Whoever holds the position as Mayor of New York City carries a level of political power that may be second only to that of the White House. It’s a daunting task requiring political savvy, brains and, eh-hem, character. If Anthony Weiner is the “best” option for that job, we have a sad political landscape in America today.
Regardless of his political accomplishments, this man has made himself into little more than a late night punch line. Perfectly named for receiving a repeated black eye from pundits, Weiner’s online “sextcapades” seem to have no end in sight.
When asked if any more of this material would be uncovered the guy actually said, and this is a quote, “I don’t know.” You don’t know? How can you not know? In the immortal words of Bill Cosby, “Has your head been with you all day?”
Weiner has become a complete laughing stock and there is absolutely no way he can win an election now. Yet, puzzlingly enough, Bill Clinton was re-elected for a second presidential term following his real-life trysts. In Clinton’s case, there was little more evidence than an accusation from a disgruntled intern – and a stained dress.
In Weiner’s situation you have to wonder how much more his wife is going to take before she walks. Her name is Huma Mahmood Abedin, and she happens to be a high-ranking aide to Hillary Clinton so I’m not sure that’s the best example to follow when it comes to dealing with infidelity. She could ignore Hillary’s playbook though. I’m hearing Tammy Wynette singing, “Stand By Your Man,” when suddenly the record scratches off and Abedin storms off the stage.
Whatever happens, if the democrats re-elect this guy to, well, any office at all, they really are crazy. Either that or they’re incredibly short-sighted and intend to definitively prove that liberals care nothing about character in their candidates.
It’s important to note, however, that there is nothing new about this kind of behavior from powerful executives on either side of the aisle. Expecting otherwise is probably about as unrealistic as thinking a cat is suddenly going to enjoy a bath.
The real issue, with regard to integrity, is that these men (and a few women) flat deny anything ever happened; at least until evidence surfaces to make liars out of them. Subsequently, they’re forced to come clean with a tearful apology and a carefully written statement from the safety of a podium, often with the humiliated wife standing nearby appearing to be supportive.
But as long as the American public keeps giving politicians a pass on this kind of behavior it will continue. Voters seem outraged one minute and re-elect them in the next. It makes no sense.
No one is perfect, least of all those who have chosen a life in the public eye, but when you are charged with representing the best interests of a constituency, you should at least behave like an adult, not an adolescent. Grow up, already.
Beyond that, voters need to have more integrity themselves. It’s time to stop choosing the lesser of, “Who cares?” Our local representatives have much more of an effect on our day-to-day lives than those in Washington and should live up to a much higher standard for that very reason.
But in order for them to be held accountable and to let them know that irresponsible behavior does have an effect on job performance, it takes a message sent from the polling place. There are many more “Weiners” out there, and smartphones and social media will be the professional death of them.
All we can do here on Main Street is try to convince people of higher sense of integrity and civic duty to run for office and help improve things one step at a time. As you visit the fairs and festivals going on throughout the end of summer and into fall, talk to those campaigning there and ask them the hard questions. We deserve better from our representatives but it will only happen if we demand it.
Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer from Jamestown, Ohio. Deer In Headlines is syndicated by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing. (c) 2013, GLD Enterprises / Gery L. Deer. All Rights Reserved.