Anthony Weiner is not my congressman. I have no idea how good of a job he does for his constituents. Nor have I seen any of the said lewd pictures of him.
Though I did hear that even more have shown up including one of him in a towel holding his crotch in the House of Representatives basement gym locker-room. Likely he was giving the photographer or the intended recipient a message of “get a load of this” or “I got your committee, right here!” Frankly, it does not matter.
What does matter, at least to me, is the immense amount of valuable intellectual bandwidth and exhausting petty school yard name calling that is expended by the press and our government on matters such as this. Furthermore, I am disheartened at the continued old school thought that lewd pictures and their intent has anything to do with a politician’s inability to contribute to governing. Yes, if in fact a particular piece of evidence indicates we have a pedophile in our midst or other form of classic criminal actor, then out they must go. But I, for one, am much more comfortable having a real human being, with all their character assets and defects, than some Manchurian automaton or lifeless mouse that abstains from everything. Who is the better spiritual or religious counselor for a married couple, a celibate catholic priest or a married Jewish rabbi? Rod Serling would not answer this and neither will I. But what’s wrong with a few pictures in party hats and a passionate agenda or two? I am not afraid of a politician’s humanity. What I truly fear are those whose moral fiber and human nature are not as easily revealed. At least we have had a good chance to get to know quite a bit more about Mr. Weiner, Mr. Clinton, Mr. GW Bush and Mr. Rangel, to name just a few.
Certainly Bill Clinton’s rather liberal definition of sexual relations was uncomfortable and did indeed traverse the line of deceit as is evident by his subsequent impeachment and acquittal. But I was completely comfortable at the time knowing that the man who had control of all the nuclear weapons in the western hemisphere was not sexually all pent up. So Anthony might have a little internet addiction, or might like having pictures of him holding his crotch? George W used to be an alcoholic and still was able to quite effectively bumble many things completely sober. Many politicians at all levels are gay, old, young, white, black, male and female. Certainly these attributes might flavor a politician’s approach to governing. But isn’t that what we want? Was it not their “flavor” or their perspective on how things should be done the very reason we voted for them? Are we to toss out the entire tasty meal just because we have found one ingredient not to our liking or one, on its own, that is unacceptable? I cannot eat raw garlic. I avoid it in all the foods I can. But, from time to time, there is a dish whose taste electrifies my palette leaving me without a care that garlic was one of the voices in the beautiful harmony of the orchestral arrangement.
There is an age old saying that you do not really get to know someone until you live with them. So the real question is can we live with the various shortcomings and character defects of our politicians as part of their make up to ultimately do a good job? Is it at all possible that there is a congressman or congresswoman, senator or councilman, who actually has mal-intent towards their job or their constituency? Perhaps, there are. But until yet another character defect trips them up and exposes them, we must maintain good faith in our overall government that these truly corrupt individuals will either be weeded out or circumvented by due process, checks and balances.
I have great respect and reverence for our political system and government. It is the very fact that it can be flawed at the individual and group level that makes it so brilliant and so successful. A government for the people, by the people is, after all, run by people. So let us not squander the usefulness of our founding father’s constitutional engineering in future reconnaissance and self-healing mechanisms on some lewd photos. Let us rather let embarrassment or even a scarlet letter do their natural job so this congressman and all the
others that will succeed him can be truly judged by the performance of their duties in representing their communities and what they actually accomplish as a member of government.