Anthony Wiener has - to my knowledge and despite the insinuations by FOX News about "contact" with underage girls - broken no laws but he's proven himself to have next to zero judgement for a high-profile politician, in emulating the behavior of an adolescent obsessed with his own privates on Twitter.
The narcissism and hubris he displayed is as disturbing as the parallel public obsession with his pathetic and embarrassing activities in some absurdly assumed "private" domain. I think, given that he's opened up a Pandora's Box of publicity about his personal habits, he needs to resign and let the rest of us get on with our lives, as should he.
But my distaste for Wiener's behavior is out-distanced by my disgust at his letting his private demons destroy some valuable political contributions he has made. And I wonder whether the timing of Weinergate has anything to do with the fact that Memorial Day weekend he was using the same social media he abused as a...uh...horny jerk to push for an investigation of Clarence Thomas' ethics violations - violations that actually impact the integrity of the nation's highest court:
What is already in the public record is shocking, to say the least, in that it involves potentially 20 years of violations of disclosure rules by Thomas, whose wife was bringing nearly $800,000 of income into their family home, unbeknownst to the public, while conducting very public advocacy on issues that are sure to come before the court, namely, healthcare reform.
So Weiner goes down for being an asshole while Thomas skates over the thin ice of overt corruption and coverup? More HERE.
Just say no to no child brides. The mind reels.
This is from a commenter at Ta-Nehisi Coates' Atlantic Monthly blog in response to John McCain's rancid act at the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal hearings:
CEJP 45 minutes ago
As a currently serving member of the military and as a pilot myself, I would like to say that John McCain was a bad officer and a bad pilot. The Rolling Stone article was spot on...any one of us would have had our wings pulled for even one of the aircraft crashes he was responsible for, but his dad was an admiral. We're just lucky he didn't fly any crewed aircraft and kill anyone or get anyone but himself shot down. Being a military officer, being a pilot, and even being a POW does not automatically make you a great person or a hero...there is too much deference given to people in the military...I serve with people I would never call a hero...we have the same proportion of chuckleheads as the rest of the country. John McCain is proud of being at the bottom of his class at the USNA...this is not what we want our military officers to emulate. Just because he had his freedom taken away for 5 years does not mean he has the right to take away my fellow soldiers' rights. This is not John McCain's military. We are better. Yes, Hanoi, was tough but it doesn't necessarily make you an automatic hero or build character that didn't exist before. There is a great quote in the NYTimes from a book by Zarah Ghahramani (who was imprisoned in Iran's infamous Evin prison). It said:
Glenn Beck pulled off his big "Tea Bags Lite" rally today, which apparently had - at least by his claims - something or other to do with the legacy of Martin Luther King. And "restoring honor." Steve Benen tries to figure out what the content of this character's "I have a scheme!" rhetoric amounts to. Apparently, nothing that can be deciphered as coherent. Ultimately, it's a platform for inchoate fear and resentments - against Muslims, a black President, brown people from south of the border - and lining the pockets of Barnumesque hucksters like Beck and Palin, not to mention the shadow figures like the Koch brothers who are using these clowns as "populist" cover for their gospel of tax-cuts and de-regulation.
Post-Script: One of the best commentaries on this ugly phenomenon - other than Jon Stewart's running take-downs - is still THIS: Kazan and Schulberg's masterpiece, A Face in the Crowd (Andy Griffith's finest hour and a terrific performance by the late, wonderful Patricia Neal.) Here's the Amazon description, which fits Beck to a "T":
More timely now, perhaps, than when it was first released in 1957, Elia Kazan's overheated political melodrama explores the dangerous manipulative power of pop culture. It exposes the underside of Capra-corn populism, as exemplified in the optimistic fable of grassroots punditry Meet John Doe. In Kazan's account, scripted by Budd Schulberg, the common-man pontificator (Andy Griffith) is no Gary Cooper-style aw-shucks paragon. Promoted to national fame as a folksy TV idol by radio producer Patricia Neal, Griffith's Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes turns out to be a megalomaniacal rat bastard. The film turns apocalyptic as Rhodes exploits his power to sway the masses, helping to elect a reactionary presidential candidate.
As I've noted, the only age cohort in polling where the recent reforms to guarantee near-universal health coverage are dis-approved more than approved is the over-65 group that already has an even better single-payer socialized insurance plan via Medicare. The bogus nature of so much "Keep the government's hands off _______ !!!" rhetoric is also apparent in this New York Times article about the state of Alaska. Interesting and revealing read.
In fact, with a state government that sends quite large checks to every resident - with no eligibility requirements other than consuming the local oxygen in order to access the largesse - from a pile of government funds accumulated via taxing oil companies to "rent" a huge sector of publicly-owned (socialized) resources, there is no state in the Union that comes closer to a dreaded "$ociali$t Republic" than Alaska. Alaskans also receive far more money from the Feds than they pay into federal taxes, sticking the rest of us with their bill for highways, bridges, etc.
Quite a nice scam if you can pull it off. Just don't say "Thank you!" by sending a nitwit like Sarah Palin into the lower 48 fray to lecture your compliant patron$ - in who$e pocket$ you've got your hand$ - on "socialism" and the rest of it. Transparent bullshit!. If you're a principled libertarian, fine. We can discuss. If you're living a lie, and "proudly" represented by flaming, narcissistic hypocrites like long-serving, now late, Ted $teven$ - a rightwing jerk who ground more pork through his machinery than Jimmy Dean - or the nitwit former half-term Governor Palin, "GFYS." Read the whole piece here.
It must be tough to be a serious Republican voter in Louisiana.
I met David Vitter once in Shreveport, LA right after he was elected to Congress to replace another "family values" Republican who couldn't keep his pants zipped, Bob Livingston. Vitter personified the words unctuous and smarmy; Chet Traylor seems like more of the same.