When I said that Anthony Weiner’s awkward press conference may be indicative of guilt a week ago, I expected the scandal to turn into admission of guilt, and I expected even more spicy details to emerge, as they always do. Finally, yesterday, Anthony Weiner confessed that he did tweet a link to a bulging-underpants photo of himself to a young woman and admitted to “inappropriate” exchanges on the Internet with six other women before and after getting married. (Video conference at the end of the editorial).
It’s hard to trust a man who lied before, especially a bad liar. Anthony Weiner’s body language is not indicative of remorse – he did it in the past, he will do it again. What he did on the internet is a moderate form of sexual deviation: the issue is not the “inexistent” physical contact. He was actively and consciously looking for females to exchange sexual messages, and explicit photographs. A psychologist could tell you better why this type of behavior is inappropriate, especially with married men, whose wives are usually unaware of what happens. For Weiner’s wife, the scandal is as devastating as it gets: she has been cheated. But this is another story.
We’ve seen greater men down for similar reasons: Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Compared to them, Weiner is a name not many people know, but the man’s political position is what makes the story newsworthy.
The most puzzling (and potentially infuriating) thing is that Anthony Weiner will not resign, that he wants to continue his political career. Even more puzzling is that the public opinion is so willing to forget this “misbehavior” considering the whole issue a man’s thing, one that only his wife should worry about: “Men will be men. Let his wife worry about it.”
However, the scandal is not about Weiner being a man who, in a way, cheated on his wife, but about a politician lying. This should be what every voter should carefully consider.
For the untrained eye, it’s hard to see through Weiner’s tearful apology yesterday. But what I saw is a cornered man, one who admitted guilt simply because he is intelligent enough to know that this is the only way the story will burn quicker. Without new materials that could incriminate the congressman, the media will have to look for stories somewhere else.
The public will forget everything about Weiner’s inappropriate behavior once a new scandal emerges. But what the public forgets is that this is not an actor, a body builder, or a golfer: this is a politician. Like so many cases before him, this inappropriate behavior IS indicative of his “qualities” as a leader.