Weiner Announces Interest In Mayoral Race While Discussing How Lack of Hugs And Access to Technology Led To His Scandal

220px-AnthonyweinerThe New York Times Magazine article on the return of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin has been denounced as a puff piece designed to lay the foundation for Weiner to run for New York mayor or other office. As I have mentioned before, I am astonished by so many Democrats expressing interest and support for Weiner’s return. Weiner has already reportedly spent considerable money on polling and clearly has received assurances of financial support. While many of the same people called for the removal of Republicans like Senator Larry Craig and others, it seems that sending creepy sexual pictures to unconsenting women, lying to the public repeatedly, and attacking the media is not enough to disqualify you for high public office. The article does read like a puff piece about one of New York’s power couple. However, it contains some truly bizarre insights into Weiner and his family.

First, there is the much quoted endorsement of Weiner’s brother Jason on his return to public life: ““I wouldn’t stand for other people saying this about him, but there was definitely a douchiness about him that I just don’t really see anymore.” Now there is a campaign slogan in the making.

Second, there is Weiner’s response to questions of whether he remains the person who was widely disliked as rude and insufferable even by Democratic members: “I don’t remember some of the skill to, like, be that guy.” Hmmm. Even his wife notes that before they married, she would look at Weiner and say “My God, he’s such a jerk.”

Third, there is Weiner’s first explanation for why is stalked women with pictures of his penis: “Not a lot of gratuitous hugging in our family. My father’s expression of love was entirely through solving problems for us . . . This fix of having an emotional back and forth on the Internet at 2 a.m. seemed, to me, like getting something that I didn’t really have a lot of, and it was easy and it never really got in. It bounced off.” Let me get this straight, Daddy didn’t hug you enough so you found that warmth in sending photos of your member to various unconsenting women? Of course, you were married at the time, right? Wouldn’t an actual hug have served a better purpose? If not, the Japanese have a new product that might be a key to Weiner’s rehabilitation.

Fourth, there is the second excuse: technology.

It was just something that technology made possible and it became possible for me to do stupid things. I mean, the thing I did, and the damage that I did, not only hadn’t it been done before, but it wasn’t possible to do it before.”

That is certainly true. In the past, we called men flashers and they had to do this one victim at a time. By the way, most of us have this technology but do not send pictures of our genitals to strangers. Indeed, most of us do not have pictures of our genitals to send.

Finally, there is the revelation about how Weiner was counseled by Jon Stewart who later apologized for going easy on his friend. Weiner reveals that Stewart told him that “as part of the process” he viewed the stories on Weiner to be mere caricatures. He quotes Stewart as saying that “As low as you are, please understand that what’s happening to you right now isn’t really happening to you, it’s happening to whatever caricature we’ve all created of you.” Just for the record, a caricature is defined as “a representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject’s distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.” The pictures themselves were of course all too real, even from an exaggerated angle. However, there was no exaggeration of the story or Weiner’s image, particularly not only his perverse fetish but his repeated lying and attacks on others including reporters. This is not a “grotesque imitation or misrepresentation” of Weiner. He only appears like a caricature because most human beings are incapable to displaying these characteristics and faults. He is an exaggeration of human weakness and faults. He is his caricature and that is what makes him so creepy.

I do not believe (perhaps in an example of hope over experience) that Weiner can return to office. However, there is obvious support and a concerted effort for his return. The mere effort reflects how relativistic we have become. There seems little that a powerful person can do today that is clearly disqualifying for some. His supporters are engaging in the ultimate exercise of moral relativism: he is creepy and disgusting but not any more creepy and disgusting than people like Vitters. It is not a common refrain that your own ethical or moral obligations are reduced in light of the failure of others to meet their own ethical or moral obligations.

The article’s long discussion of what a good dad Weiner has now become and the love affair with his wife was clearly meant to humanize Weiner. However, that had more of a feeling of a caricature than the one reportedly described by Stewart. I wish Weiner the best on his rehabilitation as he works through his technology and father issues. However, he should do his party and the country a big favor and return full-time to his recovery and leave public office to others. Certainly New York must have a few Democrats able to step forward to seek public office to guarantee that Weiner has no further temptations or distractions.

Source: Washington Post

41 thoughts on “Weiner Announces Interest In Mayoral Race While Discussing How Lack of Hugs And Access to Technology Led To His Scandal”

  1. “As low as you are, please understand that what’s happening to you right now isn’t really happening to you, it’s happening to whatever caricature we’ve all created of you.”

    *******************

    Doo-doo-doo-doo.. Doo-doo-doo-doo. What was Jon Stewart smoking at William & Mary?

    Makes we want to break out into:

  2. Why do the Dems always have to resign and none of the GOP in these scandals?

    Weiner was a fool, and creepy, but I would have loved to have Spitzer still in office somewhere, defending people from the banksters.

  3. I have always believed narcissism and related personality disorders are overrepresented in populations seeking political office. As a result, I am not surprised that he is running again and that he is using excuses for his past behavior that seem ludicrous to sane people.

    Further, since people often evaluate political leaders in a manner that more closely resembles religious faith rather than reason, they trust and support their favorite politician even when there is ample evidence that they should not. Maybe this partially explains the support he has received.

    1. “Further, since people often evaluate political leaders in a manner that more closely resembles religious faith rather than reason, they trust and support their favorite politician even when there is ample evidence that they should not. Maybe this partially explains the support he has received.”

      Jon M.,

      And maybe this loyalty is explained by his exemplary record as a Legislator.

  4. Matt Johnson 1, April 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm
    Let’s see. I do have a computer, but I don’t have a camera in front of it.

    *****************************************
    Neither do I, and that’s a Good Thing. Especially first thing in the morning before I have had my coffee.

  5. Mike,
    I have to agree that Weiner was a disgrace to his position and no matter what other politicians have done, he should have resigned. He was an effective Congressman from the standpoint of taking principled stands on important issues, but he was a detriment to the party once he became infamous. If his fellow New Yorkers want to vote for him, more power to them, but he is dirty. Vitter should also have resigned.
    leejcaroll,
    I am pretty sure Prof. Turley has written about Vitters problems with the ladies of the night. I am going strictly from memory.

  6. Part of Weiner’s comeback has him appearing in the tv series, Shameless. Mr. Turley certainly did not set the bar very high for this pervert, but obviously the partisan hypocrites strongly disagree and think the bar should be below sea level.

  7. Let’s see. I do have a computer, but I don’t have a camera in front of it.

  8. I agree with Mike S.

    Stewart does mention Weiner at the very end of his interview with Ken Burns. The Burns interview is worth the time. The Weiner mention is the only laugh in the interview, the rest is about justice.

  9. Mike S says it so much better then I.
    I used to live in NYC and I was appalled when I saw some of what Guiliani did, in catering to business over the people of the city. Bloomberg is an awful advertisement for the city. Ohhh for the days of Koch. He could be a clown but he knew the common people were the main focus, not the monied

  10. JT,

    Sorry, but I disagree strongly with you on this. Anthony Weiner represented my congressional district when I last lived in NY. I’ve followed his career closely. He was considered “abrasive” as a Congressman because he stuck to his principles and spoke truth to power. He was forced to resign by a Democratic leadership that hated his speaking truth to power, more than they cared about opposing corporate power. He should never had resigned. Was his late night penis pictures stupid and offensive? Of course they were, but the unvarnished truth about male (perhaps female too) politicians at all levels is that their sexual behavior is generally over the top. As LeeJCarroll writes about Vitter, his behavior was far more egregious and illegal to boot.

    The current Mayor of NYC is an arrogant billionaire who has bought his elections and the media to back him. His policing policies are reminiscent of
    Stalin’s USSR and his policies have benefited mainly the most wealthy of NYC residents and corporations. Anthony Weiner would be a far better person as Mayor and he has a proven record of fighting for the little guy. I’ll go further and say the Elliot Spitzer’s forced resignation was also unfortunate and he should have fought it. The common thread between these two men, beyond the sexual indiscretions, was that the both fought against the Corporate establishment that is destroying this Country and its Constitution. Haven’t we learned enough from the Bill Clinton witch hunt, that the persecution of politicians for sexual indiscretions is nonsense, when there are so much more egregious acts being committed by them every day? I judge people more by their overt political acts, than by their sexual proclivities.

  11. There are others that are just or more capable than this man. Get someone else who can legislate without the drama and distraction. It’s not worth the risk of him going off on some other scandal. There is too much at stake to allow someone to goof up again.

  12. Wow…. We were all taught in law school about the balancing test….. And the different prongs a court might use in achieving or reaching its decision…. At least we know which prong this weiner will use…..

  13. Professor Turley, Have you written about David Vitter’s complete restoration to respectability in the senate despite his possibly felonious behavior with prostitutes.? (If you did I missed it)
    Here is interesting article Andrew Breitbart: David Vitter Is As Bad As Anthony Weiner (and Breitbart he of the dems are venomous, repubs are fine.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/andrew-breitbart-david-vitter-weiner_n_880868.html
    Weiner was a good public servant. He represented his community and his political bent. What he did was asinine, ridiculous, psychologically questionable (re his health) and so on but he does not deserve to ever came back from that?
    I am saddened to read this post from you.

  14. You kids! Back in my day if you wanted to expose yourself in public you had to go the the trouble of fashioning crotchless slacks and then stand around the park all day in a heavy trench coat waiting for the right opportunity. We didn’t know that it was wrong to randomly show people our genitalia! Only since twitter has that become known!

    But hey! At lest I didn’t pay a hooker to diaper me or offer to blow strange men in an airport out on the frozen tundra.

Comments are closed.