What he did is inherently risky. He did it knowing that he was in a profession where the opposition thrives on "gotcha politics." He did it knowing that his firebrand oratory was sure to make him a prime target with a big bullseye painted on his back. Taking down Anthony Wiener would be a fast-track ticket to right-wing stardom.
You would think a politician who was smart and aggressive enough to pursue politics with the zeal of Wiener would know, that the other side is going to devote a lot of resources to the goal of getting him any way the could. This is the very thing that the Brietbart type attack dogs of the right wing do for a living. If you doubt that go meet Van Jones some time.
Wiener ignored an obvious signal that something bad was in the air. According to one report, on March 13th, 2011 porn star Ginger Lee posted a Tweet with the following text "you know it's a good day when you wake up to a direct message from @RepWeiner."
Instead of waking up and smelling the coffee that his on-line behavior and distant "friends" just might have placed him in a little bit of danger, Wiener apparently continued his fascination with female fans who posted their "likes"or became "fans" on Twitter and Facebook. Wiener couldn't resist and looked at the page of one fan and even noted the name of her child. That apparently spooked the crap out of her when he mentioned the kid's name in a subsequent private message.
Here's my point. What Congressman Wiener did in the privacy of his home or office is really of no interest. The congressman's judgement or lack of it, is the issue. When the on-line conduct is exposed (no pun intended) for the world to see and laugh about, the only way out is truth. Instead of dealing with the facts as he finally did, he offered us a bull thesis of a story amidst some arrogant cheap shots at a couple of CNN reporters who were simply trying to do their job.
He said his Twitter or Facebook accounts had been hacked. Fair enough. But then he added that he could not say with certainty that the person in the photo (what I call the "fruit of the loom shot") was not him. Suddenly we knew one thing: This is real trouble because the photo is him.
Everyone I know - including myself - has done one or more really stupid things during their life. It's doesn't matter when or what it was, what matters is that almost immediately after you did it, you knew you would remember it as one of those "boy I was an idiot last night" moments. Then you promised yourself you never would be that dumb again. After that you promised god that if he would only let you get away with this one stupid moment you would never, ever, screw up again. One thing is certain: You may or may not keep your promise to yourself or god, but you will never forget the incident.
It is absurd that a person as smart as Anthony Wiener would feed the press, his supporters, and the public at large, denials, followed buy comments that he was hiring his own investigators. He promised they would get to the bottom of this incident. Remember, he's doing this knowing that the photos were of him and that he sent them to different people.
I wonder if Wiener has someone on his staff, some who he really trusts, who could pull him aside and say, "Just so you know these Internet sites keep logs. If you, or Brietbart, or the cops really press the issue the identity of who posted and emailed this stuff will come out. If it's you, you ought to come clean now. Don't run your mouth and bullshit people. You'll look more stupid in the end."
If someone told Wiener this, he ignored the advice. If he doesn't have someone on his staff or in his life who can talk to him like this, he is a fool. The arrogance of thinking he could bull his way through this and make it all go away with harsh rhetoric and attacks on reporters is crazy.
One issue here is that Wiener lied and in doing so did more rehabilitate Andrew Brietbart's sleazy reputation then Brietbart could do for himself. That alone is reason to ask Wiener to resign. But, there's a larger issue.
Progressives should finally be aware that the right is out there. They have not only guns for hire like the Brietbarts, Limbaughs, Becks, Coulters, etc. They literally have an army of free agents. People who literally hate progressives, liberals, and anyone who disagrees with them. Most of these people dream about having their fifteen minutes of fame in taking down a prominent lefty.
Then there's capitalism. The profit incentive should be enough to scare any politician away from even the thought of a sexual liaison of any kind that would be reported anywhere other than a wedding announcement section of a local newspaper.
The tabloids, right wing blogs and of course, the Brietbarts are also out there with hefty checkbooks filled with cash to track down a potential scandal. It's the Wieners of this world who usually serve them up on a silver platter. They forget what should be the basic rule of today's politics: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
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