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Taibbi writes: "I don't mean to sound like a prude, but what the hell do you have to do to be disqualified from high-level politics in this country? When someone told me a while back that Weiner was running for Mayor, I thought it was a joke."

Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)
Matt Taibbi. (photo: Current TV)


Electing Anthony Weiner Isn't As Funny As It Sounds

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

26 July 13

 

Nathan's Fourth of July champ backs hot dog Anthony Weiner for mayor

Rim-shot! The event was the pre-Independence Day weigh-in for the annual Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest, and improbably contending New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was there to secure the "endorsement" of perennial dog-pounding champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut. "Joey Chestnut obviously has an affinity for Weiners," cracked the candidate, in a Twitter-ready sound bite.

Chestnut's actual endorsement must have been made off-camera - I can't find him quoted in any of the campaign stories - but we can take Weiner's word for it, right? It's not like the guy's ever lied before. "I can no longer say I don't have the support of any famous people," Weiner gushed, after scoring the endorsement.

Now, weeks later, the inevitable has happened: yet another sexting scandal has popped up involving Weiner and, surprise surprise, this one was still live a good year after he resigned from Congress promising never to flap his hose across the face of the Internet ever again. Predictably, a series of really gross, genuinely Favre-ean dong shots showed up on some Scottsdale, Arizona-based website called TheDirty.com.

It turns out that Weiner was pursuing his usual creepy Internet rubfest with some poor sap of a woman from Princeton, Indiana (which the Daily News noted is "one mouse click and 850 miles away from Weiner") using the nom-de-wank of "Carlos Danger," a preposterous title destined to be adopted by a whole generation of hackers and trolls justifiably tired of the whole "Emmanuel Goldstein" meme.

I don't mean to sound like a prude, but what the hell do you have to do to be disqualified from high-level politics in this country? When someone told me a while back that Weiner was running for Mayor, I thought it was a joke. This married politician sent unsolicited pictures of his penis to female strangers on the Internet! It's not a crime, I guess because indecent exposure laws haven't been updated for the cyber age, but basically, he's a 21st-century flasher who used the U.S. Congress as a raincoat. Then he got caught, had to resign from Congress in what normally would be shame and disgrace, only to turn around and start doing it all over again pretty much immediately.

I'm not saying the guy can't have a career after what happened, but his options should be pretty limited - a rodeo clown, maybe, or one of those guys who hands out fliers for strip clubs in Times Square. In an absolute best-case scenario, a guest panelist on some gross-out/embarrassing-video-footage compilation show on cable like Manswers or America's Dumbest Criminals.

But Mayor of New York City? I know the bar was set pretty low when Mike Bloomberg bought the office outright in 2001, but we can't have sunk this far. And it's not just that he's some poor guy who got caught jacking off on the Internet. He's also increasingly tone-deaf and belligerently nuts in an inappropriate-Thanksgiving-guest sort of way. Lawrence Downes of the Times passed on this tidbit just a few weeks back:

Anthony Weiner strides onstage at Simon Baruch Middle School and grabs the mic to talk to the good people of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. He takes his position beside, not behind, the lectern. He has nothing to hide.

He wears a white dress shirt, sleeves rolled up, and pants that brightly violate the boundary between orange and red. "I don't usually dress like this," he says. He explains that he was just at a rally in Greenwich Village, celebrating the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage. Is he really saying he hasn't had time to change out of his gay pants?

Weiner simply isn't a well man. His campaign strategy has been to act like his scandal and downfall never happened, but you only need to catch his act a few times to realize that the strategy is working precisely because Weiner isn't acting. He genuinely doesn't think he did anything wrong and spends a lot of time, as an unwell person would, slamming some nebulous "they" who he is convinced are the real guilty parties in his personal melodrama. He talks a lot about how his campaign is making those haters crazy, which - well, you've all read Freud, or at least seen The Seven Percent Solution, you be the judge, tell me this isn't a classic case of projection:

I'm running a campaign in a different way . . . and it makes them nuts . . . . You know, someone once yelled out to Harry Truman at a campaign stop, he yelled out, 'Give 'em hell, Harry.' And you now what he said? He said, 'I'm just telling them the truth and it sounds like hell to them.' The very evidence that I'm doing it right is how crazy I'm making them, and I'm not gonna stop doing it.

As a pundit I know I'm supposed to enjoy political car-wreck spectacles like this, but this Weiner candidacy is a very dark story. He's surging in the polls mainly because the other candidates in the New York mayoral race are so awful (Downes humorously called them talented but "collectively uninspiring," like the Eagles) and because of the I'll-do-absolutely-anything-to-get-in-the-newspapers factor that New Yorkers always love and respect (just ask Joey Chestnut). But the endgame here is that millions of New Yorkers might put a guy who needs a nice quiet decade or two away from cameras and the Internet, maybe manning an ice station or diving for abalone somewhere, into the least therapeutic job in America.

It's crazy. I bet there are thousands of New Yorkers out there right now who wouldn't hire Anthony Weiner to condo-sit (and who wouldn't go near the areas around their desktop computers afterward without a Haz-Mat suit), but would gladly send him to live in Gracie Mansion. Believe me, I'm all for funny, but this really isn't as funny as it sounds. This is one of those ideas that sounds hilarious when you're high, but the next morning - not so much. Can we not go there this time?

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+114 # Mauitutu 2013-07-26 14:05
Every time an embarrassing, stupid, hateful, lying, cheating, egomaniac gets elected, it lowers the bar even more.
Wake up, people...this is OUR democracy!
 
 
+20 # 666 2013-07-27 06:41
people get the government they deserve
 
 
+2 # RLF 2013-07-29 06:24
I voted for Spitzer and got shafted. Not again!
 
 
+64 # mdhome 2013-07-26 22:23
The same thought as during the republican primary for president, WHY the hell is there not a better candidate running, I mean there are millions of people in NY City, there MUST be someone that could be a better choice than some drunken frat party clown. How does one enter the race for mayor of NYC? How about placing an ad in the classifieds?
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-28 07:14
You really think Anthony Weiner is the best of them, the least of all the evils? How are the other candidates - every last one of them - even worse than Weiner?
 
 
+15 # Doggone 2013-07-26 22:25
Whattaya think? Is the Weiner a sex addict or what??
 
 
+68 # Lescy 2013-07-26 23:02
I think most of them in congress are psychopaths. The good people don't really stand a chance because the powerful elites who control everything look for psychopathic types to do their dirty work for them, so honest candidates are either swept aside or run over.
 
 
+54 # Texas Aggie 2013-07-27 05:50
The powerful elites ARE psychopaths. That is how they got to be where they are. A non psychopath is incapable of doing the backstabbing that is necessary to rise in that cesspool.
 
 
+15 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:25
this is a believable explanation.
The money behind the candidate looks for someone who will do anything they say. It's a believable explanation.
 
 
+5 # shep 2013-07-27 13:31
No. The honest ones are immediately dishonest when they look around and see all the perks and are told to get along or else.
 
 
0 # Byronator 2013-08-05 22:55
Take Mayor of San Diego Bob Filner, PLEASE.
He got his sociopathic validation during a mediocre 20 year term in Congress -- aberrant narcissistic behavior was the norm. They're both poster boys for the exhibitionist Facebook generation, come to think of it.
 
 
-58 # Allen L Roland 2013-07-26 23:07
Follow the money, Matt. Weiner's wife is very tight with Hillary Clinton so guess who is financially contributing to this fiasco. Hillary wants a New York base for her 2016 Presidential run and Anthony and his wife were willing players.
 
 
+47 # kalpal 2013-07-27 04:45
So show us the money path. Not your silly conspiracy of it but the actual money path. Come on, now, send a few links. I don't consider the plume of smoke emanating from your fundament to be a valid link.
 
 
+39 # myungbluth 2013-07-27 06:49
OK. Exactly who IS contributing to this fiasco? Name names, identify amounts of money and your sources for this incredible revelation. Either come out with all the facts and evidence, or just be one of a million nut bag conspiracy theorists who have been gunning for the Clinton's since Whitewater. Put up or shut up!
 
 
-16 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:40
Sometimes the revolving door is more like a walk-in closet. And this situation shows the relationship between Hilary Clinton and the Weiners. That's a lot of money to make in a short time, isn't it.
 
 
-8 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:41
see the comment below by Artemis. It has some facts and figures that might cause you to think about how this all works.
 
 
+13 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:35
Fine...Elizabet h Warren then...with Jill Stein as her running mate. Time to return society to female control.
 
 
-1 # dquandle 2013-07-27 10:25
Yup!
 
 
+4 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:26
Please. Don't give us Hillary Clinton for a presidential candidate again!!!
 
 
0 # RHytonen 2013-07-27 12:25
Quoting Kathymoi:
Please. Don't give us Hillary Clinton for a presidential candidate again!!!

Hear, hear.

If I hadn't switched from former Liberal Dem-

(when I still naively thought they would support us against Wall Street, Big Exporting Extraction, GMOnsanto, and War Criminal "National Security,")

-to Adamant Green, I would have screamed bloody murder if they nominated another (even MORE) corporatist like "TransCanada-lo ver Hillary."
("Drill, Drill Drillary?")
They will run her -and they will lose.

Thank goodness I now realize it wouldn't change the power of Wall street etc. one bit, whether or not she does.
 
 
+24 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:15
I agree. It would be nice if the Democratic Party would offer someone who less resembles Republicans. We've had enough of conservative and "libertarian" rule.
 
 
+1 # larrypayne 2013-07-28 13:58
Now this is scarier than Weiner being elected. Do all those who clicked the thumbs down on Allen's comment really believe that Hillary is a viable candidate?

Mrs. Torture&War should be sent back to Arkansas in a rusted out turnip truck.
 
 
+17 # Billy Bob 2013-07-26 23:29
I just don't understand why anyone cares...

Why is it that with SOME politicians we're supposed to let their private lives remain private and with others, it's all fair game?

None of it matters to me and I wonder why we have to treat American politics like a reality show about Tanya Harding.
 
 
+28 # Vegan_Girl 2013-07-27 04:21
I am all for forgiveness but

1 ) this guy looks like he just can't help himself. He really has a problem. He promised it would never happen again...

2) I don't want exhibitionists, and narcissistic flashers to decide about privacy laws, and privacy laws is a new, very important front where we are quickly losing ground.
 
 
+3 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:33
Why not? Men make decisions about abortion...not that they should...but they do.
 
 
+3 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:16
I suspect that Weiner would be in favor of stronger laws to protect privacy.
 
 
+21 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:30
Some of us want the people who represent us in government to be mentally healthy, rational, even wise people, capable of deep and comprehensive thought and analysis. Some of us want the people who represent us in government to have integrity, honor and good social sense. Some of us consider these things to be fundamental to a good candidate for any public office.
If you don't understand why that matters to anyone, is it because you don't share those values yourself?
 
 
-6 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:06
Sounds great! Do you know enough of those people to actually fill the vacancies your requirement would create? I sure don't.

I hate to tell you this but, this IS the best we can do. People (under close scrutiny) aren't that honorable (at least not enough of them to fill all of our public offices).

READ THIS:

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/18587-racist-roots-of-gop-war-on-obama

What do you think of THOMAS JEFFERSON? He was a slave-owning, pedophile RAPIST.

CLEARLY he was not fit for public office either. Apparently, neither were any of the other Founding Fathers, if you read the article.

WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
 
 
+2 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:23
What is even worse, TJ didn't even free his slave-victim in his will. This was contrary to the custom of many slave owners of his day.
 
 
+12 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:12
Part of my problem with all of this is the OBVIOUSLY SELECTIVE HYPOCRISY involved. A little consistency would be nice.

By the way, we have an entire party that thinks life begins at conception and ENDS at birth. That party has NO problem with starving, bombing, and torturing children.

This is met with NO real and widely publicized moral outrage.

IN FACT, those "ideals" have become such a woven part of our moral framework that members of the other major party are starting to adopt them as well.

If you think it's ok to allow politicians who endorse those kinds of things to be treated better than Anthony Weiner (WHO DOESN'T endorse them), then I guess you share the moral values of a murderer.
 
 
+3 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:20
"Mental health" is a political invention, not a medical concept. If you doubt that, notice that many people on this thread label people with whom they disagree as "psychopaths".
 
 
+13 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:34
All these stories are just titillating distractions from the real news...like Halliburton's war profiteering. Why aren't we at least as upset about that?
 
 
+25 # newsmom 2013-07-26 23:30
the man is profoundly disturbed. if elected, it will confirm all of our worst fears about the inability to of people to vote in their own best interests...and if it can happen in new york, gawd knows it can happen elsewhere where voters are thought to have something vaguely akin to good sense.
 
 
+29 # Cdesignpdx 2013-07-27 00:07
What fries me about Weiner's behavior? We needed every dog-biting democrat representative in the house we had and
he was a passionate fighter for our side of the aisle. Now his passion seems to be exhibiting more than his political acumen which might make his first mayoral term a 'brief' one.
 
 
-10 # dquandle 2013-07-27 10:27
Wasn't a "passionate fighter" for my side...
 
 
+51 # HPPSINC 2013-07-27 00:56
Anthony Weiner is seriously unbalanced and seemingly without ant ability to appreciate the gravity and import of his actions. This is not a man who will ever be able to put this behavior behind him, as he appears unable to accept in any meaningful way that his actions are grossly inappropriate. Matt Taibbi is absolutely right. He should not be given any job where judgement and responsibility are required, since he is incapable of both. The fact that he can continue as if nothing of any consequence has happened is another symptom of his illness. That he hasn't any intention of giving up his candidacy is more evidence of his lack of capacity. God help the city of New York if the people don't have the sense to elect someone better. Unfortunately gone are the days when those who were caught with their pants down had the grace to resign.This however is not the standard sexual indiscretion. This has features which suggest a mental illness.
 
 
+8 # Sweet Pea 2013-07-27 06:26
Quoting HPPSINC:
Anthony Weiner is seriously unbalanced and seemingly without ant ability to appreciate the gravity and import of his actions. This is not a man who will ever be able to put this behavior behind him, as he appears unable to accept in any meaningful way that his actions are grossly inappropriate. Matt Taibbi is absolutely right. He should not be given any job where judgement and responsibility are required, since he is incapable of both. The fact that he can continue as if nothing of any consequence has happened is another symptom of his illness. That he hasn't any intention of giving up his candidacy is more evidence of his lack of capacity. God help the city of New York if the people don't have the sense to elect someone better. Unfortunately gone are the days when those who were caught with their pants down had the grace to resign.This however is not the standard sexual indiscretion. This has features which suggest a mental illness.

Unfortunately he is lacking good judgement"--- a necessary attribute for a politician!
 
 
+3 # RHytonen 2013-07-27 12:28
[quote name="Sweet Pea
Unfortunately he is lacking good judgement"--- a necessary attribute for a politician!

I would love to see how you'd prove that.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:15
AMEN! When has "good judgement" EVER been associated with American politics?
 
 
+1 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:33
We want someone with judgement and honor to represent us. The money that backs candidates like this must want a candidate with no judgement or honor to do their bidding.
 
 
-1 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:16
Who do you support for mayor of NYC?
 
 
-14 # cherylpetro 2013-07-27 01:01
YES, Matt, you ARE a PRUDE! Anthony stood up for the people of the country against the hateful, destructive Republicans! Private lives are not the measure of politics! And joking about his name Matt, shows you have a lot of growing up to do!
 
 
+14 # RHytonen 2013-07-27 12:34
Quoting cherylpetro:
YES, Matt, you ARE a PRUDE! Anthony stood up for the people of the country against the hateful, destructive Republicans! Private lives are not the measure of politics! And joking about his name Matt, shows you have a lot of growing up to do!

MOST of America are PRUDES.

That's why those hiding the REAL obscenities (Like Plunder-technic al term-, economic inequality, and the corporate rule that supports it) make things like this such a huge deal. We really need to throw off two public millstones:
Puritanism and fascism.
 
 
+36 # Artemis 2013-07-27 03:11
I think that is just the best description: "Weiner simply isn't a well man". Unfortunately, he is also a very nasty specimen and getting his wife (well, she did it herself) to stand up beside him in his unwellness was a tragic image.

It is worth noting what Amy Goodman pointed out in this excerpt from DN!:

Anthony Weiner entered the New York mayoral race in May. While his sexual exploits have dominated talk of his campaign, Weiner has received almost no attention for recent comments on the Israel-Palestin e conflict. In a video posted by the website The Daily Beast, Weiner told a questioner he stands by his previously held view that Palestinian land in the West Bank is not under military occupation by Israel.

Questioner: "Sir, do you still believe the West Bank is not occupied?"

Anthony Weiner: "Yes, I do. I believe it’s — I believe that the status of that area is left to be decided by the people who are there."

Questioner: "So it’s not occupied by Israel?"

Anthony Weiner: "I’ve got to tell you something. You know, there are disagreements about what constitutes the West Bank. Nice to see you, my friend."

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. Weiner was a strong supporter of the Israeli government while in Congress, once sponsoring a measure to bar the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations. At the time, he infamously stated the delegation "should start packing their little Palestinian terrorist bags."
 
 
+1 # dquandle 2013-07-27 10:29
yup, just a knee jerk Israelofascist.
 
 
-1 # larrypayne 2013-07-28 13:50
And that might be enough to get him elected in New York.
 
 
+8 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:37
More and more, we are seeing people run for political office who are uncontrolled in their expression of hatred and bigotry, their lack of judgement, and their lack of integrity. Help!!!
 
 
+4 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:29
Why would you expect a politician to have sexual integrity? The only integrity I expect from one is when it comes to doing our business.
 
 
+2 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:27
In that he is no different than any other NY politician.
 
 
+18 # Artemis 2013-07-27 03:30
Oh, oh! - just read this:

Weiner's wife Huma Abedin under scrutiny over two jobs
Stephanie Condon /CBS News/ July 26, 2013

In her first campaign appearance with Anthony Weiner, his wife, Huma Abedin, said they had "discussed all of" his lewd messages before entering the mayoral race.
Anthony Weiner's wife Huma Abedin is facing tough questions from a senator concerned about the nature of her employment at the State Department.

Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, worked for a little under a year as a "special government employee" for the State Department. During that period in 2012, she was also working as a consultant for a private firm called Teneo, giving private investors information about the government.

It has been reported that Ms. Abedin earned approximately $135,000 from the State Department while receiving $355,000 in consulting income for representing outside clients, as she remained a Federal employee and a trusted advisor to Secretary Clinton," Grassley wrote. "This raises important questions about whether her dual role was adequately disclosed to government officials who may have provided her information without realizing that she was being paid by private investors to gather information."
 
 
+3 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:30
When will we recognize a planted story when we see one?
 
 
-14 # cordleycoit 2013-07-27 05:01
Weiner belongs on a subway platform, yes not in-charge of NYC. Have't we seen enough clowns gone wrong with the Obama admin?
 
 
+9 # hd70642 2013-07-27 06:23
Does MR Weiner get a free rain coat with the purchase of his next Celluar telephone ?
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2013-07-27 06:57
A stand up kind of guy, this weenie
 
 
+1 # soularddave 2013-07-27 06:59
Seems to me his backers are trying to discredit the formerly honorable persuit of public serbice. Kind of like primary voting where you vote for the worst candidate of the oppisite party instead of your best choice.
 
 
+17 # jabo1941 2013-07-27 07:47
1. Weiner should ask people to pronounce his name correctly (like whiner) so it does not sound like a hot dog.
2. America needs to openly address the national problem of addictive behaviors. Anthony is struggling with the most dangerous of all addictions, Sex Addiction. He is in a club that includes Bill Clinton and countless numbers of other politicians, teachers, doctors, astronauts, and garbage collectors. America is still a Puritanical country that would rather watch violence than healthy intimate sexual relations. A large portion of "Moral" America is painfully hypocritical at best. A hundred years from today, when we finally get real and work on the problems of addiction, we will be on the road to national recovery. In the mean time, Anthony should drop out of the mayoral race so he can start working on his personal and marital problems. When he is well into recovery he can return to the political arena and make his contribution. Before he can take care of the city he has to take care of himself.
 
 
+6 # Malcolm 2013-07-27 10:26
Wait a minute! Monica gives Bill a blow job, and this leads you to the conclusion that Bill's a SEX ADDICT?

Sheesh, using that definition all of us parents are sec addicts.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:32
√out this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAVI16FSjxU

It pretty much sums up the entire argument. Here are a few lines from the song:

"What's worse,
Starting a WAR?
Or keepin' your Cohibas
In a human humidor?"

AND...

"George Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction!
Clinton got a blow job"
 
 
+3 # Renter1 2013-07-28 10:24
[quote name="Malcolm"] Wait a minute! Monica gives Bill a blow job, and this leads you to the conclusion that Bill's a SEX ADDICT?

It's not the blow job, it's what he did to get it. Clinton was willing to compromise his own staff by making them cover for him, manipulate a subordinate who was 25 years his junior, risk public humiliation of himself, his wife, and Lewinsky, risk undermining his effectiveness as President, and lie to all concerned about what he was doing- just to get that blow job. And he seemed genuinely clueless about why people were upset with his behavior.

In short, he showed the denial, manipulative behavior, hard core selfishness and indifference to damage done that's typical of most addictions.

Lewinsky was an adult when she got involved with Clinton, and she shares some of the responsibility. But she was hardly the first woman in Bill's stable. Stories abound of him making utterly inappropriate advances to women in all kinds of situations, and he kept it up even when it was damaging his reputation. That kind of compulsion is also a strong sign of addiction.

It's not getting a blow job or sending a picture that defines an addict. It's the whole pattern of behavior. Both Weiner and Clinton have a serious problem.
 
 
+3 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:25
Ahhh...well, I don't care where Clinton )or half of washington) sticks their dicks. Was Clinton effective as POTUS? Yes. Did he have tremendous public support? Yes. Did he effectively manage the economy? Yes, with help from both sides of the aisle. Should he have lied about his affair w/Monica? Of course not. What he should've said was "Yes I had an affair with that woman. Hilary and I are handling this privately, as it is a private matter. Now, let's move on to more important issues...like the State of the Nation and getting people back to work."
 
 
-1 # Kathymoi 2013-07-27 10:45
Reading right here in the comments some of his statements about political situations, it doesn't look like he could take care of the country or the city of New York even if we leave his sex addiction behaviors out of the picture.
 
 
+3 # RLF 2013-07-28 05:40
Exactly...I dumped him when he said he would not support the arts on WNYC.
 
 
+2 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:36
There would be no such thing as sex addiction if the USA were not such a puritanical country.

People struggle to reconcile their strong sex drive with the Victorian mores of American society. Some people are better than others at dealing with American puritanism, just like some people were better than others at surviving slavery.
 
 
+11 # Reyn 2013-07-27 08:04
I have to say, as a person who lived in NYC for a decade - I wouldn't have cared then, I wouldn't care now. I cared that Spitzer was seeing prostitutes BECAUSE and only because he had engaged in sting operations against prostitutes as AG. I cared than Sanford was keeping a mistress in South America BECAUSE and only because he was using public money to do it. I cared about Craig of Idaho (and a host of others) because their actions were illegal (you can't have sex in bathrooms Larry) and because they were hypocrites. Anthony Weiner is a bit taken with his own d*ck, but as far as I know he hasn't broken the law (which I do NOT think should be updated) and my interest therefore is solely the other thing you mention but which takes second place - can he govern, or not?
 
 
+15 # jwb110 2013-07-27 10:05
Quoting Reyn:
I have to say, as a person who lived in NYC for a decade - I wouldn't have cared then, I wouldn't care now. I cared that Spitzer was seeing prostitutes BECAUSE and only because he had engaged in sting operations against prostitutes as AG. I cared than Sanford was keeping a mistress in South America BECAUSE and only because he was using public money to do it. I cared about Craig of Idaho (and a host of others) because their actions were illegal (you can't have sex in bathrooms Larry) and because they were hypocrites. Anthony Weiner is a bit taken with his own d*ck, but as far as I know he hasn't broken the law (which I do NOT think should be updated) and my interest therefore is solely the other thing you mention but which takes second place - can he govern, or not?


I am with you on this, Reyn. He may be a nut case but if he can rule well and effectively that is all that is germane. Mitch McConnel is a nut case as far as I'm concerned and doesn't rule effectively. He just obstructs the things that progressives are for. He would destroy the country to push his agenda.......an d who wants to see that old prick!?
 
 
0 # Artemis 2013-07-30 04:05
You guys are really creepy. ..."if he can rule well and effectively is all that is germane..."
Thanks, but I'll take a mayor I can respect and trust and that won't be a man who posts images of his hard-ons to women he doesn't know.
 
 
-14 # janehallaren 2013-07-27 09:05
for me, at this point, anthony weiner and everything about him is beyond the need to comment, but because I have grown to respect matt taibbi, I read his article. anthony weiner is clearly a very disturbed man, we all know that, but what is taibbi's excuse for using not just one, but two of the most hackneyed cliches in the history of mundane, lazy language, one after the other as if he like weiner just couldn't stop himself, to end his article? i find it easier to understand and forgive weiner than taibbi. weiner is struggling with a destructive compulsion, but taibbi gets paid for his unforgivable transgression.

jane hallaren
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:54
I find the intentional avoidance of capital letters to be another example of "lazy language".
 
 
0 # janehallaren 2013-07-30 15:25
I do too, but every time I write in a normal fashion, I get 10 people telling me to join this millennium.
 
 
+3 # balconesfalk 2013-07-27 12:22
Hyper horniness is virtually normal. Men, I've heard, think about sex with a woman every fifteen minutes. On the other hand gay men at all times think that sex with women is the worst most disgusting thing humans have ever had to endure in order to continue the human race. In this configuration all men can be broken down into just two sets.
None of this has anything to do with governance. Except for his distasteful partiality to Israel I hope Anthony makes it!. I wish we could adopt neutrality regarding Israel-Palestin e and stop funding that insane war-style-behav ior. How do they know who's who? Do they do DNA tests to find which side they are on--they certainly all look alike. They eat, sleep, live and breathe as humans.
Religion is not a fundamental part of fulfilling human needs. It is certainly not worth killing one another over! Americans need to stop their enabling!
 
 
+1 # mim 2013-07-28 10:52
Can you say "bisexual"?
 
 
0 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:18
Amen
 
 
-3 # W Lippman 2013-07-27 13:11
I love your work Matt. But the day will come when we'll understand that the narrow confines within which men are allowed to express their frequently non-monogamous form of emotional loyalty are the drivers of a lot of apparently insane sexual behavior. Men used to define for women acceptable boundaries for their emotional, sexual, political and economic lives. We called that chauvanism, and much of it's been thankfully overcome (the work's clearly not done.) But matriarchy is not the answer to patriarchy. Replacing male chauvanism with narrow bourgeoise definitions of men's acceptable sexual and emotional lives can be is no solution; it's the same mistake in drag. I'm not justifying the bizarre, narcississtic acting out we see going on around us with folks like Weiner. I am saying that until our society accepts that men shouldn't have to choose between being in a stable relationship and having some healthy sexual variety in their lives (the way single men and women do) ... and develops some healthy outlets and role modeling for how men can be loyal to their mates in all the most important parts of their lives ... while expressing their sexual natures the way god made us ... we'll continue to see more "perverse" behavior as that dammed-up energy leaks out around the edges of society's strictures.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-07-27 20:04
Quoting W Lippman:
...... I'm not justifying the bizarre, narcississtic acting out we see going on around us with folks like Weiner. I am saying that until our society accepts that men shouldn't have to choose between being in a stable relationship and having some healthy sexual variety in their lives (the way single men and women do) ... and develops some healthy outlets and role modeling for how men can be loyal to their mates in all the most important parts of their lives ... while expressing their sexual natures the way god made us ... we'll continue to see more "perverse" behavior as that dammed-up energy leaks out around the edges of society's strictures.


Hey, the Mormons already beat you to it. It's called polygamy. All the "extra" fun *AND* the responsibility as well !

There are also "open marriages", if you can get your spouse interested in them. They call themselves "Polyamorous" groups.

There are all KINDS of solutions available to the situation you mention, and STILL we have sick, sad, *obsessive* exhibitionists, flashers, and phone stalkers like the person here under discussion.

These phenomena definitely do *not* lend themselves to a "one size fits all" solution, evidenced simply by the fact that these problems have existed, *without* a solution that is perfect for both genders and the children involved, since there have *been* people walking the Earth.

So it really *may* be a few more weeks before we have all the answers.
 
 
-1 # mim 2013-07-28 07:07
Fundie Mormon sects beat him to it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially forbade polygamy in 1890.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Manifesto

Lovers of truth, get your facts straight.
 
 
+2 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:42
The LDS forbade polygamy only because the USA made it a pre-condition for Utah to be admitted into the Union. This was a blatant violation of the separation of religion and state.
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-28 18:11
That's true, but no matter what the political reason, the fact is that the LDS Church has not practiced polygamy for almost a century and a quarter, so saying the Mormons (in the flagship church) practice it now is false and a cheap shot by those for whom the truth is not good enough. And I'm not a Mormon; I simply believe in fairness.

The Mormons did not invent polygamy either; that should be obvious from a cursory look at the history of marriage in Asia, Africa, and ancient America.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2013-07-29 03:50
Quoting mim:
That's true, but no matter what the political reason, the fact is that the LDS Church has not practiced polygamy for almost a century and a quarter, so saying the Mormons (in the flagship church) practice it now is false and a cheap shot by those for whom the truth is not good enough. And I'm not a Mormon; I simply believe in fairness.

The Mormons did not invent polygamy either; that should be obvious from a cursory look at the history of marriage in Asia, Africa, and ancient America.


Wow, you are vigorously defending a whole *slew* of points that nobody brought up but you !

Enjoy !
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-07-29 03:48
Quoting mim:
Fundie Mormon sects beat him to it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially forbade polygamy in 1890.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Manifesto

Lovers of truth, get your facts straight.


Yeah..... get *YOUR* facts straight ! The Church did *indeed* "officially" forbid polygamy in 1890, and then turned a blind eye to the practice in Southern Utah, Arizona and elsewhere
for every and all of the years SINCE 1890. Wink-wink, nod-nod.

It is STILL being practiced along the border between UT and AZ. Not, of course, "officially", bcuz that would be agin' da LAW !

I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but your Mormon "Prophets" in SLC were just a-*funnin'* Ol' Uncle Sam with that proclamation back in 1890. And, for a few decades, Ol' Uncle Sugar actually fell for it. That's where your own historical knowledge ceases. Perhaps, as a truth lover, time for the 21st Century Systems Update ?
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-31 05:04
It's still true that the Mormons (the flagship church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) don't practice polygamy today (for whatever reason, even political convenience), nor did they invent polygamy (the ancients beat them to it), nor has any one man among them amassed an enormous harem like, say, King Rama IV of Siam or King Solomon in the Bible.
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-31 06:24
You haven't convinced me that I have any bubbles to burst in this topic.

The communities in southern Utah, Arizona and Colorado are independent sects. The "big" LDS church has said so, and has no authority over them. What do you expect the LDS church to do, commit another Mountain Meadows Massacre?

So wrt "The Mormons beat you to it," why single out a group that 1) wasn't the first, 2) never amassed a Solomon-sized harem (700 wives and 300 concubunes), and 3) don't do it anymore?

As for that third point: yes, the decision of 1890 was a political decision. But it happened, and they haven't practiced "plural marriage" for over a century. I don't know about the standing of the community in Mexico where George Romney was born, but their very location at least indicates some willful defiance that they couldn't engage in stateside.

So why use the Mormons as an example? The logic here seems to be, "I don't like the reason they stopped, therefore they never stopped."
 
 
+1 # mim 2013-07-28 07:33
As the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel has noted, the use of "chauvinism" to denote male sexism is chauvinistic with regard to all the other chauvinisms.
 
 
-1 # Nominae 2013-07-29 03:52
Quoting mim:
As the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel has noted, the use of "chauvinism" to denote male sexism is chauvinistic with regard to all the other chauvinisms.


"That depends upon what your definition of 'is' is."

- W. J. Clinton
 
 
+1 # delphicsybil 2013-07-27 13:52
Weiner should run for mayor of Antarctica. The cold will have a chilling effect on his problem.
 
 
+1 # oakes721 2013-07-27 15:12
WHO, indeed, is Funding Weiner's Re-Run? It has the overwhelming effect of discrediting his party. WHO would be interested in doing such a thing?
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-28 06:50
Probably someone who hopes that Weiner will tip the election toward the candidate most like Bloomberg (I'm not naming names here).
 
 
-1 # apollobartender 2013-07-27 15:34
Weiner is like a Present day Portnoy; his sexual preferences are just a bad fit for society; he does seem to enjoy the idea of having everyone in on the party as part of his thrill and that makes it just a little more disgusting. As far as his social disease, it almost seems enabling to allow Weiner to take a public office and then use it as a form of getting himself off, whether or not he can do the job with any level of proficiency.
 
 
+3 # shraeve 2013-07-28 14:44
"...his sexual preferences are just a bad fit for society..."

Why do we have a society that demands that a person's sexual preferences "fit"?
 
 
-2 # fredboy 2013-07-27 16:04
Weiner is an off-the-charts creep. I realize politicians now have the compositional makeup of shit, but this guy (and the asshole in San Diego) stretches even that comparison.
 
 
+3 # Michaeljohn 2013-07-27 16:19
So if Berlusconi is good enough for the Italy, why isn't Weiner good enough for NYC? Oh, wait, Berlusconi has his own money and good hair and doesn't have to resort to the Internet to satisfy his sexual appetites.
 
 
+2 # Nominae 2013-07-27 20:26
Quoting Michaeljohn:
So if Berlusconi is good enough for the Italy, why isn't Weiner good enough for NYC? Oh, wait, Berlusconi has his own money and good hair and doesn't have to resort to the Internet to satisfy his sexual appetites.


Yeah ! And even *with* all those stellar positives Berluscummy is *still* as bone-crushingly unqualified even as a candidate to run the DMV as is Weiner !

Buying the office ala Mayor Bloomberg, is not exactly as "positive" a claim to fame as some may think.
 
 
+1 # politicfix 2013-07-27 16:30
Another case of narcissism. The list of government leaders has become ridiculous. Weiner clearly has a problem. What's wrong with his wife? This is a woman who had an outstanding political record. He has asked his wife to damage her own credibility so he, a sexual addict, can become mayor? His wife is a good friend of Hillary Clinton. This man only care about himself. He believes he exempt from appropriate behavior required in the political arena. He's through. And....so should David Vitter, Mark Sanford and the rest of the men who believe the morality of the country and it's leaders doesn't matter. They must be held to high standards. Who will we have running for office next? If the standard gets low enough maybe we'll have O J Simpson thinking he can run for office. Wake up America! These men need therapy not a leadership position.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2013-07-27 19:49
Thanks, Matt !

For being one of the few voices I've heard, especially from New York, stating the *obvious* about this seriously psychologically damaged man of almost fifty years, living in a fantasy world, as obsessed as a toddler with the fact that he has a "wee-wee".

This man is obsessed to the *exclusion* of most normal pursuits, and, as Matt points out, the *real* problem here is that Wiener himself sees absolutely *nothing wrong* with his behavior.

He is Louis XIV, The Sun King. He CAN do no wrong, because, after all he IS a *GOD* ! Typical narcissistic symptom of megalomania that so many people, especially right here on RSN seem to *also* consider "perfectly normal" behavior.

This man's pattern of lying and *aggressive* belief in his fantasy, along with *demonstrated* inability to modify his own behavior, are alone sufficient to disqualify this clown as mayor of one of the world's most powerful and influential cities.

As Matt also notes, this man is nothing more than personally talented, but *very* sick, high-tech "Subway Flasher" - he is *manifestly* unable to govern *himself* - and now gullible, clueless people want to give him leadership of a major city ?

The only thing that any New Yorker should be giving *this* man
are directions to the nearest psychiatric facility.

What's next - John Wayne Gacy as candidate for Sainthood ?

These people, all in their own way, are seriously *sick* !

They are *not* just "colorful characters".
 
 
-1 # tclose 2013-07-28 10:30
I agree - thanks Matt. As always you are very perceptive, and able to get at the essence of why this candidate is so unworthy and such a potential problem for the people of NYC.
 
 
+2 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:17
Are you more worried about how he does NYC's business or where he sticks his "wee-wee?" If it's the latter, please de-register to vote...you're not intelectually qualified.
 
 
-2 # mim 2013-07-28 06:47
There are other candidates running for mayor of New York: Christine Quinn, who I think is the current front runner; Bill Thompson, who almost defeated Mayor Bloomberg last time; and others about whom I must educate myself while there'still time. I'm not ready to write off every last one of them as "absolutely awful." But are the papers covering any of these perhaps worthier candidates? Nooooo, they're too busy with this sleazy sideshow. (I don't expect TV news is any better, except maybe NY1, and the Times must have something in the NY/Regional section. I hope.)

One tabloid, in reporting the latest sleaze, notes that Weiner scored 16% in some poll. Is there any clearer sign that the media are beating a dead horse?

And now Matt Taibbi, of all people, thinks this sleazy sideshow IS the mayoral election.

I too want Weiner out of the race. Not only is he distracting the electorate, and even serious journalists like Matt Taibbi, but the relatively few votes he gets could tip the primary election toward a less than optimal candidate. We need to make a new start after twelve years of Bloomberg.

But to judge from the press coverage, you'd think Weiner was running unopposed.
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-28 18:23
Several hours later: Yes, the New York Times has some decent coverage on the candidates - 7 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 independent. It's buried in the NY/Regional section. Based on that I have decided who to vote for, and it won't be Weiner.

The Times says that Weiner "is left running the loneliest mayoral campaign in modern memory, which actually suits him. After begging the electorate for a second chance to serve, Mark Sanford-style, he is expected to exploit his independence by running as a Kochian Democrat, well to the right of his rivals, whom he will paint as babbling machine liberals unprepared to fight for the vanishing middle class."

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/14/nyregion/mayoral-candidates.html
 
 
+2 # mim 2013-07-28 07:25
Matt, if the other mayoral candidates - at least the ones who can win - are so absolutely awful, why not do an exposé on them?
 
 
-1 # DerProfessor 2013-07-28 08:13
Len Deighton was right--there really IS no business but show business. What qualifies Weiner to be mayor of New York City? Nothing whatsoever. But people remember his name, and forget that they heard it attached to a scandal.
 
 
+1 # CDS2 2013-07-28 11:14
Cool off and stop thinking about what the guy does for sexual jollies.

The main question remains...is this the best man form the job? Is this candidate going to focus on what NYC really needs? Is this philandering male (like he's the only one in NYC...or in politics for that matter) going to be concerned with the People, or is he another stooge for Wall Street and the megacorps?

Look at his track record. This was the only congressman to stand up and call the Republicans on their BS when it came to "socialized" healthcare. This is a man who, like Chris Christie, stands up for his people when they need him. This is a man who has done something that powerful men have been doing ever since there have been powerful men. Is it any wonder the world laughs at our parochial attitudes toward our politicians?

I would much rather have 600 adulterers in DC who weren't owned by special interests than what we have now.
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-28 12:27
I'm with you wrt adulterers, the garden-variety sort that misbehave in private. Faithfulness in marriage is a false standard in politics, even when dignified with the word "character." The exception is when the officeholder is literally in bed with someone who represents a conflict of interest in the public, policymaking sense, or who exposes the officeholder to blackmail.

I have often asked my fellow progressives: if you could have voted in the 1932 presidential election, and you knew about Lucy Mercer, would you have voted for Roosevelt or Hoover? I never received a straight answer from even one person.

But public exhibitionism, whether in person or online, crosses a line that should never, ever be crossed. Not only is the act inherently creepy and offensive, but it undermines the act of governing. And Weiner is still doing it. He cannot or will not stop, not even for the sake of running a big city. If by some fluke he becomes mayor, this is what his mayoralty will be about.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2013-07-29 04:20
Quoting CDS2:
Cool off and stop thinking about what the guy does for sexual jollies.......


No one is focusing on "sexual jollies", people are wisely concerned about blatant and inveterate public exhibitionism, writ large across the entire globe via the internet.

This behavior is a hallmark symptom of *serious* psychological problems that the individual under consideration is obviously helpless to control. He can't control *himself*, but you think people should hand him the control keys to the entire city ?

The fact that you yourself don't *recognize* sickness when it is *literally* in your face, tends to obviate the rest of your observation above.

As I've said before, where would persons such as yourself draw the line ? "It's nobody's business how and where John Wayne Gacy gets his 'sexual jollies', the guy would *still* make one helluva leader of a major city." ? Right ? Because, logically, that IS *exactly* what you are saying, merely on a lesser scale !

People like Gacy and Weiner are just different degrees of very psychologically damaged. They are *not* simply "colorful characters" harmlessly gettin' their private "jollies" while remaining spectacularly proficient as high-profile public leaders.

We actually *can't* "have it both ways" !

How far have we dropped as an electorate when these *obvious* facts need even be pointed *out* to potential voters ?

Good thing Matt's apparently willing to do what MUST be done !
 
 
+1 # CB93 2013-07-28 14:58
Anthony Weiner needs to seek a psychiatrist's office, not the mayor's.
 
 
+1 # Grimstad 2013-07-29 08:23
Not a sentence in the article nor a comment that follows is about Weiner's actions related to his office, past or proposed. We have made everyone's private lives our business and our politics have suffered for it. Whenever someone says, "I'm not a prude, but...," they're a prude.

Some very effective leaders had extra-marrital relations, but now sex is the primary concern of voters. The result is that people of modest means enter politics and leave a few years later with hugely increased wealth and no one cares.
 
 
0 # mim 2013-07-31 05:36
As I said before, no one has ever given me a straight answer to the question: If you could vote in the presidential election of 1932, and you somehow knew about Lucy Mercer, would you vote for Hoover or Roosevelt?

(For the sake of those who don't know, Lucy Mercer was FDR's mistress from the time he was governor of New York until the day he died. She was Eleanor's secretary at the beginning of the affair. He promised Eleanor he'd break up with Lucy but never did.)

So does your post answer my question?

The only reason I take a different position with Weiner is that exhibitionism is in a creepy class by itself. Imagine an exhibitionist mayor!

More important, this whole Weiner affair is a creepy sideshow. Where are the serious comparisons of Christine Quinn, Bill De Blasio, Bill Thompson, John Liu, and any or all of the other candidates? They exist, but they're in places where few voters will look.

Come on, there's an election going on. One of 11 people will be the next mayor. There are serious issues such as education, housing, and the role of the police. I say especially to news media, whatever they may be: is this any way to run a democracy?
 
 
0 # SamanthaOscar 2014-07-24 06:57
my husband was always cheating on me and even spends nights out. sometimes he even leave for the entire week end, pretending that he has work, but i know he just go meet women, my life was lame until, i asked robinsonbuckler @yahoo. com to cast a spell for me. so that my husband can be a good man and after his spell, my husband changed automatically, he now spends much more time with me and the kids and we're a family again
 

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