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Incurable

(Warning: harsh language)

Well, as many have predicted, Congressman Weiner has sought out professional help and treatment for his condition that led him to engage in what I like to call "junk mailing." And we can rest assured that he will emerge from his therapy with the love and support of his family, friends, and even some of his allies, as he speaks of the terrible ordeal it was for all these years living with the burden of his addiction, but now he's fine and ready to resume his duties.

Oh, bullshit.

Weiner is not some kind of addict. He doesn't have some condition or some illness that can be treated or cured. What he is, is an asshole.

Now, while that's a derogatory tem, it's not necessarily a damning one. We all have our inner assholes. What separates us is how big our inner asshole is, and how much restraint we can exercise over it.

In a way, and in a most appropriate way in Weiner's case, it's like our sexuality. We all have our sexual identity and preferences. I'm a heterosexual man with a serious weakness for redheaded women. Barney Frank is a gay man with a preference for men whose affections he can buy with his power and money. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a heterosexual man with, apparently, very ecumenical and non-discriminatory tastes. And so on.

We can't control that about ourselves. It's part of our essential nature.

What we can do is control how it is expressed.

As I've said, I have a fondness for redheads. I almost married one. But that doesn't mean that I accost every single redheaded lady I encounter. It doesn't mean I stalk them and send them pictures showing how much I respond to them. It doesn't mean that I fantasize about putting a red-headed wig on every woman I find attractive. (Well, OK, maybe that one, a little.) And I certainly don't have such a wig atop my computer's monitor so that every woman on the screen becomes a redhead. (Although now that I think of it... no, never mind.)

Why? Why don't I do it, even though it would increase my likelihood of getting that which I desire?

Because I'm not an asshole.

OK, that's not quite true. I am, you are, we all are, to various degrees.

But I'm not going to give my inner asshole that much control over me. Because I think of myself as a man, and to me a major definition of being a man is self-control, self-restraint, of being able to rein in my baser instincts (and hoo boy, do they get base on occasion) and function in civilized society.

Anthony Weiner did what he could not out of any kind of irresistible impulse, or as a symptom of some terrible condition. He did it for the simplest of reasons, the reasons why dogs lick their crotches: because he could. Because he thought he could get away with it. And it probably wasn't just about sex for him, I suspect, but the sheer thrill of knowing he could do it and get away with it.

Until he couldn't.

What Weiner needs right now isn't therapy, it's shame. It's embarrassment. It's to stand up and say "yeah, I did it. I knew it was wrong, that it was risky, that it would hurt those who love me and care about me and trust me, and I did it anyway. I know now the lesson I should have learned as a child, and that just because I can do something doesn't mean I should do it. I've been humiliated, those around me have been humiliated, and I have to live with the knowledge that it was my fault and my fault alone. I am now both sadder and wiser, and I hope that I am wiser enough now that I will not make that same kind of mistake again."

Instead, he'll go off to his therapy and be told that it wasn't his fault, that he had no control, and now he needs to learn how to control those impulses better so he can go back to being the raging asshole he was before -- just now with his pants on.

And, sadly, a lot of people will not only accept that, they'll praise him for his courage and his strength -- for admitting what he did only after lying his ass off for over a week and only after being cornered like a rat with absolute, irrefutable proof.

Hell, he might even get a Profile In Courage award out of it. For denying the truth as long as he could, then taking the easy way out.

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Comments (42)

He should resign. At this p... (Below threshold)
Art W:

He should resign. At this point he's only providing cover for the Dem leadership by allowing them to call for his resignation.

In a coordinated response, top Democratic leaders -- including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel -- today called for embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D) to resign from Congress.

That call came amid other news from Weiner's office that the New York congressman was taking a "short leave of absence" after going into treatment today to "become a better husband and healthier person."

In a statement, Pelosi said, "Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressure of being a member of Congress."

Added Wasserman Schultz: "The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Rep.

If he has to resign and its... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

If he has to resign and its ok to dig through Palins, can we now say it is alright to look through all of these public servant emails to see if they misused the taxpayer while on the job as much as they do while on the job?

Agreed 100 percent Jay Tea.... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Agreed 100 percent Jay Tea. This whole 'sex addict' thing is a huge pile of BS. Just another excuse for someone who knew full well what he was doing. It seemed pretty clear from that first press conference (when he dodged every question and was obviously hiding something) that this guy is, as you say, an asshole.

The quicker he's out of congress, the better.

#3Does this mean y... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

#3

Does this mean you were all for the impeachment of WbjCinton as he was a proven sex offender?

There is no cure for perver... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

There is no cure for perversion. And Art W., why did it take Wasserman-Shultz more than a week to quit defending him? What a leader you got there. ww

Might have been before his ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Might have been before his time, Sep14. Based on what he's said, I believe Ryan A is in college, and that particular issue occurred about 14 years ago. Could be he was more interested in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and whether the school cafeteria was going to have jello and chocolate milk.

Sigh. The years just keep on passing, and nothing ever really seems to change inside the Beltway...

A thesis of a book I'm read... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

A thesis of a book I'm reading posits that secularists have come to see government as their omnipotent God, protector, and provider. Therefore when government fails, they start looking for Lucifers to blame. The default position is to blame others and to kill the messenger(s). We see this scenario playing out in the Weiner affair.

I say all that to say this:

Your god is too small.

You are right JL. I forget ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

You are right JL. I forget to consider the age of other blogger's sometimes and just assume everyone is ancient like Me. Art for instance still where's his depends so he can post and potty train simultaneously.

Weiner is not some kind ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Weiner is not some kind of addict. He doesn't have some condition or some illness that can be treated or cured. What he is, is an asshole.
This.

I have a different spin on ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I have a different spin on this. If the folks that voted him in still want him, they can have him, censured, ignored and ridiculed by the rest of the legislature including his Party's leaders and country, with their district getting ignored as much as possible (lose all his committees, etc.). Until they raise a hue a cry to get rid of him, let them wear this albatross around their neck. Why should we waste our time on it? They elected a creep, they're stuck with one until they take him out.

Kinda like a certain Presid... (Below threshold)
epador:

Kinda like a certain President I know.

#6. JL, I agree with you th... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

#6. JL, I agree with you that Ryan A is probably roughly college-aged. While his comment here is eminently sensible, he's previously evinced the naivete and earnestness that life tends to beat out of one over time.

Jay Tea,You have s... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

You have said repeatedly that you are agnostic, but clearly you have accepted the notion of original sin!

Just a few days ago Pelosi ... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

Just a few days ago Pelosi was saying that it should be Weiner's decision and everyone else should stay out. My how quickly things change. It would be nice to have leaders whose decisions were based not on a calculus of how many votes they need in the House and instead made decisions based on an ethics that didn't change minute to minute.

I like epador's suggestion.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I like epador's suggestion.

Weiner's days of being a serious politician should be done. I have no idea what work he could have accomplished anyhow since it seems he spent all his time taking pics of himself (seen the latest gym pics? Bleah) and flirting with every young lady he could. He's also got DMV issues and I suspect there's more.

Damn shame Oprah's show ended being that was usually the last step taken toward redemption. Oh well, after his rehab, he can always go on the view.

"What he is, is an asshole.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"What he is, is an asshole."

No, actually he's an ARROGANT asshole.

Civics lesson please. ... (Below threshold)
Razorgirl:

Civics lesson please.

When a representative takes a leave of absense or is injured such as Representative Giffords from Arizona, who represents their district in the interim? Do they just go unrepresented?

"While his comment here ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"While his comment here is eminently sensible, he's previously evinced the naivete and earnestness that life tends to beat out of one over time."

I think what's he's running into here is something he wasn't really prepared for - people who had a differing political opinion but were willing to talk about the differences, in a group he may well have been taught were rigid, ignorant, narrow minded, and hopelessly provincial.

It sucks to suddenly comprehend that the supposed 'enemy' of your ideology is as human as you are, has had a lot of the same experiences you've had, seems as intelligent as you are, and yet rejects the 'answers' that you've been taught are the best for all.

It makes those capable of it think a bit... "If certain portions of the ideology I believe are proven false, what else have I been taught might be false?" There's nothing like paying attention to reality to counteract 'reality-based' thinking...

Everytime someone is caught... (Below threshold)
mag:

Everytime someone is caught doing what they should not...it is always "The devil may me do it" or "I have a sickness". Always an excuse. This ugly man (inside & out) biggest sin was thinking that he was some kind of hunk. So, if he thinks that... imagine what he thinks he can do with our money, freedom, health etc....Imagine the arrogrance of this man.

Why oh why do people elect scum like him into office?????

"What Weiner needs is SHAME... (Below threshold)
Oldpuppymax:

"What Weiner needs is SHAME???" Problem is, leftists are utterly SHAMELESS!! Otherwise, they couldn't BE leftists! If anyone is waiting for this perverted bum to be ashamed of himself, please find another occupation. It will never, ever happen.

Does that explain why Whine... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Does that explain why Whiner detached registration plates from his sedan and illegally reattached them to his SUV, then not renew or inspect either vehicles for the next five years?

I think Weiner should stay ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I think Weiner should stay on - if for no other reason than to serve as a constant reminder of what degenerate low-life scum of the earth Democrats are.

BTW, Weiner hasn't made a formal request for a "leave of absence" yet, and it is unclear what sort of "treatment" he will seek. There is no recognized diagnosis of "sex addiction" and no known cure for being an obnoxious jerk.

Interestingly, when reporters noticed the expired inspection sticker on his car, they ran his plate and found it had been illegally transferred from another vehicle, but had expired in 2006 anyway. Weiner apparently was too cheap to even keep his vehicles' registrations, license, and inspection current.

Switching plates to avoid paying the fees? Another illustration of how Democrats believe the "rules" are for us peons, not for their exalted Comrades.

@Sep14,Do... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

@Sep14,

Does this mean you were all for the impeachment of WbjCinton as he was a proven sex offender?

Well, I was about 20 when all of that went down. Did I think Clinton should have been impeached? No, I didn't. Did I think he was an asshole? Yes, I did. I also thought there were more important issues at hand, but the media and the general public apparently thought otherwise.

@JLawson:

Based on what he's said, I believe Ryan A is in college, and that particular issue occurred about 14 years ago. Could be he was more interested in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and whether the school cafeteria was going to have jello and chocolate milk.

Haha, pretty funny JL--but your estimate is off by a few years. I can't fault you though since I went back to school at 26 (a little late I suppose). During the whole Lewinsky affair I was mostly interested in surfing, but I did have some opinions about certain political matters, even if I was not all that well informed in those days. I'm in my mid 30s now and finishing up a doctoral program in grad school, and definitely ready to be done.

@Jay Guevara:

While his comment here is eminently sensible, he's previously evinced the naivete and earnestness that life tends to beat out of one over time.

Actually Jay, I just happen to disagree with you sometimes, and you like to overreact and pretend that means I must be a rabid leftist zealot, which I am not. Am I always right? Hardly. But then, neither are you. Big deal. Conversation requires a certain amount of respect from both sides.

@JLawson one more time:

I think what's he's running into here is something he wasn't really prepared for - people who had a differing political opinion but were willing to talk about the differences, in a group he may well have been taught were rigid, ignorant, narrow minded, and hopelessly provincial.

Interesting theory, but wrong. I started reading and posting comments here about 7 years ago, and I was quite aware of the fact that there are plenty of good people on the conservative side of the fence. Some folks on this site have been quite respectful, informative, and reasonable over the years (you among them), and others have been as dogmatic and over the top as any extremist on the left or right. I have actually learned a lot from the reasonable folks here, and I appreciate the discussions I have had with them. I have kept reading this site because of those reasonable folks, and despite some of the other regulars who are nothing more than reactive, polemic trolls. They know who they are.

As for my views about "conservatives," I formed my opinions about US politics, conservatives, and liberals from experience, reading, and paying attention to the actions of all sides. My family is mostly conservatives, so I knew full well that there are plenty of good people who are on that side of the spectrum. Trust me. Still, there are plenty of conservatives who can be pretty narrow-minded etc--but the EXACT same thing can be said of liberals (I learned that lesson quite well during my undergrad at a UC school in California).

It sucks to suddenly comprehend that the supposed 'enemy' of your ideology is as human as you are, has had a lot of the same experiences you've had, seems as intelligent as you are, and yet rejects the 'answers' that you've been taught are the best for all.

Actually, I agree with this 100 percent, and have been making this exact argument on this site for years--some listen, some don't. This applies to all sides. Some folks here definitely have some pretty rigid opinions, that's for sure. But then, the same can be said of many folks at DU or on DKos. The key, IMO, is remaining open to differing ideas and information, rather than digging in and proclaiming to be on one "side" or another. Overall, JL, I'm kind of surprised that you think this is where I was coming from, since we have had a lot of good conversations here.

"It makes those capable of it think a bit... "If certain portions of the ideology I believe are proven false, what else have I been taught might be false?" There's nothing like paying attention to reality to counteract 'reality-based' thinking..."

A good exercise for people on all sides of the spectrum. Getting too tied up in any ideological system can lead to some serious blinders. This argument applies to hardline marxists just as much as it applies to Milton Friedman ideologues, etc.

Sorry for the long reply, but I thought I should clear things up a bit since some of you decided to start making theoretical guesses about my age, political opinions, etc. Hopefully some folks will realize that I am not some rigid ideologue simply because I happen to disagree with posts/comments here often. I'm not. And yes, it's a two-way street when it comes to respect for differing opinions.

Until next time.

RA

who represents ... (Below threshold)
who represents their district in the interim? Do they just go unrepresented?
Yep.
"What he is, is an asshole.... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"What he is, is an asshole."

He is an albatross around the party's neck and they don't like it but he refuses to relinquish the trappings of royalty. Until the House, Senate and Presidency are held to the same standards as the rest of us are this will be a reoccurring scene. Asshole XYZ gets caught dead to rights yet is allowed to weezil their way around it and retain their office. Had it been anyone else in the private sector or even most public sector positions they would be summarily tossed from their job, stripped of any benefits and told to not come back.

What's sad is he will still receive retirement benefits from the taxpayer and laugh at the peons.

I think Weiner is going to ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I think Weiner is going to tough it out as long as he can. But the last laugh comes from the NY State Legislature. NY is losing two Congressional seats due to redistricting. The decision of who loses one of those seats is getting easier and easier every day that Weiner stays in office.

Ryan A -LOL - well... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ryan A -

LOL - well, at least I remembered you were in school, just didn't quite get for WHAT right!

Getting too tied up in any ideological system can lead to some serious blinders. This argument applies to hardline marxists just as much as it applies to Milton Friedman ideologues, etc.

Amen to that. One of the biggest mistakes I think we've made politically is the demonization of the other, which really stratifies people in their political thinking. Then it takes the ideological equivalent of a stick of dynamite to make them change.

(Or getting what they ostensibly want, and then finding that what they supposedly wanted isn't anything that they want anything to do with.)

The key, IMO, is remaining open to differing ideas and information, rather than digging in and proclaiming to be on one "side" or another. Overall, JL, I'm kind of surprised that you think this is where I was coming from, since we have had a lot of good conversations here.

You, sir, are a most pleasant exception to the usual run of 'liberals' that crop up here. With some not understanding that we can be broke (but still have checks), and others not understanding that simply wanting something doesn't make it happen and that good intentions don't guarantee a good result, and others who seem so filled with hate that you can imagine them frothing as they type accusing anyone who dares disagree of being hate-filled, it's good to have you here!

Wiener is not an asshole. H... (Below threshold)
CZ:

Wiener is not an asshole. He's a prick.

Familiarize yourself with the appropriate anatomical body parts.

Wiener and Emanuel are one in the same. Both are urban street punks.

I have to agree with you Ja... (Below threshold)
Brucepall:

I have to agree with you Jay...although I would use the term "Exhibitionist" instead. Totally unfit to be a public official or around children... and that means forbidding them from using any means of possibly communicating with the young -i.e.- electronically.

Any thread readers out there have young teenage daughters? I did, and I've tracked down more than one creep who didn't treat them with dignity and respect... and made it crystal clear that they had several choices: 1) start acting like a man and profusely and earnestly apologize, or 2) disappear from our lives, or 3) I'd be back.

Only had to follow through with three once. After that, there were only two number twos and four number ones (of which half were accompanied by their fathers).

Boys can be "assholes" as you say. But that can be corrected. Men not so much. After beating the living crap out of the first stud who thought he could take me down... word got around... the other two number twos reached down into themselves... and once it dawned upon them that they didn't have it within themselves to grow, a keen sense of self-preservation kicked in.

I'm sure they are still assholes; but smart assholes. The dumb ones are the type I still worry about. FWIW

Semper Fidelis-
Brucepall

I think he should be allowe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I think he should be allowed to stay in Congress.
For those who say he is a disgrace look at it this way. he is not as big a disgrace as Obama and he isnt in your or my district (exclude yourself from this group if he is) and it isnt like a republican is gonig to win the seat. Let him be. He is impotent (pun intended) where he is at now.

"Well, I was about 20 when ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"Well, I was about 20 when all of that went down. Did I think Clinton should have been impeached? No, I didn't. Did I think he was an asshole? Yes, I did. I also thought there were more important issues at hand, but the media and the general public apparently thought otherwise."


Ok, never said whether it was right or wrong, just curious. I could care less whom he banged, just was irritated with all the 'stonewalling'.

Sep14,"I could car... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Sep14,

"I could care less whom he banged, just was irritated with all the 'stonewalling'."

Ya, I hear you on that one. Weiner is the latest in a long line of people who spend a ridiculous amount of time lying and squirming, when they should just suck it up and admit they f-ed up. The same goes for Clinton in the 1990s: he just needed to stop with all the deception, stonewalling, and obstruction, and tell the truth. But no...that kind of thing is too much to ask for most politicians.

JLawson,"LOL - wel... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JLawson,

"LOL - well, at least I remembered you were in school, just didn't quite get for WHAT right!"

What?! I thought you knew I was getting a PhD in Contemporary Che Guevara Studies (CCGS for short)!* Man, why does a commie hippie always have to repeat himself? No respect I tell you.

"Amen to that. One of the biggest mistakes I think we've made politically is the demonization of the other, which really stratifies people in their political thinking."

Yep, absolutely. We definitely have lots of stratified folks out there, and the last thing they will do is listen to THE OTHER SIDE (gasp!). Good point, too, about people only learning when they finally get what they *think* they want.

"...it's good to have you here!"

Thanks Mr Lawson, much appreciated. Right back at you. I have always enjoyed our conversations, especially when we have differing POVs. That, actually, is when things are most interesting and when I learn the most.

*For the humor-challenged, this is a joke, FYI.

I'll listen, Ryan, but I've... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'll listen, Ryan, but I've got to admit some folks make it hard. "I think we should pass a law guaranteeing everyone an above-average paycheck!" for example.... and you just kind of cringe at how the educational system has failed...

Had a friend who used to do D&D dungeon mastering. His scenarios always seemed to have at least one djinn or artifact who would give the finder exactly what he wished for. Want a million gold pieces? Whap - a trapdoor in the ceiling opens and you're pelted with 100 bags, each with 10,000 pieces. (Better make your saving throw, or you'll be crushed.) Want to be attractive to the opposite sex? Congratulations - next room has 15 beautiful women, with syphilis and gonorrhea, and they've just now sprayed a Potion of Temporary Lust around the area. Roll and see what you catch. Wish for good health? *Bampfh* You are two miles underground, in a cavern lit only by luminescent grubs. You're perfectly healthy - and there's no way out. Wish for Eternal life? *Bampfh* - you're in a 3x7 foot cylinder inside solid rock. No air, no food, no water, no escape. You're gonna get SO bored...

Wish for magic artifacts? Oh, man - don't even go there. The 'unanticipated consequences' were always inventive, always designed to make us think.

Darn shame AIDS got him...

Anyway - we learned really fast to be careful what we wished for - because we'd get it and how! Seems to me like a lot of the folks inside the Beltway could have used something like that - something that'd make them think about the ramifications of all their little billion-dollar projects instead of just figuring that their good intentions would guarantee a good result!

You can't blame his wife fo... (Below threshold)
G.:

You can't blame his wife for not taking his name can you imagine going thru life with a name like... Huma Weiner?????

Brucepall, I'd put "exhibit... (Below threshold)

Brucepall, I'd put "exhibitionist" as a subset of "asshole." It's a very... broad (almost said "wide") term, an encompasses all kinds of assholery.

J.

You know Jay... I can't bel... (Below threshold)
Brucepall:

You know Jay... I can't believe what is happening in America these days. Used to be the Adults took care of the young and set what was wrong right. All parents were expected to correct any crap outta kids on the spot, and the other parents would come around and discuss the aftermath and say thank you.

You can take it to the bank that Rep Weiner has a history... this isn't the first time, by any stretch, that he has put on a completely unacceptable exhibition.

I'm no prude, in fact I'm very libertarian in many ways, and could care less who is jumping who's bones... because if its between consenting adults, its none of my business.

But when it comes to adults and high school age young'uns... I'm not blind as to what the supposed adult's intent is. I'm just amazed that assholes like Weiner have never gotten the message from someone like me earlier in their life... he would of lost some teeth or worse, if he persisted. And the deceit and lying shows he knows his behavior to be wrong. Now after the fact, some of his constituents think he's a cool dude, and I'm some kinda freak dinosaur.

Its like your worst nightmare, and so I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that these people are my countrymen. Pffft.

Semper Fidelis-
Brucepall

Just wondering if there's a... (Below threshold)
john:

Just wondering if there's a rational argument for why Weiner should go but it's OK for Vitter to stay. Both strayed from their marriages, both initially denied it, both publicly apologized. Weiner sexted, Vitter had actual adulterous sex. Weiner committed no crime, Vitter committed an actual crime. Weiner is seeking counseling, Vitter proclaimed "I received forgiveness from God".

Which one of those gives Vitter a pass?

Tell ya what, john, how abo... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Tell ya what, john, how about we we just invert the standard for a while and give all Repubs a pass while kicking out the Dems?

I mean, you're for fairness and all that, right? For decades, Dems have managed to get absolution for their sins, while Repubs have been politically executed for any semblance of impropriety. So, in the name of 'fairness', we need to have a decade or two where Repubs just get a slap on the wrist while Dems get their heads chopped and their careers shortened considerably.

That seems fair to me, how about you?

Well, I certainly expected ... (Below threshold)
john:

Well, I certainly expected avoidance of the question. Though I didn't expect it to be accompanied by bullshit whining.

Glad it met your expectatio... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Glad it met your expectations, john. I gave it all the serious consideration it deserved, too.

John asked:"Which ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

John asked:

"Which one of those gives Vitter a pass?"

Neither. Vitter by no means deserves a pass. Just goes to show that these types of issues apply to both sides of the aisle. But anyone who pays attention to US politics already knows that.




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