Weiner the Weasel, Spitzer the Snake
I wasn’t going to jump on the bandwagon, but here goes, anyway.
What is it with Spitzer and Weiner?
Having been the victim of sexual assault at a young age, perhaps I’m just sensitive to this. And though the participants were all willing, and of age, there was still an assault. On our trust, our innocence, our belief, yes, naïvete maybe, that politicians basically were like the rest of us – if not honest, at least moral, beings.
But what hurts is seeing Weiner on the streets, happily shaking hands and showing not the least bit of remorse. Or worse, Spitzer on Leno talking grandly about how yes, it was “incredibly painful” (for whom?), and he committed an egregious mistake, but acting somehow like we’re supposed to applaud him now for his courage in running again.
Or thank him.
When exactly did it become okay to trample on your marriage (and the wives who are staying with them!), forget about the law, even though you’re supposed to be upholding it (as Governor, for pete’s sake), then re-enter the political arena like you’re some kind of hero who’s doing us a favor by jumping back in.
That’s the vibe I get from Spitzer.
Weiner, to me, is like the awkward kid in middle school who wanted so desperately to be cool, he wore his pants down around his ankles with a belt.
But Spitzer is of a craftier, more evil make. Weiner only embarrassed himself. But Spitzer will embarrass us if he wins. He’s already ahead in the polls. (So is Weiner, but that’s another story.)
If New Yorkers vote Spitzer back in, whether because he’s redeemed himself, in their eyes, or because they just don’t care, it will say a lot about us. That we can overlook a man so devious he could knowingly break the law – and not care (he actually told Leno we all “take risks”) – while supposedly the legal guardian of the state, is just, well, sick.
I won’t deny that my own background probably prevents me from having a cooler head about this but I just see Spitzer as such a criminal, as someone who thinks we’re all so stupid – and that he’s so great – that he can just slither back in like he did nothing wrong, and we should be grateful he’s back.
Though, happily, some New Yorkers are offering sympathy and support to Scott M. Stringer, who’s running against Spitzer for comptroller (and thought he had it in the bag).
But the great majority just seems to be looking the other way. Politics as usual. Yes, it’s a dirty business. Let’s get on with life.
But something is wrong with this picture, and it scares me that it may be us.