Sorry, I can’t resist. After dedicating so many words to the end-of-the-world farce, how can I not write about the latest scandal to befall the American scene? The exploits of certain NY congressman with a perfect moniker have not only broken new ground in social networking, they have made the lives of working comics as easy as they’ve ever been.
Normally, I wouldn’t write about such sordid subject matter, but this is the kind of nonsense people mean when they say, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Except I would have thought it could only be made up. I mean, with a name like Weiner? Come on. Too over the top even for fiction. Who can believe this? Everyone is having fun with it, so why shouldn’t I? The New York Post, for example, had arguably the best joke imaginable when it featured the headline, “Weiner: I’ll Stick It Out.”
It truly is funny. Yet that’s what makes it a tragedy.
A couple of interesting questions that this travesty raises:
Why is it always men who get in these kinds of messes? Going back to Wayne Hays, Wilbur Mills, Gary Hart, Barney Frank, Bob Packwood, John Edwards, and the grand-daddy of them all, Bill Clinton, male politicians (mostly Democrats) seem to have a corner on sexual misconduct. In religious circles, how about Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Ted Haggard? Corporate America? Have you heard of Mark Hurd? Same deal. (No point in going into the world of entertainment where such malfeasance is stock-in-trade.) Man, oh man! What’s wrong with us guys???
How is it that these dudes expect to acknowledge their mess then go on as if nothing happened? They make a marginally penitent statement, “taking full responsibility” for their actions (great, who else were they expecting to take responsibility for them?) and the whole kerfuffle is over. They must have heard the old routine by the late, lamented David Frye impersonating Richard Nixon saying,
“As the man in charge, I must accept full responsibility, but not the blame. Let me explain the difference. People who are to blame lose their jobs; people who are responsible do not.”
I have a message for Mr. Weiner. Welcome to the swollen ranks of the unemployed.