In Defense of Carlos Danger

Clearly Anthony Weiner has a compulsion. Even after he got caught sexting two years ago, he continued to do it. The question for us, and for New York voters, is: is having a compulsion in and of itself reason to disqualify someone from public office?

In this case, the societal taboo against sending naked photos of yourself to another consenting adult is obviously stupid.

Who cares? Clearly not his wife. So why should we? On the other hand, we are dealing with a case of someone who cannot control his sexual impulses. Well, is that a problem? American society values self-control. But this is a man who doesn’t have it. Should we care?

What if Anthony Weiner had a compulsion that society did not judge as harshly, say, an addiction to chocolate candy? People would probably just think of it as a lovable quirk. So there is a Puritan aspect to this. The fact that it is sex is what makes it of interest in the first place. But then you have to ask yourself: what the hell was he thinking? He knew that to become mayor he would have to play the game, and the game required him to stop doing what he had claimed to regret doing. This is not as if he had issued a defiant statement pledging to continue sexting.

That would have been a statement of bravery and integrity, and it also would have been suicidal.

I myself am strongly inclined to rebel against the media’s righteous indignation over all this. In an editorial today, the New York Times called for Weiner to step down bow out of the race due to his “sexual improprieties.” But there were no sexual improprieties. These are consenting adults. I also am loathe to punish anyone for their sexual expression, no matter how undignified.

Consider the other major mayoral candidate, Christine Quinn. As far as we know, she’s not guilty of any sexual peccadilloes, but she betrayed the public trust and insulted the voters of New York. Several years ago, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to run for a third term in violation of a fairly recent two-term term limits law that had been passed by the voters, Quinn rammed through and an end-run against the voters and democracy itself.

Quinn had her New York City Council overturn a law that had been put into place by the voters. It was disgusting, and she doesn’t deserve to hold public office after what she did. No matter where you stand on term limits, if the law was to be overturned, it should have been reversed by the voters themselves again.

Yet you don’t see the New York Times calling for Quinn to withdraw.

In the end, it comes down to that old Bill Clinton question from the 1990s: is it wrong to lie to the voters about something that never should have been their business in the first place?

15 thoughts on “In Defense of Carlos Danger

  1. OMG! A handful of our politicians are people who grew up always wanting to lead and help others, and the rest are sociopaths with no empathy or care for the poor and restless?

  2. As nom du jour commented, “he’s running against hacks”. Why do so many of the people running for office seem to be hacks? How do people like Perry, Santorum, Bachman or others ever get elected? Are the majority of people in the US really that dull – that they will vote into office crazy untrustworthy people? Are most of the people running for office sociopaths? Is there a requirement to be a sociopath to want to run for public office nowadays? There is no way I would vote for Weiner – he’s made it clear that he’s a liar and cannot be trusted as far as his regular life – so why would I vote for him to be a leader over huge sums of money and power in public office? If we can find a way to justify voting for Spitzer and Weiner, then why not George Zimmerman for President?

    • @rikster: Why are so many American politicians miserable hacks? Because there’s no opening for people who are not asked to make it in politics. I’ve been approached several times over the years to run for public office, sometimes by Democratic Party officials in a position to actually help me, and I have always rejected their entreaties. Why? First of all, I don’t think that there’s anyway to change the system from within. Second of all, the idea of spending day after day in boring meetings makes me want to die inside. And finally, I think that having any kind authentic politics would be held against me and would probably lead to my ouster.

      There’s really no way in our political system for one individual to make a difference. You have only to look at the socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, to see that. He’s been there for years, he is respected and liked by his colleagues, and he hasn’t accomplished anything.

      You only get one life. How would you rather spend yours, trying funny cartoons, we’re sitting around in boring meetings?

      • As Christine Quinn climbs in the polls in the race for New York City Mayor in the wake of the recent meltdown of Carlos Danger, a.k.a. Anthony Weiner, all I can think is that this is a terrible development. We all know what Anthony Weiner did. However, his betrayal is so insignificant compared to what Christine Quinn did to the millions of voters of New York City by subverting democracy with her term limits shenanigans that the comparison doesn’t even come close. I can’t believe that there is an excellent chance that that horrible woman could win.

  3. Weiner and Spitzer should run on the same ticket. Come right out and just run the entire campaign on a whole, “We’re oversexed, deal with it. We make really stupid decisions based on our sexual compulsions, unlike the other 99% of the men in the U.S.”

    And then, they wage a ware of aggression against every crooked cop, politician, bankster, etc. Indictments, perp walks, no soft-pedaling.

    We’ll see them in the White House eight years later.

  4. Having a mayor of New York is important to the Israel lobby.

    Israel, unfortunately, controls a great portion of our foreign policy … in all the wrong ways.

    Maybe the negative effect on foreign in having Weiner as mayor should be made known, loud and clear to NYC voters.

    The corporate culture’s taboo on connected-ness, in though or community, is depressingly evident here.

  5. Ted, true, he hasn’t cheated on his wife, as far as we know. JFK ran around sticking his business where ever he felt. FDR rolled around on Eleanor. Eisenhower had his Jill in a Jeep.

    I guess my problem is that Mr. Weiner has/had/will have the arrogance to say he won’t do something publicly, then go out and do the same thing, no wait, ramp up his diddling in a way that just begs to get exposed. Anthony, in this matter, brings about the old saying, “Don’t piss on me and tell me it is raining.”

    Fortunately, he is running against some real hacks, so he will probably get erected mayor. More than likely, he will do a great job, given his intellect, drive, etc. When he has to fulfill his baser urges, go ahead. Just don’t tweet them.

  6. Ted,

    Yes, Weiner’s sex life is irrelevant. But the relevance in his indiscretions is that anyone who is aware of how politics works (and that would include Weiner) understands that what Weiner’s doing is exactly what you DO NOT do if you’re running for office.

    That’s the problem. The transgression is so bush league obvious that it calls into question his capacity to be effective. If he’d posed nude for an art class, a few people would make some comments, but most people would shrug their shoulders and say something like, “It’s for an art class. It’s not like they found him at Grand Central in the men’s room trying to drag a Boy Scout into a stall.”

  7. The question that begs asking about his wife “clearly not caring” is why? Because they live in an open relationship, unshackled by bourgeois morality (hardly likely)? Or is it because she is just as unscrupulous and politically ambitious as he is, and will gladly swallow her pride in order to get ahead in the US nomenklatura (you can tell where my bet is).

    Anyway, Weiner is a horrible candidate and should be dumped by any self-respecting NYC voter, but not because of his silly sexting obsession.

  8. “As mayor of New York City, I don’t think that Anthony Weiner’s foreign-policy views are of much interest to prospective voters.”

    Really? Ask Dov Hikind.

    Also, Weiner is out (lol, those puns never end!) …. Weiner is out because he’s weak. Quinn is in because she’s strong. Period. Democrats and liberals never seem to get this point.

  9. maybe it’s not a problem. maybe he just likes to do it. lots of people do. why should he be any different just because he’s a public official? and maybe his wife could care less. because she knows he’s not actually having sex with these women. or because she likes to do it too. who knows. as long as he’s not doing anything illegal, then whatever he does in his private time is his and his wife’s business.

    but i still hope he gets out of the race. there are other reasons to not like him. like his support for israel. maybe if he gets out then someone good like de blasio might have a shot. quinn would be a nightmare but weiner isn’t much better.

  10. On the other hand, he gave his solemn word to his wife to be faithful to her.

    If one cannot be faithful to their life partner, one who you supposedly have given a blood oath too, not to mention planted your seed while you were cheating on them, who are you going to be faithful to?

    Yourself?

    The voters?

    The public?

    I thought he was the real deal when he went balls to the walls in interviews and took on reporters and the like. Turns out, he would go balls to the walls for anyone, because he has to fill that need. Showing your buff bod around on twitter is like a narcissistic teen and like a narcissistic teen, just where is he getting all the time to hit the gym?

    I am all for giving second chances for public officials, but I don’t like giving them to a person who is going to go off the wagon the next day. Personally, I am willing to give a person as many chances as they need, and I know that sometimes that is not enough. I am not willing to give it to some public official who is going to throw must trust out the window the next time he sees a short skirt flashing her twitters at him.

    Grow up Anthony. Get help. Come back and kick some ass when you are better.

    • @nom: Well, let’s be clear: by all accounts he didn’t cheat on anyone. No actual sex was had or enjoyed by anyone. God forbid!

      I don’t think that someone’s failure to keep their promises to someone else necessarily make them untrustworthy as far as I’m concerned. For example, Anthony Weiner probably also promised his credit card company to pay his bills every month and I bet that he does. So it doesn’t necessarily follow that a guy who cheats on his wife would cheat on the voters.

      Just saying.

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