Monday, June 06, 2011
Quote of the Week (Obviously)
"To be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it."
-- Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York
As someone posted on Twitter not long ago, Weiner's startlingly candid and long-winded news conference that just mercifully wrapped up was the kind of thing we usually see in movies -- not in real life.
And as somebody else posted on Twitter, Weiner saying, "I apologize to Andrew Breitbart" is going to be Breitbart's ringtone for the next couple of years. Obviously it's unfortunate to have to admit that Breitbart -- who, make no mistake, remains an unscrupulous turd -- got this one right, simply because it gives him back a shred of credibility in these kinds of matters from here on out that I'm still not sure he really deserves. My argument about Breitbart will remain that even if he hadn't received confirmation that what happened actually happened -- as well as a public confession from Weiner -- it wouldn't have stopped him from at least partially pushing the story. But for now, there's no way around the fact that Breitbart uncovered what he essentially said he uncovered. It doesn't make James O'Keefe or Shirley Sherrod go away -- but he wins this round and gets to claim vindication.
What remains, then, is whether or not the public believes that what's been admitted to is worth calling for Weiner's head. (I really can't believe I just stooped to that.) I stand by my statement last week that I don't care one bit what Anthony Weiner does in his private life and his sexual proclivities are his own. He posted pictures of his penis on Twitter? That makes him, admittedly, really stupid. He sent them to younger women? Well, who the hell would you think he'd be sending them to? He didn't break the law, though, and his being exposed as a bit of a freak doesn't also expose him as a hypocrite, considering that he's never been one of those guys professionally staking out the hyper-religious moral high ground, preaching chastity or purity or whatever-the-hell as policy or in his personal life.
For the record, I really am tired of public "sex scandals" -- particularly ones where there was nothing unlawful involved -- further diminishing our cultural discourse in this country and distracting the already easily distracted and titillated dingbats in the mainstream political press. And I can't stress intensely enough how this belief is in no way a sudden reaction to the fact that I happen to like Anthony Weiner. Yes, the occasionally sordid sexual escapades of our elected officials are a breeze to point and laugh at, but reacting with shock to the notion that somebody is capable of infidelity or enjoys, quite frankly, getting laid as often and as creatively as possible is just laughably puritanical. People fuck. It's what we do. As I've said before, practically as a career lately, we're human and human beings are inherently flawed creatures; looking for reasons as to why people in the position to cheat actually do cheat is a fool's errand. And the more power someone has, the more likely he or she is to use that power to get laid. Jesus, you think nebbishy Anthony Weiner -- who probably got his ass kicked all over his Brooklyn elementary school playground growing up -- wasn't thinking the entire time he was coming up in politics and apparently whaling on his pecs, "I'm so gonna finally get me the college pussy that was denied to me in college"? Make no mistake: If a 25-year-old is what he really wanted out of life, he probably shouldn't have gotten married and tried to settle down as a family man, and what he's now done to his wife and family is unconscionable. But to be shocked, exactly, that he let his dick get him into trouble? You're kidding me, right? Cue the cut to a caveman sitting on a rock somewhere saying, "Ugh, me know what it like, man," as a woman hits him over the head with a club while pointing at naked drawings of him on some other woman's cave wall.
By the way, my favorite tweeted response to today's Weiner newser comes from Anthony Cumia of the Opie and Anthony show:
"I love having a job where I can send dick pics with impunity."
Amen to that.
Adding: The column this is from is actually a couple of days old but leave it to Taibbi to hit Weiner's stupidity with just the appropriate amount of blunt force:
"The truth is, if you're worth the congressional office at all, your automatic answer to any question about pictures like that has to be, 'No, that can't be me in that picture, because I'm a United States Congressman and I don't take digital pictures of my hard-ons."
I don’t want to gloat too much about Weiner. Milligan is right, it’s not like the guy is a serial killer. But as the Monday Night Football crew would say, C’mon, Man! If you want to be a national political figure, run for high office, and also have a family at the same time, you can’t be playing Russian roulette with your wife’s reputation every time you log on to your basement computer.
In other words, when you’re a certain kind of famous, there are a few things you’ve just got to give up in life –- like uploading pictures of your dick, for instance, or tweet-herding hot twentysomething women by the hundreds. Is it really that hard to find other hobbies?"