The pathetic case of a serial cyber poultry strangler
Like most Bill Clinton supporters, I thought his impeachment for lying about oral sex was BS. Obviously the Republican Party overreached, as evidenced by Clinton’s weathering the impeachment with strong approval ratings from the public. I was also angry at prosecutor Ken Starr because he could’ve used discretion and decided that this wasn’t a matter of national import. (Plus, he included the cringe-worthy detail of Monica Lewinsky performing analingus on Clinton. Ewww!)
But I was also upset with Clinton. It goes without saying that it’s not a good idea to cheat on your wife. But aside from that, this wasn’t the early 60s. How could he possibly think this wasn’t going to get out? How could he believe he, as President, could have sex with a twenty-something young woman and think she’s not going to blab about it to her friend? And once out, the media wasn’t going to sit on the info like they did for JFK. Most people were upset with Clinton for being so stupid and reckless.
Stupid and reckless. Hello, Anthony Weiner. Really? Really? I know supporters thought he shouldn’t have resigned after being caught lying about tweeting pictures of his junk to women online. After all, Sen. David Vitter slept with prostitutes and is still in office. Family values enthusiast Sen. Larry “Widestance” Craig was caught looking for gay sex in an airport restroom and stayed in office.
But Weiner resigned in disgrace for lying about something that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have done: sexting.
To come back and run for mayor of New York, asking for forgiveness, and then be walloped with more allegations of sexting is just monumentally stupid. Last summer, Weiner sat with his wife and baby and gave an interview to People Magazine saying he was a changed man. Then, according to the timeline, a few weeks later he initiated a sexting relationship with a woman who prefers to remain anonymous (though her name has been reported in a couple publications.).
She claims they had almost daily phone sex for six months, which means it ended probably late November 2012.
Now Weiner has trotted his wife out in a press conference to cosign his claim to being a new man. During the first scandal, I felt bad for her. Now she isn’t a victim, she’s a volunteer. They claim that she’s known all about this other sexting incident. Really? And she thought it was prudent to go back into public life?
Some will say what difference does it make? It’s private behavior. What if after the Lewinsky scandal with the famous denial, the depositions, the apology and impeachment, we learned that months later Clinton was playing hide the cigar with another intern? We’d collectively lose our shit and say this guy’s an idiot. We stood with you the last time, but now you’re on your own.
It’s personal behavior. And if Weiner’s wife doesn’t mind his behavior, she’s welcome to keep their family intact. That’s their business. But when you put yourself before the public and make claims that you’re a changed man, that your child has given you a new perspective, then the public has the right to say, “No, you’re a liar who evidently loves spanking his clown on the phone more than being a public servant.”
Once again, it’s the deception that hurts Anthony Weiner. After all, this is a man who used his own baby to, in essence, vouch for his veracity.
Photos of his junk were on the internet. Transcripts of his sexting were published online for all to see in 2011. He resigned from Congress. He embarrassed his well-respected wife and their families. You would think that such a humiliating experience would be enough to chasten you so you wouldn’t do it again. Or at least if you were going to engage in that behavior, you wouldn’t put yourself in the public eye again.
I’ve got nothing against sexting or phone sex or any kind of sex consenting adults want to engage in. And if they do it without their spouse knowing, that’s a matter they have to deal with. Go ahead and sext and jerk and do what you like. But its 2013 and privacy as we’ve known it is a 20th century concept. If someone thinks they can do this and be in the public eye and have it not come out, they’re naïve or just reckless.
Naïve, stupid and reckless are not on my list of criteria for politicians.
But I’m not a New Yorker. New York voters will decide whether or not they care if their mayor chokes his chicken in his chambers. They’ll have to decide if they want to revisit this topic again in the future and listen to more spin.
Because a guy in the public eye who would do it again after the chaos and humiliation of the first round, isn’t going to stop.
It’s too exciting for him to stop.