Anthony Weiner Asplodes

6 Jun

He shouldn’t have sexted, sure. He especially shouldn’t have lied about it. He shouldn’t have denied it for a solid week. He is such a strong progressive voice in the Congress, and is among the most vocal critics of Republicans and their policy. He may not have resigned, and he will stand for re-election next year where this sexting issue will be front and center. It is, I think, right to let his constituents decide whether he merits their further support, but it wouldn’t be a horrible thing if Weiner resigned at this point, either.

The guy is damaged goods. For now.

Because until today none of the images could conclusively proven to be Weiner, I withheld commenting on it in any substantive way. In the end, the images are of him and he sent them and he could have just admitted it last week when they came out. At least Chris Lee had the wherewithal to know to quit while he’s ahead and get out of public office before the tranny hunting came to light. Weiner didn’t have the same self-awareness to come clean knowing there might be more out there.

Had he done that, it would have just been about sexting. Now it’s about lying – to lots of people. Chris Lee had more class than Anthony Weiner.

And that trainwreck of a press conference. Weiner was late. The smug, unctuous Breitbart hijacked it for 13 minutes taking questions, eagerly awaiting his redemption after so many lies. He got it. He even got an apology.  When Weiner finally took the podium, he was contrite, teary-eyed, candid, and too late. He took questions for what seemed like a painful eternity.  The press conference that Breitbart had hijacked turned quite quickly into an Anthony Weiner therapy session.

As David Frum tweeted, “What I learned from the Wiener press conference: sexting is not the only form of narcissistic exhibitionism.”

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I think the idea was that after a week’s worth of running, he was going to stand there like a man and take every question. He’d stand there, alone and ashamed, and answer questions as impertinent as why wasn’t his wife on the stage, and that he was pretty sure all the women involved were of age. Ugh.

Each one of his answers will edit down very nicely in myriad attack ads.

The whole thing was a farcical distillation of how idiotic this country has become. If it’s not Sarah Palin’s painful mangling of the ride of Paul Revere, it’s some egotistical lean congressman showing off his pecs to strangers. But he stood there – he stood there until Howard Stern Show head writer Benjy Bronk asked Representative Weiner whether he had chubbed up for those pictures or if he was fully erect.

Weiner is right to let his constituents decide what should happen to him in 2012. Perhaps he should consider resigning now and then running for the special election. It kills two birds with one stone – it shows contrition for lying and covering up, but also lets his constituents hold the reins as in a vote-of-confidence. Malfeasance + (time x contrition) = Americans are historically forgiving. In the meantime, minority leader Nancy Pelosi will be initiating an ethics investigation into all of this.  Weiner has a reputation for being brash and obnoxious, so perhaps this doesn’t harm him as much as it might some other person.

And for the Republicans who are gloating – David Vitter. John Ensign. Larry Craig. Let’s not gloat too hard. K? Weiner isn’t busy going to Congress to moralize about sex, so he may be a liar and a stupid freak, but he’s not a moralizing hypocrite, FWIW.

It’s a very sad day for the Weiner family, indeed. I think losing Weiner’s voice in Congress – and losing that voice’s stature – makes it devastating for the country, and for the causes Weiner believes in.

11 Responses to “Anthony Weiner Asplodes”

  1. Brian Castner June 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    So, my hypothesis when Chris Lee beat a quick exit was that the time a politician sticks around post-scandal is directly proportional to how much of his personal fortune is based upon being politicial. Ergo, Clinton hangs out and endures ad infinitum, and Lee left a smoke trail to get back to Daddy’s millions. Anyone know how rich Weiner is, or what he did prior to election? Does he need the gig?

  2. Ward June 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    “Each one of his answers will edit down very nicely in myriad attack ads.”

    No, Alan–each one of his many on-camera lies over the past week will edit down, etc.

  3. Buffalo Rude June 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    I’d bet teh Weiner’s seat is probably pretty safe. I seem to remember reading somewhere that unless the local Democratic party in his district dumps him, he has nothing to worry about. Nor do I think he should resign, as I thought Chris Lee should not have resigned either. We waste so much time in this country repressing our sexuality only to wave a color glossy photo of a cock shot on TV screens for a week. Where was this graphic illustration when it was Janet Jackson’s nipple?

    My only disappointment was the disastrous damage control. If Weiner’s smart, it’s time to find new help and if the whole PR charade was his idea alone; he needs better help. Regardless, like Chris Lee, the only people Weiner has to answer to are those directly involved in his sex and love lives. The rest us gawkers and prudes should probably just fuck off.

    Also, think about this for a second: in 20-30 years, every major candidate is going to have many embarrassing forever-archived-on-the-intertubez pictures of bad decisions and poor taste. Weiner’s weiner is probably a mild harbinger of things to come.

  4. Buffalo Rude June 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    @Brian Castner: That’s an interesting hypothesis. I always kinda figured that Chris Lee bailed so fast because he knew there was more to come. What were the odds that was his first foray in Craigslist hookups? And then the TS ads came to light.

    It seems the weiner’s Weiner comes from a solid and stable, but unremarkable and unconnected, middle class background. His degree is from SUNY Plattsburgh, so I doubt he has many lucrative college connections to fall back on and the mileage on the shingle is probably limited. My guess is he tries to hang onto his seat, and probably does. Which is fine by me.

  5. Brian June 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I’m big on letting the constituents decide, absent criminal activity.

  6. jimd June 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    What’s in the water in Washington anyway that all these assholes first do asshole things, and then act like no one will ever find out? I liked the guy for what he stood for but fuck him, I hope he gets voted out. What a sad commentary on the people that represent us. Child predators, sexual perverts, religious zealots. No wonder so many people have opted out of the process.

  7. Ward June 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Alan–what’s your take on the revelation that Mr. Weener has been in e-mail contact with his porn-actress Tweetmate, Ginger (no relation) Lee, offering the services of his PR staff to assist her in denying the sexting that took place between them? And himself offering her proposed weasel language–which worked so very well for him in recent days?

    For example, on June 2 he apparently offered her this beaut to use on reporters:
    “I have nothing to do with the situation involving Rep Weiner. I follow his twitter feed. And for a brief time he followed me. Much has been made of the fact that I have posted about my admiration for Rep Weiner and his politics. All I can say about that is that I’m a fan of his. Rep. Weiner sent me one short direct message thanking me for following him. I have never met Rep. Weiner and he has never sent me anything innappopriate (sic) …”

    And, if his PR staff is on the public payroll, would this be a matter of criminal implications?

    • Alan Bedenko June 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      I’ve already said he should resign. Does this mean he should super-resign?

  8. Hank June 8, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Weiner isn’t busy going to Congress to moralize about sex, so he may be a liar and a stupid freak, but he’s not a moralizing hypocrite, FWIW.

    That’s your defense of this miscreant? Glad you’re not representing me in court. That’s a loser.

    • Alan Bedenko June 8, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Also, I hardly defend him in this piece. I fucking ask for his resignation. Learn to read.

  9. Carl June 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Alan: Asking Hank to read is like asking Elizabeth Taylor to marry only once.

    It’s impossible.

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