True story: a week ago, I was planning to write a letter to Anthony Weiner, asking for his advice. I've been politically apathetic most of my life, and Rep. Wiener was the first liberal politician who made me feel like it might be worth getting involved. For the first time, I thought maybe you could be witty, straight-talking, and passionate about things and still be in politics. For the first time, I felt like I might be able to contribute, and might be able to help other jaded young liberals overcome their apathy and fight for what they believe in. I wanted to ask this man, my new political hero, what I could do, how I could make a difference.
And then: scandal! When Mr. Allie told me that Rep. Weiner was caught up in a media frenzy over naughty pictures, I said, "Please tell me his response was 'yeah, so what?" Because that would have been awesome, and it would have been exactly what I expected from him. "Yep, I did it. Who cares? It's not a crime, it doesn't affect my job, next question."
But no. Instead, he responded in the most typically weasel/politician manner possible. "I was hacked. I can't say if that's my penis. We're looking into it." Guys, quick question: if someone showed you a picture of an underwear-clad erection, would you be able to tell if it was yours? Would you perhaps recognize the underwear, or the leg in the background, or maybe, say, a part of your body that you have been intimately familiar with since puberty? No reasonable person can be expected to believe that he simply didn't know whether the photo was of him or not.
So when he said, "I can't say if that's a picture of me," what he clearly meant was, "That is me, but if I flat-out lie about it, I will be in way more trouble than if I act like a weasel and dodge the question."
Representative Weiner, shame on you. Not because you sent lewd photos to someone (I couldn't care less), and not because you were presumably doing this without your wife's consent (which I do find a little sleazy, and makes me slightly concerned about your honesty in general, but still isn't enough to completely dissolve my respect for you), but because of the way you reacted when confronted about it. When faced with possible scandal, you reacted like every other two-faced, double-talking, sleazeball politician that made me so jaded in the first place.
If anyone could have pulled off the straight answer and come out stronger for it, Representative Weiner, it was you. Here is how you should have responded:
Step 1: Sit down with your wife and apologize profusely. Tell her, "I screwed up, and I will do everything in my power to make it up to you and ensure it doesn't happen again. I understand if you're not ready to forgive me, but I ask that you please support me, at least publicly, in the media shitstorm I'm about to endure."
Step 2: When asked about it by the media, say, "Yes, I sent those pictures. The only person I have wronged by doing so is my wife, and I am answering to her for that. I will not say any more on the subject, because it is irrelevant. Let's get back to the issues that matter."
Step 3: Shut your damn mouth and get back to the issues that matter.
If you had responded like that, Representative Weiner, and not like every other lying weasel of a politician who gets called out on his bullshit, my respect for you would have increased tenfold. My letter to you would have been glowing with praise, and I would have defended you and your erection whenever they came up (har, har) in conversation.
But no. I truly feel like my hero died. I still want to get involved, but I no longer care what you think. You're just another one of them.