There'll always be Weiners

Beholding the undignified spectacle of Weiner’s online antics, we ask ourselves how a high elected official could be so vain, so reckless, so irrational to behave in such a way. What we don’t seem to consider is that the nature of the modern democratic politician is to love himself inordinately, to hold himself above the rules as he seeks to rise above the mass of his fellow citizens, to be so irrational as to think that he can both stick to his principles and please as many people as possible. When we dance and prance over Weiner’s destruction, we are pronouncing a death sentence on precisely the qualities a democratic politician needs to function. We are digging democracy’s grave…

The irony of the Weiner episode is that Weiner channeled the private, illicit excess of his respectable, public need to be loved and admired onto the internet, where he thought he could maintain his ethics. Perhaps he had congratulated himself for his self-restraint in avoiding real adultery, real manipulation of women. There is, in the deafening condemnation of Weiner, almost a taunt of wimpiness, as if he wasn’t man enough to go out and use his power and actually bend a woman to his will and bring her to bed. In l’affaire Weiner, we are maybe being more French than we like to admit.