Monday, June 6, 2011

Let's Clear Some Things Up About Anthony Weiner

As I predicted in the lightning round of my podcast yesterday, the picture of a penis in boxer shorts did, in fact, belong to Congressman Anthony Weiner. I was skeptical at first considering that this was coming from Andrew Breitbart—a certified crank—but as soon as Weiner said that he could not say whether or not it was his dicture (my made up word for dick picture) I knew it was his. So the announcement that he had sent someone racy pictures—up to six people, to be more accurate—did not come as a surprise.

I was going to wait to talk about this until next week's podcast, but Twitter, of all things, has led to this blog post.

During the height of Weinergate, Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted that he did not believe that Weiner had sent out the photos; that "He's a smart man & wouldn't use a public forum 2 send such a pic. No story, let's move on." Now, I like Cory Booker. I like his Let's Move! Newark campaign. I think he's done a lot for the city. However, that does not mean that he was right about Weiner. In fact, he was wrong. So I called him out on it.

I wasn't a jerk about it or anything, but I pointed out that he would have to admit that he was wrong, because he was. Being the gracious man that he is, he took it in stride and admitted that he was wrong but would not apologize for believing the best in Weiner. Fair enough.

But the responses I've had from others—ranging from "Booker doesn't have to apologize" to "It's Weiner's personal life"—are completely missing the point. First of all, I did not say Booker had to apologize, just admit he was wrong. Secondly, Weiner's personal life is relevant for two reasons.

Reason number one: he lied. He straight up lied to his constituents and the nation. I like Anthony Weiner's politics. I think he's one of the only members of Congress willing to stand up to the absolute jackassery that takes place on Capitol Hill so often. With this debacle, however, Weiner has essentially neutered himself in Washington. He pretended to be the victim of a crime in order to try to get out of a mistake that he—and only he—made. He insisted that his account was hacked when he knew all along that it had not been. Not really the kind of quality you want in someone who represents you.

Reason number two: marital infidelity is a bigger deal than many think. Now, it's not like Weiner was some family values, "down with the gays" kind of shortsighted person running around spouting the sanctity of marriage. But he is married. Assuming that he and his wife Huma Abedin did not have some arrangement where he was allowed to do what he did, he violated the trust of one of the people who he is supposed to love the most in this world. If he is willing to do that, how much do you think he cares about his thousands of nameless and faceless constituents? Do you think he cares more about them than his own wife?

Now, if Weiner had not been married or otherwise in a committed relationship reason number two is irrelevant. But even if rule two is irrelevant, he still lied through his teeth to say his Twitter was hacked. Weiner has compromised his position on Capitol Hill, and as much as I agree with his politics, I don't want him representing that ideology because his effectiveness will continue to decrease. I'd rather have a representative who didn't ambiguously cheat on his wife and then lie about it. Is that too much to ask?

Photo - A clothed Anthony Weiner (Wikipedia)


  1. Just curious: how do you feel about FDR? He, too, "violated the trust of one of the people who he is supposed to love the most in this world." He also "straight up lied to his constituents and the nation" about his deteriorating medical condition by going to lengths to hide it. But you're going to run into few people outside of the Randian right who claim he wasn't a top-notch president who led the country through some damn dark times.

    Now while I like Weiner, I wouldn't put him in FDR's league. However, I'm also inclined to say his personal failings didn't make him less of a politician. People fuck around. People lie about fucking around. Politicians lie to save their own asses. This isn't news. And I'll take a passionate, intelligent, experienced, eloquent, and significantly flawed Anthony Weiner over an inoffensive milquetoast any day. What he did was sleazy, but if I want moral guidance, I'll go to church. If I want a talented advocate for progressive policies, I'll go to Weiner.

  2. Weinnus

    Your looks always reminded me of beady eyed NYC rat. The ones that run in the alleys from trash can to trash can..It is beyond cavil, you may have, convinced yourself that you look otherwise. You are a pompous, useless, pervert and because of your little congressman status…..which takes a parasitic like you to abuse in the first , somehow, have convinced yourself , any self respecting woman, would or could, possibly find you desirable …You have abused your former status and are nothing more than a common predator ..We can only hope, your wife, may come out of the ether and realize, she has compromised her own and any self respecting woman’s principles, only to become a groupie in your sick life.

    Remember, not unlike today, when you were that ugly, dweeb kid, in high school?

    Will you please do the following; step back!, now! take a look at a current picture of yourself, finally !, close your black eyes and picture a long rat tall on your back side.. You are indeed a street rat and a predator, Please stick with your craigslist girls and the tyranny’s, and stop preying on non prostitutes...

    As a father of a little girl ,very close in age, to ones you preyed upon, I will take great joy in watching you squirm, just as a rat caught in a glue trap does, only to find itself, further snared as he squirms around, in a feeble attempt to free himself..

  3. Travis:

    You make some good points and I will respond to them later today/tonight. Have to mull some things over/do some research.


    Anthony Weiner (probably) does not read this blog, so I'm a little unsure as to who you're addressing your comment to. Also, just so we're clear, it's a little passe to compare Jews to rats (see The Eternal Jew).

  4. Didn't he realize that most politicians get caught with their pants down once in the public eye. Wrong career move.

  5. Writer states Cory Booker did'nt want to admit the Weiner was wrong. Writer is wrong because Cory Booker did make a statement saying Weiner has himself to blame.

  6. Jim:

    A few things. This post was written on June 6, an entire six days before the Daily News article you cite.

    But that is irrelevant. Show me in the post where I said that Booker did not want to admit he was wrong. Please pull a quote.

    What I did say was that Booker was wrong. See quote: "In fact, he was wrong."

    I then said that I called him out on it and he admitted that he was wrong. See quote: "Being the gracious man that he is, he took it in stride and admitted that he was wrong but would not apologize for believing the best in Weiner. Fair enough."

    No where in the post did I say that Booker never wanted to admit that he was wrong.

    JimLuvsNewark states writer stated that Booker did not want to admit he was wrong. JimLuvsNewark is wrong because writer emphatically stated that Booker admitted that he was wrong.