“It’s his private life; it has nothing to do with being President.” This was the mantra my liberal friends chanted when President Clinton was involved with Monica Lewinsky in our House – the White House.
The choice to engage in risky behavior is a reflection on one’s character, on one’s ability to make decisions. My beliefs then remain the same today. How does one’s ability to make choices in his private life not affect his ability to make decisions in his public life? A person would have to have a split personality to say one action doesn’t affect the other.
If you’re selling shoes at Foot Locker and you’re married and carrying on with someone on the side, I would agree, your infidelity does not impact on your job of selling shoes.
But when you’re the most powerful man in the world and you choose to conduct yourself in such a manner, you open yourself up to all kinds of trouble, the least of which is blackmail.
Should we expect more from our elected officials? Should we settle for men who don’t have impulse control and act out in whatever manner they choose and subject themselves and our country to all sorts of security risks? Do we want our politicians to be driven by compulsions which overcome their reason and logic?
This week, of course, Rep. Anthony Weiner, targeted to be the next Mayor of New York City in 2013, finally admitted he sent the photo of his underwear-clad groin to a young woman, young enough to be his daughter, a 21-year old Seattle college student after a week of playing word games with the media. When he insisted his Twitter account was hacked but refused to file a police report or request a federal investigation into the matter, I knew then that he did it.
And I was right. For ten days, he lied to all of us. Can we believe anything he says now?
It’s easy to say the guy’s an idiot. What was he thinking? Well, the guy isn’t an idiot. He’s a college graduate, served on the New York City Council, and has been in the House of Representatives since 1998. His actions may be idiotic, but his pathology is far more concerning.
I’m not a psychologist so I don’t have the answers. I’ve read it’s all about the game, the risk, the power, addiction, a personality flaw, the arrogance that one won’t get caught, the thinking that one is above the law. A reasonable person, at first glance, would try and understand this inexplicable behavior and think maybe Weiner’s Twitter account was hacked because it just made no sense that this politically savvy, major voice for the Democrats, could be so self-destructive.
But his demons controlled him and he followed in the footsteps of many others who’ve succumbed to similar temptations. I doubt that he’ll survive politically.
This is the last thing the Democrats want or need and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Nancy Pelosi moves on the Congressional investigation. She certainly hasn’t forced his resignation and clearly hasn’t “drained the swamp” of ethical violators as she promised back in 2006 now that it involves one of her own.
I guess Weiner didn’t bother to read former Clinton advisor and my favorite liberal, Lanny J. Davis’ book, “Truth to Tell: Tell It Early, Tell It All, Tell It Yourself.” Instead he waited over a week, and probably made his public confession because Andrew Breitbart, who originally broke the story and who was accused of being the hacker by the left-wing media, received photographs, chats and emails from yet another woman who’s claiming an inappropriate online relationship with the Congressman.
Is it poor judgment, impulse control, power, addiction or arrogance? I haven’t a clue but, in my opinion, when you’ve been elected to office, your actions not only affect you and your family, but the Office you hold, your constituents, and your Nation.
I’ll bet money there’s at least one other person in Congress right now doing something illegal/illicit/immoral that we haven’t heard about yet. He, too, probably thinks he won’t get caught. Think again, Gumby, and remember, Weiner, Clinton, Craig, Sanford, Schwarzenegger, Edwards, Massa, Foley, and Lee, to name a few. It’s only a matter of time.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com