18 June, 2011

"Excuse me while I whip this out."

We've made it through another sex scandal in an increasingly-weird series of them.

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was texting a young woman an unsolicited picture of his wang, but accidentally made it public instead of private. He took the picture down, but evidently there are people who pay attention to his tweets and were able to copy the pic before he did so. The Congressman was asked 'wtf' and responded that his account had been hacked but he wasn't going to call the police or anything and anybody who made any other claims were liars.

Cyberspace is not private, so more information started dribbling out. Weiner became belligerent in defending himself, as did his close friends and all went out for a spree of tv appearances and interviews that no way did he do anything inappropriate and those girls were all over age and only an evil right-wing conspiracy would say otherwise. Prudes.

The multiple times he turned out to send pictures of his wang was bad enough. He didn't send it to the underage girl he was texting with. He admitted that it had all been lies, which pissed off the friends who had been defending him (and it doesn't seem like he had that many friends to begin with). He wasn't going to resign though, and somewhere there was even a statement that he couldn't afford to quit because he needed the money too badly.

[It's an insoluble problem that Congresspeople and other legislators don't get paid very much. The arguments are that the positions are therefore only open to people who have enough money that they can afford to sit out a year or four, and that the low pay leaves them much more open to bribery. On the other hand, they work for the public and who wants to be overcharged for lousy service like this? I don't think there's a good solution.]

In the aftermath, it has come out that Weiner, by his own admission, doesn't hold any marketable skills except campaigning and holding public office. He's not going to get 200 grand a year changing tires or plumbing. Larry Flynt has offered him a job at a similar salary, but it sounds dubious unless you're really desperate.

By the time the porn star was holding a press conference about his unwanted tweets, his former defenders had turned against him, as had his party leaders, including the President. Former President Clinton was also not happy, nor was his wife, the Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton is Mrs. Weiner's boss and Mr. Clinton officiated at their wedding. Mrs. Weiner started her career as a White House intern in 1996 and 15 years later she's extremely attractive so back then she must tave been scorching.

Interestingly, Mr. Weiner is Jewish and Mrs. Weiner is Muslim. Far be it from me to suggest any behavior on her part, even in jest, at any time inappropriate for a proper Muslim woman. That said, given the level of devotion their friends and followers had, they may well have been an up-and-coming Washington power couple to rival John and Elizabeth Edwards, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Bill and Hillary Clinton, or Al and Tipper Gore. The Weiners had to have *something* going for them to get so far and it doesn't appear that the husband had a lot going for him other than the ability to show off his wang to women he doesn't know and not get arrested.

Which isn't entirely worthless, considering how many men would *love* the opportunity to do stuff like that and get away with it. But it's where sociopathy meets the democratic process. If you practice enough predatory behavior, on the mass of voters or individual women, sooner or later you'll get something. In a democracy, the sociopath has many opportunities and many more if women are part of the group and have an equal say. Gender equality being something of a given in Western civilization, women can be equal sociopaths. Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Clinton all got gigantic mansions out of their marriage - as did Mr.s Dominique Strauss-Kahn - and one wonders how many other wives could put up with a little wang-tweeting/masseusse-molesting/cigar puffing in their husbands if their lifestyle improved similarly. "You mean I get a dream house, endless clothes and servants, and he won't even bother me for sex? What's the catch?"

Mr. Weiner was obviously fine with the deal. He was so fine, he'd go on talk shows and blatantly lie about who he was tweeting his wang to and attack anyone who even questions him. He's a Congressman who deals with sensitive information, if he says his account has been hacked, he needs to go to the police immediately. If he's not doing that, why not? He may not think it's important and the people defending him may not think it's important, but a hacked account and suspicious behavior would leave him a target for blackmail, so that option needs to be ruled out in order to protect the secret information that a six-term Congressman would have access to.

Mr. Weiner's friends were obviously fine with the sort of person he was. Kristen Powers wrote a rage-filled article denouncing him after she found out she had lied for him. In addition to their dating briefly years ago, she admitted that a couple years back (before he was married) the two spent a lovely afternoon together in the immediate aftermath of a painful break-up she had. *That's* full disclosure. I like that. Her anger finds outlet in calling him a misogynist and denouncing a culture that creates such harm for women.

Coming from a woman who's first on-the-rebound response is to call up Mr. Weiner, that's really saying something.

Mr. Weiner's online defenders were the scary ones. They were so avid to defend him because he was a great progressive. Never mind that he didn't have any legislative achievements to point to, in six terms in Congress or prior elected offices he'd held. Never mind that he hasn't achieved anything, he's a great fighter for progressive causes. Does that get anywhere? No, but he's got a great house and a hot wife and a lot of chicks to tweet his wang to. He was out there fighting for the Obamacare bill and then he was out there fighting to get the entire state of New York a waiver from the Obamacare bill.

Amusingly, a couple of days after he resigned, the administration announced that no more waivers to Obamacare would be granted. After September, that is. That's how the chief executive has to look at it, Weiner's a typical party member, depressing as that is, and he's only distinguished by his support of the administration and this. That's how party members become liabilities inside the Washington bubble, he's a typical party member who got caught in an otherwise unexceptional sex scandal.

Weiner's defenders were the acolytes that put him over the top and reinforced his fetish? arrogance? ego? far beyond the point where it was defensible. They lashed out with conspiracy theories against Republican sex scandals and Justice Thomas' wife. At no point did anyone say 'this is kinda fucked up, maybe you should just take your lumps.'

That's groupthink as we see it in operation on the left. It functions the same way on the right, but the right is glad to make use of material wealth and property rights and family values to do it. The left says none of that stuff is important, in fact it's oppressive upon anybody who doesn't share it. These are the basic paradigms that appear in pretty much everything we see.

The right says marriage should be between one man and one woman until death do they part. The left says marriage is patriarchal oppression except for Hillary and Tipper - who both used their husband's wangs to get them high-level government committees trying to fundamentally re-write the contract between the people and the government. And they did so *for the children* even though both support any abortion at any time. Tipper buys a Prince album for her daughter and is horrified that one song is about a girl masturbating with a magazine in a hotel lobby, so she wants to impose rules about what can be labelled and how it can be sold and to whom. [Why couldn't Prince be more like Michael Jackson?]

The right says people should keep the money they earn which goes to create jobs and goods. The left says they shouldn't. Then when they realize they can't implement a single policy upon millions of Americans without the help of a corporate entity, they give all the perks to the ones they like, re-writing laws, seizing assets and never mind the cost in jobs, property rights, contract rights, working conditions or tax revenue.

The right says religion is important and should be respected as an institution and a source of morality. The left says that's not true and proceeds to treat religion as evil, as racist, as oppressive, as an excuse for property and opiate of the people, as something that blinds to reality. The left proclaims it will die for their beliefs. For proof, they point to global warming (minus inconvenient facts) taxpayer funding for experiments on aborted fetuses, "Piss Christ", and there's no sign of them filling the streets like citizens of Cairo, Damascus or Teheran are doing. Even if the President is, you know, dropping bombs in an oil-rich Muslim country that never threatened us.

Sure, the right is just as evil and hypocritical, but their values are what permit Damascus to exist for thousands of years, that permit women to survive childbirth in the first place, that let well-fed people give Michael Moore an award for criticizing his leader in a way Libyans have never known. It's been over thirty years since Jimmy Carter had any elected power, and none of his successors have ever seen him as a threat. Nor did Carter see any of his living predecessors as a threat and deal with them the way powerful leaders do everywhere else in the world. If that's rich religious corporate propaganda, it's still a giant improvement. A disgraced Democrat could have been a snake-oil selling, masseusse-abusing aristocrat in any time or any place. He might have grown up to be Che Guevara and killed as many people as possible in the name of the revolution. Ardent Stalinists don't text their wangs to many people, but they wouldn't live long in a society where that was possible.

I could probably write more, but I could probably have written less. So, in tribute to the former Congressman...

I'd never actually heard the song before, but I love Chuck's diversions into monologues and shout-outs to freedom. "There's the future Parliament there!"

"Those of you who will not sing / must be playing with your..." The great Chuck Berry, ladies and gentlemen.


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