Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WeinerGate 2.0: The Misadventures of Carlos Danger

He arrogantly used the pseudonym Carlos Danger as he trolled the Internet looking for high-risk, no-actual-sex sexual encounters with college-age women. With a few bold keystrokes and even bolder penis pics, he engaged in uber-graphic erotic chatter that would make a porn star blush. Of course, we're talking about New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, whose 2011 sexting scandal cost him his Congressional seat, a whole heap of voter respect, and nearly his marriage to Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

In the wake of that scandal he offered a half-hearted, calculating, politically-expedient mea culpa which included the warning that more instances of his online hijinks were likely to surface in the future. What no one expected is that he was referring to the sexting and shlong-selfies he'd continue to send out in the year after his resignation from Congress and after the birth of his son.

Earlier this week a new revelation surfaced that "Carlos" continued lying to voters, his wife and the media by sending out additional sexts and weiner-shots to at least one other young woman for over a year, and as late as last Summer. This time his partner-in-crime was a 22-year-old Indiana woman named Sydney Leathers. Weiner and Leathers. You can't make this stuff up.

In an effort at damage control, and with his saint-like wife by his side, Weiner spoke to reporters Tuesday in a hastily scheduled press conference, complete with all the usual insincerity and duplicity we've come to expect from him, to reaffirm his candidacy, the strength of his marriage, the support from Huma, and that he's a changed man.

"It's in our rear view mirror," Weiner said of his scandalous behavior. But I suspect that this latest episode in WeinerGate is likely to derail his once-promising campaign. Judging from recent polls, which had Weiner comfortably ahead of former front-runner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, voters seemed inclined to forgive his past indiscretions.

For a bright guy Weiner can't seem to stop making some mind-numbingly dumb decisions. He could've been one of those lucky bastards who, despite a humiliating fall from grace, was afforded a second chance. And he blew it. He misused and abused the public's trust and it's not likely he'll get a third chance. His lack of judgement and utter recklessness makes him unfit for office. There's a morality and integrity deficiency, and voters, especially the old Jewish and Italian kind who comprise a huge part of his Queens and Brooklyn base, can be unforgiving once they've crossed an important threshold. If Mr. Danger can't control the overpowering and dangerous impulses that he's clearly afflicted with then he can't be trusted to run New York City and exercise the kind of judgement and discipline that that monumentally important job requires. As crazy as this sounds, Weiner's actually making Eliot Spitzer seem like a pretty stand-up guy. And that's no easy feat.
To be sure, Weiner's candidacy is dead. It's just a short matter of time before he accepts his fate and pulls out (pun intended). The scandal is now dominating his media airtime and voter facetime, and it's become impossible for him to discuss the issues facing New York. Don't be surprised if he doesn't last the weekend...

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