Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Publish and be Damned!"

That was the Duke of Wellington's reply to a former lover who was threatening to expose him as a lousy one i9n a blackmail scheme.    Things would obviously be better if Congressman Anthony Weiner had responded in the same way, had simply said a week ago that 'Yeah, sometimes I  send pictures of my dick to women who express attraction. And yes, I do happen to be married, but my wife gets to see my dick in the flesh.  She still has  exclusive privileges."

It's damned aggravating that he tried to lie about it, because a smart man made himself sound stupid and downright weird.  ('It's nothing I'm familiar with?'  Say what?)  But mostly because he simply didn't have to.  I mean American prudishness is a problem for playa politicians sure, but certainly a much smaller problem among NYC Democrats then among Milford Presbyterians. The pictures themselves don't strike me as anything shameful.  Congressman Weiner has a perfectly adequate unit, for one thing.  Some might even go so far as to call it impressive.  Not that I'd describe myself as a, connoisseur of such matters.

Now is it wrong for a married man to flirt with strange women in such a direct way?  I'm a sexual nihilist, so of course I don't think so, but I realize that most people consider certain limits and taboos to be an inherent part of their own sexualities, and that a solid majority of perfectly good and liberated people would consider the congressman's actions wrong.   So be it.  I doubt very seriously that it would have jeopardized his career if he had just been honest from the start, God knows we've kept people in power who had done far more immoral and downright brutal things before.

As it is what Weiner chose to do only emboldens Breitbart, his slimy ilk, and their distinctively sadistic concept of morality.  One that declares that those who have embraced The TRUTH are entitled to make deviants from THE TRUTH suffer in any way they find satisfying; that indeed it is an act of treason against THE TRUTH to acknowledge that outsiders have any right to empathy, respect or privacy.

And I'm afraid that this is a dance that we're going to see again and again until probably the end of days.  It's obvious that politicians have a stronger-then normal desire for admiration.  The full truth is that every politician; even the good ones, even the ones we agree with, has a lust for influence and admiration so strong on the one hand and a  hatred for rejection and embarrassment so intense on the other as to be at best borderline sociopathic.  It's common sense that pols would be highly lascivious, being desired is a form of being admired.  But they also have a political and emotional need to be seen as moral, mature, and responsible.  And so they end up adhering to the hollowed tradition of  not-so monogamous marriage.   And when their marriages are exposed as not so monogamous they will almost invariably rely on an extreme confidence in their speaking skills to avoid the embarrassment and popular chastisement they dread worse than death. So the nature of politics and politicians makes it inevitable that political sex scandals will always take on a tone markedly behind whatever the common sexual mores of society actually are at the time.  Even among liberal members of the left-of-center party in the big old swinging city.   And it just doesn't have to be this way.  But it will.  

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