Friday, August 12, 2011

Weiner's Inferno

The representative’s wiener has been roasted, but hopefully he will not end up in Schwarzeneggerdom, deprived of the loving embrace of his wife, Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. However, if he doesn’t mend his ways, he may descend to the 9th circle, reserved for only the worse sinners, and now renamed the Strauss-Kahn wing of hell. Yes, he was bad, but he didn’t touch like Arnold or force (allegedly) like Dominique. He didn’t drown like Ted in Chappaquiddick or cajole with power like JFK or with charisma like MLK. Nor did he hit a hole-in-one like Tiger or take part in monkey business like Gary or used illegal campaign contributions to hide his extra-marital family like Edwards. He certainly didn’t run after (and devour) child pole dancers like Silvio. No, all the democratic firebrand did was show his chest and wiener. Although he didn’t solicit prostitutes, Weiner comes from the same mold as Eliot Spitzer: he’s an evangelical reformer who fell victim to the very sin he railed against, hypocrisy. But what’s wrong about “holding up a handwritten sign reading ‘it’s me’” (“Weiner Admits He Sent Lewd Photos; Says He Won't Resign,” NYT, 6/7/11)? It could easily have been homework for a phenomenology course at The New School. It all seems about as harmless as a children playing doctor. But then we get into another circle of the Inferno, occupied by Martha Stewart, who was convicted not of the crime for which she was originally called to task, but of lying to mommy and daddy when they asked, “Martha did you do something bad?” Weiner’s wiener is being roasted because he didn’t bite the bullet from day one and make his “it’s me” sign visible to the general public.

[This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.]

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