrats captured the majority in 2006, Mr. Weiner introduced 50 bills in the 2007-8 session, but failed to line up a single co-sponsor for 39 of them. “He just never tried,” one former senior aide said. “The point was to be able to say he introduced a bill.”
While Halbfinger and Chen admit that Weiner was admired for his "devotion to his constituents, his quick grasp of difficult subjects and his relentless pace, they offer scant praise for the Congressman throughout Most of the article.
. . . the more lasting impression left by Mr. Weiner, according to more than three dozen people interviewed, was of a go-it-alone politician whose legislative record was thin and whose restlessness could spill into recklessness. He smartly selected issues on which to weigh in but left the difficult legislating to others, they said.
The bulk of the article is a detailed indictment of a driven man. Abrasive. Angry. Arrogant. Hot tempered. Narcissistic. Self-aggrandizing. More interested in appearances than substance. It's quite a read -- not only because you get a realistic picture of a pretender to public service but also to a man who is deeply flawed.

Richard Kim, writing for The Nation, briefly reviews his colleague's article before launching into a defense of Carlos Danger -- "Weiner's online pseudonym and alter-id."
His prolific sexting took place before, during and after his wife’s pregnancy. He was caught doing it, denied it, admitted it, promised not do it again, did it again and admitted it—again. All of this makes him stupid, boorish, adolescent and deceitful about sex, but no more so than the millions of men (and some women) who do the same thing. It might also make him a bad husband, but only his wife Huma Abedin can be the judge of that, and it is really none of our business what she thinks, what arrangement they do or do not have and whether or not she should leave him. Nothing Carlos Danger did was illegal or coercive, and, it should be pointed out, none of it actually involved physical contact. His behavior and his marriage are entirely unworthy of public concern.
Unless, of course, Carlos Danger has the bad luck to also be Anthony Weiner. . . .
After going through a rather intriguing "counterfactual" exercise, Kim concludes with, "Yes, Anthony Weiner is a weasel, a liar, a moron and a ridiculous egomaniac. Yes, he is unfit to hold public office. It doesn’t take a picture of his junk to prove that."

It also doesn't take a certified shrink with 25 years in the profession to see that the man has some huge issues in need of serious attention. To want to be mayor of New York City so passionately for so many years, to spend all that time with that one goal utmost in his mind, and then to self-detonate with the touch of a button is astronomically insane.

This sad sordid episode should also be a lesson for American voters who tend to turn politicians into national heroes after seeing a rant on the House floor or an occasional display (before the cameras, of course) of "doing the right thing." Theater is cheap.

Further Reading: Bob Schieffer's take on the Weiner.


  1. This guy does more to hurt progressive causes than anyone on the right possibly could. Although the Repubs have DOZENS of scumbags who make Wiener look like a parish priest (maybe a bad analogy, there...) all it takes is one popular liberal to stray over the perverted line in the sand to give the right someone to ridicule. A false equivalency then presents itself, as if both parties are equally corrupt and immoral, when nothing could be further from the truth. He needs to take his party out of the public spotlight and back on-line where it belongs.

    Good post.

    1. In a sense, what Wiener has done is to introduce a whole new concept of cheating on your wife. No touchy feely, no hot torrid sneak aways to an out of the way motel for a quickie, no grab ass on the elevator, no running off to Argentina -- no physical contact whatsoever. But, in some ways, this new method of getting thrills seems a bit more tawdry somehow. Certainly it indicates a very sick mind. And just like a rapist, he seems unable to stop himself.

      Actually, I wrote a blog piece about "bipartisan affairs" several years ago and the count was pretty even. But none of them have been repeat offenders to the extent that Weiner has. Lordy!

  2. You make an excellent point about the woman involved. I would think that most women who would find such a 'relationship' appealing would be just that sad and pathetic.

    1. Not the salt of the earth exactly. I have a low threshold for women who kiss and tell so to speak - who willingly engage in clandestine or cheap thrills and then eagerly talk to the media or write a book for a fee. Bleh.

  3. I was not sure what to expect when I visited here for the first time, but I am pleasantly surprised. Thank you for presenting your case against Anthony Weiner soberly and in fine style.

    I look forward to coming here with some frequency in the future.

    I do have a question or two:

    Even though I agree with most of the negative assessments of Mr. Weiner, I wonder if we are truly angry and upset at what he did,which has become astonishingly common since the Supreme Court opened the gate to the flood tide of out-and-out FILTH that has engulfed the nation for several decades, or are we turning on him, because of the craven manner in which he tried to weasel out of admitting and accepting full responsibility for his actions once they became known?

    In other words is it sexual sin we despise, or is it hypocrisy?

    Comparisons may be odious, but one cannot help but think of the obvious similarity to the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. Mrs. Clinton publicly stated that she would "stand by her man" no matter what he did. Mr. Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, has said virtually the same thing.

    If this kind of tacky, sordid, apparently compulsive behavior is acceptable to the women married to these gentlemen of dubious character, is it really any of our business what these guys choose to do in their private moments?

    1. I'm not all that interested in the alleged sins of the rest of Congress or society as a whole. I just find it hard to totally separate Anthony Wiener from his alter-ego, and personally, I'm not all that impressed with either one of them.

      Nor is it up to me to judge Huma Abedin for standing by her man, but unlike Hillary, Huma was brought up in a culture where women rank below farm animals, where the mere thought of divorce is enough to get a woman beaten in the public square. My heart goes out to her.

  4. "a monumental blowhard, a stupendous egomaniac, and a political opportunist of unlimited proportions" Sounds like most of Congress. Myself, I still use the Nixon litmus test, "would you buy a used car from this guy?"

    1. Nevah! And would probably walk out of the room every time his ad appeared on TV.