I'm not going to speak on the political implications of the whole Anthony Weiner scandal except to say that it is inescapable and that I would like to escape it. What Weiner did was dumb. That's undeniable. But I'm not clear on how dumb tweeting choices adversely affect one's ability to govern. One has to wonder just how misplaced our priorities are when the nation can, with high unemployment and a looming debt ceiling crisis and the ongoing labor battles, find itself so thoroughly distracted by a picture of a bump in a Congressman's pants. There's been more reaction to this picture than to bin Laden's proof-of-death photo.
And really, how much of this is being spurred on by the mere fact that the guy's name is Weiner? How much do we sound like one giant episode of Beavis and Butthead?
All this whole ordeal is really going to accomplish is to drive people away from the prospect of public office, as Mario Almonte of the Huffington Post exposits. We're sending the message that we care less about 20 years of public service than we do one tweet. It doesn't even take actual sex anymore. Just a bump in the pants and maybe a shot of you without your shirt.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi can be a straight-up dirty old man and be permitted to leave on his terms at a time of his choosing, weathering every storm.
That off my (clothed) chest, we might as well try and learn something from this mess, so here's Robert Weiss, founding director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, explaining the psychological aspects of why people do things like what Weiner did.