This past Monday I watched Anthony Weiner stand behind a podium and confess his sins to the nation. As it turns out, the infamous picture of male genitalia that had overtaken the 24-hour news cycle last week was, in fact, his weiner (pun absolutely, unapologetically intended).
I’d like to say I was shocked by this development. I’d like to say I was aghast. I’d like to say I believed his flimsy storyline about a rogue agent hacking into his Twitter account and tweeting the photo in an effort to embarrass the Congressman. But I can’t.
Why? Because this is America and engaging in questionable sexual behavior is what our politicians do. It’s what they’re best at.
Colleagues on both sides of the aisle are calling for Weiner to resign, but as of this blog post’s publication, he’s standing his ground and holding on to his congressional seat. Can you blame him? Weinergate is certainly resignation-worthy but it’s small potatoes by American political standards. We’re only halfway through 2011 and he’s not even close to being this year’s biggest scumbag.
Just last week, former U.S. Senator and Presidential hopeful John Edwards was indicted for allegedly using campaign money to cover up his affair and love child from his now deceased wife, Elizabeth Edwards. The affair took place while she was battling cancer.
In early May, former California governor and Last Action Hero Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he and wife Maria Shriver were divorcing. Shortly after that, it was revealed he’d fathered a love child with the family’s former maid over a decade ago. Now there are rumors circulating that the Governator may have fathered a few more love children.
Hasta la vista, dignity.
Then there’s John Ensign. The former GOP Senator from Nevada resigned in early May, in all likelihood to avoid the Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the extramarital affair with a campaign treasurer. It should probably be noted that this woman was the wife of his close friend and chief of staff. In an attempt to try and keep the affair on the down low, his parents allegedly paid off his buddy and his wife to the tune of $96,000.
These are some of the people we’ve chosen to lead us. I certainly don’t expect perfection from our politicians but can’t these ass clowns at least stay away from their friends’ wives or avoid cheating on deathly ill spouses? Is that really too much to ask?
Anthony Weiner will hold onto his seat for as long as humanly possible. And I’m sure he’ll be taking his moves from the Fallen Celebrity Playbook. He’ll go into rehab and/or counseling, follow that up with a mea culpa media tour and then hope people forget about all those lewdly inappropriate twitpics.
If the Congressman has any luck at all, a bigger, more salacious scandal will come to light in the next couple of weeks and completely eclipse his personal problems. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a political scandal. If the right story came along involving Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump or a Royal Wedding the media would drop everything and start shipping on-air personalities around the globe to cover these non-stories.
And if Weiner does resign, there’s no doubt he’d be back in public life in almost no time at all, if not as a politician then as a highly paid pundit. And Americans would be all too eager to forgive him. Why? Because it’s what we do. It’s what we’re best at.
Just ask Elliot Spitzer, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.