The third worst thing one can say of him is that hes given to tasteless sexual displays. The second worst thing that can be said of him is that he plays the game of seduction with young women, some legally underage. Arguendo, call that a technicality. But it does send up a flare, signaling the worst thing we may say against him: Hes in politics for all the wrong reasons.
How does an older man with a taste for younger women get those women to swarm around him? Weiners found one of the oldest methods in the book. Hes gotten himself famous, attained a level of power.
The trouble with power is that it can corrupt. Im not saying Weiner would eventually careen down the road of sexual insatiability where hed use his wealth and power (or, in his case, just power) to rape chamber maids. But he obviously lacked the pangs of prudence that might discourage him from doing what he has done in such an easily discoverable environment — using Twitter, of all things, to narrowcast for-private-consumption-only pics. (A task in which he failed, broadcasting the pic, instead.)
The whole affair is just so seedy, so stupid.
Yet this scandal shouldnt be about sex — or even the lousy substitute known as sexting. Its about the arrogance and abusiveness of power. Weiners use of his political position for his own advantage in this seamy manner ought to give us pause about the power folks such as Weiner wield. (No doubt Nancy Pelosi's call for his resignation recognizes just that: Weiner's behavior is emblematic of a Congress that remains arrogant even while behaving badly . . . if not self-depantsed on Twitter.)
And now he wants a leave of absence to seek help, help with his problem.
Well, I think we know what his problem is. Its not that he has a sexual appetite. Its that he aims to satisfy even his wilder impulses without constraint of morality or taste, and by parlaying his standing in Congress as part of his package.
Pun, well, sort of intended.
As I stated above, Congress isnt a professional outfit with tenure rights, in terms of which one may ask for leave. Its mission is very different. Its not there to give those who like the work a permanent job. Its to serve the people.
Weiner proved hes not really much interested in that.
But Im all for servicing his latest need, to obtain help. Professional help.
Send him packing, out of office. No political power. That might cure him.
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