For Those of You Who Were Waiting For Me to Say Something About Anthony Weiner and/or Bob Filner

It’s simple: They’re both idiots. Weiner needs to quit his mayoral race; Filner needs to resign his mayoral position.

I suspect some people might have thought I wasn’t commenting on them here because they are both Democrats. But, guys, come on. One, I’m not a Democrat, as I have to remind people ad infinitum. Two, stupidity is non-partisan, and sexual harassment is odious whether you have an (R) or a (D) or any other letter after your name on the news chyron.

In the case of Weiner: you know, if sexting is consensual, whatever. I don’t especially care if people Snapchat their junk to each other. Not my thing, but fine. But Weiner should have figured out from the last time that this was the sort of activity that people didn’t want out of their politicians. That he didn’t — or that he couldn’t stop himself despite the damage he caused to his career, and by all public indications, to his marriage — is sad and doesn’t speak well regarding his impulse control. Dude, just look at amateur porn like everyone else. Stop making it. And if in fact his wife didn’t know he was still at it — well. That’s the thing for me that puts him on the list of people who deserve a good kick.

(If she did know and tolerated it because she didn’t really care, or preferred it to him actually practicing infidelity or any other reason, then that’s their own thing, although I still wish he’d stop doing it because I don’t really want to hear about his junk any more.)

Basically Weiner needs to get a job in the private sector; he’s peed in the public sector well one time too many. It’s sad he hasn’t figured it out yet.

In the case of Filner: Fuck that dude. He’s clearly scum. Not just for the alleged sexual harassment, which is bad enough, but also for his recent maneuvers trying to blame anyone but himself for his bad behavior. San Diego: Punt this loser. Punt him hard.

I think my positions on these two are now sufficiently clear.

135 thoughts on “For Those of You Who Were Waiting For Me to Say Something About Anthony Weiner and/or Bob Filner

  1. Blaming the city for his behavior because they did not provide sexual harassment training?? That would be hilarious if it weren’t so fricking sad. I know the lawyer is just doing his job, but… that’s *really* the best argument they have? Yeesh.

  2. Most Democrats–nearly all–in San Diego have also lost all sympathy and support for Filner. He would not survive a recall, to say nothing of being re-elected again.

    It would be much, much better if Filner resigns rather than a recall. The reason: if he resigns, we have a standard election, and if there is no majority winner, a run-off. For a recall, however, the plurality winner takes it all, even if that is a small number.

    And that’s how California got A. Schwartzennegger as governor. (A Republican with women problems, by the way.) Could have been worse, I suppose, but still…

  3. I am absolutely on board with this. Weiner’s weiner pictures are just *stupid*. And Filner is nothing more or less than a serial sexual predator. The only partisan issue I see here (if at all) is that the left appears to be somewhat more willing to look at the behavior critically, examine whether or not it affects the politiician’s ability to to his (or her) job, and make the decision based on that.

    In both these cases, these guys will not be able to be effective at their jobs. And if I hear one more misogynistic, racist attack on HUMA, I’m going to scream. It leaves me wondering if some GOP members are cackling in glee trying to figure out how to use Huma to hurt Hilary’s chances in 2016.

  4. My opinion on Weiner is basically, he’s a dumbass. I don’t mind that he’s staying in the race, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have the temperament for public office. He’d certainly never have my vote.

    My opinion on Filner is basically, he’s an asshole. He’s confessed to enough that I feel comfortable making that statement. And of course, his Cartmanlike whining is even worse. What a loser. He should and probably will resign.

  5. ~reads the link~

    I’m struggling to properly describe the acidic contempt I have for Filner.

    And it always irritates me that people can’t understand that you can be liberal without being a Democrat.

  6. @ MRAL: As much as I don’t like you, I agree completely. Weiner is a total fuckwit with a massive ego who can’t keep his penis in his pants. Filner is a filthy scumbag, and I can’t wait to see him get punted into orbit.

  7. I look at the Filner case as the worst of the two, that involved true sexual harassment of people working under him (which is the legal definition, BTW. You can “sexually harass” someone that doesn’t work under you but the law is very specific and applies to people under you) and that is worrisome since it involves power and coercion.

    The Weiner case is just a dumb distraction. I’m sorry, but when you have a special counsel to the IRS chief meeting with the President (which never happens), the next day the IRS chief meets with the President and then the third day a policy memo comes out suggesting the targeting of Conservative/Libertarian groups the whole idea of a mayoral candidate exposing himself seems ridiculous.

    Let’s get to the economy, stupid. And why Obama fights fracking and the Keystone pipeline (which would dramatically help the economy) despite ecological reports showing they are both safe job-creators. Let’s get to the IRS and Benghazi REAL scandals. Let’s keep on the NSA, the AP, etc. scandals.

    Focusing on Weiner’s weiner just helps the most corrupt President in our lifetimes get away with his criminality.

  8. Argh. Comment et by computer.

    Shorter version: Let’s laugh at the Weiner sex scandal and agree that sexting isn’t what we want out of our politicians generally. But at the end of the day, if you support his politics and think he can do a good job, you could vote for him.

    What Filner did was illegal–harassment is assault. Objectifying, dehumanizing.

    We need more distinction between the giggle-worthy (Weiner) and the unacceptable abuse of power against women (Filner).

  9. As someone who grew up in San Diego, but live in Fresno now, my first reaction to the Filner Scandal was – “Wait, they elected that moron to be *mayor*? What the hell happened?”

    Filner was always a joke. I only wonder why the women are coming out of the woodwork *now*. I guess that says something about the relative status of representatives vs. mayors.

  10. Just a point on Weiner – it’s not quite consentual sexting. From all of the interviews, one theme is clear – none of the women were expecting the photos when they arrived. This is a whole lot closer to Brett Farve harrassment than most people realize. I think this fact gets missed because (1) no one woman he sexted got completely bent over it and (2) he was out of office and presumably done before the circus got in full gear last time. So the narrative that it was just completely consentual, invited sexting became the accepted story.

  11. At least one of Weiner’s dick-pic cases was NOT consensual, which puts him into the predator category as well.

  12. But at the end of the day, if you support his politics and think he can do a good job, you could vote for him

    I’m pretty sure the whole “I continued sexting even after having to resign from Congress after it came to light” completely destroys the “think he can do a good job” possibility. I dislike politicians who are either 1) too dumb or 2) too addled to stop themselves from self-immolation. And note that Weiner, when asked if he was still sexting, couldn’t even manage an actual denial: http://www.businessinsider.com/anthony-weiner-sexting-carlos-danger-daily-news-interview-2013-7

    Yeah, no.

  13. I work in San Diego and I’ve been watching the Filner debacle with growing disgust. His claiming that “Nobody told me I couldn’t!” sounds like a petulant ten-year-old. I’d prefer he resign, but that’s looking unlikely. San Diegans need to recall him now.

  14. Weiner was one of my least-favorite local politicians even before his idiotic sexting behavior was revealed the first time. The fact that he’s nominally a “liberal” (on a few high-profile issues, like healthcare) doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s an arrogant, conceited popinjay with a penchant for serial lying.

    New Yorkers are famously tolerant of personal eccentricity in their politicians. It wasn’t just that Rudy Giuliani was willing to put on a full female wig and cocktail dress and sing for a charity event; it was that he came across as someone who was quite…practiced at this particular flavor of recreation. But tolerance of eccentricity doesn’t mean putting up with someone who’s really nothing more than a gigantic jerk.

  15. @scorpius
    If I recall correctly from annual mandated SH training (too bad Filmer doesn’t work in a school), sexual harassment can involve a demand for a quid pro quo exchange of sexual favors for some sort of advantage in the workplace, or it can be any sexually related behavior that creates a hostile work environment. Claiming that “true” sexual harassment happens to “people working under him” is not merely incorrect but incredibly insensitive phrasing. No doubt you chose that phrase (more than once) because you were in such a hurry to get to the rant about Obama. Otherwise, I might have to think you were attempting to be funny. Which almost seems like….sexual harassment.

  16. @Blaise Pascal: I can’t speak for John Scalzi, of course, but I for one will confess that I’m sort of happy that other people’s mayors/mayoral candidates are getting all the negative attention right now, and I can go back to being privately embarrassed by Our Ford.

    However, in my municipal politics-loving Torontonian set, the general attitude toward Filner is that while we have no right to ask what on earth the people of San Diego were thinking when they elected him, it’s certainly baffling.

  17. To clarify, here’s the story from one of Weiner’s sexting partners:

    Ms. Cordova, who had traded messages with Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, about their shared concern over his conservative critics, said she had never sent him anything provocative. Asked if she was taken aback by his decision to send the photo, she responded, “Oh gosh, yes.”

    From: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/nyregion/weiners-pattern-turning-political-admirers-into-online-pursuits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

  18. Another San Diegan here. The recall effort is underway. Like CWJ and Cervus, I’d much prefer he’d resign, but he is so far refusing to do that. So we’ll have to recall him. Polls indicate that a recall will succeed. The big question is who will run to replace him and how obnoxious that race will be.

  19. “Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon… you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time.” – George Costanza

  20. Oh, and people wondering why we elected Filner- Dude. we didn’t know until after the election, obviously. And the guy he was running against in the final round had some fairly right wing policies in mind and some rumors of shady business deals attached to him. That guy has since declared he is going to try to become my congressman.

  21. It’s … *interesting* … that it seems to be Republicans and other rightward-leaning people who tend to expect that anyone who does something stupid/unethical/illegal would of course be defended by people who are more-or-less political allies.

    Which is not to say that people on the left don’t sometimes try to defend the idiotic behavior of supposed allies, just that it seems to be less of an expectation.

  22. @tariqata

    Filner’s sexual harrassment was not generally known during the election, although of course some people behind the scenes knew about it (and even tried to alert Democratic leaders about it; but until someone comes forward, as they have now, it’s a tough call). His main opponent in the final election was a gay Republican who was as firmly in the pocket of the business community as Filner is of labor groups. Ironically, in the primary there was a moderate former-Republican-turned-independent, who barely got edged out (and probably would have won over either Filner or de Maio).

  23. Filner’s argument has less value than a bucket of cold snot. California is big on its mandatory training. For Filner to have never received that training as they’ve claimed, he had to have been actively dodging it.

  24. @scorpius – you are so wrong about Fracking and the Keystone Pipeline (and Obama) that I wonder where you’re getting your “facts” from. I assume Koch Brothers backed Right Wing faux-“libertarian” groups – which as someone with libertarian leanings myself, I find disgusting ! They’re not “libertarians”, they’re corporate oligarchs and Christian Right Facists who wrap themselves in a DON’T TREAD ON ME flag as if it had some Mystic Protection Against Public Disapproval.

    As for your views on women and what does and doesn’t constitute “sexual harassment”? @PamG said it a lot better than I can – I’d just add that as a man myself, You Don’t Represent My Gender or My Sexual Preferences….

  25. I lost all sympathy for Weiner when he developed this Big Ole Persecution Complex, which I figure should be the Sole Property of the Right Wing – and started attacking his accusers, which is just wrong.

    Filner – who despite having lived in San Diego for a decade and having family who still live there, I know zip about? Same thing I said about Weiner…..

    We’re Liberals and Progressives – we’re SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THAT, DAMMIT! Leave that spoiled-brat behavior to the Self-Righteous Republican Tea Party – we on the Left are adults, let’s act like it.

  26. The one hilarious bit in the Filner article was where it pointed out that people often don’t know what constitutes “illegal sexual harassment” in California. Had the city offered the course, he perhaps could have restricted himself to what California considers to be LEGAL sexual harassment…

    I do take one bit of issue; if Weiner doesn’t belong in the public sector due to his, erm, “malapropisms,” I don’t see why the private sector should be expected to take him on. He’ll just get private companies, with DEEPER POCKETS, sued over sexual harassment.

    And yes, Mark S hit the nail quite successfully by pointing back to George Costanza’s question, “Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?” That episode of Seinfeld visited this issue aptly (and happily, without going down the creepy side of sexual harassment) and with considerable hilarity.

  27. @scorpius

    To which California law do you refer to when you say “the law is very specific and applies to people under you) and that is worrisome since it involves power and coercion.”?

  28. I haven’t said anything about either Filner or Weiner (who I used to admire for his substantial chutzpah in the House) because I consider them both to be such bottom-dwelling life forms by this point that they’re beneath my notice and worthy of taking time to comment on them. It’s why I also generally don’t comment on things said by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, &c; they’re undeserving of being lent any legitimacy by my commenting on anything they say.

    Then again, I’m just some schlub on the series of tubes, not someone like @scalzi that people actually listen to.

    And to pile on @scorpius: there is no political scandal around Benghazi, everyone with a brain has realized this and moved on. And the only scandal around the IRS is that congressional Republicans tried to deliberately mislead an IG investigation, to make it look like there was political interference where there was, in fact, no political interference. And speaking of congressional Republicans, they’re sure doing such a good job at focusing on the economy by trying to drag the White House through nonexistent scandals, pass unconstitutional abortion restrictions, repeal the (deficit-reducing) Affordable Care Act, and name more things after Ronald Reagan, while completely failing to pass any legislation of substance relating to the economy; meanwhile, the President is touring the country talking about what he intends to do, as far as asking Congress to pass legislation and whatever he has the power to do himself, about jobs and the economy.

    Liberals have been talking about the economy and focusing on the economy. Conservatives just ignore us and sit in their own echo chamber, only popping out to complain when something else comes up so they can complain about liberals not talking about the economy.

  29. @ timeliebe: Dude, don’t feed Scorpy. He’s either trolling for laughs (in which case he knows damn well how stupid he sounds) or he genuinely believes that Koch Brothers global warming denial crap (in which case he is so monumentally stupid/brainwashed that your rebuttal will have no effect, and might even make him believe that junk even more). Either way, your rebuttal is a waste of time.

    That being said, I like his racist hypocrisy at calling Obama

    the most corrupt President in our lifetimes

    , when we elected the man because he was better than the previous idiot. Heck, Obama even won a Nobel Peace Prize for his stunning success at not being Dubya.

    And I will now be mature and ignore scorpius and his mildly amusing, vaguely racist gibberish.

  30. Speaking as an HR professional in California re: Filner:

    1. If he did manage to dodge the training then it is on the city as the employer is responsible for making sure the employees complete their training (to the point where the employer can fire an employee for negligently avoiding training). Now, that doesn’t excuse his actions in the slightest (nor offer him even a shred of defense) but the city would at least share some slight blame.

    2. His claims that he didn’t know it was sexual harassment are shit because that would require him having been NEVER trained on sexual harassment, and considering that is a training most employers require you to take once a year every year I can’t imagine that he dodged it that long.

  31. @ Jesse B. Hannah: Please, don’t mention Michelle Malkin. She is evil. The other shitwits you mentioned are just wingnuts (except Bill O’Reilly, who is pretty clearly in it for the money and doesn’t seem to believe any of the snake oil he peddles), but Michelle Malkin is an evil person, in addition to being overpoweringly stupid and in dire need of heavy medications. It is best to ignore people like that. Paying attention to them gives them ideas.

  32. @ Jesse B. Hannah (again, because refresh is my friend, damn it).

    Sure, go ahead and steal that line. I don’t care.

  33. BTW if you want to know (and you know you do) why many of us did not vote for Filner’s opponent, Carl de Maio, here’s why:

    Back in the day, San Diego like many California cities, decided to plump up pension offerings for city workers (and this happened with Republicans and Democrats in collusion). At the same time, San Diego decided, in the interest of “saving money,” to not pay into Social Security for these workers, the rationale being they were giving them such a sweet pension deal.

    This was foolish reasoning (and, again, both Republicans and Democrats colluded in this– before Filner San Diego had 20 years of Republican mayors) and reasonably one can see we need to revisit the pension deal.

    Here was de Maio’s proposal: We take away 100% of the sweet pensions. But we’re still not going to pay into Social Security.

    This was probably illegal, but, even so, de Maio was so nakedly pandering to the slobbering anti-government crowd that he lost even those of us who didn’t warm to Filner (again, at that time not knowing about the sexual harassment). It’s one thing to review and scale back pension offerings–another to basically propose “scrounging food out of garbage cans” as a retirement plan….

  34. @ CWJ in San Diego:

    Here was de Maio’s proposal: We take away 100% of the sweet pensions. But we’re still not going to pay into Social Security.

    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*

    What kind of moron says THAT on the campaign trail?

  35. @John – K, I just wanted to know which law he was supposedly quoting because, in my HR experience, the law in California is interpreted and practiced in a very, very different way than he was indicating.

  36. @ Mr. Scalzi: Yes, sir. Done playing with Scorpy, sir.

    On another note, has anyone seen the Daily Show segment on Weiner?

  37. @Floored@4:23 pm

    –the kind of guy who desperately thinks anti-government sentiment will sweep him into office. Or who feels he needs to shore up his conservative base in an increasingly Democratic electorate.

  38. @ CWJ in San Diego: Then that guy was a moron. Anti-government sentiment is not a way to get into office anymore. After the Tea Party just caused more gridlock, not enough people trust outsiders for it to be a viable strategy.

  39. Dipshit fuckwits both. Weiner’s rehab wasn’t immediately effective; he’s a fuckwit for running when he knew this was out there, and a dipshit for putting his wife in that position.

    Filner is just contemptible in every way. Good example of the “I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault” non-apology.

    Yeah, I’m a lifelong Democrat. These shitheads need to be gotten out of office, first (done for Weiner, WIP for Filner), and kicked out of the party, second.

  40. Anti-government sentiment is not a way to get into office anymore.

    Oh, my friend, I deeply hope you’re right…and wish I thought you were.

    We’ve learned over and over that there’s no demonstrated level of pure shitheadedness that will prevent re-election. We have a Speaker of the House saying that the House shouldn’t be judged on the laws they pass, but on the laws they repeal. Apparently he’s counting the many repeals of Obamacare, even though not one of them had any chance of becoming law.

    And look at 2004. By then every sane person knew Bush was a lazy stupid shithead…but he got re-elected anyway. Partly that’s because Kerry was kind of weak, and was weakened further by the Swift Boat liars, but you’d’ve thought any sane voter would have voted for a ham sandwich rather than Bush. But no.

  41. @ Xopher: Remember, though, that Bush was an unethical scumbag, in addition to being an incumbent running in wartime. Kerry’s campaign was slow and weak, he came of as aristocratic and stuck-up, and the former vice-president whose name I will not mention because the mere mention of his name makes me scream went and started the whole not-really-ethical (and definitely not respectable) mud machine as early as possible. Frankly, it’s a statement of how much people were wise to Dubya and his puppet master that Kerry got as far as he did.

  42. Another San Diego inmate here. I can’t vote as I’m not a citizen, but my wife apparently spent 5 minutes considering the mayor in the voting booth, and couldn’t bring herself to vote for either of the two choices. I am deeply annoyed that the Democratic party put up Filner, someone must have know something – my wife things that it didn’t come out before because he is a deeply vindictive individual who would have destroyed the career of anyone who complained. I’m disappointed that Ronnie Froman, one of the accusers and a retired Rear Admiral, didn’t out him when he harassed her a few years ago, but that is putting the onus on her when Filner should never have done that in the first place. She told her people never to leave her alone in a room with him again, and considering the crap she must have put up with in the Navy, that’s pretty bad.

    The alternative candidate, DeMaio, is a total slimeball. He’s a particularly despicable Republican, who claims to be a small businesman, but his entire career and company was built off “consulting” arrangements with a variety of quasi-governmental agencies, so has had his snout and both trotters in the public trough his entire life. Pensions are a ludicrous mess in San Diego, but new hires are on 401k type plans and until the city goes bankrupt and renegotiates the defined benefit ones, we’re stuck with them. The % of income per year and fiddling that was done to inflate pension entitlements is truly breathtaking.

    Hopefully we’ll end up with Fletcher, who went R>independent>D, but we’ll see – he should have stayed an independent.

  43. @xopher. I wish you were wrong, but I don’t think you are. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a primary fight against Tea Partier Matt Bevin. Among other things, Blevin describes McConnell, who famously said his highest priority as Minority Leader was to make Obama a one-term President, as a “liberal, big government, bailout guy.”

  44. In defense of Weiner… imagine the quality of Saturday Night Live skits we will get if he wins the election? NBC should campaign for him. It appears that could be the only thing that could help their ratings. With Michelle Bachman leaving office soon, times might be lean for them. If we spent a little more time picking candidates based on the comedy that can be made about them, we would be alot happier. Laughter is better than anger. Sucks Saturday Night Live is on a summer break… Seriously guys, if you have not atleast laughed at some of the stupid stuff he has done, you need to re-assess your life. The funniest thing is, he brought this on himself and he didn’t even get any out of it. Dude.

    He must have a high opinion of his body. I’d be too afraid women would laugh at me to do this.

    I have a hunch he mainly wants to be mayor so he can use the New York Amber Alert system to hit on millions of women at one time. His batting average has to be low, so his best strategy is the brute force approach and hit on as many women as possible. You have to admit, I might be onto something here…

    Does New York City have a lower level, less high profile spot for Weiner? Like dog catcher? Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Dog Catcher? Possibly Small Town Alaskan Mayor? Dog Catcher in a small town in Alaska? Does the repo man get elected anywhere? Have him do something, so we can laugh at him.

    The main reason why he wouldn’t be a good mayor is the drama. Politicians are paid to produce. Its a job. This stuff gets in the way of producing. Get rid of him. That is my opinion on all politicians who cause too much drama. We pay you to get stuff done (even if I dont like your politics, I still pay you to do stuff). If you cause drama, you can’t produce in this kind of a job.

    I have nothing to say on the milner front. other than is it possible to impeach a mayor? An illinois governor got fired in 2008.

  45. Anthony W’s wife makes plenty of money, and he has only one kid. Can’t he just not have a job, like a bazillion other Americans?

  46. HelenS, indeed. It’s not as if he faces a choice between being in politics or starving on the streets. So why can’t he take his personal problems to the private sector and stay there? Why should an entire constituency be burdened with his patently compromised decision-making abilities and his impulse-control problems? As someone noted above, the fact that he had to step down from his Congressional seat over his sexting habit and then KEPT DOING it tells us all we need to know about this habit–i.e. it owns him. His campaign has become all about this problem, so it seems all too likely that if he were elected, his term as mayor would also become all about this problem–and what city needs THAT as the focus on its mayor’s office, for chrissake?

  47. @pnh:

    New Yorkers are famously tolerant of personal eccentricity in their politicians. It wasn’t just that Rudy Giuliani was willing to put on a full female wig and cocktail dress and sing for a charity event; it was that he came across as someone who was quite…practiced at this particular flavor of recreation.

    Patrick, I take your point as far as it goes, but could we be really careful about not putting cross-dressing/transvestitism anywhere near sending people unsolicited and unwelcome sexually explicit photos and text messages. The latter is a non-trivial form of creeping; the former is not.

  48. Is cross-dressing creeping? I mean, the Vermont City Marathon has a mile-long segment along Burlington’s pedestrian-only shopping street, and they use a bunch of guys dressed in full drag to cheer on the runners along that whole segment. Nobody I have talked to at my past three trips to Burlington (so that my parents could run the race) has ever mentioned feeling creeped on or creeped out. And I’ve talked to a LOT of people, because sitting quietly as a bunch of tired, sweaty people run past is REALLY boring, especially for me.

  49. Is cross-dressing creeping?

    No, but sextual harassment is. Sorry, thought my comment was perfectly clear on that.

  50. @ cranapia: Ah, ok. Sorry, it was a little unclear the first time I read it.

  51. @Floored:

    The VCM drag crew is just like the big beefy guys who dressed as the Hogettes at Redskins home games back in the Theismann/Riggins era, i.e. it’s all a joke and hardly creeping. And Church Street only feels like a mile when you’re swimming upstream against the hipsters.

    @ The Proprietor:

    I may not agree with your politics but I certainly can’t disagree with your statements here.

  52. @ captainned: Church Street also feels like a mile when you’re running up it with a giant bag of comic books and RPG miniatures that you just got from Quarterstaff over your back, and you’re stuff to the brim with noodles from that Asian food restaurant by the geek store, and you’re tearing up the street, trying to get to the Crow bookstore before it closes.

  53. I know you have been waiting for all us to weigh in on this topic too.
    ALL I have to say is … Filner’s lawyer is named Burger, so I think he would be working for/with Weiner instead.

  54. I’m probably in a (very) small minority here, but I want Weiner to stay in the mayoral race. Why? Well, I want to see if the people of NYC actually elect the Peter Tweeter.

  55. I’m probably in a (very) small minority here, but I want Weiner to stay in the mayoral race. Why? Well, I want to see if the people of NYC actually elect the Peter Tweeter.

    And I guess that would be fine if we weren’t actually talking about the election for someone whose office is responsible for employing over quarter of a million people, oversees an operating budget of over US$50 billion a year, administers all public services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within the United States’ largest city.

    So I’m inclined to say if you want to see a clown, go to the circus. The New York Mayoralty does matter, and actually needs to be held by a functional adult who can keep his dick if not in his pants at least off the internet.

  56. Weiner’s probably staying in the race so he can keep hold of all that sweet, sweet war chest of campaign cash that he’d lose if he dropped out. That’s the only reason. Otherwise, Carlos Danger, the Gaucho of Love (tm Letterman) would be gone.

    Filner, I can’t even. There are no words for how reprehensible and lying and egotistical he is.

    I’m trying to be civilized about it, but my knee jerk reaction is to have their junk cut off. Not being an ancient or medieval person, I don’t actually advocate this. But it has crossed my mind.

    The only saving grace is the great stuff “The Daily Show” has been doing. They don’t even have to try to find the funny/absurdity, it’s all there for John Oliver to splutter at.

    Rob Ford must be thrilled. Alleged crack is nothing compared to actual sexual harassment. USA! USA!

  57. Wikipedia says there are nine declared Democratic candidates for the primary election in September. Is Wiener such a heavy favorite that he can still win the primary? He can’t just squeak by with 12%; the rules call for a primary run-off if the winner doesn’t get 40%.

  58. @cranapia:

    So I’m inclined to say if you want to see a clown, go to the circus. The New York Mayoralty does matter, and actually needs to be held by a functional adult who can keep his dick if not in his pants at least off the internet.

    This, exactly. I’d be much less worried about him having remained in the House of Representatives after the 1st scandal. As the chief executive of one of the largest cities in the world he has VERY real power and has proven, over and over, that he’s irresponsible and cannot be expected to keep his word or even behave in a civilized manner. He needs to go, yesterday.

  59. Weiner’s support has plummeted since the story broke; he’s now trailing at least three other candidates. He’s also become a laughingstock. I doubt New Yorkers want to have a national joke as their mayor.

    I never say never, because voters are very weird, but it seems unlikely Weiner will win this election. He’s staying in because he has a huge ego. Let’s see what he does when the money runs dry (and it’s bound to; who would contribute to his campaign at this point?).

    As for Filner… holy guacamole, what a grotesque throwback. How is it possible no one’s cleaned his clock yet? I don’t wonder how he’s been able to succeed in politics this long, because I know nothing about San Diego politics. I’m just amazed no one’s taken a few swings at him, on a purely personal basis, for being a complete douchenozzle.

  60. Like it or not, New York City is one of the linchpins of the world economy. It has a larger standing army (the NYPD) than some countries do, ditto budget and work force, the UN headquarters is there, and the financial aspects are immeasurable.

    It can’t be run by a guy who a) is obsessed with sending dick shots to women who don’t want them and b) is a compulsive liar about a). What else might he lie about?

    Luckily, he’s running a distant fourth, last I heard. Residents of NYC are many things, but stupid and forgiving of being lied to aren’t among them.

    @Floored: YES on “Peace Prize for not being Dubya”. I believe everyone on all sides of the political spectrum recognizes this as the truth.

  61. New York City is the only place in the country where Republican mayors behave like democrats and the democrats behave like, well, Weiner. I’m pretty much a straight ticket democrat but have voted for Bloomberg on his last two runs and haven’t regretted it.

    As a former San Diego resident, all I can do is shake my head. What is in the water? San Onofre run off?

    I’m older than Filner and know better than to act douchey to your co-workers. Unless he is willing to claim being raised by lower order marsupials, he darn well knows what the rules are for the work he does. The city is responsible?! Someone kick the nuts of this bag of spillings into his throat than punch him in the throat.

    @ Floored; “Obama even won a Nobel Peace Prize for his stunning success at not being Dubya”? I laughed and cringed (again). The world was so embarrassed for us that they went and bought us a triple dip ice cream cone like we were some kid recovering from a self-inflicted face plant off of a swingset.

  62. John, points for ‘chyron’, although technically it should be capitalized, i.e. “Chyron”.

  63. @cranapia:

    The New York Mayoralty does matter, and actually needs to be held by a functional adult who can keep his dick if not in his pants at least off the internet.

    I really don’t think being a functional and well adjusted adult is incompatible with having (semi)-naked pictures of yourself on the internet. Yes, it’s not a particularly wise political move, but then, neither is appearing in drag or presenting a clear and direct economic platform. There are certainly other things about Anthony Weiner’s character that might be seriously flawed and thoroughly disqualify him from public office, but I don’t think his desire to share photos of his ugly bits on the internet is one of them.

  64. My problem with Weiner wasn’t his sexting, it was the he repeatedly lied about it when confronted. He blamed ‘hacking’, actually spent money and hired people to ‘investigate’ the ‘hacking’, and eventually blamed specific people for the hacking.

    Impulse control has nothing to do with it. Bald-face dishonesty, for which I’m not sure he’s ever apologized, is the problem.

  65. I think that we can all agree at this point that:

    (a) Anthony Weiner is a complete idiot with less self control than I have (and I’m the poster child for ADHD).

    (b) Bob Filner is a dirtbag, in every sense of the word. He is a thoroughly awful and creepy excuse for humanity, along the lines of Ed “User 188″ Poor (a former Wikipedia sysop, Moonie, Internet troll, and possible pedophile).

    (c) Bill Clinton is a massive phony. This is completely off-topic, but it needs to be said. This fact is the only thing that I have ever agreed with Bill O’Reilly on.

  66. Re Weiner

    First off, sexting scandal aside, I think Weiner’s kind of a jackass on general impression. And, like all politicians, he lies through his teeth.

    If the issue at stake is non-consensual sexting (or if it were sexting of minors) he deserves worse than facing the end of his political career. And I do think lying about it should end his career. But the prevailing sentiment seems to be that any politician who uses social media in their sex life is therefore unfit for public office. In other words, keep it in the closet.

    On a side note, I find it interesting that conservative bloggers posed as underage girls on Twitter to try and get him to sext them, to no apparent avail (I can’t imagine they would have not published them if he had). Apparently now that they’ve gotten bored pretending homosexuality is tantamount to pedophilia, they’ve decided to pretend sexting is. Even more disturbing is the fact that a 17-year old girl who tweeted her excitement at talking with Weiner subsequently had her hard-drive seized and searched. I guess sexting adult women is now probable cause for ignoring the Fourth Amendment rights of minors who also have the bad luck to talk with you and tweet about it. If something had to be sized (and the fact that nothing incriminating was found suggest is didn’t), it should have been Weiner’s phone and/or hard-drive, not hers.

    Re Filner:

    In the case of Filner: Fuck that dude. He’s clearly scum.

    If even one of the allegations is true – and he’s as much as admitted at least three of them are, which rather strongly suggests most of the rest are too – he’s unfit for public office. That he’s trying to hang on is bad. That he might survive this is nauseating.

    ********************

    Benjb

    Shorter version: Let’s laugh at the Weiner sex scandal and agree that sexting isn’t what we want out of our politicians generally.

    Because? If you want agreement on that, you’ll need to give a compelling argument why.

    @Nathan Dunning

    Just a point on Weiner – it’s not quite consentual sexting. […] I think this fact gets missed because (1) no one woman he sexted got completely bent over it…

    Serious question: is it up to the public to decide what is consensual, or is it up to the women he sext’d? Letting society define consent among adults seems like a very dangerous idea, as it could just as easily be set on the side of what women (or men for that matter) do not in fact consent to as what they do. Either way, it seems like a gambit for collective ownership of people’s sex lives.

    @John Scalzi

    Indeed, if Weiner’s dick pick was a surprise to the recipient, that’s bad news all the way around.

    If the woman to whom it was a surprise decided it was unwelcome, then I agree completely. It should be up to the recipient, not the internet. If the recipient decides it’s an unwelcome surprise, then may the full wrath of the internet and public opinion come down on Weiner’s…head.

    @Bearpaw

    Which is not to say that people on the left don’t sometimes try to defend the idiotic behavior of supposed allies, just that it seems to be less of an expectation.

    Funny, conservatives always seem to say the same thing. I have yet to see anything beyond personal impressions (which everyone is certainly entitled to air) to back these assertions up. From where I’m standing, the Democrats (which in high office is the only liberal we get) seem as dishonest as the Republicans. The only difference is that the Dems stated social platform is less odious. Granted, that’s just my personal impression.

    @Floored

    That being said, I like his racist hypocrisy at calling Obama

    As much as I disagree with what Scorpius said, criticizing the President, however inaccurately, is not in and of itself even vaguely racist.

    Heck, Obama even won a Nobel Peace Prize for his stunning success at not being Dubya.

    He’s looking less successful at that every day.

    Anti-government sentiment is not a way to get into office anymore.

    There are things I want my government doing (social services, economic incentives, national defense) and things I don’t want them doing (shredding the Bill of Rights, prosecuting endless hegemonic foreign wars, deciding which consensual sexual activities and lifestyles are taboo). Government is not some elemental substance that’s simply more or less. Not that the partisan rhetoric from right-wing pundits shows any sign that they understanding this.

    @cranapia

    Patrick, I take your point as far as it goes, but could we be really careful about not putting cross-dressing/transvestitism anywhere near sending people unsolicited and unwelcome sexually explicit photos and text messages.

    True, but there’s a context of which you may be unaware. Here in the States there’s a certain taboo surrounding overt public sexuality. Normally it’s tolerated as long as only one’s circle of friends is aware of it. But social media has radically blurred the lines between what’s between friends and what’s public. This has created a crises where our sexually-repressed society has had to face it’s own bald hypocrisy, and it isn’t dealing well with the consequences. Moral panics, always a common theme in every time and place, have been amplified by the internet to new highs. Sexting is titillating to the prurient crowd because it combines something they see as inherently filthy (lust) and an evolving communication media that’s about as easy to herd as cats. But there are some places in America where people are a little less hypocritical about sexuality, and New York tends to be one of them.

    @Into the Sky

    I really don’t think being a functional and well adjusted adult is incompatible with having (semi)-naked pictures of yourself on the internet. Yes, it’s not a particularly wise political move, but then, neither is appearing in drag or presenting a clear and direct economic platform. There are certainly other things about Anthony Weiner’s character that might be seriously flawed and thoroughly disqualify him from public office, but I don’t think his desire to share photos of his ugly bits on the internet is one of them.

    This × 1 Million!

  67. @ Gulliver: Two points.
    1. Would Scorpy have criticised the Shrub that way?
    2. Obama can behave just like Dubya, but he can’t BE Dubya without major gene treatments.
    Off to bed.

  68. @Floored

    1. Would Scorpy have criticised the Shrub that way?

    I honestly don’t know, as I don’t know scorpius that well. But your rebuttal seemed directed at what he said in his comment critical (albeit incorrectly) of the President, which wasn’t in and of itself racist. This matters because using allegations of racism to dismiss criticisms of high public officials dilutes allegations of real racism, which is rampant.

    2. Obama can behave just like Dubya, but he can’t BE Dubya without major gene treatments.

    True, but the Norwegian Nobel Committee explicitly awarded Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for expected future contributions to peace. And there really isn’t any other basis they could have awarded it on. As penance for inventing dynamite, Alfred Nobel created the trust to recognize people for what they did, not who they are. Whether the President has been a force for peace in the world is the subject of much debate both here and, especially, abroad.

  69. Guys: We’re wandering off topic.

    Also, I’m less than entirely comfortable with making Scorpius a focus of the conversation in a general sense. It’s beginning to feel a little Mean Girls, if you know what I mean.

  70. Another San Diegan here and Filners latest claim that he never got SH training is apparently due to actively dodging it for months – supposedly his staff kept saying it would not fit in his schedule. Wonder if he was dodging it so he could claim ignorance if he got caught. All this after years in Congress; apparently it’s OK in DC?
    And yes I’m angry with the Democratic party for putting this clown in the race – people did know but no one spoke up and the Republican alternative was so awful

  71. “Weiner’s probably staying in the race so he can keep hold of all that sweet, sweet war chest of campaign cash that he’d lose if he dropped out.”

    That’s my second theory on why he started running; as I put it, “He had that campaign fund left over, and he had to spend it on a campaign.”

    My FIRST theory is that a mayoral campaign was his best bet for getting himself on television all summer once he realized Dr. Drew was serious about not bringing back Celebrity Rehab.

  72. I stopped reading scorpius’ post when I saw “Obama”, but I agree with him- Weiner’s wang is an inconsequential distraction, in that there’s really no productive conversation to be had about the situation, unlike Filner’s.

    Weiner’s not necessarily a bad person (also unlike Filner), but I just don’t want our politicians excessively prone to contentless distractions. That’s no good.

  73. @Bearpaw

    It’s also worth pointing out, as others here have, that a guy like Filner doesn’t get as far in his political career as he did without a non-trivial number of people protecting and running interference for him. So clearly Filner not only expected people to defend him, they did.

  74. Arggg…must refresh more!

    @MRAL

    Weiner may not be a bad person, but he has no integrity. He lied to his constituents about sexting, he lied about being sorry and he lied when he said he wouldn’t do it anymore. If he had come out in the beginning of the first scandal and said that his consensual sex life isn’t anyone’s damn business but his wife and the people he sext’d, he might still have lost his seat in the House, but he’d still have his integrity.

  75. True, but come on, Gulliver. He posted a dick pic on his official Twitter account. I’d probably have panicked and lied about the situation too. I mean, it’s humiliating.

    I do agree that his continuing sexting after getting caught doesn’t speak all that well for his integrity, but what concerns me more is that it simply reveals some personal issues that I think are incompatible with public office. He could be a CFO or something, they do that stuff all the time.

  76. @Gulliver
    You asked why I wrote “Let’s laugh at the Weiner sex scandal and agree that sexting isn’t what we want out of our politicians generally.”

    I was probably unclear, as I largely agree with what Into the Sky wrote: consensual sexting, like consensual adult time in general, doesn’t really change my opinion on whether someone is fit for office. (And if, indeed, there’s some nonconsensual exhibitionism going on, that could be a case for the courts and not merely the gossips.)

    I should have said “Let’s … agree that lying and seemingly compulsive behavior (around sexting or really anything else) isn’t what we want.”

    Or I shouldn’t really have said anything about Weiner since my main point was that harassment shouldn’t be considered a sex scandal-style bit of gossip news.

  77. Several people here have wondered why none of the women Filner harassed and/or assaulted hauled off and decked him. I’ve seen the same question other places, too. I understand the impulse to ask that… but please don’t. A little over 10 years ago, I started training in Muay Thai. About a year after that- at a point when I could definitely have done noticeable damage to an untrained opponent- I took an overnight flight and woke up as the plane was landing with the hand of the guy sitting next to me up my skirt. His other hand was down his own pants. I froze, pushed his hand away and said and did nothing else until I was in a cab with my colleagues (yeah, this was a work trip). And then, all I did was say that something creepy had happened and I wanted a very long, very hot shower.

    Later, I finally told my colleagues what had actually happened (it was a small company, we were all good friends). My colleagues were all male (just the nature of my field). They meant well and I bear them no ill will for their questions, but I got so tired of being asked why I didn’t break his nose or make a fuss or do something differently. I didn’t have an answer then, I don’t really have an answer now, but I know that it wasn’t my fault. Women are powerfully conditioned to not make a fuss. And the shock and confusion of finding yourself in such a position can be overwhelming.

    So yeah, even a former Navy officer who could probably have taken him out without breaking a sweat- she just did what she did. And it was not on her to do any differently. It was on him not to be such an asshole in the first place.

  78. @cloud

    Thank you for sharing. That must be a difficult story to tell, but it’s really very informative. Asking why Ms. Froman, the retired Navy admiral, didn’t physically defend herself is missing the point entirely.

  79. I gotta admit I’ve been enjoying the heck out of the headlines on Drudge…

    Weiner Plunges In
    That’s My Weiner
    Poll: Weiner goes soft
    Weiner Vows to Stick it Out
    Pressure Mounts for Weiner to Pull Out
    Shrinkage!

  80. RE what MRAL said. Indeed. If a guy wants to be the sort of man who sends photos of his penis to scant acquaintances, then he should think about a career other than public office, which is very, very incompatible with that hobby.

  81. You said it dude, that Filner guy is the lowest of the low. Weiner needs to grow up a little…ok not even that, he just needs to comport himself with a little more dignity, what an ass.

  82. A lot of people seem to be missing the fact that Wiener didn’t just send dick pictures to women who wanted them. I don’t know about his more recent sexting, but the original ‘scandal’ was about him sending a link to a picture of him in his boxers while erect to a 21 yr. old woman who had had no more personal communication with him than expressing support of his political work.

    Now, there is a very clear, to me, difference between saying “Hey, would you like a naughty picture of me?” and sending the link after receiving an affirmative answer, and just sending the photo with no lead-up or warning of any kind.

    The first is a consensual adult exchange. The second is, in my opinion, really not that different from unexpectedly dropping your drawers in the middle of a conversation in person. At the very least such behavior shows a great lack of respect for the person with whom one is speaking, and complete disregard for consent. I think many people would classify such behavior in person as being creepy, and possibly predatory. A short step from flashing. Flashing Lite?

    To me, the fact that the creepiness was electronic rather than in the flesh makes it no less creepy.

  83. Apologies if anybody beat me to this one…

    So let me get this straight. Filner is using George Costanza as a model??

    “Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? Because if I had known that was frowned upon…”

  84. Scalzi: One, I’m not a Democrat, as I have to remind people ad infinitum

    You know, I just had this vision of a world where Republicans were people like John Scalzi, and Democrats were people like Alan Grayson, and what an awesome world that would be. I gave me goosebumps.

    As for the two nitwits: Throw them out the window, defenestration is too good for them.

  85. Wow, agreeing with MRAL again–weird. Weiner may not be a bad person, but he is an idiot. Like Andrew Schlafly, he is a washed-up fuckwit who isn’t actually worth the attention that we have heaped upon him.

    @ Mr. Scalzi: Yes, sir, done blasting Scorpius. I will find a more productive way to occupy my time.

  86. Re: Weiner-I was pretty much “eh, who cares” until “Carlos Danger” came to light. That convinced me the guy’s just too lame and cheesy to be in public life.
    Filner: Huh. Putting women in headlocks and telling them to come to work without their underwear doesn’t get you laid. Who knew?

  87. “I really don’t think being a functional and well adjusted adult is incompatible with having (semi)-naked pictures of yourself on the internet. Yes, it’s not a particularly wise political move, but then, neither is appearing in drag or presenting a clear and direct economic platform. There are certainly other things about Anthony Weiner’s character that might be seriously flawed and thoroughly disqualify him from public office, but I don’t think his desire to share photos of his ugly bits on the internet is one of them.”

    The issue isn’t* that he’s showing his naughty nellies on the internet. It’s the lack of impulse control and/or arrogance that it shows. He should know that doing this sort of thing is going to make it difficult to accomplish what he at least says he wants to do. But he did it anyway.

    Which means, after having done it once and got caught, he either believed he would be caught again (arrogance) or he couldn’t help himself (impulse control) – and those qualities absolutely ARE relevant to someone asking to be in charge of something.

    I am leaning towards arrogance, although impulse control would be worse, as that also implies a lack of metacognition. Whether they should disqualify someone from office is another matter, but they’re certainly relevant.

    *Well, shouldn’t be.

  88. If he had come out in the beginning of the first scandal and said that his consensual sex life isn’t anyone’s damn business but his wife and the people he sext’d, he might still have lost his seat in the House

    Probably, since, as has been noted in this very thread, people very quickly ellide over the part where he sexted women who neither expected nor wanted to receive photos of his junk.

  89. I’m of the opinion that Weiner’s sexting was not consensual – the original issue, with the unsolicited junk shot sent to a virtual stranger, and the later one, where there was a power differential. It’s predatory and gross.

    I think even those who disagree with me on the above will probably agree that we have enough giant damn toddlers in government. Having to repeatedly tell a mental three-year-old to stop putting his hands down his pants in public is tiresome.

  90. R.M. hit the nail on the head for me with the question of Weiner and consent. Sending a junk shot to someone unexpectedly is, by definition, doing it without consent. Someone upstream seemed to suggest that the question in this case was how the recipient felt about it. I disagree pretty strongly with that. If there’s no personal relationship between the sender and recipient, no previous indication that sending such a picture is acceptable (at they very least), it is done without consent. Period. The recipient may actually be okay with it. He or she may say “Thank God and Anthony Weiner for this picture! That is the most amazing penis I’ve ever seen in my life!” That they’re okay with it doesn’t mean the action had they’re consent. It just means they’re okay with it.

    I think it’s very important to the goal of eliminating rape culture (as a man raising a son) that we teach everyone that consent must always be affirmative and before the fact. I struggle to think of any other example where we might consider an unexpected sexual behavior by one person toward another with no prior sexual component to their relationship as consensual.

    In Weiner’s case, it’s his stunningly poor judgment that makes him unfit to be be mayor of NYC, not his sexting. If a politician who’s been previously disgraced for extramarital sexting that nearly ended his marriage wants to stage a political comeback, he should have the good sense to realize on his own that the bar is set about ten feet higher for him than others and be absolutely scrupulous in avoiding anything like his previous behavior.

  91. well john went all nazi and deleted my perfectly appropriate post. The point I was trying to make… was that its better to make fun of guys like this than show outrage. Humiliation is a greater deterrent than getting mad. What guy wants to be laughed at by a woman? Guys have an ego and if we are made fun of, its alot worse than someone yelling at us and showing outrage.

    You have to admit some of the jokes about Weiner coming out of this are pretty damn funny. These are not jokes where we are laughing with him, people are laughing at him. Besides alot of these joke about Weiner are pretty funny.

    if you are truly pissed off at what he did make fun of him. if you show outrage in a sense he still has power over you. if you laugh at him, he will want to hide in his pillow.

    as I said before, this is different than Milner. Though, I think that humiliating him is a bigger deterrent than yelling at him. Guys hate to be laughed at. Especially guys like this with huge egos.

  92. Guess: I think that throwing Wilner in jail for sexual assault and assault and battery would be the best deterrent of all.

  93. @mythago

    Probably, since, as has been noted in this very thread, people very quickly ellide over the part where he sexted women who neither expected nor wanted to receive photos of his junk.

    Which is why I very specifically said to John prior to the comment of mine you quoted:

    If the woman to whom it was a surprise decided it was unwelcome, then I agree completely. It should be up to the recipient, not the internet. If the recipient decides it’s an unwelcome surprise, then may the full wrath of the internet and public opinion come down on Weiner’s…head.”

    @Josh Cochrane

    Someone upstream seemed to suggest that the question in this case was how the recipient felt about it. I disagree pretty strongly with that. If there’s no personal relationship between the sender and recipient, no previous indication that sending such a picture is acceptable (at they very least), it is done without consent. Period. The recipient may actually be okay with it.

    Then you don’t believe a person can give consent after the fact?

    I think it’s very important to the goal of eliminating rape culture (as a man raising a son) that we teach everyone that consent must always be affirmative and before the fact.

    I believe that someone is culpable for any actions they do without consent, that they can be called to pay for them. Rape culture says they cannot. But I believe it should be up the person on the receiving end of the action who gets to decide if it’s acceptable or not, the power to decide belongs to them, even after the fact. It’s their boundaries that were trespassed, it should be their right to decide whether or not it’s acceptable. If someone walks up to me in the street and punches me in the face, I should get to decide if I’m going to press charges. It’s my face. And in rape culture, it’s the victim’s body, not yours and not mine. It’s all the more important because the victim is already at a disadvantage. Socially depriving them of their right to decide what they may and may not put up with only further dis-empowes them. Self-sovereignty is the basis of egalitarian justice.

    The fact remains, Weiner is unfit for public office because he’s a liar and an idiot.

  94. @ Gulliver:

    The fact remains, Weiner is unfit for public office because he’s a liar and an idiot.

    An excellent summary of everything that matters on this topic.

  95. @ Gulliver

    Then you don’t believe a person can give consent after the fact?

    Of course not. If it’s after the fact, it’s not consent. You could call it approval or acceptance or some other thing, and it may negate the lack of consent, but if it’s after the fact it isn’t consent. That doesn’t take away from it being entirely the recipient’s (or victim’s) choice to give that approval/acceptance/whatever. In your example, if someone punches you in the face unexpectedly, you may choose not to press charges but your assailant still didn’t have your consent to punch you.

  96. @cally: I didnt pay close enough attention to what milner did to know he did anything illegal. i was referring to the weiner thing. Im on the east coast. Milner is pretty far removed from me.

    do you atleast get my point about making fun of guys like this?

    @ Gulliver:

    The fact remains, Weiner is unfit for public office because he’s a liar and an idiot.

    you are abut half right .he is unfit because he is walking drama. Politicians who cause drama can’t produce. If you can’t produce you don’t deserve to be paid by the tax payer. Being mayor is only partially about your political views. Its an executive position. Most of the day to work is management. I dont think being a liberal or conservative have anything to do with making sure the snow gets removed. The guy just isn’t worth the money he would be paid due to the drama. Now he caused drama BECAUSE he is an idiot. However, I’d argue its the drama that makes him unfit. This goes for all politicians that cause too much drama. Punt them. Really doesn’t matter if its someone who is with you politically or not. You can replace the person in the primaries.

    politicians are paid to do a job. we pay them. if they can’t produce due to drama, get rid of them. As stated above, I am not that up on what milner did… but it sounds like if he did 1/10th of what he is accused of, he has to go. at this point, it doesn’t matter if he is 100% innocent. He can’t produce. I felt the same way about Bill Clinton in 1998. I figured Al Gore would be more effective.

  97. I’d point out that the Filner harassment scandal is about one-third of the scandal he’s managed to produce in his first six months in San Diego. Even for America’s Finest City (which, I believe, holds a record in California for number of officials removed from office for legal reasons), he’s unique. Chicago on the Border indeed.

    There’s also the one where a Colorado “freedom for Iran” type group paid to fly him to Paris for a conference, while the SD police kicked in $22k to fly a security detail with him. In California, a politician can only take up to $440 from anyone not a non-profit organization. Was the Iranian group a NGO? Apparently not. They’d screwed up the paperwork on their 401C3 application, or some lame excuse like that. Filner waffled on that for weeks before paying up to cover the trip.

    Then there’s the pay-for-play deal. Filner gave a developer some publicly-owned land to finish a development, apparently in return for a largish donation to help him pay off his campaign debt. Media scrutiny caused him to return the money, claiming he thought it was a campaign donation or something. This one is being investigated by the FBI.

    It’s kind of sad when an allegedly progressive democrat comes in to replace a semi-feudal Republican, and actually does a worse job. San Diego needs a lot less pay for play, and it does not need more aging white males with Edifice Syndrome trying to plug in.

    The double cringe factor is that the available evidence from the sex harassment case seems to say that Filner always works this way. In Congress, he was unremarkable. If that’s really the case, Washington’s far worse than I thought it was, and the American news media is doing a tragically bad job covering it.

  98. Josh Cochran

    Of course not. If it’s after the fact, it’s not consent. You could call it approval or acceptance or some other thing, and it may negate the lack of consent, but if it’s after the fact it isn’t consent. That doesn’t take away from it being entirely the recipient’s (or victim’s) choice to give that approval/acceptance/whatever. In your example, if someone punches you in the face unexpectedly, you may choose not to press charges but your assailant still didn’t have your consent to punch you.

    That seems like a semantic argument, but one I basically agree with. You’re correct, calling it consent may be inaccurate.

    @Guess

    Now he caused drama BECAUSE he is an idiot. However, I’d argue its the drama that makes him unfit.

    I don’t see how that disagrees with what I said.

    This goes for all politicians that cause too much drama. Punt them. Really doesn’t matter if its someone who is with you politically or not. You can replace the person in the primaries.

    That would depend on how broadly you’re using the term drama. Obama caused a lot of drama in 2008 and it earned him my vote. I wish he’d cause a little more drama. Because public officials aren’t only administrators. They’re also policy-makers, and a policy-maker that won’t rock the boat, or an electorate that won’t let them rock the boat and keep their job, spells bad news. But if you’re using drama to mean stupid fuckwit distractions that turn politics into a three-ring circus, then yeah, don’t let the door hit you on the way out of office.

    @Heteromeles

    I’d point out that the Filner harassment scandal is about one-third of the scandal he’s managed to produce in his first six months in San Diego.

    A sexually predatory politician is also corrupt. Shocking. Just shocking.

    If that’s really the case, Washington’s far worse than I thought it was, and the American news media is doing a tragically bad job covering it.

    Yup. You have no idea. I grew up in our nation’s capital. Washington is to graft as the sun is to hydrogen, a giant gravitational attractor.

  99. ” But Weiner should have figured out from the last time that this was the sort of activity that people didn’t want out of their politicians.”

    Unlike Charlie Rangel who just took money or Mark Sanford who spent many a clear night on the Appalachian trail..
    Seriously, if this happened in Europe, you think anyone would care?

  100. Personally, I think that we should just fire the entirety of Congress and start from scratch. Purge the government, appoint a new set of assholes. The system’s fine as it is, it’s just being twisted by a bunch of fucknuts for their own ends. If we elected some competent men who can keep their penises in their pants–or, better yet, some women–we might actually pull through the next decade.

    And I just had an idea of a US government that is >99% female. Must write this down.

  101. It’s been overshadowed by the Crack tape, but Rob Ford does have an alleged sexual harrassment scandal to his name too. I can understand why the (alleged) crack use is getting more press than his other scandals, but Rob Ford’s crack use is to my mind one of the more sympathetic things about him. It may just end up killing him.

  102. Isn’t Rob Ford the guy who got caught on tape smoking crack with Nigerian drug lords, and had the people who took the footage killed?

  103. Mythago, I’m not that interested in Weinergate, so I haven’t been following it closely. If he’s been e-flashing people, that’s shitty.

  104. Could y’all stop saying “if”? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/nyregion/weiners-pattern-turning-political-admirers-into-online-pursuits.html (quotation from article below)

    It was nearly 9 p.m. on a Friday when Ms. Cordova, who was preparing to head out for the night with a friend, logged onto Twitter and discovered that Representative Anthony D. Weiner had sent her a suggestive photo of himself in gray boxer briefs.

    “It didn’t make any sense,” Ms. Cordova, a 21-year-old college student in northwestern Washington State, said in her first extensive interview since Mr. Weiner confessed in a news conference Monday to sending her the photo. “I figured it must have been a fake.”

    Ms. Cordova’s experience with Mr. Weiner appears to fit a pattern: in rapid and reckless fashion, he sought to transform informal online conversations about politics and partisanship into sexually charged exchanges, at times laced with racy language and explicit images.

    Ms. Cordova, who had traded messages with Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, about their shared concern over his conservative critics, said she had never sent him anything provocative. Asked if she was taken aback by his decision to send the photo, she responded, “Oh gosh, yes.”

  105. Guess:

    well john went all nazi and deleted my perfectly appropriate post

    Do you have no manners at all? Besides, I don’t see any place where John deleted a post here. He doesn’t just disappear them, generally. Maybe you just messed up posting it.

    Consider that next time before you call your host a Nazi. FFS.

  106. Wait, what?

    I haven’t deleted any comments from you in this thread, Guess.

    If your post didn’t post, you either didn’t post correctly or you wrote a specific term that goes into my moderation queue. I don’t have any posts in my mod queue.

    Also, I don’t appreciate being called a Nazi. Seriously, don’t be a child.

  107. @ RM: “Now, there is a very clear, to me, difference between saying “Hey, would you like a naughty picture of me?” and sending the link after receiving an affirmative answer, and just sending the photo with no lead-up or warning of any kind.”

    Absolutely. Agreed.

    Also a big difference, when caught, between saying, “Yes, I did that, but I won’t discuss it with the media,” and saying, “I didn’t do that! I’ve been hacked!” and then spending thousands in campaign funds to “investigate” the “hacking” when you know perfectly well you did indeed do it.

    @ JD Rhoades, RE the “Carlos Danger” name—yes, it’s sort of weirdly breathtaking that Weiner managed to make his humiliating exposure (in more ways than one) even WORSE by choosing a handle like that.

    @ Nerdycellist wrote: “I think even those who disagree with me on the above will probably agree that we have enough giant damn toddlers in government. Having to repeatedly tell a mental three-year-old to stop putting his hands down his pants in public is tiresome.”

    Indeed. Very hard to disagree about this.

    @ Josh Cochran: Yes, exactly what you said there. Every word. Except for the grammatical error.

  108. @Cloud – your experience was terrible, no one should have that happen to them. I wasn’t blaming Ronnie Froman, she is a victim in this, and I’d not expect her to physically assault Filner, but it is sad that even a woman as prominent and successful as her was too scared of the consequences to report Filner back then. I can understand why, give his vindictive character.

    San Diego is a pay to play town, Filner must have annoyed someone who wants him gone, or didn’t stay bought. He has a fractious relationship with the right-wing newsrag in town, which is part of it, though allegedly the owner of said rag is even worse than he is for harassing women.

  109. @Floored

    The system’s fine as it is, it’s just being twisted by a bunch of fucknuts for their own ends.

    Please don’t take this as an insult, but I’m genuinely surprised that someone as manifestly intelligent as yourself is so naïve about politics. The fucknuts are merely a symptom of a system that rewards corruption, graft and general bad character with power. The causes of the diseases are the confluence of four things:

    1) Corporate capture of markets through anticompetitive lobbying paid for by financing campaigns, the zero-sum pork we expect our representatives to bring home to their districts before other Americans get it, and outright payola dressed up as gifts, lunches, retreats and cushy vacations…and aided by the tendency of the aids that actually write the laws on which legislators vote to turn to industry lobbyists for expert advice on drafting regulations for those same industries because the industries and prior laws regulating them are so intimidatingly complex.

    2) An electorate that predominately votes for the politicians they find most superficially charming and who tell us what we want to hear which we’re primed to believe it by preying on our polarized distrust of the Other Party, which we’re encouraged to see as the enemy, rather than the opposition.

    3) Constant campaign culture that facilitates the candidates with the biggest war chests to broadcast the most polished image, per #2, through the most outlets for the most time.

    4) A shamelessly sensationalizing media – especially old media, but increasingly new media – that chooses which stories and angles to cover based on which will sell the most ads and thus bring in the most profits, placing entertainment, as opposed to comprehensive coverage of substantive issues, as the gold standard for “journalism”.

    The system is not fine. The system is massively dysfunctional.

    @HelenS

    Could y’all stop saying “if”?

    Now that you’ve provided that article, yes. But not everyone follows every article about every political scandal. Like John, when I don’t know, I try not to presume, hence my if, then statement.

    @Xopher

    Consider that next time before you call your host a Nazi.

    When I saw someone calling John a Nazi, I just moved on assuming it was a troll. Now I look and see it was Guess. WTF?

  110. Thanks, @Chris. I don’t talk about it much, but it seemed like maybe it was relevant here. I’ve replayed the event in my mind many, many times. Maybe if something like that happens again, I would unleash a wicked elbow. Maybe not.

    I am inclined to think that what happened to Filner is that Donna Frye got wind of his nonsense and she doesn’t play the politics game like the others here do. But maybe I’m just hopelessly naive. Whatever. I’m glad he’s getting what is owed him, I just wish I’d known in time to work to make Nathan Fletcher the mayor. Unless, of course, he has skeletons in his closet, too. If I didn’t want my local government to actually do something useful, I’d say it was going to be an interesting six months or so. As it is, I’m just sad. I love living in San Diego, but we need better government.

  111. (I like the “think” part)

    Strikes me that Weiner has a sexual obsession, which is interfering with his work, and is no more competent to be mayor than an uncontrolled alcoholic.

    Really, is there more to be said than that? Why are these things taken more seriously than the war-mongering and all the multiple sorts of corruption we see in our politics?

  112. @Floored,

    It was Somali-Canadians supplying Rob Ford. If I’m getting my local sociology right that would put them lower in the racial order than Nigerians. The Fords, of course, would be right at the top of that order and it is disturbing how little attention the Fords have gotten from the Toronto Police Service in their latest operation against drug gangs. Because it’s not just a matter of Rob Ford being a crack user. Brother Doug Ford is an old drug lord (alleged by the Globe and Mail), and Rob Ford has surrounded himself with people from that operation. And yes, one of the people involved in making the crack video has been murdered, but I’m not aware of any evidence that Rob Ford was involved with that murder.

  113. @ Gulliver: Should’ve made myself more clear. That’s what I get for posting late at night.

    I meant that the Constitution as it stands is a pretty good system. We need oversight for the media, and the government should control industry and regulate food production for the benefit of smaller operators (who tend to be more environmentally friendly than big operators), but socially speaking the system as it stands works fairly well. Some more laws or a few amendments to prevent RSHDs from affecting policy, and a few new anti-corruption bodies, and we’re fine.

    I do admit that the system as it is sucks, but it needs less patching and is inherently better than most other systems of government. C.f. Hitler, Stalin, various monarchies–you get the idea.

    Hope this clarifies things.

  114. @Xopher, LOL. Hi, bro.

    @Floored: We have a great system of government, if only everyone followed it more selflessly (see OGH’s thoughts on charity). If the press wasn’t so neutered and there weren’t so many lobbyists for Big Whatever, yeah. There’s too much money involved.

    @Cloud: I’m sorry that happened to you. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you’re never in that sort of situation again. You did what you did in the moment (you were half asleep, who can think logically in that state?), and you’re still here to tell us about it, so it worked out mostly okay. I hope your story inspires more elbows and slaps.

    Weiner and Filner are both serial harassers who seem addicted to harassing and are incapable of being honest about their behavior.

    We don’t want creeps or addicts in denial running major cities.

  115. @ nicoleandmaggie: An excellent ending to a horrible story. If bastards like that got that kind of treatment more, maybe they would think twice before being douchebags in public and sexually harassing/abusing people.

  116. Oh, Weiner.

    If the sexting was consensual, it wouldn’t bug me on a moral level–plenty of good people and great politicians have gotten a little on the side, and it’s nobody else’s business–and, honestly, neither would the lying. I’m not saying that *everyone* lies about sex, but those who don’t, never have, and never will are in the vast minority, and most of those who do are completely trustworthy otherwise.

    (“Honesty” is one of those virtues you can take too seriously. “I’m sorry, I’m sick today,” is a different lie from “No, I didn’t bang him,” which is in its turn different from “Yes, we have to go to war,” or “We have plenty of money for our workers’ pensions” or “I did not hit that guy with my car.”)

    What bugs me is the idiocy. Especially this time. No, people other than maybe your wife shouldn’t care what you consensually do with your dick; yes, I think they’re stupid and wrong for caring; but this is the world we live in, which has been proven. If you want to change that–if you want to stand up and say that maybe you slept around and maybe you didn’t but last you heard that’s not against the law so everyone can mind their knitting–I’m behind you all the way and will donate comparatively vast amounts of money to your campaign. If you don’t? Make do with xtube until you’ve served your term or learn to lie better.

    And the unprovoked nature of the pictures means this is, or should be, a simple case of harassment. Except that our national tendency to get our collective underwear in a bunch about other people’s marriages means that everyone, including me, feels obliged to argue the infidelity point also. Sigh.

  117. @isabelcooper

    I’m not saying that *everyone* lies about sex, but those who don’t, never have, and never will are in the vast minority, and most of those who do are completely trustworthy otherwise.

    I’m not exactly disagreeing with you. Buuut I will say that needless lying is waste of time, energy and memory capacity. I strive (and mostly succeed) to lie only when I need to in order to protect myself or someone else, and do what I can to minimize being put in such situations. If I don’t feel like disclosing my sex life, I’ll tell the nosy bastards off – or if, for instance, it’s a date asking about my past sex life, I might be more diplomatic in delivery – or simply ignore them. Weiner knew the score when he took the job, he knew he’d have to court the votes of an outwardly puritanical nation’s busybodies. If he wasn’t willing to stand by his choices, he shouldn’t have done them. Take the example of General Petraeus, a man for which I have vastly more respect. His affair had zilch to do with his job as a high-ranking presidential appointee, yet he tendered his resignation almost immediately after the news broke.

    And the unprovoked nature of the pictures means this is, or should be, a simple case of harassment. Except that our national tendency to get our collective underwear in a bunch about other people’s marriages means that everyone, including me, feels obliged to argue the infidelity point also.

    What bothers me is that most Americans are more interested in telling married couples how to conduct their marriages than an irresponsible overgrown juvenile unexpectedly tweeting his junk to virtual strangers. I’ve even heard assholes criticize his wife for standing by him. Talk about ass-backwards priorities. Their marriage is their concern and people ought to mind their own godsdamned business and restrict any criticism in the tweets and the political repercussions of his manifest inability to keep a simple promise.

  118. I’m going to take offence with what you said. I’m not going to try and defend Anthony Weiner and/or Bob Filner, they are indefensible.

    I am going to defend idiots. I’ve known a lot of idiots, and saying Weiner and/or Filner are idiots, is insulting to a lot of perfectly nice idiots. I’m not sure what I’d say Weiner and Filner are. I don’t want to insult pond scum or algae either. Nor do I want to insult Neanderthals. Or pigs. Or dogs…

    Wayne

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