I started writing this post yesterday on how idiotic Anthony Weiner is for this whole scandal, but the news today took a different tack. So did this post, as a result.
Weiner is indeed idiotic. He’s a cad. He sent explicit pictures of (insert aptonym joke here) to women and then claimed he was the victim of hacking. He publicly humiliated his pregnant wife and family. He’s an absolute jerk and what he did is clearly repugnant.
But we’re allowing ourselves to be diverted from what really matters in this nation, right now. There are other, more urgent issues that we need to deal with:
- Like a debt ceiling that absolutely must be raised before “the full faith and credit of the United States government” becomes worthless and the market tanks, making the last recession look like a mere blip. (The Republicans are demanding $2.5 trillion in cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. They don’t seem to care at all about how that would affect real people, just so long as their millionaire contributors don’t get hurt in all this.)
- Or the huge deficit.
- Or the war in Afghanistan that really isn’t going all that well despite the death of Osama bin Laden.
- Or the situation in Iraq.
- Or, heaven forbid, jobs (something that seems pretty absent from the conversation in Washington these days).
Instead, Washington is embroiled in another sex scandal – except this one didn’t include sex – just like it was with Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, Mark Foley, John Edwards, Newt Gingrich, John Ensign, and all the others. Someone tell me why powerful men keep doing this?
But in the meantime, powerful Democrats are freezing him out, trying to force him to resign. It turns out that Weiner’s wife is a longtime Hillary Clinton aide, which may explain some of the anger there.
But we’re taking our eye off the ball. As usual. The list above is only a partial list of the problems we face. As EJ Dionne noted today, the nation’s future really is on the line. That’s the real problem. Weiner’s repulsive actions (and the media’s insatiable appetite for anything salacious) are diverting our attention from what really matters.
How is the nation served by this? As we’ve established over and over – some (most? all?) powerful men can’t keep it in their pants. This is not exactly news. The fact that, when cornered, said powerful man will lie is also not exactly news. But this country is ill-served by the feeding frenzy that we’re having now. It really is sucking up all the air in Washington, which really needs to get and stay focused on the nation’s problems, not its leaders’ peccadilloes.