What’s in a name?
A great deal if you are Anthony Weiner, former New York City councilman, United States congressman and New York City mayoral candidate, because ‘weiner’ is also American slang for sausage or hot dog.
What has one wiener got to do with the other, you may be wondering if you don’t live in New York?
Well it seems that Mr. Weiner – hilariously or tragically, depending on one’s view of such matters – was, and apparently still is, determined to live up to his name by continually, one might say obsessively, ‘sexting’ pictures of his biological weiner to various women with whom he had became acquainted on Twitter.
Not once, but many times, on two occasions being caught out – or exposed, if you appreciate the kind of cheap puns that Mr. Weiner encourages with reckless abandon.
The first occasion on which he was caught flashing his member on the internet he was forced, after repeated and strenuous denials, to resign his congressional seat. The second time he had to give up his candidacy for mayor. Now he has been caught a third time (with his infant son in bed beside him, according to press reports) and this time it has cost him more than his career. His wife Huma Abedin, a personal assistant to Hillary Clinton, has announced that she is leaving him and will be seeking a divorce.
He should meanwhile be seeking help.
What is it in the psychological profile of politicians that leads so many of them to live so dangerously, knowing, as they must do, that the chances of being caught are not just high but almost certain? This writer is no psychologist but the fact that Weiner, having already killed his political career at both national and metropolitan levels, should risk his marriage as well, suggests that he harbours some deep-seated instinct for self-destruction. The root cause of it may be something that only a psycho-analyst could divine. Mere arrogance fails to explain it.
It must be supposed that his political aspirations were once real, that he saw a glittering political career opening up before him. He had everything going for him. He is tall, handsome and by some accounts charming. He is a Democrat with a conventional Jewish upbringing, both distinct advantages in a city in which a Republican candidate must have something special to stand any kind of chance for election, and where Jewish voters hold considerable political sway. He possesses, moreover, all the right – that is, left – credentials that would have appealed to a traditionally liberal constituency, including his ardent sponsorship of universal health care.
What he lacks, obviously, were the right personal credentials. He seems to have been something of an ogre at the office, prone to sudden outbursts of rage that sometimes led to telephones and items of furniture being thrown against walls. Staff turnover was high, and those who left under the onslaught were far from shy in telling reporters why they had resigned.
The devotion to ‘sexting’ may or may not be regarded as a disqualification from high office – he may be less unique in that activity than any of us suspect – but the constant denials and his persistence in carrying on even after getting caught undoubtedly do.
It is all academic now. The man is finished, politically and endangered professionally.
What a shame, one can’t help thinking – and good riddance to bad rubbish.