I thought I would jump into the whole 'Weinergate' debacle. Initially I was going to abstain, but I am a slave to my impulses.
I have to amend my title because of this. The new title of this post will be 'Andrew Sullivan Sums Up 'Weinergate' Perfectly, before Summing It Up Terribly'.
I agree with this completely. There's nothing I can add to it:
"Weiner has not resigned and, frankly, I see little reason why he should. No one, so far as I can tell, was harrassed, no one was abused, no actual sex even took place at all. I'm not sure one can even find any hypocrisy here. Moreover, if online flirting is unforgivable, why isn't off-line flirting unforgivable? And what really is the difference? Apart from pictures that can be used to humiliate - and even blackmail.
Yes, I realize that one congressman recently swiftly resigned over a Craigslist shirtless pic, but that was a stupid response then and it remains a stupid thing now. It was and should have remained a matter between him and his spouse. Given the result of NY-26, maybe even the GOP is regretting its bout of puritanism now.
...I don't view this as a partisan matter - I find it impossible to condemn Larry Craig out of hand and feel for Ted Haggard. And they were clearly acting hypocritically. There was also a shred of public reason for their humiliation. I don't see any broader argument being invoked here, except partisan revenge.
Should Weiner have done this? For an elected public official, it was unwise, inappropriate, stupid. For a human being, it remains well within the bounds of, well, human.
Yes, he absolutely should not have lied. He should never have lied. But he has now also copped to his lies. It would take a particularly pitiless person to pile on some more. And I am grateful that even Andrew Breitbart seems to have drawn the line there."
Well, maybe there is something I can add to it. I am a blogger after all.
I'm certainly not willing to abandon my support for Anthony Weiner--one of the greatest, most articulate lions of liberalism we currently have--because of our culture's voyeuristic puritanism. Not long ago, I listened to Rush Limbaugh opining the fact that there are no heroes anymore, because our culture is so invasive that it's impossible to keep our personal foibles out of the public eye. He said it destabilizes the country.
I disagree. I'm glad that we are collectively coming to realize the myth of the saint. When we believe in saints, it makes it impossible for us to do the right thing, because we leave 'the right thing' to the saints. 'Who am I to get involved?' we say, 'I'm just a normal person'.
Well, newsflash, we're all normal people, with all kinds of idiosyncrasies; someone has to get involved.
Anthony Weiner has definitely gotten involved, and the country is better for it. For what it's worth, I've got his back.
cross posted at EVERYTHING IN THE MEDICINE CABINET HAS EXPIRED