Once again, when confronted with behavior that clearly speaks to the character of a man’s heart, we’re being asked to accept that he’s not entirely responsible for his actions because of some unspecified “disorder.” (Maybe narcissism, maybe obsessive-compulsive disorder, maybe chronic nerdism; hard to say without a psych assessment.)
There was a time - in low-tech America - when actions like Mr. Weiner’s would have taken place in a park and involved a trench coat. But there I go again, longing for a simpler era when a pervert was a pervert and not necessarily a guy with a condition.
As it is, now that Mr. Weiner has used Twitter to indulge his icky sexual proclivities and yet refuses to resign from his congressional seat, we’re again confronted with the new American reality: You don’t have to suffer the consequences of your actions.
Not just that. Even if you’re as skeevy as yesterday’s sweaty socks, people who like your politics will tolerate your creepiness. To wit: Mr. Weiner maintains the support of the president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, Julie Kirshner. She claims that just because she has learned her congressman is “a 14-year-old boy” doesn’t mean he doesn’t support feminist causes.
Sorry, Ms. Kirshner, but you’re making a big mistake. You can’t simply write Mr. Weiner’s antics off as immature for the purposes of political pragmatism. At least, not without further eroding our national ethos.
Our habit of detaching a person’s behavior from his character is having a deleterious impact on our country, and, at the risk of using hyperbole, is going to be our ultimate undoing. Maybe not in this specific case, as it’s likely the two-week leave of absence that has been granted to Mr. Weiner will turn into an early retirement with well-wishes for a “full recovery.”
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