Some live for danger. Carlos Danger is one such man.
That’s his nom de sex, his Ron Mexico, his Lennay Kekua, his George Fox. Offline, Mr. Danger goes by Anthony Weiner, which sounds like a nom de Chippendale. At least the sex-scandal-plagued politician’s name isn’t Willy Johnson Jr.
It was only two years ago that the wunderkind politician resigned from Congress after tweeting inappropriate pictures to a 21-year-old female admirer. So news that he followed up his mea culpa by sending inappropriate pictures to a 22-year-old female admirer shocks only the terribly naïve. And only the terribly naïve would accept this week’s perfunctory public apology as sincere after getting lied to in the perfunctory public apology two years ago. Whether he goes by Mr. Weiner or Mr. Danger, the modus operandi remains the same.
Weiner may not be a compulsive liar. But he’s compulsive and a liar, and as such resembles so many politicians not forced to abandon their profession. Rather than an outcast from their ranks, Weiner embodies the narcissist patrician who thinks he knows better than the plebeians even as he craves their approval. He clearly needs to be loved by those he clearly loathes.
One wonders if politics plays as another way to satiate this impulse. So great are his exhibitionist tics that he recklessly sent racy pictures to a young woman shortly after getting bounced out of Congress for the same transgression. Weiner’s career has similarly been more about empty-chamber speeches to C-SPAN audiences and full-throated MSNBC appearances than actual legislation.
He loves the camera. The camera doesn’t reciprocate. This is especially true when the mayoral hopeful is simultaneously the man behind and in front of the lens.
Just as the straying husband proves very much the consummate politician, the beleaguered wife strangely embodies the consummate feminist. Hypocrisy runs in both of those families.
Huma Abedin presented the sad face of modern feminism at Tuesday’s surreal press conference. Step all over me. String along a star-struck troubled co-ed with false promises of a job, condo, and love. Just don’t trample on the laundry list of abstract ideas that the sisterhood embraces.
Abedin gives a pass on cheating and naked tweeting. But one wonders how the political stepford wife might react to broken vows on abortion rights or free birth control. I am woman. Hear me whimper.
Abedin learned at the foot of the master. Her former boss and mentor, Hillary Clinton, made a career — her husband’s — out of adultery reconciliations. Her protégé didn’t name-drop Tammy Wynette at the news conference, but everything else seemed straight out of Hillary 101.
“Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs,” Abedin told reporters. “It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony. It was not an easy choice in any way. But I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family.” The personal may be the political. But the political surely isn’t the personal.
The husband’s public apology was bathetic; the wife’s public acceptance, pathetic. What unites them is that they lack shame. Weiner’s online oversharing and Abedin’s televised forgiveness both mesh with the seedy TMI culture. The political ambitions of the power couple, rather than any concern for family, motivate the quick comeback, the bizarre presser, and the recalcitrance in the face of the latest scandal. Get out of the public eye when you’re dragging the public’s eyes to see things they shouldn’t. Make like a Chris Lee and flee.
Americans love second acts. They don’t like being taken for suckers.
“The true man wants two things: danger and play,” reflected Nietzsche. “For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.”
Call Carlos Danger, whose dangerous play involved barely-legal women whose ages roughly matched his stunted level of maturation, a dude, a lad, a bro. Don’t call him a “true man” — let alone hizzoner.