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I rarely post diaries these days for a number of reasons, but I've reached a breaking point with the so-called "scandal" about Anthony Weiner and his various activities over the past week or so.

Having met the man and worked briefly on one of his campaigns, may I just say - Anthony Weiner's penis is attached to an amazing human being who does very important and positive things in the world. He is a smart, articulate, effective force for good who has a nearly unique talent for honing in on core arguments and delivering a knockout blow to those who seek to destroy the things we've all worked so hard to create.

I want to go out there and say - I have his back, and he has my vote in any future election for the House or for the city of New York. Read on for a brief meditation on the nature of online human interaction, and a call for a truly liberal response to what has happened here.

A Word About Online Interaction As It Pertains to Human Sexuality
One of the most central, yet under-discussed, aspects of human existence is the fact that we are all sexual beings. Sex is, for most of us, something that consumes a great deal of our brain power. This is not unnatural - in fact, it is one reason why our species has flourished on this rare, blue and green speck of life floating in a distant arm of an unremarkable galaxy. Sex is why we are all here, and sex is a basic human function. When we're not actually having it, it's probably waiting in the wings to remind us that we probably should have it sometime soon.

As a gay man, I live in a community that has embraced sexuality with more maturity and groundedness than most other communities in the history of our species. So often, our civilization has evolved a series of rituals designed to pretend that sex is something separate from all those other puzzle pieces that together construct who we are in this world. Gay male society has evolved a different set of rituals - rituals that embrace sexuality as a part of the human experience, and celebrate it and take joy in all its best permutations.

That exalted - and, dare I say, quite positive - state of affairs has yet to fully prevail in the mainstream American consciousness, yet the online world has created opportunities for sex to crash through the carefully-constructed facades that define what we consider "civilized" society. For the gay male, this is not much of an issue. We were always more in touch with that primal urge, and we knew that while our penises required a certain amount of our attention, the resulting peccadilloes did not define our larger role in the world. Sex is a dance, sometimes executed with one partner for many years, and sometimes spinning from partner to partner in a beautiful series of shared joys. And sometimes, that dance stops making sense, entering a fantasy world in which we find ourselves eschewing expectations and indulging fancies that others might consider inappropriate. The online world makes such indiscretions easier to commit, and that can be both a beautiful thing and an embarrassment.

For Congressman Weiner, the ease of indulging the fantasy realm - of entertaining the idea of the waltz between partners - has proved to be an embarrassment. Nonetheless, there is nothing particularly shocking or unusual about it. He is a fit, attractive man. He has that same primal drive that has driven our species to success. Despite his online activities, he seems to have avoided breaching that most sachrosanct of our carefully-constructed rituals and institutions - he never cheated on his wife by having sexual relations with any of these people. He indulged in the sort of thing that millions of gay men (and probably straight men, lesbians, straight women, and bisexuals) indulge in every day: he flirted, sometimes in a direct (even photographic) way.

As a society, we need to grow to accept that flirtation, erotic possibility, and sex are good things. As a gay man, I'm part of an undersociety that already gets this. The number of people who have seen photographs of my penis and my abdominal muscles would make me blush if I were less enlightened. But, as a sexually enlightened person, I understand that this is just the natural extension of human sexuality in the modern world. We flirt. We share in new, more intimate ways, across long distances. And it's not something to be ashamed of. It is part and parcel of who we are and how we got here in the first place. As a gay person, sex obviously doesn't yield offspring - but that urge is a blessing and a beautiful thing, and if that sometimes leads to indiscretions that bump up against our carefully-constructed rituals and expectations... well, perhaps we should view that as an opportunity to evolve, rather than to blush or rush to judgment.

What Do I Think a Liberal Response Should Be?
I think that the appropriate liberal response to such things as the Anthony Weiner "scandal" - or those of Larry Craig, David Vitter, Bill Clinton, Jim McGreevey, or all the rest - is a shrug: "So they're human - big deal." When someone is hypocritical, we should decry that hypocrisy (and that hypocrisy is my only criticism when it comes to the Republican sex "scandals"). But otherwise, I think it is incumbent upon us to speak truth in a world that doesn't really care so much about truth as it does about creating a sensation.

Anthony Weiner should not resign. He should apologize to his wife (which he's done); he should apologize for lying (which he's done); and he should keep up the good work that has made such a positive impact in the world. We should understand that in these human bodies, we tend to get horny, and when we do we sometimes aren't discreet. And sometimes when we aren't discreet, we can make a mistake. Sometimes those mistakes become a pattern. And that's not a great moral failing - it's just simple human life.

I am an Anthony Weiner fan, and I don't feel betrayed or let down... he remains a powerful voice for good. He happens to be human - as we all are. The fact that he has an unruly sex drive does not diminish those other parts of who he is and what he has done for us and for this country.

As a country - and as liberals - I hope that in time everyone can be more like gay men: accepting of sex, indulgent of indiscretion, and aware that the previous two traits are at once integral to who we are and completely unrelated to the other things we seek to accomplish during this brief sojourn we call life.

1:57 AM PT: Woo! Recommended... thank you. :^)

UPDATED: On the Subject of Lying About Sexual Indiscretions
I thought I'd address the comments below that express dismay/derision for the fact that he lied about this matter.

First of all, I'd like to reassert that his sex life is none of our business - it's his business, his wife's business, and the business of the women with whom he corresponded. That said, while I hold a rather progressive view of sex and sexuality (as many of his New York constituents do, as well), I can understand a public official lying about such matters. Was it ill-advised? Sure. But was it shocking? No. In a country that still has a mile-wide prudish streak, it makes perfect sense for a public figure to lie about something embarrassing related to sex. I wish he hadn't, but I understand and I've made enough of my own mistakes to know that I can see the impulse at work here and sympathize with it. As long as prudism and Puritanism are still major influences on our national discourse (and they are), public figures will be confronted with the task of maintaining the illusion that they are somehow transcendent of their basic human urges; and sometimes they will lie to maintain that illusion.

To that end - I also sympathized with Larry Craig and the poor dear's "wide stance" defense. How embarrassing, to be in that situation. If you were married, conflicted about your sexuality, and making what you and many others consider stupid mistakes related to your erotic impulses, wouldn't you lie about it, were you caught? A difference here is that Craig was hypocritical, running as a "family values" Republican and with a strikingly anti-gay voting record. As I noted in a comment below, hypocrisy is the thing that I can't abide - but these types of human "failings," pertaining to extremely personal matters that are none of our business in the first place, should not  be the sort of thing that gets our knickers all bunched up like this.

Rep. Weiner's dishonesty was a bad idea - it complicated his life, it kept this story in the spotlight, and it compounded his embarrassment and the media's focus on it. But it was not a criminal offense, nor an unforgivable one.

I'm somewhat heartened by the fact that he's such a lousy liar. He's so good at telling the truth about the things that matter, he earned a great deal of trust. If he were adept at lying about the things that don't matter, I'd perhaps lose some of that trust. As it is, I'm mildly disappointed in him, but not in a judgmental way - I get it.

Had the man lied about, say, weapons of mass destruction, or the contents of a bill before him, I would be outraged - because that's my business. When a politician lies about the conduct of his or her affairs in office, that's when it concerns us and that's when we are justified in launching into a screaming-banshee, "get the bum outta there" frenzy. But the frantic, panting, oh-so-shocked response to this matter is nonsense.

Weiner is a good guy who made a mistake. He lied about that mistake. That lie was a mistake. He made the mistake of being human while in the glare of the media spotlight. But when it comes to the stuff that matters, he's a powerful voice for good and he uses that voice strongly to make your life and my life better. He deserves some credit for that, some forbearance, and the opportunity to put this behind him and keep trying to make our lives better.

A commenter below quoted John 8:7: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I think this is a good place to end the conversation about these issues. If Weiner's mistakes don't violate the law or the rules of his institution, then we're simply engaged in hand-wringing (or stone-casting) over someone's human fallibility in his private life. I have no more patience for that, and neither should you.

Originally posted to wecandoit7 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks.

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  •  Tip Jar (332+ / 0-)
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    •  Broken Trust (53+ / 0-)

      I agree mostly with what you've written.  However, after having spend several days here before Weiner's admission defending him from those that questioned his sincerity when he said that he didn't do it, I feel like I got burned.  I trusted him when he said he didn't do it and he broke that trust with me.  I agree with the good things that you said about him in terms of governance but I simply no longer trust him.

      I got into a long, drawn out discussion with Adam B, whose instincts in retrospect were far better than mine, and I excoriated him for not giving Weiner the benefit of the doubt.  I still stand by my reasoning, which is that the source of the story is a discredited hack with no credibility and that Weiner, who at the time had credibility, should be extended the benefit of the doubt and therefore, the focus should be on Breitbart's lack of credibility to make such a charge in the first place.

      I do like the fact that so much of the "investigation" into this centered on Breitbart and his crew of fraudsters rather than on Weiner, they whined and wailed about it and in hindsight, they were right, but Breitbart got what he deserved in that there was a lot of skepticism of his claims.  As there should be, from the man that brought us the ACORN pimp and the firing of Shirley Sherrod.

      But I am royally pissed at Weiner; I believed him when he said he didn't do it and because I defended him, it has a negative effect on my credibility.

      If he had come clean initially, I would probably be defending him now on the same basis that you and others (like Andrew Sullivan) are, which is that what he did wasn't harassment, it wasn't abuse, it wasn't actual infidelity and there was no victim.  Big flippin' deal.  But because he broke trust, because he lied, I won't stick my neck out to defend him again and it is simply because I no longer trust him.  I won't ever extend him the benefit of the doubt again.  Sure, he eventually came clean and copped to the lies he told but the damage had already been done.

      I don't think that what he did was that big a deal, which is why he should have come clean immediately instead of lying about it for as long as he did.  But by lying and drawing this out, with a lot of his supporters sticking their necks out to defend him like I did, he broke trust and burned us all.  He also helped to legitimize and vindicate Breitbart and his crew of fraudsters, which is I think the most regrettable part of this.  This episode epitomizes the saying that the cover-up is worse than the crime.

      So while what he did was not a big deal, his lying about it made it a far bigger deal than it should have been and I'm having a lot of difficulty forgiving him for it.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No more of this (41+ / 0-)

        Enough with the "but he lied" offense unless we intend to drum William Jefferson Clinton out of the Democratic Party.

        REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

        by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:18:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Truth (30+ / 0-)

          Bill Clinton didn't just lie -- he lied under oath.  (It's been 12 years; we can now safely admit this.)  He was able to stay in office for no other reason than he was able to stay in office.  Weiner, too, can be fine as long as people otherwise inclined to support him can look back at the good things he did, not just some stupidity in his personal life.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:54:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (6+ / 0-)
            Bill Clinton didn't just lie -- he lied under oath.

             

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:04:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

              •  The defense is that Weiner Lied (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wecandoit7, mikejay611, kyril, Sharoney

                to us.

                So did Bill Clinton. In front of a damn court of law. And he kept his job.
                 

                REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:18:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  With an underling. (0+ / 0-)

                Which was directly relevant to and discoverable in the sexual harassment case filed by Jones.

                •  You know as well as I do that (15+ / 0-)

                  this taboo associated with dating people in the office is extremely new to our culture.  I also got the strong sense that as much as Clinton was acting out of pure self preservation, he was also the kind of guy who wasn't going to kiss and tell.  

                  In any case, he was stupid to lie.  Weiner was stupid to lie.  But I still am not particularly offended by the lie primarily because I don't think it is any of my business what other people do in their sex lives.

                  Do I think that guys with power like Clinton, Schwartzenegger, and maybe Weiner who use their power for sexual conquest are assholes on some level?  Yes.  Are they predators?  Sometimes.  Other times they are just idiot guys who need sexual attention to boost their ego.  And I am sorry to tell you that that class of men is not a small portion of the overall population.

                  •  I disagree with you as to Clinton (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    democracy inaction, ltsply2

                    Insofar as I think that what he did with an intern was wrong regardless of whether he was married; the power/age differential between the two made any relationship inherently suspicious-at-a-minimum as to issues of harassment and consent.

                  •  Predators (9+ / 0-)

                    There is a world of difference between what Dominic Strauss Kahn is alleged to have done to the Guinean hotel cleaner, and what Anthony Weiner appears to have done (electronically) with apparently consenting female fans.  Bill Clinton is somewhere on that continuum between relatively harmless horniness (Weiner) and sexual predation (DSK).  I tend to agree with you that the prohibition on workplace relationships is a new thing, often unenforceable, and that there are more subtleties there in terms of choice and consent.  These sorts of scandals should be judged on whether or not an individual was forced into doing something s/he didn't want to do, and the extent to which the person can consent (i.e. minors are deemed unable to consent).  That's the standard by which to judge private behavior like this.

                    "Sedimentary people stay in one place. They only interact with other sedimentary people."

                    by ivorybill on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:52:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It is funny because all your life (9+ / 0-)

                      through school you are encouraged to date the people you go to school with - particularly if you go to private school - and then bang - you get into the workplace and all of your new "classmates" are "off limits".  I have actually never dated anyone with whom I worked in an office, but I knew plenty of people who did and knew a few who tried to date me.  I made the choice to wall off that part of my life and keep work and personal stuff separate, but I can't really blame people who did date each other - they liked each other and were conditioned by society to look for partners within their own social class and arenas - work was a natural place to start for a lot of people.  For people who do nothing but work - have little time outside their work - the potential for workplace romances is all the greater.  Mortals need companionship...  We are wired to mate - some more than others - lol.

                      And on the Hill - when I was there - everyone seemed to be looking to hook up.  lol - I was a lot younger than most of the interns that summer and not a Republican so I didn't participate in much of that socializing, but I sure saw and heard about a ton of "footsie" being played.

                      •  I appreciated this diary (8+ / 0-)

                        because humans are humans.  When I started managing refugee programs abroad I was at first naive and then astounded at how much hooking up was going on between staff in a camp environment where they had no other opportunities or outlets and a lot of stress.  It was impossible, not to mention foolish, to try to impose restrictions on work relationships and anyway it was far preferable for staff to be sleeping with each other rather than refugees which is a huge and valid prohibition, or prostitutes - this was in Africa in early AIDS days.  Pressure-cooker environments like the Hill, or really any workaholic environment tend to result in boundaries being crossed.  Options are sometimes limited, people are people, and it would do us well to be a little generous in terms of forgiving these sorts of behaviors - again, if consensual.  Lying about it? Well, not good, but it's also sometimes hard to be too judgemental about that.  I still see Larry Craig as more of a tragic figure than a focus of my anger, trapped and unable to admit things to himself or his family.

                        I also think there are real gender differences at play here.  Lots of politicians are frankly testosterone-addled.  The profession selects for highly competitive types.  The sort of texting men and women engage in is probably qualitatively different - I'm not saying that women don't sext also, but the sort of thing Weiner was doing is definitely more likely to be male behavior.  Doesn't excuse it, but it is reality.  I was totally unsurprised that the only two Icelandic banks that didn't go bust were run by women - testosterone sometimes predisposes one for excessive risk-taking or aggressive behavior and seeing Anthony Weiner on the floor of the house certainly brings to mind some un-fixed tomcats I've known.

                        "Sedimentary people stay in one place. They only interact with other sedimentary people."

                        by ivorybill on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:34:05 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I've never had any serious interest (5+ / 0-)

                        in dating anyone I didn't go to school with, work with, or otherwise have a pre-existing relationship with. People I just met...well, they can be fun to play around with, but I can't see why I would want to date them.

                        Frankly, I don't think I'm all that unusual in that department. In fact, from my dating experience, I'm pretty sure I'm the norm.

                  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                    In any case, he was stupid to lie.  Weiner was stupid to lie.  But I still am not particularly offended by the lie primarily because I don't think it is any of my business what other people do in their sex lives.
                    No one is asking you to be offended by Weiner's lie.  But you seem to be saying that no one else should either and that's a bridge too far.  I was deeply offended by his lie and I have every right to be.

                    And again, this has nothing to do with what he was caught doing.  If he got drunk, peed in a federal mailbox and then lied about it when confronted by someone that saw him until photographic evidence surfaced, I'd be just as pissed as I am now.  There are a million other circumstances under which I'd be just as pissed - and have just as much right to be - as I am now that have zero to do with sex and everything to do with lying.  Just because you don't feel betrayed by his lie doesn't mean that others shouldn't and those that do have every right to feel that way.  If you argue that they don't then you are apologizing for lying, you're saying that lying isn't wrong.

                    I don't care what he does with his personal time, who he flirts with or who he sends pictures of his crotch to.  I care that he got caught and then lied about it.  When he did he betrayed the trust of every one of his supporters - including me - that believed him.

                    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                    by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:43:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What we're saying here (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, fayea, catfood

                      if I'm not mistaken, is that Democrats should not be demanding Weiner's resignation.

                      That's insane.  

                      REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                      by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:47:00 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You are REALLY confusing me (0+ / 0-)

                        I am saying that Democrats should not be demanding Weiner's resignation.  Why is that insane?

                        If I'm not mistaken, that's the position you took in previous comments, that Democrats should not demand his resignation.  You're now flatly contradicting yourself.  Was there a typo in your previous comment?  Or in one of your other comments?  Where do you stand?  Do you think Democrats are right to ask Weiner to resign or not?

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:00:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I was expressing my opinion and you (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ivorybill, democracy inaction, grrr

                      have yours.  I am not sure where I said that everyone else in the universe had to adopt my position.  Pretty sure I didn't say that.  I am far more realistic about human beings than that.

                      In any case, I am sorry that you are so upset.  I think Weiner was a jerk for lying and right after that press conference I made a point of saying that I thought that he owed people like you who defended him on the basis of his original story a special apology.

                      But also as I am realistic about human beings and their almost universal frailties, I am inclined to look that the infractions and mistakes people make within the scope of a greater landscape of misdeeds.  I don't happen to think that lying about sex is nearly as problematic - in part because we are instinctively programmed to seek it out and in part because we as a culture are often embarrassed and uncomfortable with sexuality - not nearly as problematic for specifically a politician as a President lying about why we are going to war; or lying about knowing about terrorists planning to crash into buildings; or lying about policy; government programs and their actual effect on people, etc.

                      I think that it matter what people lie about in deciding how harshly you will judge them.  Public figures lie about having ailments that are life threatening until they can't.  They lie about their kids.  They lie about their private lives on numerous levels.  That's often because they are trying to protect their families either from you (us as the public) and/or from themselves.  It just is what it is.  It will never change.  

                      And clearly Weiner was dumb enough to think that he could somehow get out of the path of the moving vehicle he basically set driving towards himself.  It was a foolish pursuit on his part.  He should have either said noting or said that it wasn't anyone else's business and avoided lying.  In any case, I am sure that amongst his closest friends and family there are plenty of people ahead of you in line wanting to give him a talking to.

                      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        inclusiveheart
                        I am sorry that you are so upset.
                        You make it sound like I'm ready to jump off a building.  I am mildly irritated but I'm not that upset.

                        Also, my apologies for doing to you what someone else has been doing to me, which is to conflate your comment with other comments that are similar to yours.  A lot of the comments I have read here apologize for Weiner's lying and imply that I am wrong because I do take issue with it.  You're right, you didn't do that.

                        As to lying in general, I know that everyone lies.  Many men lie every time they're asked "does this make my butt look big?"  And I would be far more upset if he had lied about policy rather than something personal.  But that still doesn't excuse him from lying.  I was a fool to believe him when he said he didn't send the pic and I won't be so naive in the future but I still expect the truth, especially from public officials, and that's not an unreasonable expectation.  Furthermore, because I believed him, I did damage to my own credibility and lost face sticking up for him and I have every right to be pissed off at him for that.  And if he lies again in the future, even if no one believes him, the lying is still wrong.

                        He's human and I don't expect perfection.  But there's no excuse for him leaving his supporters out there looking like idiots defending him for as long as he did just because the truth would have embarrassed him.  He tried to take the easy way out rather than doing the right thing and now it's biting him and his supporters on the butt.  I'll say it again, I don't have a problem with what he did, if he'd have just said "none of your business" rather than lying about it, I would have a lot more respect for him right now.

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:59:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't think you're ready to jump (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          democracy inaction

                          off of a building, but you've really engaged and as I suspected it has a lot to do with the fact that Weiner compromised your credibility.  I don't blame you for being pissed off.  

                          I told a lot of people that Democrats were going to really fix some stuff in this country between 2005 and 2008 and they did not deliver.  I am really pissed off that I staked my personal credibility on their leadership.  

                          I really believed that there would be a certain set of things that they would do that just never happened - and we aren't talking unrealistic out there stuff like stopping wars or shutting down prisons - and the worst of it is when my Republican friends who voted for Obama believing many of the same things that I did and thought that the wars and prisons would be shut down ask me what happened.  I've little to say to them - or rather few quarrels with their complaints.  Shaking head.

                          Anyway, loss of innocence and the gamble and loss on believing in people who in the end you don't really know is a difficult pill to swallow.  Anyway, I am sorry for your loss as much as I am sorry for my own - lol.  But this is really why in the political sense he should never have lied.  The sense of betrayal that one's ardent supporters feel is so much more potent than the antipathy of one's opponents in almost every case.  But like so many others engaged in battles of this sort, he lost sight of his relationship with his friends and treated everyone like the enemy.  Now a lot of people are in that court when they might not have been if he had acted with more care and attention to salvaging his positive relationships.

                          •  This (0+ / 0-)

                            hits the bullseye:

                            But this is really why in the political sense he should never have lied.  The sense of betrayal that one's ardent supporters feel is so much more potent than the antipathy of one's opponents in almost every case.
                            I think the lie did far more damage to him politically than if he hadn't lied about it.  It wasn't the "crime" that damaged him nearly as much as the cover-up.  And "crime" is in quotes because he did not commit an actual crime.

                            What is pissing me off almost as much as Weiner's lie are all the people here that are trying to make the case that his supporters have no right to feel betrayed because everyone lies about sex.  That's what I (wrongly) read into your earlier comment and that's why I took issue with it.  It's one thing to say "I don't care" but it is quite another to say "you are wrong because you do care."  I am nonplussed by how many people there are that are here offering full-throated apologia for Weiner's dishonesty and how many people are rec'ing that apologia.  It is downright shameful, assuming that those who would apologize for lying are capable of shame.

                            That's the very same mentality that says that Bush was bad because he did something but that Obama is not bad even if he is doing exactly the same thing.  It's moral relativism, which I loath and for which I have much contempt.  If someone does a thing that is bad, that same bad thing is just as bad no matter who does it and those that can't or don't agree with that statement have entirely arbitrary (or relative) morals.  Furthermore, I have no respect for those whose morals are so arbitrary.  What's the point of having morals in the first place if they are always changing arbitrarily depending on the situation or the subject?  It flies in the face of fairness, which is a core progressive principle.

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:08:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  People lie about sex if they have to... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Caipirinha

                    Of the three men you mentioned, Schwarzenegger was the horndoggiest because the relationship was with a household staff person who knew his wife (and I assume some sexual episodes happened inside the house he shared with his wife).  If a man is going to have an affair, at least he should respect his partner enough to take it OUT of the home AND wear a condom (or, better yet, have a vasectomy)!  Jeez, what a dumbass!

                    In the case of Weiner - and Clinton-Lewinsky - I don't absolve the women for their part in these messes.  They initiated the contacts by flirting, it seems, and then allowed these relationships to continue without stopping them.

                    What?  Did they think they were attractive enough or intelligent enough to make these men leave their powerful wives for them?  Smart men with power stick to smart women with power, not a whiney little thing who wants to bask in his power and glory and lord it over underlings around him.

                    NO, I'm not absolving the men who fell for their b.s.; the men should have refused to take their bait, and in other situations the men should have been smart enough to keep their pants zipped and not initiated a flirtation.  I'm saying that if these women (with the Weiner and Clinton-Lewinsky cases, specifically) had any self-respect they would not have initiated any of these relationships by flirting and inviting the contact in the first place (and if they had one ounce of maturity they would have been discreet and kept the flirtation a secret once they got his attention).  They should have gone after single men who were not involved with anyone else....

                    These women (who are low-browed enough they could qualify for a reality TV show for even more fame and money) are getting their fifteen minutes of fame now by coming forth and reporting these things to the ONE person whose sole mission is to destroy Democratic politicians.  Breitfart, one notices, didn't destroy reputations when it came to any of the hypocritical family-values Repukes who strayed, or wore diapers with a prostitute....  Why not?

                    Better yet, why didn't Very Serious Political Pundits in Moronic Media rant and rave about good Xtian hypocritical Repukes for months/years on end, as they have done with Clinton, and will now do about Weiner...?  We all know that ten years down the line they'll still be wagging their forked tongues over the Democrats who have strayed..., not the Repukes.

                    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                    by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:06:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Just one little thing... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Caipirinha, NonnyO, kingyouth

                      Weiners online sex life seems to have predated his having a wife.  So, I don't know if any of the women who participated prior to him having a married status believed that they might have a shot or not, but this was apparently something he did as a single man - and he married pretty late in life...

                      Someone told me to be wary of my ex when I first met him because he was older and had never been married.  Turned out that they were right, unfortunately.

                      •  True.... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        inclusiveheart

                        I'm surprised Media Morons mentioned some of this happened before he married.  They've generally phrased this story like the women were victims, but I noticed in the interviews I've so far seen that it was the women who first came on to him - at least that's how they were telling the story; he responded.  Wasn't that the reason they came on to him?  To get a response?  Too late to complain now unless they're jealous because a woman with more beauty and more power got enough of his attention to warrant a marriage proposal and marriage.  There's no better aphrodisiac than power.

                        Pre-marriage, Weiner's online flirtations don't count, as far as I'm concerned (altho he should have stopped when he got married and told these women why he was stopping the internet flirting!).  People flirt; it's a way to find out availability and to get one's ego inflated if there's a positive response, especially when one or both are not wearing a wedding ring.  I get that; sex on an adrenalin rush is very exciting.

                        When I was young and kinda cute, I got by with some really audacious flirting - and I had a lot of fun while I was at it.  I was the one with all the power because of my job; they were flattered with the attention.  I am single, so no one was hurt in the process unless a guy took the flirting seriously.  I never took the flirting seriously, and I always said so, even while I was doing it.

                        My audacious flirting was in the pre-internet dark ages when everything was done in person.  I realize Weiner has not met these women in person.

                        I was married and divorced young.  I determined I never wanted to marry again; of the proposals I had after I divorced, I turned them down.  I loved a few, but I never wanted to marry.  There was only one I might have been compatible living with and we had a long relationship; he's dead, so it no longer makes any difference.  Now that I'm a senior citizen, I am still happy being single.  I'm the kind of person who is sweet and easy-going and knows she can't complain when a man has a messy apartment.  I don't clean up after him, nor do I offer to do so; he cleans up after himself.  I'd be a nervous screaming nag if I had to live with a slob who expected me to clean up after him, and I don't like myself that way.  I prefer living a reasonably stress-free life by myself!

                        :-)

                        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                        by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:35:57 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                  You yourself are perfectly within your rights to file a lawsuit against President Clinton, charging him with sexual harassment.  And then, you may attempt to have him be put under oath and subject him to questions about his sex life.  You may even be successful at these attempts - as Palua Jones was.

                  But guess what.  After you file your lawsuit, charging that President Clinton sexually harassed you, and after you succeed in having him put under oath, and after you then ask him a series of personal questions about his sex life - he does not have to tell you the truth.  And why does he not have to tell you the truth?  Because YOU have NO BASIS for filing the damn lawsuit in the first place!  

                  There is a difference between "lying under oath" and perjury.  And sometimes, for instance when you are subject to judicial proceedings which are corrupt, the better(and certainly a permissible) course may be to LIE UNDER OATH.

                  The questions that Bill Clinton "lied under oath" about were not "relevant to and discoverable" because there was no basis for the entire fucking lawsuit!  This was demonstrated when a federal judge summarily dismissed the entire Jones lawsuit because she had not shown that she had suffered ANY DAMAGES - no monetary damages; no physical damages; no mental damages - NONE!

                  On the other hand, Paula Jones did end up getting a free nose job out of the whole deal.  What ... a ... whore.

                  "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                  by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:29:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  wrong, wrong, wrong. (3+ / 0-)

                    That's not how the system works. You tell the truth under oath no matter how bullshit you think the suit is, and you trust the legal process to sort it out.  Moreover, as Wikipedia recalls:

                    Before the case reached trial, Judge Susan Webber Wright granted President Clinton's motion for summary judgment, ruling that Jones could not show that she had suffered any damages. Jones appealed the dismissal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, where, at oral argument, two of the three judges on the panel appeared sympathetic to her arguments.

                    On November 13, 1998, Clinton settled with Jones for $850,000, the entire amount of her claim, but without an apology, in exchange for her agreement to drop the appeal. Robert Bennett, Clinton's attorney, still maintained that Jones' claim was baseless and that Clinton only settled so he could end the lawsuit and move on with his life. In March 1999, Judge Wright ruled that Jones would only get $200,000 from the settlement and that the rest of the money would pay for her legal expenses

                    •  No, I am correct (0+ / 0-)

                      There is a difference between perjury (which is a crime) and "lying under oath".  And it is a significant difference.  

                      The Paula Jones lawsuit was dismissed because there was no basis for it in the first place - at least that's what the court said.

                      "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                      by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:32:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  facepalm (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Adam B, gramofsam1, ltsply2

                        The definition of perjury, from Webster's:

                        the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath
                        Perjury is defined as lying under oath.  They are precisely the same thing.  If you lie under oath, you have perjured yourself.

                        I am just amazed by the lengths that people here are going to in order to apologize for lying, though this is the first comment I've seen where someone actually claimed that lying under oath is in any way or for any reason "permissible."  It isn't.  Period.

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:10:29 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, that is not true (0+ / 0-)
                          Perjury is defined as lying under oath.  They are precisely the same thing.  If you lie under oath, you have perjured yourself.

                          No, perjury and "lying under oath" are not "precisely the same thing".  It's just not so.

                          In order for a lie to be perjury it must be relevant to the case at hand.  If you are in court defending yourself against a speeding ticket and the prosecutor points a finger at you and demands "Is it not true that you have an incestuous relationship with your sister?",  even if it is true that you do have such a relationship, you may deny it and not be guilty of perjury.   In a more trivial example, you might also lie under oath, then later renounce the lie and not be guilty of perjury.

                          So, please, continue to facepalm.

                          "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                          by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:51:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  You just face palmed yourself if you don't (0+ / 0-)

                          know the diff between lying under oath and perjury.

                      •  18 USC 1621 (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        gramofsam1, ltsply2, rmx2630
                        Whoever—

                        (1) having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or

                        (2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true;

                        is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States.

                        •  Thanks for the citation (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          catfood

                          I draw your attention to the crucial phrase "any material matter".

                          "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                          by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:36:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What ? (0+ / 0-)

                            To what did he plead guilty?  Are you saying Bill Clinton pled guilty to perjury?  

                            Perhaps you are referring to him being held in civil  contempt of court.

                            "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                            by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:35:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm referring to the 1-19-01 agreement (0+ / 0-)

                            Clinton agreed to accept the punishment for a perjury conviction (disbarment) in exchange for not being charged with federal perjury.  As part of the agreement, he fessed that he "knowingly gave evasive and misleading answers" under oath.

                          •  Oh, I see what you're talking about (0+ / 0-)

                            But, you are misstating the facts.  He pled guilty to nothing and he was charged with nothing and he was not disbarred.  

                            His law license was suspended for 5 years and he paid a $25,000 fine.  He also made a statement which said that in retrospect, he recognized that "certain my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false,".  Now this is not even an admission of lying, much less an admission of perjury.  

                            The agreement was between Clinton, the Special Prosecutor's Office and the Arkansas Bar and dealt only with his testimony in the Paula Jones case - not with his testimony before the federal grand jury.  The fine, I believe was paid to the Arkansas bar.   Clinton was agreeing to accept punishment for his admitted violations of the code of conduct of the Arkansas bar - NOT for violating federal perjury laws.  He was admitting to having acted unprofessionally as a lawyer on the Arkansas bar.  The only legal proceedings that were  halted were those which were being pursued by the Arkansas bar (disbarment proceedings).

                            Now, the special prosecutor had made vague statements about pursuing criminal charges against Clinton after the end of his term as President.  But, I don't believe he would ever have dared to charge him with perjury.  Mainly because (as I have been contending here) he was not guilty of perjury.  And in any perjury trial many things would have come out that prosecutors Starr and Ray wanted to remain hidden.

                            "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                            by rmx2630 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:52:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're correct that I was sloppy initially. (0+ / 0-)

                            It wasn't exactly a guilty plea, but it was an admission of ... well, something.  I think we can all move on.

                          •  Yeah, I guess we're off the thread topic (0+ / 0-)

                            And I certainly admit that Clinton was in some respects a disgrace.  But, the whole Clinton/Whitewater saga really seems to me, to be primarily, a tale of gross prosecutorial abuse.  I really believe that the biggest crimes in that whole sad affair were committed by Kenneth Starr.

                            "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                            by rmx2630 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 08:52:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  abetted by Janet Reno (0+ / 0-)

                            Who authorized the expansion of the Whitewater inquiry into this wholly unrelated realm, IIRC.

                          •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                            She was in a very difficult position, and I don't think she made the brave decision.  

                            You are very well informed about the whole Whitewater scandal.  I was wondering if you had ever read The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton,.  It's a book that helped form my current political outlook.  It's also (at least it was for me) a very good read.  It was actually made into a movie (which I have been meaning to see for about 5 years now).

                            "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                            by rmx2630 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 09:52:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have not. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            rmx2630

                            There's also the book by the Duquesne lawprof which came out last year which I'm interested in picking up.

                          •  Thanks - I've added it to my Amazon wish-list (0+ / 0-)

                            I had not heard about it.  (The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr)

                            "But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." - bush summing up his first year in office, 3 months after 9/11, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

                            by rmx2630 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 10:30:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Clinton (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nespolo, rmx2630

              actually I had some sympathy for Clinton because of these crazy prosecutors.
              But why did Weiner have to go on every talk show in the known world and lie on every single show? Including to Rachel Maddow?
              Did someone force him to do that? I don't think so.
              Lying to Rachel Maddow is pretty serious.

              Apparenly I'm a sanctimonious purist!

              by mattinjersey on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:25:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  IIRC (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wecandoit7, vigilant meerkat

                Clinton made the talk show rounds when he could, because he was under oath and all--but I distinctly remember seeing him on a few Sunday morning gabfests. Remember, there weren't quite as many back then, either.

                The point is, we're holding these two Democrats to different standards, when the "crime" is a 'sex crime'. And 'crime' is obviously debatable in this point where Weiner is concerned, while Clinton ended up in court over it. Lying while under oath.

                And "lying to Rachel" is only "pretty serious" to what I think is a personal friendship. Again, something else that's none of yours or my business.

                REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:01:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That "voluntary" lying is an issue. Weiner going (0+ / 0-)

                to all of those interviews planning to lie... well at the very least he should have had better lies. (Nice standards I have) He left many with even more questions

                Hate to brag but I wasn't fooled. Some examples is like when some poster thought it was so strange that out of the few he followed there were all these young females. I quickly responded that maybe he liked idea of inspiring the young...
                Well was I right or was I right?  He certainly was trying to inspire something with those pics.

                Then those who were put off by him saying he couldn't be sure if that was his picture... I had the answer to that. Like if there was a pic of me in underwear but someone got to it and did a close up of a breast in a bra and I was asked if that was me... well I had such a bra and I did have boobs... but how could I say definitely if that was me?
                Was I right or what? I don't know why everyone couldn't realize as clearly as I do that I mam not the only one with bras and boobs like mine.

                But not everyone sees as clearly as I do and some might feel duped. If it is just us that doesn't matter much and I assume many of those in his district would still trust him on the issues, just not with their daughters.

                But he has put those who might advocate for him. in Congress for example, in a bad position. They have no way to know if there is more that might come out, if he has been entirely honest. Lies do that.

                And while whatever sexual kicks people get are not my concern unless they are my partner...
                he showed bad judgement. Really bad. Personal morals aside... people in these positions know the risk of being caught. Might be part of the kick, who knows.
                It isn't our business and it is irritating when we get made aware of it because they get caught. Clinton trusting an exuberant girl to stay quiet was foolish... Weiner trusted a bunch of them as well as counting on internet privacy

                I knew he was too smart for that? Was I right or what?

              •  I'm waiting to see if Weiner's situation (0+ / 0-)

                results in a song as funny as this one.

                Kindly ignore the line about Hilary taking one for the team, though.

                Moderation in most things.

                by billmosby on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:06:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, did he now? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            Clinton would not be the first man to consider "sex" only to mean conjugal sex, not oral sex.

            •  He's the one who disbarred himself (0+ / 0-)

              anyway, that's a mischaracterization of what he was asked about.  Even accepting that he could say that he didn't have a sexual relationship with her, based on the definition to which Clinton agreed:  "a person engages in "sexual relations" when the person knowingly engages in or causes . . . contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person," he said that Lewinsky would be lying if she had said they had a "sexual affair" and said her affidavit in which she said they never had a "sexual relationship" was also true.  

              Now, his understanding is that "he" didn't have a "sexual relationship" with her because he was passive, and the fellatio was not for Monica's sexual gratification (itself, questionable).  But if that's the case, it can't also be true, under this definition which Clinton was read right before testifying, that "she" didn't have a sexual relationship with him.  

              Anyway, in the context of the sexual harassment suit, Jones alleged Clinton solicited her for oral sex, so I think in context it's pretty clear that he was being asked about whether he engaged in behavior with Lewinsky similar to what Jones accused him of trying to get done.

              I would not have impeached him, though.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:21:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  sorry (0+ / 0-)

              but the point isn't about "the definition of sex".  

              No matter how many times you ask in these comments.

              REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

              by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:23:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it is not (0+ / 0-)

                A lie means not telling the truth.

                If Clinton did not consider oral sex "sex" then he did not lie about his relations "with that woman."

                •  Yes it is (0+ / 0-)

                  You simply want to muddy a perfectly cogent argument here, now, with a 13-year old argument that will never be resolved.

                  Fail.

                  REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                  by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But if he believed (0+ / 0-)

                  oral sex was covered by the definition provided to him by plaintiff's attorneys, as it almost certainly was, then he would be forced to admit that Monica Lewinsky had sex with him.  But he specifically denied it, twice.

                  "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                  by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:18:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kyril

                    Both these guys LIED.

                    The circumstances under which they lied are different. But they both lied about sex. Both of them were married men.

                    As a Democrat, if you defended Bill Clinton's right to remain in his job--for whatever reason, it does not matter what or why, what matters is he lied.

                    And if you looked past that lie then you must look past this one, and defend Anthony Weiner's right to remain in his job, even though he lied.

                    REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                    by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:54:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, there could be some middle ground (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chicating

                      I defended Clinton because it was clear he still had the country with him.  This is completely circular, of course -- he can govern because he can govern -- but that's the way these things break down.  

                      I like Anthony Weiner (despite his hatred of Palestinians and bike lanes) so I want him to pull through.  I also don't see this story as that big a deal.  Unfortunately, that's not a guarantee of his survival.  If enough people embrace whatever bullshit line they want, whether it's "about" sex, lying, judgment, however you want to call it (it's really just about the sex), he could be through regardless of the merits.  I just hope his critics realize how unfair the whole process is, and the role that even passive predictions that he "is" done are a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:02:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I hope his critics (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wecandoit7, chicating

                        realize more than that. This process is bogus--beyond my points raised earlier, all this endless crap about "Anthony Weiner needs to resign because he lied" gives both Clarence Thomas and Andrew Breitbart a pass that neither one of them deserves.
                         

                        Did Weiner leave himself wide open? Apparently. But the fact remains, Andrew Breitbart and our corporate media started this shit, and the jury is still out on whether or not Weiner was also stalked by the likes of Dana Loesch and her little tea party trolls, on Breitbart's behalf.

                        And if we bail on Anthony Weiner now, who is next?

                        REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                        by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:54:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  "LIED" (0+ / 0-)

                      Sorry, it don't matter to me.  As a Democrat.

                      It don't matter if someone lies about their sex lives.  It just don't.

                      You've changed the issue to lying under oath (not a fact) to lying.

                      You seem very concerned about men lying about their sex lives.  I don't care one way or the other.

                      I care a lot about your and many others hang up about that.

                      •  I've consistently stated (0+ / 0-)

                        that if you are going to support one of these Dems for LYING--whether under oath or not--you've got to support the other.

                        I could give a good goddamn what these guys do with their dicks. But the fact remains that some form of 'sex' is the common denominator in both.

                        Which is why calls for Anthony Weiner's resignation are ridiculous, hypocritical and puritanical, particularly from people who support/supported Bill Clinton. Period.

                        REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                        by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:49:07 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  facts not in evidence (0+ / 0-)

                    "almost certainly was" is not fact in evidence.

                    •  now you're just grasping at straws (0+ / 0-)

                      A jury instruction specifically stating that oral sex falls under that definition would almost certainly not be successfully challenged (contact with genitalia for the purpose of sexual gratification -- obviously one of the two falls within the definition.)  Or the jury could be instructed specifically to decide this, and theoretically, somewhere there might be 12 people who conclude that oral sex constitutes something other than contact with someone's genitals for the purpose of sexual gratification, but on planet earth there's no other plausible construction to be put on his testimony -- either he's lying when he said it wasn't sex or he's lying when he said Monica was lying.  There's no middle ground.  Or are you saying the fact of the blow jobs was not in evidence?  Don't confuse legal and factual conclusions.   Is it not perjury just because Clinton was never tried and convicted?  

                      Judge Wright did find Clinton in contempt of her discovery orders for giving false and misleading deposition testimony:  "The President's testimony at his deposition that Ms. Lewinsky's denial in her affidavit of a 'sexual relationship' between them was 'absolutely true' likewise was misleading and not true."  

                      I don't think he lied to the grand jury, only his deposition, and the standard for contempt isn't proof by reasonable doubt, but instead "clear and convincing evidence," which is still pretty bad.  

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 12:45:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "almost certainly was" (0+ / 0-)

                        is your phrasing, not mine.

                        No was is disputing whether Clinton got a blow-job.  To me, and my wife, oral sex is sex.

                        I cannot speak for other men, or their wives. You claim a lot of legal issues, but you do equivocate. You claim a jury could have.  Well that is equivocation.

                        You correctly state the judges holding.  That is not in dispute either.

                        Show me Clinton thought oral sex = "sex" and you'd make your point.  

                        You have not.

                        •  woopos, not "holding" (0+ / 0-)

                          citation for contempt.

                          Not the sam thing.

                        •  That's not necessary (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          catfood

                          you picked out the "almost certainly" out of the answer and chose to make it the entire basis of your response.  

                          I'm not equivocating, for one thing.  This is simply how I feel most comfortable talking about legal cases outside of court.  And I'm otherwise partial to understatement.  

                          I have as much confidence as is possible for my skeptical ass to have that Clinton's deposition testimony was intentially false when made, for the reason Judge Wright gave.   It doesn't matter if he thought it was sex.  
                           This is a popular mischaracterization of his testimony. (It may have been true of some aspects of his grand jury testimony, but I'm dealing specifically with his deposition.)  It matters why he thought oral sex wasn't sex, and it's not some deontological arguement only penetration counts.  It's because he was given a definiton and he construed it to mean that he didn't have sex because he didn't touch her genitals and it wasn't for her gratification.  But he then said Monica didn't have sex with him either, even though the definition he was given made no reference to penetration, requiring only "contact with the genitalia."  As long as Monica made contact with his genitalia, with the intent to arouse or gratify, she had sex even if he didn't.  The very linguistic trick by which he can (truthfully!) deny having sex undermines him in the end.

                          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                          by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:34:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Well more particularly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            he attempted sly equivocation under oath, and as part of a natural urge to keep a private secret private. Remember he was never accused of perjury, because it's not often that white lies about one's mistress are considered criminal acts, even when done as part of a legal deposition.

            Taking the oath does not mean a red light of damnation hangs over one's every word.

          •  yup. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie, kyril

            when my roommate, last night, said that weiner "did lie" my response was:

            been there, done that, i did not have sex with that woman, and he still continued to be an effective president.

            hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

            by alguien on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:25:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He didn't lie under oath (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catfood

            When denied under oath having "sexual relations" with Lewinsky, he was basing his denial on the definition of sexual relations that the prosecution had offered.  But the prosecution had foolishly based their definition on a rape statute, essentially deleting the parts about non-consent.  The result was that the definition of sexual relations used at the deposition was asymmetric and non-instrumental:  It was only sexual relations if he used agency to sexually touch her with his actual body.  Her blowing him didn't count.  Him cigaring her didn't count.  

            By the definition of sexual relations in the mind of any sensible English speaker, he was lying.  But in the legal terms used for that case, he wasn't.  The legal system doesn't care about common sense or standard definitions, if it has one of its own. It just so happens that in that particular instance, it was way off the mark.  

            But there was no perjury.

            •  Incorrect (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catfood

              he also stated in his deposition that, under that same definition, Monica would be lying if she said she had sexual relations with him, which we know to have been false.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:16:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Dialect differences in “to have sex” (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peggy

              and related constructions.

              For a sizable number of American English speakers, “We never had sex, but she did give me a blowjob” (or even “oral”) is a perfectly valid sentence.

              For others, you might need a hedge like “We didn't have actual sex, she just gave me a bj” to “get” it.

              And for other native speakers, any kind of erotic connection is sex: making out is sex, blowjobs are sex, telephone sex is sex, sexting is sex.

              I am someone at the other end of the continuum, for whom sex technically means male-female intercourse with ejaculation because to me “sex” is a method of biological reproductive. There can be lots of other highly erotic and physically and emotionally satisfying things people can do with their sexual organs, but sex is the reproductive act.

              This is not irrelevant to the Clinton issue, either, because the law regarding sex is closely related to property and heirs. Men don't like their wealth to be given to their wife's son produced as the result of adultery. That legal history would obviously tend toward a distinction between having sex and other, non-reproductive erotic acts. (Of course, there is another legal tradition having a largely religious basis which is confusingly mingled with the inheritance-based laws about sex.)

              •  hence the broader "sexual relations" (0+ / 0-)

                your comment gets to why the Starr team introduced a precise meaning of the term for the deposition; they didn't want Clinton worming his way out of any false denials.

                Ultimately, though, it's one of those cases where the law enters its own reality (viz. legal fictions), nevermind what ordinary people think "sex" is.  

        •  What? (5+ / 0-)

          I'm not suggesting that any drum anyone else out of anywhere, that's a strawman.  I said that I no longer trust Weiner, not that he should no longer be a Democrat.  I didn't say or even suggest that he should step down or not run again.  He's got a great voting record, if I were in his district, I would vote for him over any Republican.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:07:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No it's not a strawman (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vacantlook, wecandoit7, kyril

            it's hypocritical to hold one Democrat to a higher standard than another.

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:10:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              How can you tell if the poster is holding Weiner to a higher standard than Clinton? Did s/he say something about trusting Clinton?

              •  in general (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril

                us Dems gave Clinton a pass on this--despite the fact that he didn't just lie on tv, he lied under oath in court--because we still honor him in our party.

                A liar is a liar. Period. I don't care who got what done for the party and when--that is beside the point. These men are both Democrats who got caught with their pants down, so to speak.  We continue to support one, yet we insist that the other resign?

                Total hypocrisy.

                REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:55:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Who is insisting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sue B

                  that Weiner resign?!  I can't speak for others but I didn't say or even suggest that.  That's where I think you're reading into what is being said.

                  I was pissed off at Clinton too for lying and I had every right to be, just as I have every right to be pissed off at Weiner now.  That doesn't mean that I think that he should resign, which is an entirely different matter.  And for the record, I don't.  I hope he survives politically but it will be a lot harder for him now to do so because of his own actions.

                  He damaged himself, not by flirting online but by lying about it when he got caught.

                  Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                  by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:33:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Still a strawman (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              How am I holding Weiner and Clinton to different standards?  Where did I suggest that Weiner is wrong for lying but that Clinton isn't?  If you think I did, then you should read my comments again carefully.  You're either reading something into what I said or you're making assumptions about me.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:07:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  we as a party (0+ / 0-)

                are holding one Democrat to a higher standard than another.

                I'm sorry you misunderstood. This has become way, way bigger than all of us individuals. Among other things, this is about our Party and the perception indies and swing-voters will get--that we're as hypocritical and puritanical as the GOP when it comes to "sex".

                Yeah, that'll get us a lot of votes...
                 

                REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:12:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What do you mean "we?" (0+ / 0-)

                  I am a Democrat and I'm not holding them to different standards, the only people I see holding them to different standards are those that are apologizing for Weiner's lying, saying that it's no big deal and that no one should be pissed off about it.  What he got caught doing wasn't a big deal so the "puritanical" stuff doesn't wash.  What he did that was wrong was lying about it when he got caught and the people that he lied to have every right to be pissed off about being lied to.  But being pissed off is not the same as saying that he should step down or not run again.

                  Lying about it makes him look puritanical because it sends the message that he thinks that what he did is so wrong that he felt that he had to lie about it.

                  The lying is what isn't OK here, not the flirting.  You are conflating the two as are many others here, just as you and others are conflating "being pissed off at Weiner" with "he should step down or not run again" which I never suggested.

                  Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                  by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Take a look around you (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm far from a Clinton fan, but again, the point is not all about you or I as individuals and how you or I feel about this. I'm sorry you seem to feel like it is.

                    This is bigger than all of us, and it is a cogent general point. Judging from some of the general domain chat boards (Yahoo, AP, NYT, et.al), Dems are in serious danger of looking ridiculously hypocritical for screaming for Weiner's resignation after accepting Clinton back into the fold as a defacto party leader.

                    REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                    by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:39:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  we can never condone or shrug off lying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          democracy inaction, wecandoit7

          forgive, yes, certainly, and welcome back to the fold!

          •  that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wecandoit7, kyril

            makes no sense. We either forgive Anthony Weiner and let him keep his job, or we're hypocrites, because we forgave Bill Clinton for something that ended up with a dumbing down of the main remedy The People have to remove real criminals from high office.

            Gee, if he hadn't lied, there would have been zero grounds to impeach him to begin with. And it sure looks to me like we've forgiven him.

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:26:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Is that an option? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie

          "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

          by justmy2 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:36:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  no one intends to drum Weiner out (0+ / 0-)

          of the party; however, "but he lied" is a pretty valid reason to be offended.

          •  Sure they do (0+ / 0-)

            Be offended if you must--I don't have a problem with that at all. My problem is Dems screaming for Weiner to resign, now. That's seriously short-sighted. Among other things...

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:30:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mnbmj

              whether he resigns is up to him, and to the folks he represents. Since I am not in his district, I am not calling for him to resign, like it matters what I do anyways, I'm a nobody.

              However, if he resigned, I wouldn't be too heart-broken about it, it certainly would quell his use as a distractor, which the republicans are having a field day with right now.

              And if he's a liability for re-election, then that would be another reason for resignation now to get someone appointed who could get some time in before election-time.

              His effectiveness, particularly because of his sarcastic and brash style, is going to be severely cut away for years if he remains. If he were a quiet behind the scenes guy maybe not, but he isn't.

              I don't wish ill on him, hope his wife forgives him, and he has a long, happy and successful life, but being a representative is a privilege, and in my opinion, it's something he hasn't been treating as such for awhile now.

      •  I have some sympathy for what you're saying (5+ / 0-)

        but every politician lies to us every day, even the ones we love most, and even the ones who are relatively honest usually lie about sex. On the other hand we can't accept lying just because it's the norm, either. So, I don't know. If you look at the situations independently of the principles and the media scrum, this is all pretty petty stuff though.

        •  I have no sympathy (5+ / 0-)

          I think the women who care about this shit have issues with their husbands.

          If someone asks me about my sex life, I'll like as much as I please. As far as I am concerned, none of your business and I have no obligation to be truthful or dishonest.

          That is the issue.  Sex sells because people like the above poster are buying it.  It is cheap at best, representative of purient interes and and immoral at worst.  

          When a politician who has not put sex on the table lies about his or her sex life, I say the ONLY problem with that is it encourgaes the whole voyeristic and perverted sex-minded people.

          Do what I do: go watch some porn.

          •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)
            Sex sells because people like the above poster are buying it.
            This isn't about sex or flirting, this is about lying.  I couldn't care less who Weiner flirts with online.  If he'd have copped to it immediately and hadn't lied about it, he wouldn't have done nearly as much political damage to himself and I (and others I am sure) wouldn't be pissed off at him right now.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:49:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In short, his answer should have been, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              democracy inaction

              "None of your fucking business, literally."

              grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

              by khereva on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:25:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plubius, emsprater, kyril, ivorybill

              This is PRECISELY about the nature of the incident which set this entire circus in motion.  Just about anyone would lie if confronted with personal information about his or her sex life on a national stage.  I am unconvinced that the lie Weiner told and maintained is a betrayal OR in any way telling about his character.  Only a VERY special person would have come clean from the get-go.

              Everyone lies about sex.  Everyone, without exception.  Whether they're denying an affair or faking an orgasm or denying to jerking off to porn or about the number of partners they've had or what types of activities they engage in.  Now add a microscope and a national television audience.  The pressure to LIE would be that much more exaggerated.  And no one should have to have this aspect of their lives -- even people who cheat on their wives or husbands -- exposed for public scrutiny.  The only time such information is relevant is when hypocrisy is involved -- those who insist on taking others down while engaging in the very same (or worse) behavior.

              Be as pissed as you like.  Don't support him.  Don't send him a red cent.  But please spare me the idea that you were personally lied to.  I don't feel a bit sorry for you.

              •  Stop apologizing for lying (0+ / 0-)
                Just about anyone would lie if confronted with personal information about his or her sex life on a national stage.
                I disagree but that's entirely beside the point.  If a thing is wrong, it is wrong no matter who, or how many people do it.  Period.  Lying is wrong and I find it very telling that you and others refuse to say the one thing that we all know: lying is wrong.  You're apologizing for lying, there are no two ways about it.  Especially with the argument "everybody does it!"  So?  Two wrongs, or even millions wrongs do not make a right.
                But please spare me the idea that you were personally lied to.
                What does that even mean?  I was lied to, just as you were, just as everyone was.  Clearly I was not the only one that he lied to, and neither did I say nor imply that.  I said I was lied to and I was.  I didn't say that I was "personally" lied to and frankly, I don't know what that means so don't credit me with the "idea" because it's an idea that you pulled out of your own butt (also known as a strawman).  I think you're trying to belittle and demean me here but I can't say for sure because I don't understand what you're trying to say.
                I don't feel a bit sorry for you.
                I do feel sorry for those that are apologizing for lying and refuse to say that it is wrong.

                Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not apologizing for lying... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, histOries Marko

                  ...I'm merely pointing out that everyone does it.

                  Name two public figures who didn't try to wiggle out of a sex scandal.  Just two who, when confronted with evidence of sexual impropriety, took to a microphone and initially admitted to EVERYTHING from the get-go.  Just two.

                  Now I guess to some, that seriously calls their character into question...especially if the politician is beloved and the lie, once exposed, is taken as a personal slight to those who defended him and took him at his word.

                  Just as I can UNDERSTAND Weiner's denials and equivocations and lies, I can UNDERSTAND your reaction to the 'lies' he told.   Doesn't mean I have to feel sorry for you because you feel betrayed.  And you need not feel sorry for me.  I'm fine with what went down.  I didn't learn a thing that matters about Rep. Weiner from this episode.  Nothing.  I don't judge him harshly for his communications or his denials.  The former is none of my business, the latter is the natural reaction of someone who would have rather kept something private out of embarrassment.  That's the extent of it.  Big-flippin'-deal.

                  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                    I'm not apologizing for lying...I'm merely pointing out that everyone does it.
                    Yeah, that's apologizing for it.  So is this:
                    Name two public figures who didn't try to wiggle out of a sex scandal.  Just two who, when confronted with evidence of sexual impropriety, took to a microphone and initially admitted to EVERYTHING from the get-go.  Just two.
                    I don't care if there are none, that still doesn't make lying right.
                    Doesn't mean I have to feel sorry for you because you feel betrayed.
                    I didn't ask you for your sympathy.
                    And you need not feel sorry for me.
                    Oh but I do, just as I feel sorry for anyone whose moral compass is so broken that they put themselves in a position to apologizing for lying.

                    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                    by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:51:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your rigidity on this matter is duly noted. (0+ / 0-)

                      There's not a single person on this planet who doesn't lie.  Not one...including you.  Show me someone who says that they don't lie about sex and I'll show you a liar.

                      Save your sympathy for yourself and pay attention to your own moral compass...yours seems to point in only one direction which makes it difficult to navigate through a world of infinite shades of gray.

                      ;-)

                      •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

                        I knew you were lying when you said you didn't care.

                        Telling me that I am rigid with respect to morals is not an insult, it is a compliment.  Furthermore, you're still apologizing for lying; just because people do it doesn't make it right.

                        To be clear, I am pissed at him for lying, but I am not, like some people, asking him to step down.  I hope he survives politically, he's got an impressive voting record and he's most often on the same side of the issues that I am on.  I admire him in some respects, but that doesn't mean that I can't still be pissed at him for not being honest.  That's my prerogative, just as it is your prerogative to keep apologizing for his dishonesty.

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:23:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't understand why... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...you linked to plubius' comment as some indication that I lied about caring.  While your link doesn't prove a lie on my part, I freely admit that I lie -- pretty regularly, in fact. Actually, I told someone who wants to go out with me tonight that I had plans with someone else and here I am responding to a comment that has me confused.  I'm going straight to hell.  I think you may have me confused with plubius.  

                          So, in a nutshell, I haven't lied when I said I didn't care.  Honestly, this whole ordeal, as far as I'm concerned, is much ado about nothing.  More concerned over the pearl clutchers and the personally offended among us, but, as you say, that's your prerogative.  You've laid claim to your anger and disappointment rather elegantly, and, I dare say, you wear it well.

                          Btw, it's referred to as a 'moral compass' for a reason...the little pointer is supposed to move given the circumstances of any given situation, not stay in one fixed position.

                          •  Heh (0+ / 0-)
                            I don't understand why you linked to plubius' comment as some indication that I lied about caring.
                            Yeah, sorry about that, your arguments sounded so similar that I got you two mixed up.
                            Btw, it's referred to as a 'moral compass' for a reason...the little pointer is supposed to move given the circumstances of any given situation, not stay in one fixed position.
                            You don't understand the concept of a moral compass.  If someone does a bad thing, that same bad thing is just as bad no matter who does it.  In other words, the needle isn't supposed to move and if it does, you are practicing moral relativism and your moral code is not a code at all but is entirely arbitrary and I would go so far as to say that it is entirely immoral.

                            For example, when Bush did something that was bad, and when Obama does the exact same thing, both are equally bad.  Obama is not less bad because he's Obama, or because he's a Democrat, or because I like him but I dislike Bush.  To argue otherwise as you are doing flies in the face of fairness, which is a bedrock progressive principle as well as a bedrock principle of the Democratic Party.

                            The party of moral relativism is the Republican Party not the Democratic Party.  With Republicans, IOKIYAR but with Democrats, wrong is wrong is wrong, though that isn't true for all Democrats; some Democrats (and I am guessing you are in this group based on your defense of moral relativism), believe in the principle of IOKIYABO (It's OK If You Are Barack Obama).

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:26:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Haha... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...hard to tell us moral relativists apart.

                            A lie is a lie is a lie.  Sometimes I wish it were that easy.  But life is rarely, if ever, that easy.

                            The party of moral relativism is the Republican Party not the Democratic Party.  With Republicans, IOKIYAR but with Democrats, wrong is wrong is wrong, though that isn't true for all Democrats; some Democrats (and I am guessing you are in this group based on your defense of moral relativism), believe in the principle of IOKIYABO (It's OK If You Are Barack Obama).

                            You would be wrong.  Thank the Lord you don't have money riding on that assumption.  If this thread weren't so dead, a few of my detractors would be laughing their asses off after reading the portion of your comment that I've block-quoted.

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            I haven't written many diaries, but the links are a sampling of my 'moral relativism' when comparing the last administration to the current one.  And my comments are even more voluminous and highly critical.

                            See ya 'round the blog.

                            ;-)  

                          •  That isn't what I said (0+ / 0-)
                            A lie is a lie is a lie.
                            What I said was:
                            wrong is wrong is wrong
                            There's a big difference between those two statements.  Everyone lies, as I said in a previous comment, many men lie whenever they're asked "does this make my butt look big?"  Some lies are innocuous ("No honey, it makes your butt look small!") while others are are far more damaging ("I can say with certitude that I didn't send that picture.").  So no, a lie is not a lie is not a lie and lying is still wrong.  Honesty is the best policy.  "Everyone does it" is not a valid defense for lying.

                            I really don't care what you've said in the past, it is what you're saying now that I have a problem with.  To your analogy of an actual compass, with an actual compass the needle does not move, the compass moves but the needle always points north.  And your moral compass should always point in the same direction no matter who or what it is about, that's the point of a compass, to consistently guide you, especially when you're lost.

                            If an actual compass didn't always point north but the needle moves around depending on "the circumstances of any given situation" your compass is broken and you'll never be able to figure out where you should be going (think "Blair Witch Project").  Such is the problem with moral relativism.  Another example of moral relativism: when Republicans were in office, they believed that deficits were a good thing but when a Democrat took over, all the sudden, to Republicans deficits became the most evil thing there is, hence their austerity push.  Moral relativism is politically convenient and with moral relativism, Republicans are able to conclude that everything they do is good and everything the Democrats do is bad, even if they're the same thing.  This is why I say that moral relativism is, in actuality, immoral and that it flies in the face of honesty and fairness, which are bedrock Democratic principles.

                            Are you a parent?  If so, what do you teach your kids about lying?  That sometimes lying is OK if you can rationalize a justification?  If your kid came home from school and told you that the teacher had taught the class that sometimes lying to your parents is OK, would you be OK with that?

                            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                            by democracy inaction on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 05:09:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not sure what you're saying here: (0+ / 0-)
                            Some lies are innocuous ("No honey, it makes your butt look small!") while others are are far more damaging ("I can say with certitude that I didn't send that picture.").  So no, a lie is not a lie is not a lie and lying is still wrong.  Honesty is the best policy.  "Everyone does it" is not a valid defense for lying.

                            Describing an action as being innocuous in certain contexts and damaging in others sounds a lot like relativism to me.  And then saying that the action, subject to contextual interpretation, is always wrong regardless of whether it is innocuous or damaging seems to contradict the former statement.  

                            Let me ask you this:  Can you think of a situation where honesty would not be the best policy?  If there is never a good reason to lie, or, more specifically, if there is never a situation where lying is morally imperative and NOT wrong, then I suppose I don't have a leg to stand on.  This is where I have a HUGE problem with platitudes like "Honesty is the best policy."  Such absolutist bromides are useful as a catch-all for raising children who lack the developmental sophistication, the mental facility, to make the kinds of decisions and judgements that are requisite for navigating an adult world.  In other words, children, up to a certain age, are UNABLE to make these kinds of decisions for themselves.  Part of becoming an adult is being mature enough to dispense with such platitudes.

                            If your kid came home from school and told you that the teacher had taught the class that sometimes lying to your parents is OK, would you be OK with that?

                            What a terribly sophomoric question.  Of course, I would not be ok if my Kindergarten-aged child came home and said that his teacher said that it was sometimes ok to lie to me.  How ridiculously simplistic.  But if I were a teacher, and a 15yo girl confided in me that she was pregnant and wanted to get an abortion and that her parents would throw her out or force her to have a child she did not want to have, I would certainly have a little internal debate before encouraging a that 15yo to tell the truth and simply level with her parents.  I'm such a moral monster in that respect.  Some hypothetical as well as real-life situations are a little more nuanced and contain a few more variables than the one advanced by you.

                            Weiner LIED and even though there are those of us out there who refuse to judge him based on how he conducts his private life [because A)  It's none of our business, and B)  Similar 'character' flaws reveled in other public officials who were able to weather their particular scandals have never provided an accurate barometer of how effectively that individual was able to conduct the public's business] we are nevertheless morally bound to judge him based on the lies (which are always wrong) he told as an attempt to keep his private life private.  And any attempt to add context, proportion, and perspective to this particular situation is apologia for actions that are absolutely wrong and evidence of weak moral character by those who offer such context.  There is no room for a difference of opinion; a lie, whether innocuous or damaging, is always wrong, period.  And just so there is no mistaking your argument, any deviation from this absolutist drivel is a betrayal of Core  Principles which define the Democratic Party of honesty and fairness and which seperate it from the morally inferior Republican Party.

                            I get it.

            •  "This isn't about sex" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emsprater, kyril

              Congrats, You win the Absurd Statement of the Year™  award.

              Really?  I mean: really?  :)

              •  Yes, really. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't care about Weiner's sex life, I really don't.  I care that he lied about it when he got caught.

                Why is that so hard for you and others to understand?

                Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:26:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We understand (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, Medium Head Boy, peggy, emsprater

                  We understand you care about that.  

                  We don't.

                  Why is that so hard for you to understand?

                  We understand that you care about people who lie about their sex lives. Why do you not understand that not only do we not care, we think it wrong that you do?

                  •  So you think (0+ / 0-)

                    that it is wrong to "care about people who lie?"  Man is your moral compass broken!  That's a full-throated apology for lying.

                    And what's this "we," who else are you speaking for?  I want to know who else thinks that lying isn't immoral.  Was it OK for Clinton to lie under oath?  It was about his sex life so that's was OK, right?  Somehow I doubt that the judge in the case would agree with you and there's a reason for that.  The reason is that lying - even about your sex life - is still a lie and it is still wrong.

                    What about rape?  That's sex, if someone rapes someone else, it's OK for them to lie about it?  I mean, where exactly do you draw your arbitrary line?

                    I'll say it again since you don't seem to be getting the message; I don't care about Weiner's sex life.  What he does in private is his business.  But this wasn't private, he made it public, then he lied about it.  And it is the lie, not what he lied about, that I take issue with.

                    Furthermore, if you really don't care, then why do you keep asking me about it?  If you really don't care, then prove it - stop replying to my comments.

                    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                    by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:14:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What about rape? (0+ / 0-)

                      Good grief.  You've slid down the 'so if two men can get married, I can marry my dog' slope of illogic.

                      A lie is a lie.  Wrong is wrong.  Lying about adult consensual sexual activity in all it's forms is not something to be concerned about. People only lie about those issues because of reactions lie yours ..."what about rape".

                      Good grief.

                      'Destroying America, One middle class family and one civil liberty at a time: Today's GOP'

                      by emsprater on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 06:13:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  and that's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1

            also none of your damned business:

            I think the women who care about this shit have issues with their husbands.

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:10:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Outstanding comment...100% correct... (16+ / 0-)

        If the guy had just fessed to it and pledged to atone for his inappropriate actions by working even harder for the people he represents, it likely would have disappeared (save the Faux crowd, who will NEVER stop talking about it).

        What he did was turn what could have been a minor indiscretion into a major league clusterfuck by lying about it and trying to deflect blame. IMHO, he has brought undesirable consequences upon himself.

        "How do you 'hold (Obama) accountable' after he wins reelection to his second and final term? Take away his 'lame duck president' parking pass?" -lushlife

        by APA Guy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:21:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, this doesn't quite work (6+ / 0-)

          you have free will and the sufficient ability to weigh his conduct, his lying, and his overall public record.  When you say "he brought it on himself," that's not necessarily a predictive statement about his political future.  It's an assertion that you place greater weight on one week of lies over an entire career built on blunt truths.  In other words, the consequences are flowing from you and people like you who have gone beyond expressing anger or frustration to "predicting," i.e., causing, the end of his political career.

          I think anyone who can't see why he would lie is deluding himself.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:59:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, wecandoit7

            was talking about his political future until you brought it up.  I hope he survives, politically speaking.  Better to have him in his seat than a Republican or a Blue Dog (which is redundant).

            I'm just pissed at him for lying and trying to cover it up for so long and I have every right to be, just as does everyone else that feels likewise.  And if it does end his political career, that's his responsibility.  I hope it doesn't but if it does, he only has himself to blame.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:16:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Better than a blue dog or a republican? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coldwynn, lunachickie

              Is that all you can muster for Weiner?  Are we so cynical and devoid of any loyalty?  Anthony Weiner should be in the list of top elected officials supported by the left.  He has stood up and fought the good fight.  Yet, he's reduced to just better than a blue dog?  This, while many around here gleefully support republican converts (eg, Gillibrand, Giffords, the courting of Crist).  We will never get anywhere if we are too cowardly to stand by our brothers and sisters when they make mistakes.  

          •  I can see why he would. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sue B, democracy inaction, Caipirinha

            I still think that he was stupid to do so.  Especially since he is not unfamiliar with the Clinton scandal.  He should have said nothing or told the reporters that it was none of their business.  It was stupid of him to think that he would not eventually be outed.  None of my views on his foolish choice to lie about a personal matter relating to sex affect my overall feelings about his politics though.  I think he should try to hang on, but since he lied to people like Pelosi and carried the charade on for a week, he has real problems on the inside of the party that in some ways are far greater than those he has with the media and the public.  That's the part that will be his undoing.

          •  Does the punishment fit the "crime"? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sue B, wecandoit7, ivorybill, chicating
            It's an assertion that you place greater weight on one week of lies over an entire career built on blunt truths.

            I am ambivalence about Congressman Weiner's conduct and his lies.  Because I, like most likely many on this site, have been caught out in an embarrassing situation that I did not want to admit to. So I lied. And suffered the consequences.  I have to have some compassion. It's John 8:7- "Let he who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone...."
            That doesn't mean that I'm not hugely disappointed and pissed at him.  I wrote him and told him as much. But for the reason LOGE stated in the quote above, I'm going to give him a pass on this because of the career built on those blunt truths. I don't believe that this personal failing negates his ability to be a force for the peoples' good.

            The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

            by manneckdesign on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:52:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh I see...so that makes his lying OK... (0+ / 0-)

            Got it.

            "How do you 'hold (Obama) accountable' after he wins reelection to his second and final term? Take away his 'lame duck president' parking pass?" -lushlife

            by APA Guy on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 11:44:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll take his lies (0+ / 0-)

              over your sanctimony.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:07:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  To each his/her own...embracing liars... (0+ / 0-)

                ...is a virtue to some, so long as the politics fit...right?

                Sometimes it's disgusting to be a Democrat on this site...it really is.

                "How do you 'hold (Obama) accountable' after he wins reelection to his second and final term? Take away his 'lame duck president' parking pass?" -lushlife

                by APA Guy on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:35:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Atone? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie

          Inappropriate actions?  I find this kind of statement troubling.  Do you really want to reinforce antiquated notions of shame related to sexual behavior?  As a country (let alone as a political party), we should be moving away from this kind of moralizing.  The fact is that the information age is going to make us much more knowledgeable about a lot of private information about others.  We should learn to ignore/disregard this information, rather than demand some Victorian atonement for having a sex life.

          •  Don't you mean that we should move away... (0+ / 0-)

            from accountability for poor decisions? That's essentially what you're saying here.

            Evidently, you believe it's OK for Anthony Weiner (or any other elected official...Democratic or Republican) to send photos like this to girls (as young as 17, we may well discover) without consequence because you don't want to live in a "Victorian" age.

            Guess what? It's not "Victorian" to hold our representatives to high standards. He knew the penalties for his actions...he just didn't care or think he would be held to account. He was wrong...and so are you.

            "How do you 'hold (Obama) accountable' after he wins reelection to his second and final term? Take away his 'lame duck president' parking pass?" -lushlife

            by APA Guy on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 11:42:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  He never asked you or anyone here to defend him (13+ / 0-)

        It was pretty obvious he wanted to just change the subject and most here ignored the hint.  He clumsily said that the photo "might be me"- translation: it's definitely me- and people here were still posting diaries that it couldn't be because it was upside down.  Apparently, Weiner IS willing to spend time to rotate a photo.  Everyone here made themselves look foolish and shouldn't blame Weiner for putting them in that position. He never asked for community defense.  He tried to say he's not discussing it anymore. He never called law enforcement.  People here should have realized if it were true- and this was a guy who'd been known as a playboy, didn't marry until his 40s, was active on his twitter- he'd be saying he was hacked too.  I don't think lying to the public about one's sex life is so wrong but maybe that's just me.  In hindsight, it would have been smarter to admit it right away (or not do it).  But it's one photo that went out and was immediately deleted. Why not suggest it was a nothing prank?

        Great line.

        Anthony Weiner's penis is attached to an amazing human being who does very important and positive things in the world.
        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
          He never asked you or anyone here to defend him...Everyone here made themselves look foolish and shouldn't blame Weiner for putting them in that position.
          No one is asking you to defend him now either but that's not stopping you.  I misjudged his character and that's my own fault, but that does change the fact that he lied to you, to me and to everyone.  He is 100% to blame for lying and I think you look far more foolish apologizing for his lying than I did for defending him when I thought he was telling the truth.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Society creates it's own monsters, as well as it's (17+ / 0-)

        own liars. Gay people grow up knowing very well the crushing weight of "someone finding out" and the instinctive need to hide the resulting spotlight of shame and finger-pointing. I agree that lying is the real crime here, but I give that a pass as well. I know what it's like to panic and create a cover, before the guilt sets in, and that I maybe let some good people down, especially myself. Society has created that impulse to lie and maybe, just maybe, Anthony Weiner is now a more evolved human. I wouldn't have batted an eye over Vitter's diaper fetish except for his holier-than-thou stance (pun intended). Yea, some of us who defended Rep. Weiner as being maliciously attacked got burned and there's a lesson to be learned. But it shouldn't be about "he let me down and I'll never believe or trust him again." It should be the lesson that American society is just a tad bit too uptight about all things sexual, and as Madonna once said, "America needs to get a sense of humour."

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
          I agree that lying is the real crime here, but I give that a pass as well.
          First of all, I never said, nor do I believe, that what he did is a crime.  It isn't unless you're under oath.  But that still doesn't excuse lying, it is still wrong even if it isn't a crime.  Yet you are trying to excuse him from lying, you give him a pass.

          I agree with you that what he did is no big deal, this isn't about what he did.  This is about him lying about it.  That in and of itself makes what he did into a bigger deal that it should be.  To suggest that anyone should be anything other than pissed off at Weiner for lying to them (as you are doing) is apologizing for lying and I won't do that.  I have every right to be pissed off at him.

          "he let me down and I'll never believe or trust him again."
          Who are you quoting?  I didn't say that.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:35:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  May I assume (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie

            you feel the same disdain for Obama, Clinton, Reid, Biden, Harkin, etc.?  Name me a politician who hasn't lied!  Personally, I am more offended by a politician who will lie about public policy than about a twitter photo.  But to each her own.

        •  Hard to immediately (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCJan

          tell his wife, I'm sure. The lying was a problem, but I also can sort of understand it.

          And just to note I'm not being entirely partisan here, I can also understand why Larry Craig would never come out and admit to his particular behavior.  Shame is a powerful thing.

          "Sedimentary people stay in one place. They only interact with other sedimentary people."

          by ivorybill on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:54:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, his lies made it far worse, but.... (7+ / 0-)

        Indeed, his tweet that his account had been hacked really set this off. From all I can tell, his internet stalkers were preparing to take him down anyway, but the tweeted photo and the lie about it dropped into their laps a chance to trap him in a lie -- not just online shenanigans.

        HOwever, I aslo have to say that this reaction I see about "betrayal" is as overdone as I thought the defense of Weiner was, at the time. It was obvious to me, it was obvious to the media, and should have been obvious to all observers that he was lying. Even if you believed the nonsense about the tweet hack -- which required you to believe that Weiner was monitoring his account at the moment it happened -- his subsequent evasive answers about the photo should have signaled everyone that this was the tip of an internet iceberg.

        Weiner has to accept responsibility for his actions -- for the online behavior and his prevarications afterwards. Similarly,  those in the left-wing blogosphere who were contorting themselves and reality in defending him were consumed by some bloodlust for Breitbart et al. They acted very badly themselves, and in ways that were patently self-deluded. You can blame Weiner, in part, but you have to take your own lumps, too.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:30:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So (0+ / 0-)
          It was obvious to me, it was obvious to the media, and should have been obvious to all observers that he was lying.
          So you're a better judge of character than me, that doesn't make lying OK.  An obvious lie is no less wrong than a not-so-obvious lie.

          You're apologizing for lying.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:44:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wonderfully Written! (6+ / 0-)

        Thank you for this piece... Hopefully some of the holier-than-thou crowd here will read and reflect.

        "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

        by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:45:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How can you tell a politician is lying about sex? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden, DavidW, wecandoit7, lunachickie

        His mouth is moving.

        The following is not a rhetorical question:
        Are there any (any) instances where a sexual "accusation" was been directed at a male politician, and it was wrong?

        Barney Frank is my role model - he knew he was going to be outed, so he outed himself and was thus able to chose the timing.  He was also quick to accept responsibility for bad behavior by a partner - that came and went so fast I don't remember the particulars.

      •  It's not about the Sex! (5+ / 0-)

        It's about the LYING and RECKLESSNESS and DAMAGING our Cause.

        It's about giving credibility to that piece of shit, Breitbart.

        DI, this is not just about broken trust, on that part I totally agree with you.

        The greatest problem, imo, is the fact that he has demonstrated hugely flawed judgement that is going to make him totally ineffective in resuming his defense of progressive principles.  We know that the right wing smear machine is working 24/7 to discredit our side; but he chose to play brinksmanship with the machine and LOST.  Who is going to believe a word he says from now on?

        He betrayed the team big time.  This is not just about his personal private life; by putting it on the internet, it went into the public domain and it is now going to be used to weaken the progressive cause.  So I find all this talk re this is just a personal issue as totally missing the point.

        His political credibility has been damaged beyond repair.  Not by moral scolds but by those who don't like their elected representatives lying to them.  And let's face it, I wouldn't trust someone with that level of recklessness and lack of judgement with serious issues.  Do you think New York will elect him Gov?  Not a snow balls chance in hell.

        And in thinking about it overnight, it wouldn't surprise me if this were only the smoke, and that there is fire that hasn't been revealed.  (Breitbart said that there were porn picts,)  I applaud Nancy Pelosi for taking quick action.  The silence from the other Dems has been deafening.  It wouldn't surprise me if they knew about other stuff.  

        I heard this morning that Matt Damon cancelled a fund raiser for him.  Man, he is damaged goods right now, whether anyone likes it or not.

        Once again.  This is NOT ABOUT THE SEX.  THIS IS ABOUT THE RECKLESS POLITICAL JUDGEMENT AND THE LYING.

        If one of us is denied civil rights, all of us are denied civil rights.

        by SeaTurtle on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:52:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IT'S ABOUT FLIRTING. (7+ / 0-)

          (Albeit the 21st century, on-line version).

          All this hand-wringing and pearl-clutching is getting me verklempt!

          And it reminds me of the draconian penalties for flirting in The Mikado.

          (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

          by homogenius on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think there's a distinction (6+ / 0-)

            to be made between flirting and flashing.
            The sexiest men know how to flirt without using their dick as a statement.

            •  amen to that! n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1
            •  Well, I think it's still unclear... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              khereva, lunachickie, Texdude50, kingyouth

              If and when he used the actual dick shot that Breitbart is claiming to have.

              IF--AW sent a picture of little Anthony uncovered and standing at attention...

              AND IF--it was unwelcome by the recipient, then that's not flirting, it's harrassment.

              OTOH, the underwear shot and the chest were pretty tame, if you ask me. You can see guys in biking shorts on the street as revealing as that.

              (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

              by homogenius on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The underwear shot, if you ask me, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                justmy2

                was not analogous to guys on bikes wearing shorts.
                It was a close-up "here's my dick in underpants!" bit of adolescent  behavior.

                At least one of the recipients-- the student-- says that she did not engage in any inappropriate behavior.  Which leads me to suspect that the dick shot might have been an unwelcome surprise, had she received it.

                •  you're assuming knowledge (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie, Texdude50, kingyouth

                  you don't and can't have. people, male and female, send each other pics of naked body parts all the time. there's no need to use terms like 'adolescent'. grown adults do this all of the time, millions of them per day. you need not be so hostile towards others' expressions of sexuality just because their way isn't your way.

                  •  I know older people do this, (0+ / 0-)

                    and if it's an agreed-upon thing, I could care less.

                    From what I've read of the student, however, she says she was not on board with this becoming a sexual relationship-- or what she termed an inappropriate relationship.  She's been pretty adamant about that.

                    Send any kind of shot you want to someone who wants to receive it.  But if you're a congressman, sending an unsolicited dick shot to someone whose identity, age, or intentions you cannot verify is not a mature act.  IMHO.

                    •  Did the student ask Weiner (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      emsprater

                      to stop communicating with her?

                      Did she block him on Twitter?

                      I find it strange that for as "appalled" as she was, she didn't stop talking with him.

                      "Love/It will not betray you, dismay or enslave you/It will set you free." - Mumford & Sons

                      by kingyouth on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:13:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Not the issue (0+ / 0-)

            What he got caught doing (and I don't have a problem with what he was caught doing) is not the issue, the fact that he lied about it is.  His lying about it makes what he did a bigger deal than it should be and that's on him.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:59:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't legitimize Brietbart (4+ / 0-)

          we keep hearing that line repeated, but here's what we know.  Brietbart made his name by making false and probably libelous investigations into "institutional corruption" on the left.  Here it's not exposing anything Anthony Weiner didn't already do.  It's tacky.  A real investigative journalist, like Breitbart pretends to be, such as Mike Isikoff, would never dream of running this story.  He's finally revealed himself to be nothing more than the right wing hack he already was.  That doesn't give him credibility, because his credibility was based on his pretensions to journalism.

          It's never about the lying, it's always about the sex.  If you think the pics alone make him unqualified -- that is, not only will they have the effect but they should have that effect, that's fine.  But don't tell me it's about the lying.  What makes this lie so prominent it outweighs his otherwise impeccable record for telling the truth?

          If it's reason to resign, perhaps it's you who is legitimizing Breitbart.  Maybe this story is the great white whale of institutional liberal perfidy he's been looking for.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:53:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Somewhat agree (0+ / 0-)

          I do agree that he betrayed progressives and that he gave Breitbart credibility that he is not worthy of, but he did that by lying, not by sending a picture of his bulging underwear.

          This is not just about his personal private life; by putting it on the internet, it went into the public domain and it is now going to be used to weaken the progressive cause.  So I find all this talk re this is just a personal issue as totally missing the point.
          Again, I don't have a problem with what he got caught doing, that part is a personal issue.  But when he got caught, he shouldn't have lied about it.  That's where I have a problem.

          I don't think that what he did was a big deal, but he has made it into a big deal because he lied about it.  It would have been embarrassing for him to have told the truth about his private life when he got caught making a mistake, i.e. accidentally tweeting his crotch to everyone, but it also would have been the right thing to do and it would be defensible.  Lying is not defensible.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:56:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Weiner hurting our cause? (0+ / 0-)

          Really?  I truly cannot understand the notion that somehow this minor issue will bring down the left.  

          Do you feel the same doom about Obama or Pelosi or Reid?  They truly do damage to the progressive cause by adopting republican positions and refusing to apply any ethical standards to elected officials.  Aren't you the least upset that Reid and Pelosi and the lot are out making statements, but none of the them had the moral courage to investigate the prior administration?  We are truly lost if Anthony Weiner is seen as the demise of the left while these political whores continue to flourish.

        •  Legislators have survived much worse scandals (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chicating, wecandoit7

          to go on to admirable careers. Think Kennedy, for instance.

          This is a tempest in a tea pot.

          The question is, is he smart enough to learn from it.

          I'd hazard a guess that the answer to that question is YES.

          And this is all a huge distraction from the real vice in our government - "campaign" "donations" in exchange for votes.

          I'd vote we drop this and get on with the real stuff, and stop playing on the R's team.

          Focus - focus - focus...

          That's the real challenge here, IMHO.

          "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

          by fhcec on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:27:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I must admit (3+ / 0-)

        I wish he had just said, "Yes, I did it.  As a politician and a husband, I realize that I used poor judgment.  I apologize to my wife and my constituents for any embarrassment I've caused them.  

        Unfortunately, the way he reacted, like a deer caught in the headlights made it obvious he wasn't telling the truth.  Personally I don't care about this at all.  But politicians always seem to get in trouble by not  being forthcoming in the first place.  They should all realize by now that if sex is involved the media will be relentless.  Especially if it appears you're trying to cover up something.

        The Republicans will take away your Social Security and Medicare....skralyx

        by mkfarkus on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:05:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The cover-up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mkfarkus

          is worse than the crime, which is a lesson that you'd think politicians would have learned by now.  As soon as he accidentally tweeted his crotch shot to the public, he should have been prepared to cop to it if someone caught him.  And he should have been prepared for someone to catch him even though he deleted it within seconds because he is a public official and a celebrity, he's got to know that everything he does publicly will be under a microscope.  It was incredibly arrogant of him to think that he could get away with lying about it.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:14:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no one minds that he sexted. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        democracy inaction

        it's that he lied, tried to use the credibility he had as a buffer, and we found out he lied.

        so while he could finish his term, any sense of trust is over.

        even if he opens his mouth to rebut an out of line republican (like in his many videos) the twitter posts will be in the story.

        he's either got to really charge for progressive causes, or lay so low no one notices him.

        Rachel indeed got it quite right last night though. Republicans who want him to resign - who did not support the resignation of Vitter, Sanford, Foley, Ensign - are engaging in more republican hypocrisy.

        but at some point, there needs to be a change in congressional tone about sexual scandals. it's better for the democrats to have the upper hand. we don't mind if you're h*rny. we do mind if you lie about it.

      •  article about Dan Wolfe & Co..... (0+ / 0-)

        If you care about your life and your money, it's BEST to vote Democratic.

        by MartyM on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:44:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I still trust him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4kedtongue, emsprater

        I trust him because he proved to be a TERRIBLE liar - an encouraging sign - and because I trust who he is at his core and what actually motivates him in the world.

        Given how embarrassing this was, I'm neither surprised nor particularly disturbed that his first reaction was to try to make it go away, even with what amounts to a harmless lie. I think I'll update the diary to discuss this aspect of the story...

      •  so sorry you got burned.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater

        thanks for this diary...it so speaks to me...

        with regard to getting burned...if we can say about his sexual behavior as being human, we can say that about his lying behavior....yes, he lied about his personal behavior, who hasn't...get over it...

        Can you imagine what this was like for Congressman Weiner, with the first dawning of recognition of what is going to happen to you politically, and the panic that would set in, and the difficulty in making decisions when one is in survival mode?

        He panicked, so he lied.  Once he started lying he had to keep lying and had to show conviction in his lying.  The lying then collapsed into the truth.

        Lets give him time to sort through what he might have learned and will learn about this process.   He may become a better person and a better congressman for it.

        Compassion.  :)

      •  Sounds like the real problem is your investment (0+ / 0-)

        in your defense of Weiner.

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater

        I can understand the embarassment of having defended Weiner in this. I've made mistakes of assuming someone was innocent when they were not - and vociferously defending them when I was wrong. In my case, I've been forced to examine my need for certainty...and I likely will make the mistake again.

        I don't know what, if any, lesson there is for you personally,but on a political level, is it worth throwing Weiner under the bus?

        But I am royally pissed at Weiner; I believed him when he said he didn't do it and because I defended him, it has a negative effect on my credibility.

        So live and learn -people lie about affairs

        The RW would love to have us turn on him - he's a progressive. But Weiner is not a hypocrite to my knowledge - he acted inappropriately in his personal life. So what. He's represented the middle class.
        He's represented the middle class.
        How many progressive dems are demanding he be asked to leave other than Speaker Pelosi?
        How many blue dogs want him out?

        If Weiner sexually harassed someone, he should face the consequences. Otherwise, it's between him and his wife. I do not want him replaced with a blue dog or a republican.  

        $ to DFA, none to DSCC/DCCC/DNC

        by grrr on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:49:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OK, he lied about it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater

        Admonish him for the lie.  But until Senator Diaper (R-LA) is drummed out of the Senate for his shenanigans, Weiner gets to stay put in the House.

        Damn it, I would've been the Simon Cowell of death panelists!

        by OneCharmingBastard on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anthony Wiener has a penis? How dare he! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emsprater

        That's how this rates with me.

        He lied about it. Bush told lots of lies and no consequences there. Vitter , Ensign , Craig, lots of lies and no consequences. Ok Ensign is going to resign , finally.
        What took him so long?

        In six months, those of you who are upset about Wiener are going to be more upset with him gone and no one to put a choke chain on the rabid Republicans.

        Do you really think the meek Dems left are gonig to say anything about Clarence Thomas? The attack dogs will be after them in minutes.

        Please think long and hard what matters most to you.
        Your egos have band aids on them but the American people are getting beaten severely.

    •  Excellent diary, and I'll note that two of (23+ / 0-)

      the most widely read gay commentators, one from the left, the other from the right, Glenn Greenwald, and Andrew Sullivan both defended Weiner. I think it's because gay men know what it's like to be persecuted for our sex lives.

    •  A very interesting read, (3+ / 0-)

      with good perspectives. I have often lamented American puritanism. Look at how many media figures rushed to call his behavior "aberrant," or "bizarre," even though it's quite common. Incredibly common.

      Thanks for the diary.

      Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

      by surfbird007 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:16:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, emsprater

      You said basically everything I wanted to say but couldn't figure out how. Enthusiastically tipped and rec'd.

    •  Beautiful piece of accurate writing! (6+ / 0-)

      Thank you, wecandoit7!  I admire people who have a healthy dose of common sense about these things.  I learned as a sophomore in high school biology class that of the essential needs we humans have, once food, shelter, and clothing are taken care of, the next things humans do is have sex (for those inclined, this means producing children so our species doesn't go extinct).  A sex drive exists, and is necessary, to ensure a future for our species.  At a purely elementary level, that's all it is, but that's also why it's so powerful.

      I don't care what Moronic Media pundits say.  None of the images I've seen was "lewd."  I've seen worse on daytime TV and in underwear ads.

      As an older woman (senior citizen) who's been around the block more than once, I'm not absolving the women who have come forth.  This is what I said on the topic in a different diary, and it applies here, too (please forgive my copy-paste, but I think it's relevant):

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      If those women were so offended...
      ..., why were they leaving messages like "That's Hottttt" on Weiner's Facebook page?  In Broussard's case, she initiated the flirtation with those words.  She didn't have to respond when Weiner answered her, now, did she?  She could have 'un-friended' him (or whatever it's called on FB - I can't justify opening up my private life to riff-raff so I refuse to get one, or to join Twitter).  She was flattered by the attention of a powerful man.

      Why did the women respond favorably once Weiner did contact them?  I notice the last one even suggested to Weiner that he meet her someplace for a weekend of hot sex (Las Vegas, IIRC from the overnight news blurb).  The exchanges went on for many months, no one seemed to be offended, and the women were egging him on!

      The bimbo from the Clinton years was the one who initiated the flirting, too.  Women who have power and inadequacy issues go after men in power so they can bask in the reflected glow of his power.  It's quite twisted, psychologically.

      NO, I am absolutely NOT absolving Weiner for his part in his current mess... (he should have merely ignored the advances), but I find it highly suspicious that the Texan Broussard had a friend who could just pick up the phone and contact Breitfart.  How many Nobodies have connections to people in high places who can - with one phone call, no less - put them in contact with a man known for destroying people's lives and reputations...???  Would she have done the same thing if Weiner had been a Repuke?  Why didn't she keep her mouth shut in the first place?  Discretion is the better part of valor, after all.

      Now the other women with weak egos are coming forth.  Would they have discreetly kept their mouths shut if Weiner was a Repuke?  I'd like to know how much money they're going to get for personal appearances, going on talk shows, and writing books..., or are they going to try out for a spot on a 'reality TV' show?  They will turn this to their advantage, and we all know it.  Nothing would have come of any of this if they'd just kept their big fat mouths shut.  In their own ways, they're just as narcissistic as Snowflake Snooki.  They've now got reporters beating down their doors and hanging on their every word.  That must be a heady turn of events....

      As a woman who used to be young and cute and who had a position of power, I used to do a lot of totally outrageous flirting, and very often it led to a man asking me out.  (Note: they were not the ones with the authority; I was.)  They were flattered because a woman with authority paid positive attention to them and found them attractive enough to come on to them.

      The difference between me and the women who came on to Weiner is that I kept my mouth shut, and I most assuredly didn't go to their bosses to report them (how could I when I initiated the contact with outrageous flirting?).  We each had fun, sometimes we continued the relationship for a while, sometimes not.  Neither was in it for any great romance and we both knew it.

      So, you see why I'm not absolving the women in this mess.  It takes two to tango, and they could have easily said no or reported these things many months/years ago.  If they didn't want the attention, why did they initiate the flirting via social media online?  None of the women are "Little Miss Innocent" in this mess.  They had the option of not flirting and further option of not responding after they were contacted; they didn't, and now thanks to their come-ons that Weiner should have ignored, several lives will be ruined.  I hope a few of those women at least have a guilty conscience for their part in Weiner's downfall.

      "Why report any of it now?" remains my question.  Most especially, why report it to Sleazemaster Breitfart, the ONE person who is known to be out to destroy the reputations of Democrats, in particular...???

      Like I said, I'm not absolving Weiner and I wish he'd have just ignored the come-ons by these women..., but if the women didn't want the attention, they should never have initiated - and then continued - the flirtations in the first place.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for that! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO, emsprater

        I've spent a lot of time on this today, ha... it seems that the mid-morning crowd were pretty darn puritanical, and I had a lot of vitriol and judgment (and even some homophobia!) earlier on. But responses like yours make the others feel worth having endured. :)

        •  Velbekomme.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emsprater

          I appreciate good writing (including proper grammar and punctuation) more than you know, and even more when what I'm reading makes sense.

          Too, I'm old enough to have a healthy dose of common sense when consensual acts/words are involved.  None of this could have happened if all parties involved (that means Weiner AND the women who first came on to him) had refused to participate in the internet flirting from the get-go.  It's a little late for any of the women to play victim since these things were going on with no complaint whatsoever for a long time, so while Weiner is responsible for responding to their silly come-ons and flirting, they bear some measure of responsibility for their words that were designed to get a response.

          Hopefully Weiner has learned his lesson, and if his wife forgives him and they stay married, he'll just simply refuse to respond to any flirtatious advances made by anyone in the future, whether that's online or in person.

          Keep up the good work, and I'll look forward to reading any future diaries by you.

          :-)

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:04:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Enthusiastic T&R, despite partial disagreement (5+ / 0-)

      I'm very glad that someone wrote a "sex-positive" commentary on the Weiner situation and am all the more glad that it was done so well.  My disagreement is primarily with the attitude of superiority, rather than of equal legitimacy, being expressed.

      I'm writing this during a short lunch hour, so I haven't had time to read through the almost 800 comments.  Sorry for any duplication.

      Like many men, gay and straight, the author brings up our biological and evolutionary substrate.  I'm happy to take that up.  People often refer to bonobo chimps in these discussions.  Bonobos (especially the males, but I don't know what the current state of thinking is about females) are pretty much sexually indiscriminate -- whatever gets them off, they're willing to do, and they'd like to do it as often as they can.

      Then there are other primate cousins of ours, gorillas.  They tend to be (and, again, I'm hedging only because I don't know the most recent research) monogamous and much less sexually active than bonobos.  (I forget where orangutans fit in; I think it's more towards the gorilla side.)

      The main problem I have wuth this diary is that *it argues that bonobos are better than gorillas, rather than just equally natural, equally legitimate, and equally deserving of respect.  If someone whose sexuality more resembles that of a bonobo can have a life that is happy, fulfilling, and non-injurious to others, so much the better for them.  And if someone else can't or won't, so much the better for them, so long as they respect others' rights to follow their own path.

      Two things that distinguish most humans from most other mammals are that we have a mire developed culture and a more developed sense of empathy.  (The latter of which, of course, can be used to make one a better friend and teacher or a better con artist or torturer; I'm not saying that it's an unalloyed good.)  We are not the prisoners of our genes, but we should also not confuse resisting our biological urges with "rising above them," especially where sexuality is concerned.  There is more than one legitimate way to be.

      Testosterone is powerful stuff.  If I had a time machine, one think I might want to do is go back and warn my 15-year-old self that taking women's feelings about it too lightly -- assuming that they were just like me and that a consensual kiss or orgasm was necessarily a good thing, no matter what did or didn't (like a phone call) come after -- would lead to acts of stupid inconsiderateness that I would regret for decades.  This was not because I did anything that violated the laws of God or Man -- but just because treating girls my age like the diarist would recommend is often really, really hurtful and unfeeling.

      So I disagree with the notion that a bonobo-type sexuality is better than a gorilla-type.  My present wife simply would not put up with it, for example, and to the extent that not being bonobo-like is a "sacrifice," it's one I make happily.  (May Fortune keep me from ever again being a bachelor.)  She in turn may have to accept that I really like women -- as human beings rather than just as body parts -- and that I'll maintain friendships with them (while trying very hard to keep them non-sexual.)  But if we had mutually agreed that phone sex with others was OK -- something I think is a really bad idea for progressive activists, by the way -- then I think that others should accept our exercise if that choice.  It's between us.

      I find myself both thanking the diarist for broadening our experience while regretting that he doesn't realize hiw and where his is less broad than mine.  Sex is generally -- not invariably, but generally -- different for someone who can get pregnant, as well as for someone who, historically (although happily less so today) dependent on someone else economically and aware of how easily bonds built primarily on sexuality can be broken.  Yeah, plenty of gay men pull off open relationships or sharing sex with multiple partners -- and I don't condemn them for it any more than I, as a vegetarian, condemn meat-eating.  But unlike the author, I don't consider it better, a "next evolutionary step above, what I do either.

      In my experience, lots of straight men who can empathize with women feel the same way.

      Clarence Thomas had a dump
      Weiner said "this guy's a chump"
      He was caught tweeting pix riské
      So Justice Thomas got away.

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:05:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In bonobo chimp clans... (0+ / 0-)

        ... the females have all the power.

        Every dispute is settled with sex.  Sex of all kinds, female-male, female-female, male-male.  Doesn't seem to matter.  The last film I saw about them indicated that the only sex taboo was the mother-son combination.  I don't know if there's been new discoveries on that or not.  (YouTube has some film clips; I won't put them in this diary because of the huge number of comments; it would make it difficult for those with dial-up connections to be able to open this diary.)

        Bonobo males are not known to kill infants.  Why would they when they don't know whether or not they sired the new baby?  It's counter-productive to kill the being who potentially carries one's own genetic material and could have an offspring that carries his genes, too?

        Where there is at least a token alpha male in common chimp culture, if the alpha male thinks a female has strayed, he will kill her offspring so she goes into estrus; he promptly mates with her and she has an offspring with his genes.  That happens with gorillas, too.

        Langurs and lions have alpha males come in approximately every two years (on average), and if females have young enough cubs, the alpha male kills them, mates with the females, and the next generation carries his genes.

        There are other examples specific to particular species, but as cold as it sounds... that's the way nature operates.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:24:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I think you misread slightly... (3+ / 0-)

        A key point that I'm trying to make is that the dance that is human sexuality sometimes is with one person for many years, and sometimes it spins from partner to partner. Both are valid, as long as it is affirming and positive.

        What gay male society has accomplished in my experience that is superior is our ability to acknowledge that sex is an integral part of who we are; we give one another a healthy dose of forbearance when we do something stupid; and we understand that our sexual peculiarities, triumphs, and failures are at once deeply a part of us yet completely unimportant when it comes to the much more important things we do with the other 50% of our time. (That percentage is a joke, btw!)

        Does that clarify a bit? :)

    •  As a felllow gay man, let me second everything (3+ / 0-)

      you said in this diary.  I've said much the same over the past days, though much less eloquently, I'm sure. I think you are right that gay people have a better 'handle' on sexuality than most.  We have to build our sexual identity from scratch in a sense, after we come to terms with the fact that the identity our society created and expected for us doesn't fit.  So, I think gay people in general do a lot more thought about what it means to be a sexual being and it's place in our lives. And as a result, we tend to be somewhat more enlightened about sexual relationships--as well as more compassionate of others who find themselves being hoisted on the prudish petard that we've been subjected to for all our adult lives.

  •  Exactly! (57+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this well reasoned, enlightened, and pragmatic response to the borderline hysteria that has surrounded "Weinergate".

    As a gay man as well, I also try to allow politicians to have their private sex lives as THEIR OWN...and like you, it is only the hypocrisy of sex scandals from "family values/anti-gay" politicians that draw my ire and judgement. Weiner has never positioned himself as a holier-than-thou moral crusader.

    He has apologized for his temporary deception and lapse of judgement, and this is now a private matter between he and his wife to resolve. Weiner has engaged in no more damning behavior (online flirtations and some mild 'sexting')than millions of others...from ALL walks of life.

    Should EVERYONE be forced to resign from their job when or if their private sex lives are exposed as being  "complicated" or not perfectly monogomous? How ridiculous!

    "Has this severly affected your job performance?", and/or  "Do you do your job well?" should be the criterion of assessment...and I am temporarily dissapointed, but overall, still a staunch supporter of Mr. Weiner.

    •  Yup - my only disappointment is his deception (27+ / 0-)

      I can understand why he would lie, of course - for all the cultural revolutions we've accomplished as a society, we still have a bit of our Puritan roots, with a healthy dose of Victorian prudism.

      Am I slightly scandalized by his actions - sure! In an "OMG-dude-can-you-believe-he-did-that?" sort of way. But I don't cast judgment on them or think they color him as anything other than HUMAN.

      The subsequent deception is regrettable, but completely understandable and again HUMAN.

      If he broke no laws, if he violated no rules - lay off 'im. That's how I feel. :)

      •  The one response most people................... (12+ / 0-)

        ...................universally have when confronted with their own imperfections is instant denial, particularly if the imperfection is embarrassing/sexual.

        With the need to 'put ones self out' to find willing sexual partners, many men are caught in embarrassing situations. Some trivial and some not so trivial.

        Vulgarity born of ones self image or lack of it, comes often and in many forms. Wiener is not alone in his searches for verification. In fact, coming from a man who had been single for a long time, what he did is not surprising at all.

        My guess is he thought he was just flirting, even if the attention or way it was presented, was unwanted.

        The real story is how the media is exhausting the public to whip this into some kind of vengeful frenzy so Weiner will be punished.

        And as far as Brietbart is concerned, he knows no boundaries, when it comes to ferreting out gossip on his sworn enemies. It is surprising that he hit on a truth here and didn't have to fabricate something.        

        Chomsky-About cables released by WikiLeaks. "What this reveals, is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership.

        by socks on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:58:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo! (12+ / 0-)

        Who among us hasn't done something equally stupid that we've regretted? AND even lied about it?  AND if caught, apologized?
        Ya know what, this should be between Anthony and his wife.  No one was hurt, all the people involved were 'adults' and frankly it's really none of our business.  I hate that he lied, but his lies did NOT cause a war or cause anyone to be killed.  He lied, bad.  He apologized, good.  What does it say about us as a nation that we excoriate someone who lies about something private (that hurt no one) and we 're-elect' someone who lied us into a tragic 'war' that's killed thousands?  
        Everyone who is 'scandalized' should consider whether their lives (with all the myriad peccadilloes people do on a regular basis, many far worse than what Anthony Weiner did) could stand the polluted scrutiny of scum like Breitbart.
         

        I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

        by Lilyvt on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:12:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Were you a United States Congressmen (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          roonie

          when you did all those stupid things?  No, you were not.  So you can do whatever you like and nobody gives a shit.  It's different for United States Congressman.  People expect them to be marginally less stupid than, say, you.

          •  Nope.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            orestes1963, wecandoit7

            Wasn't a congressman (or congesswoman), and I actually didn't say I did those stupid things.
            People are people, and have human feelings and do stupid things regardless of their standing in life.
            And people who expect public persons in politics to be marginally less stupid than they are, are looking for perfection, and will always be disappointed.

            I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

            by Lilyvt on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:30:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  people expect all kinds of stupid shit n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  Not stupid - HUMAN (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KateCrashes, Lilyvt

            This is the point. We are all human. Even Congressmen and Congresswomen. Humans are fallible.

            When the fallibility impacts the well-being of the country, it's an issue. When it relates to corruption or graft, it's an issue.

            When it's about a penis... now THAT'S stupid.

        •  probably couldn't (0+ / 0-)

          then again, I'm not a congressman with power over the lives of 300 plus million people.

          I mean, not to quote Spiderman's uncle but with great power...

      •  You mean an UNhealthy dose of Victorian prudery (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, wecandoit7

        The Victorians were sick, sick, sick, and so was their society. And so, to the extent that we have these post-Victorian hangovers, is ours.

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:42:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  wow,,,that's your only disappointment??? (0+ / 0-)

        Not how incredibly stupid he was to engage in such  behavior? Putting photos of his dick and puffed up chest on twitter? Oh yes,  "Hire that genuis! Make him CEO!".. first things that popped into my mind .

        Not a hint of concern that this guy thought this was something that would not blow up in his face?

        My only concern is his horrible judgment -- and it wasn't a one-time poor judgement... this went on over years.

        And now he has the x-rated photo of him in the Right's hand, ready to blackmail him at anytime.

        He has lost all effectiveness --- he will be a seat-warmer.

    •  Indeed. Diarist has put it pretty well (7+ / 0-)

      I might take issue with the idea that gay men have a more mature relationship with their sexuality -- and I don't really think making that claim is even necessary to the diary -- but I applaud his observations about the matter at hand.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

      by FischFry on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:33:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you read (5+ / 0-)

        some of the holier-than-thou blather coming from heterosexual married members of this site? I'd say that statement was apt.

        "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

        by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:51:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh swell. Not enough divisions (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terabthia2, Caipirinha

          on this site already.
          Now we're gonna start pie-fights between LGBT people and heterosexual married people?
          That'll get everyone far.

          •  Nah, not a pie-fight... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4kedtongue, histOries Marko

            Just pointing out that there seems to be an awful lot of moralizing going on, and it's coming predominantly from one subset of the community here. This is part of my point in the first place.

            It's easy to be "normal," and to have the expected life of a spouse, children, a minivan and a house in the suburbs. But that very "normalcy" can undermine one's relationship with sexuality in a really unfortunate way because part of "normal" is to keep sexuality locked up where it can't be seen. Then when it bursts out into the daylight by accident, it is suddenly a scandal.

            Living in a world where we have to cope with not fitting into "normal," we have evolved a different standard that I do think is more mature and well-adjusted. Not to say that stable heterosexual relationships are bad AT ALL. They're essential.

            But humans are humans, and sex is integral to who we are, yet completely unrelated to other aspects of who we are and what we accomplish.

            Anyway, blah blah...

            •  I get where you're coming from- (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Caipirinha

              and I sympathize, believe me.  My best friend in high school came out to me years before he told anyone else.  This was in the sixties, for crying out loud, when there was no "it gets better" message for him.  I know how tricky it can be.

              No one should define anyone else's consensual sexual expression.  That's why I have a problem with the part of your argument that seems to suggest that a certain amount of promiscuity (for want of a better term) is healthier or more mature or more well-adjusted or more honest than a relationship based on fidelity.  It just sounds like the 2011 version of "boys will be boys".  

              If it works for you, cool.  Would definitely not work for me.  And I do not love the idea that men just can't help themselves, and that women just have to adjust to that reality.  (I know you didn't say that, but it seems to be a corollary, and an increasingly popular one.).

              Anyway, blah blah...

            •  My disabled friends (0+ / 0-)

              are not that bent about this either...of course, I don't know all of crip America and would not be able to chat politically with all of it...just saying there could be a good point here.

              "You have three friends in your life. God, your Mama, and the Democratic Party...I'm not so sure about your Mama." --Alan Grayson

              by chicating on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:48:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Does this apply to Weiner? (0+ / 0-)
      As a gay man as well, I also try to allow politicians to have their private sex lives as THEIR OWN

      He tweeted his junk in public for all to see.  How is that part of his private sex life?  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  sexting is an offense if it is unwanted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LillithMc, gramofsam1

      Why is it that having a phone number, an email address, etc. is considered an open invitation to send inappropriate photos or emails.  I don't have a problem if the recipient has expressed interest, but that doesn't sound like what happened here.

      Is this one of those mysterious guy things?

  •  I feel betrayed (10+ / 0-)

    I'm gay and feel angry that he played his supporters for fools.

  •  Fantastic diary... (36+ / 0-)

    ...an evolved perspective light years ahead of the sensibilities and petty judgements which are also all too human...and far too often on display here.  It is no wonder to me that many are ready to wash their hands of Weiner and cast him aside as some sort of a liability...it would mean taking a honest look at ourselves and recognizing that what we see in Weiner we see in ourselves.

    The number of people who have seen photographs of my penis and my abdominal muscles would make me blush if I were less enlightened. But, as a sexually enlightened person, I understand that this is just the natural extension of human sexuality in the modern world. We flirt.

    Such a shame that this would be a cause of embarrassment.  Until we can honestly deal with this reality as a society, we should not be surprised when the next talented politician or public person is sacrificed on the altar of our collective shame at what makes us human.

    •  Thanks! (6+ / 0-)

      Yeah... I mean, I've done things online that I might be embarrassed by if I'm ever a public figure. And some of the things I do online, I'd probably stop if I were to become a public figure. But I'm not entirely sure I have the wherewithal - or the desire - to completely squelch that. And knowing that, who am I to cast aspersions on someone else for being like me (only heterosexual)?

    •  The Puritans are winning (12+ / 0-)

      and we must not let that happen.

      REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

      by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:20:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, Only Needs a Beat

      You wouldn't walk up to somebody on the street, pull down your pants, and wave your erect penis at the person.

      Or maybe you would.  But most people wouldn't call that "flirting".

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:01:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could it be that the exchanges... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rmx2630

        ...escalated over time to an exchange of pics?

        You wouldn't walk up to somebody on the street, pull down your pants, and wave your erect penis at the person.

        Or maybe you would.


        What a shitty thing to imply.  You don't know the first thing about me...and you're far from clever, despite your uprates.

        The virtual world has rules of its own that don't always jibe with the real world.  Please don't make rhetorical assumptions about my real-life or on-line behavior.

        •  If you're going to make the argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1

          that publicly twittered junk shots are acceptable behavior, then don't play the victim card when people assume you do that sort of thing yourself.

          Do I care if you flash pics of your junk at people?  No, unless it was my girlfriend or mother you did it to.  But if you were a progressive politician who represented me, I would be fucking pissed regardless of who you sent pics of your junk to, even if it were your wife.  It doesn't take a genius figure out how such a photo might be used by political enemies.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:19:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Double down... (0+ / 0-)

            ...why don't you?  Again, my comments don't reveal a thing about what kind of behavior I engage in.  The only thing they reveal about me is that I don't have a judgemental temperment.  They are not too far from what Lawrence O'Donnell has been saying since this story broke, and I doubt that anyone is calling into question his behavior.

            Weiner accidentally publicly tweated that pic.  It was NEVER intended for public consumption.  And I'm not playing the victim card.  You made assumptions about my behavior based on your MISINTERPRETATION and MISREPRESENTATIONS of the facts of this particular episode.

             

            But if you were a progressive politician who represented me, I would be fucking pissed regardless of who you sent pics of your junk to, even if it were your wife.
            And I need make no assumptions about what kind of behavior pisses you off -- even consensual behavior between a husband and wife, if inadvertently exposed to the public, would set you off.  I get it.  The only way political enemies make any hay out of such a consensual exchange is if there are enough finger-waggers out there who hold politicians to IMPOSSIBLE standards of conduct held over from the Victorian Era.

            Our conversation is over.  Enjoy your anger.

            ;-)

            •  You conflating (0+ / 0-)

              my condemnation of Weiner sending pictures of his junk, with a condemnation of his junk or the use of his junk.

              This is about as simple as I can state my position:  it's stupid and irresponsible for a politician to send porn pics of himself to ANYONE.  The problem isn't the porn, it's the pics.  Weiner jeopardizes not only his own career, but the progressive causes he supports.  Do I think it's fair that politicians are held to a different standard than the rest of us?  Hell no, but my opinion is irrelevant to how the system works.

              My other contention in this thread is that it's inappropriate to twitter junk shots in public, a behavior I find analogous to flashing or sexual harrasment.  If you think that's prudish, fine, but at least understand my point before freaking out.

              "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

              by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:24:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That is not all you said... (0+ / 0-)

                ...you had the temerity to speculate about my behavior based on my defense of Weiner, or my unwillingness to condemn him as you do.  WAY over the line.

                I can agree to disagree with you as far as how you want to hold Weiner responsible for discrediting progressive causes he championed based on his behavior, but stating that I shouldn't be surprised if folks assume I'm snapping pics of my junk and sending it into cyberspace or that I might approach strangers on the street and expose my hard-on to them based on the fact that I don't share your opinion of the severity of the situation is beyond the pale.

                You suck at apologies...Weiner has you beat by a mile in that department.

                •  No apology intended (0+ / 0-)

                  You're taking this way too seriously.  

                  And it's curious that you defend Weiner by claiming there is nothing wrong with publicly tweeting junk shots, yet take such grave offense when someone suggests maybe you send them yourself.

                  "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                  by Subterranean on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 08:00:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I haven't defended Weiner... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...for publicly tweeting junk shots.  Based on what actually happened, the tweet was never meant to be public.  It was mistakenly tweeted, which means it was intended as a private communication.  If you are under the impression that he MEANT to tweet that pic so the world could see it, you would be mistaken.  His lies that he had been hacked and the victim of a prank bear that much out.  We are approaching this from 2 disticnt points--one based on what actually happened as opposed to what you think or claim happened.

                    Again, however, you conveniently omit the salient part of your comment which was offensive:

                    You wouldn't walk up to somebody on the street, pull down your pants, and wave your erect penis at the person.

                    Or maybe you would.  But most people wouldn't call that "flirting".

                    That is your comment to me in its entirety minus the 'oh please' header.

                    How we got from there to here:

                    And it's curious that you defend Weiner by claiming there is nothing wrong with publicly tweeting junk shots, yet take such grave offense when someone suggests maybe you send them yourself.

                    Is you moving the goal post, since the original comment bears no resemblance to the one you are now advancing.

                    What I am defending is his right to engage in private sexual or 'virtual' sexual activity because it is none of my business.

                    Based on what I am actually defending, it is a bridge too far to assume that I would approach strangers and publicly flash my erect penis to them and call it flirting.  Your assumption is based on a completely false premise and a completely false account of what Weiner did.  The fact that you would even level such an indictment and then, when confronted with your specific words , chose to substitute a completely different scenario as if you were asking the same question, is an indication of your disingenuiousness and prurience.

                    This exchange proves nothing about what practices I may or may not engage in, but it says a lot about you.

      •  I think you may have missed the point, in part... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4kedtongue, histOries Marko

        One of the points of the diary is how the online universe enables a more intimate form of engaging in the dance of human sexuality.

        •  Totally agree (0+ / 0-)

          with this:

          ...the online universe enables a more intimate form of engaging in the dance of human sexuality.

          I contend that publicly twittering junk shots isn't intimate at all, and for an elected representative, it's not appropriate.  I'd go so far as to say that if somone made a habit of it, they would eventually run into serious legal trouble.

          Privately sending junk shots?  If a politician cares about the causes he champions, he wouldn't even do that.  As for private individuals, it's none of my business, although I would tend to think the more junk shots, the better.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:28:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, he didn't intend it to be public... (0+ / 0-)

            I do think that the internet creates means by which a huge number of people of all ages share more than they otherwise would. No civilized person would flash a pair of breasts or a penis in a singles bar (ok, Mardi Gras and Miami get a pass on this assertion), yet I know very professional people in my circle of acquaintances who readily swap nude photos with others via Grindr, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, and various heterosexually-oriented sites as well.

            This means that sexually intimate imagery and words are shared before emotional intimacy is built. That can be true in-person, as well, but I'd argue that it's much more pronounced in the online world.

            I'm not saying it's good or it's bad - I'm just saying it's common, and while it may not be a good idea for a public figure to do it, I suspect that the good congressman is simply the only one we know (so far) who has been caught.

    •  Is it a coincidence that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater

      most of those calling for Wiener's job are also ardent Obama supporters and that Wiener is among the most progressive voices in congress?

      •  That would be surprising (0+ / 0-)

        I would think that those espousing a moral high ground, with a side of moral condemnation for "lying" would be more critical of the president for lying about political matters (eg, PO) than Weiner for personal matters.

    •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wecandoit7

      I don't like the claim that he got hacked. Other than that....so he flirted online in a way some might find crass, but is done by lots of folks every day of the week. (Especially common amongst gay men.)

      If his wife thinks she was cheated that's her call. If anyone felt harassed by him I'd like to knowknow about that. But otherwise this is a ridiculous scandal.

      Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:11:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Earlier tonight I made a donation to AW. (25+ / 0-)

    This is a truly great, humane diary, and I hope that if it slips off the reading list, you will repost it, wecandoit7!

    We need great liberals like AW in the House.

  •  Even simpler: (18+ / 0-)

    He shot his wad.

    He has nothing left to lose.

    So there's no good reason he can't unleash into a rhetorical firestorm in Congress and even out-Grayson Grayson himself.

    Forget about the election, just get up there and rain down fire and brimstone on the plutocracy.

    And he should call out Breitfart on his blackmail threat:  "OK, Brightie, let's see what you've got.  I'll show you mine if you show me yours!  Don't go getting jealous or anything!"

    •  Ha! (7+ / 0-)

      I kind of hope he doesn't do that, though I admire the thinking behind your comment. However, if he goes all Howard Beale on us, then he really is in trouble, methinks!

    •  Who's going to listen to him outside of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, stevej

      hardcore liberal base?

      Seriously, his credibility needs years of rehabilitation, it it's not permanently lost.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:56:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So does John Boehner's (5+ / 0-)

        So does Bill Clinton's.

        Really, some of you want these people to be Superman, and that is a patently unreasonable expectation.

        REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

        by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:21:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not superhuman to avoid cybersexing (4+ / 0-)

          at least a half-dozen random strangers because they 'like' you on Facebook or 'follow' you on Twitter.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:23:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, but the *means* by which he did it (0+ / 0-)

            is not the point. The point is the temptation, period.

            If there was no Facebook or Twitter, it's possible it would have been done another way. Or not at all.

            REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

            by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:41:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's really not that hard to remain (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              terabthia2

              faithful to one's wife.

              Especially if you're an extremely busy Congressman.  Plenty of things to fill up his time.  

              He chose to dedicate his time to prowling for women to cybersex.

              This is not a case of temptation--he was actively going out and seeking this.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:47:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jayden, itsbenj, orestes1963

                Whatever. I'm not going to debate long-ingrained Puritanical instinct and hypocritical Beltway spin.

                REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

                by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:50:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  OMG! (6+ / 0-)

                Faithful to one's wife! Why not let HIS WIFE handle her biz, huh? Geez these morally pure folks on this site!

                "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

                by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:57:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  If it wasn't hard for people to"remain faithful" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikejay611, itsbenj

                to their spouses, there wouldn't be so many penalties and social sanctions against it. And people who should know better, especially around here wouldn't be yelling so much.

                Non-monogamy is not natural, so society has sanctions in the same way society tries to force everybody to be heterosexual and vanilla.

                Hasn't worked yet.

                "Somehow our slogan 'We’ll protect YOUR Medicare, but your kids are screwed' never really caught on."

                by BobSmith415 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:00:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Even Jimmy Carter (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikejay611, jayden, itsbenj, wecandoit7

                "lusted in his heart."

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:09:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Gosh, such moralizing... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikejay611, 4kedtongue

                Who are you to question the expression of his sexuality? It's none of your business.

                •  Heh, your diary pretty much trashes as (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Caipirinha

                  unenlightened prudes anyone who doesn't adapt your personal values in this subject.

                  Moreover, his dishonesty and extreme recklessness are entirely separate from the sexual aspects.

                  He carried out his activities in a manner that left many strangers in possession of easily forwarded proof that could humiliate him and cripple his career.

                  Which is exactly what happened.

                  And then he lied to Nancy Pelosi, Bill and Hiillary Clinton, his wife, his campaign donors, and his consitituents.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:19:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Why are you interposing yourself (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mikejay611, wecandoit7

                into his marriage?  You know nothing about the arrangement he has with his wife.  And it's none of your business.  Try focusing on lies related to matters of public concern.  A little titilation at Weiner and a little more condemnation of the political whores, please.

              •  So, questions: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                histOries Marko

                If flirting is being "unfaithful", do you also consider masturbation unfaithful? How about viewing pornography? Reading a magazine with nude pictures? Reading a novel that includes sexual scenes?

                Normal human interaction is filled with undercurrents of sexuality.

                Latin dancing is overtly sensual. So, if I dance salsa or tango in closed embrace, and if I'm married and dancing with someone who isn't my spouse, am I being unfaithful?

                Does being "faithful" require that an individual suspend, and suppress, any and all manner of pleasurable normal human interactions where there is any possibility of sexual tension? Does faithfulness require a person to have no intense feelings or emotional attachments to anyone who isn't his or her spouse?

                If you lived in the Victorian age, the "official" answer to every one of the above questions would have been an emphatic YES!

                Problem is that much of our sex-obsessed society is still living in the Victorian age, and is simultaneously titillated and horrified by sexuality. That horror requires self-imposed social isolation and denial of much of the fulfillment that one can experience in life. I agree completely with the diarist: as liberals, we should carefully examine ourselves, and look at what it means to be liberal in the very best and most inclusive sense of the word. Because, liberals embrace community, and embrace what it means to be human. Conservatives tend to run in fear from the possibilities of being human, and reject community.

                While I think AW behaved stupidly -- because as a Congressman, he should have known better about the political risks he was taking, that sometimes in order to maintain political credibility, one does have to impose limits on what might otherwise be none of anyone else's business, and that if you're caught doing something stupid, you NEVER try to cover it up by lying and blaming someone else -- I agree that he didn't behave unforgivably. So, it's disappointing to be now hearing of fellow Democrats calling for his resignation. I think we should have his back on this.

                "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

                by flitedocnm on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:09:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If it involves another person and you feel (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  flitedocnm

                  like you have to keep it hidden from your spouse/intimate partner, it's probably some kind of cheating.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:27:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, that's a good start, because (0+ / 0-)

                    it's the answer that most people might give. So, then --

                    What, exactly, does "cheating" mean?

                    Here's what the dictionary says, for the verb, to cheat:

                    act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination...  deceive or trick

                    Hmmm, that doesn't seem to really fit the bill here. Perhaps "unfaithful" is a better word, but that really is a tautology:

                    engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one's regular partner in contravention of a previous promise or understanding ... disloyal, treacherous, or insincere

                    So, for the examples I gave in my previous post, one has to define "sexual relations" incredibly broadly to consider, for example, masturbation to be something that would make one unfaithful. And sure, it involves another person -- because some form of fantasy with another person is usually involved.

                    You say, "if... you keep it hidden... it's probably some kind of cheating". The implication is that the foundation of a relationship must be that nothing should ever be kept private, that anything that is kept private is potentially threatening to the emotional ties or the commitment between two people. How many people who are happily and successfully married or involved in a long term relatonship never have fantasies that involve someone who isn't their spouse or partner? Anyone? Must those fantasies always be shared, then?

                    "Gee, honey, I want you to know that I jerked off last night, while I was looking at a picture of someone who isn't you, because it's important that I don't hide these things from you."

                    How silly is that?

                    Even more to the point: if you think sharing a fantasy might be harmful, but you are certain that the fantasy is harmless, are your only choices in the context of a faithful relationship to either suppress the fantasy, or avoid all situations in which fantasies might happen, or tell your partner even knowing that it serves absolutely no purpose to do so?

                    "Gee, honey, I danced with Sally in tango class last night, and she's a really good dancer with a nice body, and I just thought you needed to know that it felt good dancing with her."

                    There are so many internal contradictions that need to be accepted if you are determined to deny normal human sexuality and adhere to a rigid definition of faithfulness, aren't there?

                    "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

                    by flitedocnm on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:21:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  He told his wife the cyberfucking (0+ / 0-)

                      of strangers was over.  Repeatedly.

                      He lied to her and humiliated her.

                      That's indisputably immoral, dishonest behavior.

                      That it's also gross is besides the point.

                      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                      by Geekesque on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 06:25:52 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  The same was said... (9+ / 0-)

        ...of Ted Kennedy...a man who had a tragic accident where someone actually died and he lied initially lied to cover it up...and he went on to become one of the most successful Senators in the history of the Senate.

        Part of our responsibility in this affair is keeping it in perspective, whether we feel betrayed by Weiner's lies or not.  Are his political positions ones we can support?  If the answer is yes, then we owe it to ourselves to support politicians who fight our battles in DC (or state capitals, or city hall.)

        •  Weiner would be very wise to follow Ted's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4kedtongue, Sue B

          model--work his ass off behind the scenes, avoid the limelight, stop throwing bombs, and start establishing working relationships with others.

          Including Republicans and moderate Democrats.

          If he can do that, hat's off to him and it will speak very well of his character.

          What he can't do is think that the old Anthony Weiner can ever resurface as a credible public figure.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:01:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A couple of points: (5+ / 0-)

            While Teddy, no doubt, put his nose to the grindstone and worked to build political bridges after Chappaquidick, he never completely stopped carousing and exercising poor judgement.  He drank, he cheated, he divorced his wife, he was involved in a rape trial involving his nephew...he had and continued to have MANY character flaws.  He was human.  He was also a superb Senator.

            Weiner is also human.  Not deranged, not insatiable, not a pervert.  Just someone who in a moment in time exercised some poor judgement and is being RAKED over the coals for something fairly innocuous by modern standards.

            •  Good point on Ted. (0+ / 0-)

              But, Weiner appears to be very much insatiable.  This wasn't a one-off thing.

              It's a years-long pattern of behavior that he was unable to cease once married.

              It's not that he was so morally wrong.  It's that he's a joke now.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:47:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, the joke thing is gonna be (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque

                a problem-- especially given his unfortunate surname.

                •  Baloney. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  itsbenj, mikejay611, chicating

                  Those jokes are already tired...and were never funny to begin with.

                  The obvious shot is the product of a poor imagination...and speaks volumes about the maturity of the one making the joke and very little about the subject of the punchline.

                  What's so unfortunate about his surname?  I mean, it's so 'Beavis and Butthead'..."He said 'weiner'...huh-huh-huh..."

                  •  Never said they were funny. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4kedtongue, Geekesque

                    Never thought they were funny.

                    We disagree on how a lot people will react for a good long time when they hear his name.
                    Like it or not (I don't), there's a lot of Beavis and Butthead in this culture.

                    •  Then your problem is with the culture... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...as you see and define it.  I tend to think we're all a little smarter than that.  Will people attempt to exploit Weiner's embarrassment for political gain?  Of course they will -- it's rough and tumble in the world of politics and hypocrisy abounds.  The question is:  Will we, those of us who know better, allow them to get away with it by jetisoning one of our own for the sake of political expediency?

                      •  Who said jettison? Not me. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        4kedtongue

                        I'd love to share your relative admiration for the culture-at-large.  Really I would.  Looks to me that the Beavis and Butthead crowd have deeply influenced  the popular imagination, all forms of media are awash in it.

                          I hope you're right and I'm wrong.

          •  You don't know what you're talking about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            Kennedy's "error in judgment" was significantly worse than Weiner's.  Do you hold Kennedy in the same low esteem you do Weiner?

            •  Anthony Weiner couldn't carry Ted Kennedy's (0+ / 0-)

              jock.

              Let's see him get actual legislative accomplishments.  

              The problem for Weiner is that there's not much more there besides the public appearances

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:40:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ha (0+ / 0-)

                if the democratic party at the time were like you, Kennedy would not have had an opportunity to achieve any accomplishments.  That is the point that, in your narrowmindedness, you completely fail to see.  

              •  That's true (0+ / 0-)

                Let someone point out some of Weiner's legislative accomplishments.

                I learned on Dkos that because I think Anthony Weiner is a cheating liar, I am sexually immature and I think I'm superior to everyone.

                by mim5677 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:57:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Really unfair... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chicating, orestes1963

                ...to judge Weiner's career thus far to the entirety of Kennedy's.  Furthermore, Kennedy had some advantages in combatting his image problem that Weiner doesn't have:  A political Dynasty mythologized as much by tragic assassinations as it was by political accomplishments -- the pity of a nation who idolized his brothers after their murders.  Surviving a plane crash that left him with a broken back.  A son who lost a leg to cancer.  It's hard to HATE a man -- even a man who repeatedly demonstrated poor judgement in the most tragic of circumstances -- who has suffered the kinds losses and personal challenges Ted Kennedy had suffered AND, by default, became the father figure to his entire family.  That kind of personal story goes a long way in tamping down the judgements of even his harshest critics.  

                Also, Kennedy, at the height of his irresponsible behavior, did not have to contend with cable news and 24hr chatter.  Plus, there were simply things the media wouldn't touch.

                No, Anthony Weiner can't match the legislative accomplishments of Ted Kennedy YET (and he may never since it isn't even debatable at what a great and effective politican and legislator Kennedy was -- the most accomplished in the history of The Senate), but on the same token, the RELATIVELY MINOR infractions of Weiner's can't compare with some of Kennedy's DOOSIES -- not even in the same universe!

  •  Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    You said pretty much exactly what I've been thinking.

  •  I couldn't agree more! (16+ / 0-)

    Since joining DKos in May 2005 I've always had the same signature - and I think it says it all.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:07:41 AM PDT

  •  Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    Very well expressed. I am disappointed with Rep. Weiner but I see no need for him to resign. He's done so much and will continue to work hard. Also agree that Rep. Lee didn't need to resign, either. Pictures are harmless. Let it go.

    If the future's looking dark, we're the ones who have to shine Though we live in trying times we're the ones who have to try

    by Purple Priestess on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 02:35:57 AM PDT

  •  Here is a straight guy's perspective. It was (12+ / 0-)

    written probably a hundred years ago by a woman of keen intellect and a great sense of humor.

    General Review Of The Sex Situation
    Dorothy Parker

    Woman wants monogamy;
    Man delights in novelty.
    Love is woman’s moon and sun;
    Man has other forms of fun.
    Woman lives but in her lord;
    Count to ten, and man is bored.
    With this the gist and sum of it,
    What earthly good can come of it?

    Having said this, however, even Dorothy would be shocked that someone in the public eye so to speak would think he could hide this kind of stuff forever.

    Stupidity is the sin here.

    I think he should decide whether to resign or whether to run again and then the people should decide

  •  Less hypocrisy (6+ / 0-)

    is needed throughout our political system.  So is less anger.  There are solutions to our many problems, but they aren't likely to be found through ideology, but through reason.  IMHO.

    Good diary!

  •  How hard is it to get that when a woman gets (12+ / 0-)

    an unsolicited erotic photo sent to her- and Genette Cordova has reiterated that it was sent to her out of the blue- that constitutes harassment? Her life has been turned upside down at least for now. Her morality has been called into question all over the country because she dared follow a male politician on Twitter. But that's not an issue to you?

    Excuse me, but as a gay man, you don't get to speak to the nature of sexual harassment for women. You don't have any right to speak to that fundamental imbalance of power because you haven't lived with it. You don't get to tell me that I'm a prude because I don't think it's okay to have a woman harassed. I don't give a damn about what two consenting adults do. I do give a damn that the ubiquitous assumption among self-identified progressives is that a young black, female community college student must be lying because a powerful white male politician, who has been caught in a lie, says so. I do give a damn that a young black, female community college student is deemed to be the sort of person who would interfere in a marriage because a self-identified liar says so. That's not okay no matter how many contortions "progressives" do to justify it.

     If you yourself don't give a damn, it's because you lack empathy. It isn't about my views on sexuality. You don't know jack shit about my views on sexuality, and the implication that you do just because I adopt a stance on harassment is pretty gross. Sex and harassment aren't interchangeable. That should be easy to understand.

  •  I've never really understood how (17+ / 0-)

    otherwise intelligent people can have such lapses of judgment.

    If Weiner were just some engineer or accountant , or  just a regular guy,  no one would care about a situation like this except they guy's family and friends.  In short, it would be nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.  

    If Weiner had opted to become more circumspect in his online behavior after getting elected, we'd  be looking at a slightly scandalous tempest in a teapot.

    But for Weiner to choose to continue to engage in such ill advised behavior once he became a member of one of the most elite, public groups in America and to expect that his online exploits would remain under the radar is flabbergasting.   And for him to then lie instead of immediately taking responsibility for his lapse of judgment is just sad.  

    One would think that by this point, our elected  officials would have realized that very little of what they say or do, is secret.  

    "There's gotta be a pony under here somewhere!!"

    by patterson415 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:36:44 AM PDT

    •  This. I'm not angry at him for sexting, per se. (7+ / 0-)

      I'm angry at him for indulging in risky behavior at the same time that he was beginning a very important effort to investigate the Right's second-most-favorite SC Justice. I don't feel betrayed or disgusted. I feel disappointed and angry, because Weiner did the most unforgivable thing of all: he gave Breitbart some iota of credibility.

      They only call it class war when we hit back.

      by jayjaybear on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:43:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about the recipients? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caipirinha

      Do women dig men who send them unsolicited photos of their hardware?  

      That strikes me as rather sexually abusive, or at least harrassing.  But I've never been any good at picking up women.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:13:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Weiner... (9+ / 0-)

    Well, I still think Weiner was a jerk for bullshitting us for a week, and letting his supporters hang out to dry. He knew he was playing a dangerous and immature game, while loudly taking on some very powerful interests at the same time. He also knew he was completely caught in the net last week and should have come clean then.

    That said your diary is a thought provoking and admirable defense of the man. Apart from his irrational views on the I/P issue I did think he he was a true blue guy who wanted to fight for the little guy.

    "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

    by assyrian64 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 03:45:31 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'd (8+ / 0-)

    for your assessment of Weiner's humanity, the role he holds as a progressive voice in Congress, and why we should continue to support him.

    I take issue, however, with your idealization of sexuality in "the" gay community.  Sex for gay people exists in the same socio-economic conditions and relations of power as they do for everyone else.  So, while there may be more (or more perceived) freedom in sexual activities within gay communities, that doesn't absolve anyone in a position of power in taking advantage of his/her situation when expressing sexuality.  

    That Weiner took lots of pictures of himself is not the problem to me.  That he chose at least several very young women to send them to--that's problematic.  Not illegal, but problematic.  I thought the same thing about Clinton:  nothing about his relationship with Monical Lewinsky was illegal, but it was still wrong.   I think I'm within my rights to maintain judgement about it.  That said, if he had been up for reelection after the Lewinsky affair, I still would have voted for him.

    •  Rec'd for thoughtfulness... (0+ / 0-)

      I definitely disagree with your conclusion that Weiner took advantage of these people, somehow. I just noted in another comment that I have been sexually harrassed (try a work retreat where I woke up to the boss licking my feet after having tried to convince me to take a sleeping pill so I would "rest better"). So I get that power differential and how it pertains to sex.

      I just don't think that's what's going on here.

  •  The only apology Weiner needs to make (14+ / 0-)

    is to his wife and the woman to whom the photo was sent.  He does not owe us an apology.  What he did was dumb, but ultimately none of our business.

    explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

    by bluestatesam on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:02:43 AM PDT

  •  He's not telling anyone else who to sleep with (17+ / 0-)

    I mean, let's be frank here. I'm a lot more judgmental of politicians who pull this crap while preaching family values, flaunting their wife and three kids all over the place, and deciding who is and isn't worthy of a marriage license.

    So yeah, forgive me if I'm a little baffled by this whole controversy. Who cares? I still like the guy. OK, he broke his marriage vow apparently, but his wife isn't even publicly complaining about it. (Yet? Whatever. We don't know what's going on there, and again, don't care. Not invested in his marriage, to be honest.)

    For the record, I live one district over from Weiner's, but I'd still vote for him if I ever had the chance. I wouldn't elect him to be my husband, maybe, but that's not what we vote for.

  •  I admire you for stepping out in support of him... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, princesspat, wecandoit7

    ...and for your take on sex and gay male sex in particular.

    He does seem to be all you make of him in your diary.  But, it will be difficult to support him until he says something like "how could I be so smart, yet so stupid?"  To me, that's the real offense here: the stupidity.  All that you wrote in defense is fine for the average person, but he's no average person -- he's a U.S. representative and they are just not supposed to be that PUBLICLY stupid.

    All that said, you're a good diarist. Hope you write more here.

  •  The Blackjack Dealer wrote... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, emsprater, wecandoit7

    ...a note of apology to Huma Abedin (Weiner's wife). I don't recall that happening in all the other situations.

    Weiner should stay put. This will blow over sooner than we expect (or the GOP wants).

    The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

    by Egalitare on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:23:34 AM PDT

  •  good diary (4+ / 0-)

    but, you know, the guy is a Congressman, on the national stage, and an effective advocate for us - maybe our MOST effective advocate - at time when we desperately need one .... he had to know that getting found out sending racy pix to women much younger than him would greatly diminish his ability to be that advocate.

    I don't care what he does, as long as it's between consenting adults, but he let us down doing it in such a way that would get found out. If he were merely a local pol it wouldn't be so bad, since NY is more understanding. But he plays on the national stage.

    And of course, our mission for a better America led by better Democrats is still in its early stages. -- Markos Moulitsas, 5/26/11

    by mightymouse on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:29:48 AM PDT

  •  another gay man's perspective (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forester, jayden, wecandoit7

    The joys of repressed voyeuristic titillation

    Glenn Greenwald hits a lot of the same points as this diary.  A good companion piece.

  •  What does this have to do with it: (10+ / 0-)
    He is a fit, attractive man.

    If he was ugly and out of shape, it shouldn't matter either, right?

    I'm not disgusted that the man has a fantasy life, or is erotic, or any of that. I'm disgusted that a married man did this behind his wife's back. Now, is that any of my business. No. It's between the two of them.

    But this is a load of crap.

    His responsibility to his constituents was to not lie in the first place. I would be 100% behind leaving the guy alone if he would not have tried to blame it on a hacker. But that single lie, that single stupid mistruth is getting in the way of me saying, "Let the guy have his sex life and leave him be."

    I'm sure we'll see "A married woman's perspective..," "A single woman's perspective..," and "a constituent's perspective..." later today.

    •  How did he lie to you? And how do you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikejay611

      know that it was behind his wife's back?

      "Somehow our slogan 'We’ll protect YOUR Medicare, but your kids are screwed' never really caught on."

      by BobSmith415 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:24:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because he lied to hide it from her. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha

        This has been discussed a million times, Bob.  If his wife knew about it and was cool with it, he wouldn't have felt the need to lie and say he was "hacked" in the first instance.

        Clearly, it was behind his wife's back, so you can go ahead and drop that particular plank of your multi-plank defence of this idiotic little man, who had sufficient hubris as to think he could get away with the sort of behaviour many men before him have ruined their careers with.

      •  He lied to me (us) when he said he had been hacked (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moira977, Caipirinha

        If it was only his staff that said that, then I guess he lied by omission and allowed everyone to run with a ball that shouldn't have been ran in the first place.

        As to behind his wife's back... he said as much in the press conference.

    •  It's about power, not looks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean

      If Weiner was just some average dude sending photos of his junk to strangers on the internet, sexually enlightened progressives would have a name for him, and it wouldn't be "a flirt".

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  NO - not about power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        histOries Marko

        Having been sexually harrassed more than once, I bristle at the thought that this is equivalent. Consensual acts - conversations had and pictures sent from thousands of miles away - have very little to do with a power dynamic.

        I would HAPPILY engage in sexting with Republican Aaron Schock, and I would be very, very offended if you said that what attracted me to him was his power. It's not about power - it's about novelty, and, as I assert in my diary, about natural human sexuality.

    •  Fit, attractive men get more interest, frankly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean

      If he were flabby and ugly, chances are we'd be talking about a serious form of sexual harrassment, with unwanted advances. As it is, the way human sexuality works, pretty people get more interest and thus more opportunity. Basic evolutionary science. ;)

      I updated the diary to address my perspective on his dishonesty, fyi!

  •  I agree 100% (8+ / 0-)

    I always figured the pic's were Weiners, I just didn't think he had sent them. I don't think anyone under 30 will have a problem with it, they probably have their own pics on the internet. We should do a poll...lol.  30-40 will vary.... 40+ may be a harder sell.  For a lot of people, it never enters their mind to send someone a pic of their naughty parts... I chatted on line in AOL chat rooms for some time before I realized people did this, when someone sent me a pic by mistake, thinking I was male.

    Also, I had forgotten about my webcam days. When I got my first webcam...well...let's just say I didn't know there were so many grown men sitting in their offices butt naked at noon... Yeah I looked....lol... and it had to be their offices, there was office furniture and you could see the other office buildings and skyscrapers behind them.  Come to think of it, my age assumption may be off, as there were a lot of old men too. These were also white, upper class or at least white collar men, judging from the surroundings. You can probably still find them on ISpq, paltalk, and there was another really popular one I can't remember it's name, but it was similar to ispq. There were also a few that could do multi-person chat, it allowed us (from AOL) to chat more personally, put a face to the font.

     I had a webcam chat group at one time on yahoo for african american BBW's, a carry over from the AOL chat room. This is before yahoo included webcams in their own software. All were welcome,  but in my profile I had to specify African-American men to cut down on the old wrinkled chicken chests surprises. There weren't as many black men with webcams at the time, and the chat group was a way to find which ones were out there.  I lost my mind for a few months, but I didn't do anything that would come back to haunt me, even if it the session were saved. Wow... memories...

    Anyway, like you, I only get mad about the republican scandals because they are the ones trying to regulate everyone else's naughty parts, when they can't control their own. It's one way to have a moral ideal, its a totally different think to come after people for doing what YOU are doing, often actively so.

    "Science is mans way of discovering what God has already created." - My Mom

    by S C B on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:48:58 AM PDT

  •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

    Weiner has basically embarrassed himself. Like getting caught masturbating (quite a bit like that). Everybody does it, but lots of folks want to pretend nobody does. Sexual "scandals" do not automatically make people unfit for office. Weiner's biggest offense was the strident lying. It should be up to his constituents to decide if he has disappointed them enough to throw him out. So, he shouldn't resign, and then we'll see in 2012 if his voters don't want him. Like obscenity, there is a degree of community standards at issue. Maybe Brooklyn will forgive or understand what Buffalo might not have.

    •  A lot of his district is pretty Orthodox (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wecandoit7

      so we'll see what happens there and with redistricting.  I'd vote for him, but I'm happy with my current rep., Nydia Velazquez.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:15:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't say I agree on Nydia (0+ / 0-)

        She is one of the least active congressmembers.  Sure, she votes the right way, but anyone elected to our district would do the same.  We need some new blood who will actually do something.  Our district is a wasted resource with Nydia as our rep.

  •  My comment has nothing to do with Weiner, (7+ / 0-)

    rather the diarist's insights on human sexuality and the Internet/modern communications technologies.

    When I was in my 20's and 30's  most cities, even in the midwest, had at least one or two places where a guy looking for some man on man action could find it. Often it was a specified area of a public park. But that fell to the wayside as communities cracked down hard on public cruising.

    I expressed to a friend of mine my frustration with the death of park cruising. He said, "Dude, you gotta get on the Internet." OMG, was he ever right.

    I suspect that the driving motivation for most men, gay, str8, and bi, who were not previously one the Internet to get on the Internet was access to unlimted porn and potential hook ups.

    With regard to gay men specifically and modern technology, there is an app for video phones that enables the user to track via GPS other users who are out and about and available for a quick encounter.  

    Hell yes, we are sexual beings. It's way past time we acknowledged that in a healthy, rational manner.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:59:23 AM PDT

  •  Beautiful, Thank you n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, wecandoit7
  •  Serious crit from a straight man-also re marriage (22+ / 0-)

    Let me say that I appreciate your diary.  It is well thought out and well reasoned, and on some level I agree with it, in its general desire to puncture some of the artificiality that surrounds our rituals of sexuality.

    On the other hand, I would say the theory of this diary, even if the theory were correct, would not be something that a gay man, particularly one who I assume supports gay marriage, would want to propagate.

    I would go even further and say the theory behind this diary is somewhat dangerous and heterophobic.  I don't want to throw around epithets, but I use the term because I think we need to have a serious talk and maybe provocative words will spur it.

    Here's an idea that I think you need to rethink:

    As a gay man, I live in a community that has embraced sexuality with more maturity and groundedness than most other communities in the history of our species.

    I assume you mean to contrast gay sexuality with conventional straight sexuality.  But what you are doing is valorizing one set of sexual norms over another.

    Many who have experienced different forms of sexuality and sexual mores would say that your community has embraced sexuality that is different and that you prefer, but is no more mature or grounded than anyone else's sexuality.  

    In other words, you are being prescriptive about sexuality, which is not something you want to introduce into the debate, particularly while gay people are striving to overcome the final obstacles to full acceptance.

    I think you are saying that the gay male community accepts that infidelity or even open relationships, and flirting, are part of normal sexuality, even in a committed relationship -- and we are talking about Anthony Weiner who is recently married.

    This valorizing of one set of sexual mores over conventional straight sexual will not be well received by the larger community especially while the right wing makes the ludicrous accusation that gay marriage will destroy straight marriage.  But some of the things you are suggesting, that straight people can learn from loser gay sexual mores plays right into the hands of those right wing claims.

    It's better to just say we have different sexual mores that can be accommodated in an inclusive legal marriage framework.

    Moreover, and more importantly, I think you are dismissing or misunderstanding straight sexuality, and in particular straight male marital sexuality, which many practitioners would consider very "mature" and "grounded."

    As many people have pointed out, and your diary seems to assume, there is supposed to be a basic difference between female and male sexuality -- to put it crudely and simply, with females seeking monogamy and males seeking variety.  (I don't know whether it's biologically true, but it's true enough culturally, that why it is this way is less important than that it is this way.)

    Because of this, marriage is thought to be some sort of sacrifice of male libido, a kind of imprisonment for the sake of a fake propriety and "the children."  Gay relationships are not a compromise between fundamentally different sexual urges, but straight committed relationships are thought to be such compromises.

    I think that looking at this compromise as either fake, hypocritical or prison-like to the male, fundamentally misreads the way many straight men in committed heterosexual relationships see it, and without meaning to, your approach denigrates the sexual mores of millions of straight men.

    For many men, despite the evolutionary urges they may have, a long term, monogamous relationship with a woman is the preferred form of sexuality.  It is not a sacrifice, nor does it represent false piety imprisoning male sexuality.

    In fact, for many, the very best sex a man can have is sex with a wife of many years.  In other words, sex rather than getting boring, gets better and better over the years, and reaches levels of satisfaction that single men "in the dating scene" or even newly married men, can't imagine.  This is why married men often pity single men, even those that get to sleep with different women.

    In this paradigm, straight male marital sexuality is comparable to a practice like yoga, meditation or long distance running.  At your first yoga class, being told to try to twist yourself into a painful position seems ludicrously unsatisfying.  The first day of meditation, repeating meaningless words does nothing.  The first run is exhausting and painful.  Only after many years of practice do these disciplines become profoundly gratifying -- so gratifying that the practitioner can barely imagine living without them.  

    Straight male marital fidelity is sometimes analogized to a discipline.  The wife is the teacher or master and fidelity is the practice.  At some point after the initial excitement, fidelity seems less satisfying than playing the field.  Then after the initial blossom of passion, followed by boredom, comes forms of intimacy that could not have been conceived of before.  The initiates, husband and wife, becomes an adepts.  

    If you listen to what a lot of male Christian marital preaching is saying, this is what it is about.  It is about men who have become adepts counseling patience and discipline to younger men, telling them about the real rewards that lie on the other side of this practice.

    Any suggestion that gay male sexuality has something to "teach" straight males in marital relationships plays right into the hands of the right wing ideologues who claim that gays are trying to destroy marriage.  

    Many straight married men will not reach the goal, many will fail and try again, and hypocrisy surrounds many failures and many frauds who aren't even trying.  But you should not dismiss the existence of the discipline nor its rewards -- nor the extent to which it is an underlying more of marriage and a goal people strive to reach.  

    There are many communities who reject this model of sexuality -- which is fine for them.  That's the point -- tolerance of each other's sexual mores, which are private decisions.  

    But if you want the straight world to be as tolerant of the sexual mores that the gay world has adopted, you really need to be as tolerant and non-dismissive of the mores that part of the straight world has adopted.  

    These mores are what cause so many people to condemn Anthony Weiner.  Sure many of the (male) people condemning him are probably not faithful and are hypocrites.

    But the overall idea of marital fidelity as leading to bliss is not something to be dismissed and is an underlying assumption in the condemnation of Weiner's mere flirting.

    And, to put it more concretely, the guy just married a really, really hot wife, beautiful, brilliant, and according to local media one of the most desirable women in the region, and he is already flirting.  This makes him appear not just stupid, disloyal and dishonest, but weak.  

    He didn't even try to get to the second or third year when boredom might kick in, and the real discipline starts, even as bliss is appearing on the horizon.

    •  Co-signed. eom (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, gramofsam1, Loquatrix

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This should be a diary. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater, orestes1963

      Suffice is to say you went on a marathon rebuttal to the diarists value judgements on the gay male vs straight populations, and then took potshots at Rep Weiner in a "valorizing" sort of way. Bad form...

      "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

      by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:21:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should make that a diary. (5+ / 0-)

      It's disheartening to read constantly that men only want to stick their dick in anything that moves.  Actually, men ALSO like to be married and monogamous.  The idea that all men, deep inside, want multiple partners is a fictitious construct propagated by those men who do.

    •  Wow, extremely thought-provoking. Thanks. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  A few points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      histOries Marko

      First of all, thank you for the long and thoughtful comment.

      I do take issue with any heterosexual telling me what gays ought or ought not to "propagate" about the community. I don't think you intended that to be offensive or homophobic, but that's how it landed: "Oh, dear - those gays were so close to equality until they started talking about themselves again!"

      I do think that the gays have pioneered a more mature approach to sexuality, and the ultimate expression of this sentiment is in my last sentence of the original diary:  

      As a country - and as liberals - I hope that in time everyone can be more like gay men: accepting of sex, indulgent of indiscretion, and aware that the previous two traits are at once integral to who we are and completely unrelated to the other things we seek to accomplish during this brief sojourn we call life.

      Heterosexual people are bound by a set of expectations that seeks to pretend that sexuality is something it isn't. Monogamy and marriage are beautiful, and an entirely valid way of expressing sexuality. But to pretend that the heteronormative experience should be the paradigm by which all others are measured does a lot of damage both to individuals and to society as a whole.

      When it comes to Weiner's marriage - we don't know what he and his hot wife have arranged or what ground rules they have. For all we know, they go to sex parties and like to get tied up with sequined nylon ropes, swapping partners with ease and confidence. Or, maybe he violated their ground rules and they have a lot of work ahead of them. Either way, it's none of our business, and my larger point is - whatever it is, let's stop getting our knickers all bunched up over the SHOCKING realization that people get horny and do things they might not do otherwise.

      •  A few quibbles (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha, Expat Texan
        I do take issue with any heterosexual telling me what gays ought or ought not to "propagate" about the community. I don't think you intended that to be offensive or homophobic, but that's how it landed: "Oh, dear - those gays were so close to equality until they started talking about themselves again!"

        The idea I think it's a bad idea to propagate isn't gay people talking about their choices or the validity of their choices; as the rest of the piece makes clear, it's the idea that gay people should teach straight people how to be more like them in their sexuality, and in particular in the critique of marital monogamy.  I just don't think that tactically it's that smart to do, but moreover, as I tried to explain, it's sexually normative.

        Just turn it around.  How about if someone wrote a diary saying that straight, monogamous, married people have a lot to teach gay men how to behave sexually; would you think that's acceptable?

        I do think that the gays have pioneered a more mature approach to sexuality,

        I simply don't see any approach as being more mature than any other approach, as long as it's sane, consensual and both partners agree to it.  I think many, many different groups contributed to overthrowing tyrannical sexual normativity, however, and gay people were certainly an important group.  So were hippies, divorce lawyers, divorce law reformers, soul singers, swingers, Hugh Hefner, Philip Roth, and everyone else who challenged the oppressive norms of the 50s.

        Heterosexual people are bound by a set of expectations that seeks to pretend that sexuality is something it isn't...

        But to pretend that the heteronormative experience should be the paradigm by which all others are measured does a lot of damage both to individuals and to society as a whole.

        Heterosexual monogamy does not pretend that sexuality is something it isn't.  It simply says that monogamy has benefits that aren't immediately obvious until its been practiced for some time.  Many people who preach it, acknowledge that it's difficult, and therefore do not deny the reality of sexuality.  And I think if you read what I wrote, I never claimed it was an appropriate paradigm for anyone other than those who practice it.

        When it comes to Weiner's marriage - we don't know what he and his hot wife have arranged or what ground rules they have.  For all we know, they go to sex parties ...

        But we can conclude from Weiner's own tearful apology that this was not part of the ground rules.  Therefore we can conclude that Weiner violated the ground rules of his marriage, which is kind of icky, especially after just 10 months with his "hot wife."

        Moreover, Weiner's wife is a practicing Muslim, and Weiner although he is by most accounts very secular Jewish, he represents several Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.  It should have been obvious to him that if caught he would offend his wife, his wife's family (who took a lot of convincing) and his constituents.  Given that politics and even politicians' family lives are a form of political theater, it would have been nice if this Jewish-Muslim marriage had been exemplary.  

        I'm not a politician so my personal life is not part of my job or the theater that surrounds me, but Weiner knew it was for him.

    •  So perfectly said and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HamdenRice

      I just want to add, who the hell is stupid enough these days to take and send digital photos of their genitalia? Don't we all know that is a bad decision? My middle schoolers have even gotten the message--they know that once something is shared digitally you have lost all control of it.
      I am pissed at his weakness and his dumbness.
      Can't we do better?

  •  asdf (10+ / 0-)
    he never cheated on his wife by having sexual relations with any of these people.

    No, he cheated on his wife by engaging in phone sex and variants.  What he did was pretty scummy.  At the same time, I don't really care and don't see how anyone could really care.  I mean, it's fun to mock him over it, but if I were in his district I'd probably vote for him again.
  •  Exactly what I was thinking, (14+ / 0-)

    and I'm a straight female. I woke up to the radio guy gleefully calling for his resignation, and I pulled the pillows back over my ears. The thought that went through my head in that moment was and still is: was Weiner's action monumentally stupid? Hell yes. Should he resign over it? Hell no. As far as we know, nothing illegal actually happened here, nor did he commit adultery. The sooner we all just STFU about this thing, the sooner it will go away. In the meantime, let's keep working on the causes Weiner was working his ass off for, and stick it to the Rethugs for their hypocrisy.

    -6.75,-5.51....And the greatest of these is Love. I Cor. 13:13

    by alliehope on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:15:50 AM PDT

  •  Great points! I probably shouldn't say this, but (10+ / 0-)

    I'm a photographer. I do quite a few model shoots -- 99.9% are females -- and I mostly do it for their portfolios and sometimes mine, if a shot turns out really well.

    I try to be tasteful about it and I've actually been asked to photograph... well.... situations... that I didn't exactly feel comfortable shooting, and I'd say so and that was that. No big deal.

    To be fair, I never have objected, either -- to simple nudity. I just figure if that's what they want photographs of, that's cool. As a hopelessly heterosexual guy, I find the female form quite beautiful and just hope I do it justice when I photograph it.

    I've never once asked any of them to take off their clothes. But they do it all the time, unprompted by me. I guess I'm pointing this out because, sure... ladies don't send "dick pics"... but I've met, seen and known quite a few that send pics of other parts of their bodies, presumably for the purposes of -- excuse the expression -- titillation. And while I think a guy sending an unsolicited pic of his junk to someone he barely knows (if at all) is pretty tasteless, most guys never object if a lady sends a guy a shot of her boobs. And I hate to break it to folks, but that happens all the time, too.

    Anyway, I pretty much always give the models copies of the shots and what they do with them is their own business. I suspect -- but admittedly don't know -- that most of them don't just squirrel them away in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen again. I do know -- from having seen them myself -- that they often publish them to their own websites, online portfolios, etc.

    No, these young ladies are not in politics; most of them are in their early 20s. Maybe some day some of them will be and if they're Democrats, I'd still vote for them even knowing they posed nude and showed the photographs to lots and lots of people on the Internet. I just don't care about stuff like that.

    Yes, yes, I know: Anthony Weiner is a married man and a politician. And yes, he could've A) Not done this at all and B) Handled it a lot better... BUT... at the end of the day, his wife needs to be the final arbiter of how this affects their relationship and as for his politics, he's one of the best we have on our side and at the end of the day, I just don't care about what he did. We have much bigger fish to fry than obsessing over Weiner's wiener.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:42:38 AM PDT

  •  Read the 'chats' he had with the Vegas woman (6+ / 0-)

    and tell me that's not a form of cheating.  

    My wife would certainly divorce my ass if I pulled something like that.

    Weiner's behavior was classic obsessive behavior--he knew the risks to both his career and his marriage, but he kept on keeping on.  

    The guy was cruising his own Facebook page for women to hook up with, in a virtual fashion.

    That said, he shouldn't have to resign because of this.  His constituents can decide whether he deserves to represent them.  Their call either way.

     But, he's not a victim.  He's the one who engaged in reckless behavior and then lied to everyone on planet earth repeatedly about it.  He took his credibility and flushed it down the toiler in exchange for a few opportunities to wank over the Internet and feed his ego.

     

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:52:24 AM PDT

    •  He's a victim of double standards (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, emsprater, wecandoit7

      I agree he shouldn't resign and the people calling for it did not so in other similar cases.

      On whether lying about sex is linked to wider credibility, I agree with this:
      Hertzberg

      •  He's a victim of his own stupid ass self. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loquatrix, Vega, emelyn, moira977

        Seriously.

        No excuses for what he did.

        Unjustifiable on any grounds.

        Seriously fucking stupid and self-destructive on numerous grounds.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:06:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hertzberg: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimball Cross
        "If the politician is a habitual or characterological liar, the public record will show it and the lying-about-sex is redundant. If the politician is not a habitual or characterological liar, his lying-about-sex is misleading—is itself a lie, in a way."

        Brilliant!

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:23:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to see you are so forgiving,Not! (6+ / 0-)

      He screwed up big-time with his personal life.He has to work this out with his wife, not you.

      He lied because he got caught. I hope he learns something from all this because he is still a good representative and that does stand for something in my book.

      Wiener has a lot of courage and a certain amount of arrogance to take on Clarence Thomas and his unethical behavior. Good for him. We need that courage. Sometimes you have to weigh the good someone does against the bad.

      Wiener is fighting for the things that matter most to the American people. I wish everyone would fight as hard as he does. That's the "bigger picture" not his damaged reputation and our hurt feelings because he "lied" to us.

      Wiener isn't evil. He is human and forgivable. Do you have the courage to forgive?

      •  It is not a matter of forgiveness. (4+ / 0-)

        The man has no moral duty to me, and I don't really have any duty to him.

        Rather, it is a matter of credibility, character and judgment.

        And he has revealed himself to be lacking in those departments.

        Character includes honesty, self-discipline--traits Weiner lacks in spades.

        He lied to a lot of people--a lot of people who were stakeholders in his success.  Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton--they are all royally pissed at him.  

        Can he salvage a career in Congress?  Yes.  

        But the old Anthony Weiner is history.  He will have to reinvent himself as a working behind the scenes guy who doesn't love the spotlight, or he's toast.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:58:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree. I want him to fight like never (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sue B, wecandoit7

          before.

          I got really angry with him like I did with Clinton and Edwards and then I realized that this is part of the risk and being "out there" in the public eye.

           Politics gives people power like a drug. It is seductive. You can begin to think you are above everyone else. Well, that only lasts so long before the truth hits you in the face.

          You can become a better person like Clinton and try to
          use this power in a positive way to do good things or you can keep fooling yourself.

          Republicans seem to just tell bigger lies and challenge people when they are caught. Sadly, it works.

          Wiener's judgment was derailed by his own arrogance but that doesn't mean that he has lost it.

          We both agree that he can recover but I don't want him to go behind the scenes because that is exactly what Republicans want him to do . Shut up and slink back into the background. No way!

          Take his medicine and change his behavior but for everyone's sake don't go silent and allow himself to be black-mailed into silence. To shut up is to admit defeat.

          There is a war against the people of America. Wiener is a warrior.This is battle scare. You can't afford this behavior if you work in the public eye.  If he doesn't stand up for himself than he will become another casualty. Remember John Kerry?  And he really was a hero.

      •  Oh - he's one of the (4+ / 0-)

        "how could he do something so morally reprehensible" holier-than-thou crowd. He's been ranting throughout this whole diary. I will never understand someone placing their moral standards on others. And I'm Christian... Go figure...

        "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

        by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:26:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read Geek's posts more carefully... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caipirinha, mikejay611

          My sense is that he's mostly tee'd off about the stupidity and recklessness Weiner showed, as am I (not the morality of it). The man was essentially setting himself up to get caught: repeated sexual communications over easily recordable means and channels.

          I'm just thankful this didn't come out next fall. Races for House seats across the country could have been affected.

          •  THe Guy is HUMAN!! (0+ / 0-)

            Think he was concerned about how races are gonna be affected by his actions? And why would/should he be? I think we all require politicians to pay too steep a price for representing us. What he does and who he screws has absolutely nothing to do with the job he does/has done. THIS IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!!! (nobody listens - may as well go kick rocks)

            "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

            by mikejay611 on Thu Jun 09, 2011 at 06:42:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't do "forgiveness" for United States (0+ / 0-)

        Congressmen.  I expect 100% top class conduct for the duration of the time my tax money is paying their exorbitant salaries to do work for us.  Photographing your dick and publishing it on the internet does not qualify as "top class conduct".  Courage to forgive?  What a ludicrous expression.  The man's an out and out IDIOT, and that is unforgivable.

        •  It must be nice to be so perfect (6+ / 0-)

          How on earth do you live with the rest of us?

          I would guess that you don't read much history.It would challenge you to think and explode your head. Don't go there for your own good.

          Stay in your "perfect" antiseptic world.

          There are no "heroes". There are people who take chances and there are people who play it safe and collect
          their pensions.

          I am a warrior . Its in my genes. The people in Wisconsin are warriors too. So are those who protest against the unfairness of our society. You don't have to be perfect to be a warrior , you just have to pick up a battle ax and fight
          for what you believe is right.

          You can really tell what people are made of with this scandal. Politics is messy. Get a helmet or find another hobby.

          •  LOL at your ludicrous blustering exaggeration. (0+ / 0-)

            I make no claim to perfection; I merely expect United States Congressmen to strive to be better than average for the few short years I'm paying them their massive salary to represent me.  It's not much to ask.

            As for your self-aggrandising "warrior" prattle and telling me to get another hobby, thanks for the laugh.  Considering that your UID is many multiples of mine, I think it's clear I've been here "fighting" quite a lot longer than you have, little nipper!

        •  Imagine if Ben Franklin had Facebook or twitter... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orestes1963, wecandoit7


          Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

          by jayden on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:14:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  100% top class conduct? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611

          Who the hell are you voting for, given that standard?  I would love to know who lives up to that standard.  Ha.

    •  Then your wife may not be as understanding as mine (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater, andgarden, itsbenj, wecandoit7

      but what's your point? Your wife is not married to him.

      "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

      by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:24:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, some wives are cool with their (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moira977

        husbands sleeping with other women.

        Weiner made it clear that his wife was NOT okay with this.

        People act like cybersex is just flirting.  It's not.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:26:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is whatever (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emsprater, orestes1963

          the individual percieves it to be. You said your wife would divorce you. My wife wouldn't. Does that make your marriage better than mine? See where I'm going with this. Your pronouncements of him being the most vile, disgusting, never to be trusted again person for flirting and pics is nonsense compared to the more important issues we have to contend with in this country. And I find it insulting when someone imposes their values on others. Everyone lies (except you and your wife, I gather) and people cheat and flirt. It is normal and natural. Say what you will, but yours is not the societal norm.

          "In the battle of existence, Talent is the punch; Tact is the clever footwork. Wilson Mizner -7.25/-5.64

          by mikejay611 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:32:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  As (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loquatrix

    a straight woman, I think the opposite. He's abusing his position of power paid for by the american people. I think of the women he's texting. They're sending him admiring notes. He sends pictures of his junk. I'd worry that his next step, (if he hasn't done this already) would be   hiring his interns and staff based on their looks/ possible sexual involvement. No young woman should work for him now. It's time for Weiner to resign.

    •  I really think that it's not harrassment... (0+ / 0-)

      Having been harrassed, I wouldn't feel harrassed if I struck up an online relationship with the Republican congressman I have a crush on, Aaron Schock. If he sent me a dirty pic, I might respond in kind...

      I think to say that he's somehow abusing his position is to read this all wrong.

      •  I wouldn't, but I won't make rules for anyone else (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wecandoit7

        nor will I hold anyone else to my own standards. People who do that are just begging to be disappointed.

        My business is my business, your business is your business, but if you do it in the street and shock the horses - you're just being a silly bonobo. :-P

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:04:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very well reasoned diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, emsprater, jayden, wecandoit7

    I am disappointed that he lied.  I do not think he should resign.  Ed Schultz is doing entire shows calling on him to resign which has caused me to turn off even his radio show which I use as background in my office during the day.  

    I wish Rep. Weiner and his wife the best-these are tough times for any marriage, let alone one so young.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:58:03 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for putting into words (5+ / 0-)

    why I just couldn't muster any outrage over this. (And no, (I'm not a gay man. I'm a bisexual woman.)

    •  Exactly - this is my point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mistral Wind

      So many people have tried to make this ABOUT me being gay - one commenter even going so far as I'm making the case against gay marriage (!!!).

      People of all orientations, genders, and occupations get horny. Sometimes they make mistakes. Unless it impacts our lives - it's none of our business.  

  •  Also, his biggest crime was stupidity. (9+ / 0-)

    He literally exposed himself to this kind of crisis by leaving easily forwardable, digitally transmittable, Internet broadcastable evidence.

    Repeatedly.  With multiple women.  Strange women he never met in person and had no reason to trust.

    He's got issues.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:59:23 AM PDT

  •  "Maturity" sticks in my craw (9+ / 0-)

    There is a "boys will be boys" undertone that raises my hackles - non-consensual sex is never justified - and sending those photos was a sexual act.

    I remember being warned at a young age that all male professionals "are secretly men."  There is no guarantee when you approach a male (cop, doctor, priest, etc.) in their professional capacity that they are thinking with their brains.  There is always the risk that at that moment they are thinking with their dicks and they may transform into sexual opportunists.

    How can you tell that a politician is lying about sex?  His mouth is moving.  However, as pointed out in the article by Hendrik Hertzberg (excerpted by Meteor Blades http://www.dailykos.com/...) - lying about sex doesn't necessarily correlate with lying about other issues.

    IF Weiner's wife was OK with the online sex and IF the women who received the photos had consented to receive them, then Weiner's only issue was that he got caught in some garden variety consensual sex because he was stupid (something that correlates with thinking with one's dick).  The current narrative doesn't support that interpretation, but society also would come down much harder on any of the women if they were to admit to being consenting participants.

    I look forward to the day when Monica Lewinsky, poor soul, is given the same societal pass as Bill Clinton.  I look forward to the day when the partners of prominent people can admit to giving consent to external sexual activities, so that those who really are lying, cheating pieces of S*** no longer get a free pass.

    Most of all, I look forward to the day when prominent people have the maturity to realize that admitting to whatever they did right up front is the fastest way to move on - for all of us.

    •  It's "humans will be human", not "boys will be..." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheOtherMaven

      You missed the point, probably because, as you say, you were raised to fear men (and maybe with good cause in your experience).

      My point isn't "boys will be boys," but "humans will be human." Sex is inherently HUMAN, not inherently male. I'm baffled by the gender politics that have been brought into this (and by the people who have said that I'm "making the case against gay marriage").

      I do think that my take on sexuality - and the take expressed by many members of the gay community - is more mature and evolved than that of others.  Reread the last sentence/paragraph of my original, pre-update diary. That's my central point.

      •  I'm a str8 woman and I mostly agree with it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wecandoit7

        The way I see it, humans are only slightly more evolutionarily advanced than bonobos - and I think everyone knows by now what bonobos do to relieve personal and social tensions.

        There are species in the world that are lifetime pair-bonders. None of the primates are among them. Somehow some humans got it through their heads that lifetime pair-bonding was a Good Thing, and they preached it to others who maybe could live up to it and maybe couldn't, and the whole thing just sort of snowballed.

        So here we are, trying to pretend that we're "better" and "purer" and "more moral" than a pack of "damn dirty apes" - when way too many of us are really just hairless apes ourselves.

        If you can pair-bond and stay that way, hooray for you - don't throw stones at others who can't. If you can't keep a pair-bond going, don't throw stones at those who can. And don't condemn out of hand people who turn out to be just dressed-up hairless apes. They may be trying to be "civilized", but maybe they just haven't quite got the hang of it, you know?

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 04:17:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well reasoned and especially (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7

    well written diary.  I agree 100%! Thanks for posting.

  •  You do not speak for all gays (5+ / 0-)

    Weiner is a creep and a liar and should resign.

    He has no accomplishment nor credibility.

    He's a distraction to party trying to be taken seriously.

    Case closed.

  •  Outstanding fracking diary! I couldn't agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7

    more, and I must say I have never seen your penis or abdominal muscles on-line - not for lack of looking I might add.  :-)

  •  Everytime a person tweets a picture of them holdin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, mikejay611, emsprater, wecandoit7

    a rifle should be questioned this intensely in the media.
    The double standard of sex and violence that Jon Stewart made about the MPAA.

  •  The best exposition of the pro-Weiner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7

    case that I've seen. Doesn't move me in the end, I don't support someone who would do this while an elected official. But I think you made the best case for it.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:14:39 AM PDT

  •  I basically agree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7

    So does Glenn Greenwald (though he doesn't even think much of Weiner as a politician).

    Sexual activity between consenting adults should only be of interest to those adults sexually involved (or potentially involved) with the particular people in question. Period.

    So long as his sex life doesn't involve children, animals, or unconsensual sexual activities, Anthony Weiner does not owe any of us who are not sexually involved with him a truthful account of his sex life.  And that would, incidentally, include adultery (which this "scandal" does not).

  •  monogamy plays well in Peoria (13+ / 0-)

    I'm afraid this diary rates pretty high on the BS meter for me. I think consenting adults should be legally free to to do what they want in the privacy of their own bedrooms. That said, just because something is legal doesn't mean it's morally uplifting. Personally I'm a fan of monogamy, and I definitely object to the statement that this

    Sex is a dance, sometimes executed with one partner for many years, and sometimes spinning from partner to partner in a beautiful series of shared joys. And sometimes, that dance stops making sense, entering a fantasy world in which we find ourselves eschewing expectations and indulging fancies that others might consider inappropriate.

    describes an "exalted - and... quite positive - state of affairs." Come on- am I really supposed to find the spectacle of Anthony Weiner spinning from one internet "partner" to the next "exalted"? It's pathetic! And if one thinks about the politics of this for more than about five seconds (i.e., how a "beautiful series of shared joys" is going to play in swing states like North Carolina or Virginia), it's clear that defending Weiner on the grounds of some ueber-enlightened view of human sexuality is a big loser for the Democrats. If Weiner cares more about his party's values and policy agenda than about his career, then he'll resign sooner rather than later and get off the stage.

    •  Not sure he should resign- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caipirinha, Expat Texan

      but I'm with you on the rest.  "Exalted" would not be the adjective that would spring to mind for me either.

    •  And even if it's legal, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Expat Texan

      and NOT morally questionable, if the vast majority of people think it IS morally questionable, it runs the risk of sinking our party politically. And sinking the causes we hold dear.

    •  Well, darlin'... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater

      Well, darlin', I wasn't writing this for his campaign, I was writing it for the thinkers at Daily Kos.

      And actually, the sentence about "eschewing expectations" lands a little bit as BS for me, too... I know what I was trying to say and I think it came across to a lot of people, but it could have been phrased a little bit closer to planet earth.

      That said, you disingenuously/dishonestly juxtapose two passages that aren't referring to one another. The "exalted - and, dare I say, quite positive - state of affairs" I am referring to is this:  

      Gay male society has evolved a different set of rituals - rituals that embrace sexuality as a part of the human experience, and celebrate it and take joy in all its best permutations.

      If you are going to criticize me, try to do it honestly, please.

      •  good grief (0+ / 0-)

        I was merely interpreting "spinning from partner to partner in a beautiful series of shared joys" as an example/amplification of the "different set of rituals... that embrace sexuality as a part of the human experience, and celebrate it and take joy in all its best permutations"-- not that it's entirely clear what either phrase means. This does not merit an accusation of dishonesty. If you want to avoid criticism, lighten up on the gassy, unintelligible prose.

  •  Have his back, vote for him, donate. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkjohnson, Matt Z, Loquatrix, Expat Texan

    Fine.

    Just don't expect other politicians to defend him.  Don't expect Democratic Party committees to defend him.

    He lied to us for two weeks, causing our Party and our agenda harm.  He has squandered his support before it really began, because

    He lied.  He dug himself into his hole.  He will now have to dig himself out of it.  

    Better than fighting all this alone, the man should simply resign.  His resignation will open his seat for a new Democrat, who can then run as an incumbent in 2012.  Mr Weiner can then tun for NYC mayor if he so desires.  His resignation would be good for everyone, including Mr Weiner.

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:25:35 AM PDT

  •  Enlightened or self-absorbed? Weiner is a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loquatrix, Expat Texan

    douche.  Oh, he's a politician.  That explains it.

    If politicians were getting the job done, maybe then they could expect a little more sympathy for their sexual adventures.   Weiner's vain, stupid, immature behavior suggests that he isn't very dedicated to anything but himself.

    I hope that in time everyone can be more like gay men: accepting of sex

    It sort of sounds like you left out a word.  Promiscuous, maybe?

    I didn't realize gay men were so damn enlightened.  They aren't only equal to everyone else.  They are better.

    •  That's a dishonest edit of my work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater

      I am saying that gay society as I experience it can lead to greater enlightenment for the rest of the population, yes.

      Here is the original quote, which you dishonestly edited to warp the point in order to make your homophobic point:

      As a country - and as liberals - I hope that in time everyone can be more like gay men: accepting of sex, indulgent of indiscretion, and aware that the previous two traits are at once integral to who we are and completely unrelated to the other things we seek to accomplish during this brief sojourn we call life.
      •  You generalize about gay men. All gay men (0+ / 0-)

        are "accepting of sex"?  There are quite a few gay men out there who would find their partner's infidelity unacceptable.  Maybe they aren't as enlightened as you.

        Way to play the homophobia card.  

        •  If you don't want to be called homophobic... (0+ / 0-)

          Then don't say homophobic things.

          I would argue further, but you are just never going to understand the nuances here - mostly because you don't seem to want to, I suspect. You seem more content if you can paint the world in black and white, with good guys and bad guys.

          Perhaps I'm wrong about you, but that's my impression.

          •  Look who's being judgmental. You are the (0+ / 0-)

            one who is generalizing and painting the world black and white.

            I suspect you can't see the forest for the trees because you don't want to.

            Are people who disagree with you automatically homophobic?

            •  Sounds pretty damn homophobic to me... (0+ / 0-)

              Here's what you said:

              It sort of sounds like you left out a word.  Promiscuous, maybe?

              I didn't realize gay men were so damn enlightened.  They aren't only equal to everyone else.  They are better.

              So you call gay men promiscuous - which is not what I'm saying, and you falsely edited my work to make it sound that way. And then you say what you have to say about equality. Sounds pretty damn homophobic to me, especially with your crafty editing.

  •  Sorry but... (7+ / 0-)

    Sending unsolicited pictures of your erection, even clothed, to someone is sexual harassment.

    I don't accept the argument that this is just "part of male sexuality." This is an impulse that can be (and should be) repressed, whether you're a politician or not. Whether you're married or not. Again, we're talking UNSOLICITED sexual content -- not to mention that this is the FIRST contact that the woman had with Weiner other than the generic "thank you for following my tweets" message.

    It's unacceptable, full stop.

    And, hey... as you said. You are a gay male. Heterosexual females differ from heterosexual and homosexual males. Leaving their sexuality/dignity/privacy/agency out of the equation is ridiculous. And sexist.

    So, yes, I'm grossed out that Weiner would engage in this behavior. I'm disgusted that anyone would argue to normalize it.

    But I'm even MORE angry that he lied and played victim and we, who have watched Breitbart continue unchecked, grew hopeful that he'd finally gone too far and he could be checked, if not stopped.

    But Breitbart emerges from this looking legit. And Weiner emerges looking like what he is -- an asshole. Admittedly, an asshole I want on my side when it comes to progressive politics. But an asshole nonetheless, and one whose voice has been compromised.

    •  That's the key for me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      I mean, if I got pics in my inbox of somebody's wang, I probably wouldn't be too happy.

      Moment of hypocracy: if they were of boobies, i'd probably be unhappy, but save the pics anyway.  Heh.

      But when you send somebody nudity, that, to me, is crossing a line.  Sexually enlightened or not.  And if they didn't ask you to cross that line, it's an intrusion.

      Was it an intrusion?  That's what I want to know.  If not, then whatever.  Two adults can communicate whatever they want however they want and its none of our business.

      •  According to news reports (0+ / 0-)

        The college student (from the West Coast somewhere) who initially received the image did not solicit it. Her parents were even interviewed, defending Weiner. So, yes. It's sexual harassment .

        If he was having other texting "affairs" well, then, um, ick. But whatever.

    •  Well said. Also... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loquatrix, renska, Expat Texan

      It is pretty clear what the job description is for a person in politics. If someone expects to be effective in public office, he or she needs to refrain from behavior that can be used by the other side to discredit and distract from their message. In addition to the point you made, renska, I am frustrated by the stupid behavior of smart men. Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner both knew they were on the Republican "hit list." They both handed the enemy a completely unnecessary victory - and we can't afford that.

      One thing that impresses me about President Obama and the First Lady is what seems to be enormous self-discipline. It appears that they are very aware of how the game works and have decided to be "unimpeachable" in order to keep the focus on the work to be done. With all the "human failings" on display, that deserves respect.

      "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." - Terry Tempest Williams

      by your neighbor on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:04:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really ? Man is a sexual animal is your defense? (11+ / 0-)

    Pretty lame.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:30:23 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this diary (7+ / 0-)

    I can't believe otherwise-sensible people are screaming for this guy to resign.

    REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

    by lunachickie on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:38:14 AM PDT

  •  Are we condoning this behavior now? (7+ / 0-)

    Wow...no wonder so many Repubs are asking where the outrage is.   IOKIYAD?   It's not okay.  He's married, he made a promise to his wife, and he broke that promise.  He lied about his "hobby" in public, and he tried to fix it behind the scenes.  He's no different that any other person in the spotlight...other than he continually raked other people over the coals for their bad behavior.  I don't care if he stays or goes, but I will never give him a pass.  No one is perfect, especially me, but as a public servant don't act like you have moral high ground when you obviously don't.  

  •  Listen to Dan Savage and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, emsprater, wecandoit7

    read "Sex at Dawn".

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

    by Wisdumb on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:52:00 AM PDT

  •  Interesting perspective (12+ / 0-)

    My main problem with Weiner's tweets isn't that he was flirting, it's that he wasn't looking to the interests of the progressive he represents.  In our current political environment, junk shots are obviously career-ending, particularly for democrats.  Weiner cannot fulfill his responsibilities to his constituents if he's sending photos that end his career or even curtail his political power.  Yes, it sucks that our politicians cannot get laid as often as they'd like with as many different women as they'd like, they knew those were the rules when they ran for office.

    My secondary problem with Weiner's tweets is that I'm not so sure that in a sexually enlightened civilization, it would be acceptable for congressmen to tweet junk shots to their constituents.  Most people don't flirt in the workplace by pulling down their pants to flash their junk at coworkers or customers.  Such flirting moves may work for powerful politicians, but they would land most of us in prison.  When an older person of exceedingly high social status flashes his junk at a young college student, is that flirting, or something else?  If Eric Cantor was caught flashing his junk at congressional interns, would you still call that a sexually enlightened act?

    I don't even pretend to understand women, so maybe I have this all wrong.  Maybe I'd have better luck dating if I tweeted photos of my erect penis to prospective dates.  Maybe I'm a prude for not flashing my junk at strangers.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:54:00 AM PDT

  •  HE SHOULD RESIGN (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry my friend, all of what you wrote may be true, but AW should still resign.

    Why?  I actually don't care about AW or Obama or Clinton, or ANY of these politicians.  I only care about the issues and the people they represent.  

    And when their personal issues undermine or ruin their ability to be spokespeople and advocates for my issues it is time for them to head for their exit.  

    AW can not longer effectively represent me and therefore he needs to go.  

    It really is not more complicated then this.

  •  we need to turn our attn to Breitbart-- (5+ / 0-)

    he is scum of the earth...and in hot water over sherrod.
    this is a purposeful distraction from that.
    put the focus back on sherrod's case.
    and thomas', too.

  •  Yesterday I was pilloried for (6+ / 0-)

    for trying to get across the same message.  I could not believe that we didn't rebuke Rep Weiner, then support him as a Progressive Politician on our side.  See here, & here:
    http://goo.gl/...

    http://goo.gl/...

    I could not believe we were kicking a man when he was down instead of helping him up. This site was truly filled with sharks, smelling Weiner's blood in the water. It was disgusting.

    But your beautiful, insightful, truthful diary said it about 1000% times better than I tried to do repeatedly yesterday. Thanks for your sanity. I wish I could recommend the diary over & over, and I hope Rep Weiner reads it and takes heart.

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 06:59:38 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anninla, emsprater

      Yeah, I've had some really vicious and ill-informed comments on here - some are homophobic in nature, some are screaming about sexual harrassment as if I'm ignorant of the issue (I've been sexually harrassed in the workplace in several serious incidents at two places of employment), and all sorts of moralistic grandstanding.

  •  Absolutely perfect (5+ / 0-)

    diary.  Much better than my diary yesterday on this issue.  There's more than a little puritanicalism on the left.  Sometimes I think we're the party of prudes.  Yesterday someone actually claimed that what he was doing was rape.  In that universe noone could ever make advances on anyone else without both parties first consulting lawyers.

  •  Lots of gay men seem to feel the same way (5+ / 0-)

    but just because you like seeing an erect penis doesn't make it OK for a United States Congressman to provide.  Sorry, the man's a ridiculous idiot with the judgment of a 13-year-old.

    He has totally defanged himself and I disdain him for it.  I won't be contributing to any campaign of his in future.  I am sick of giving money to these laughable horndogs who can't keep it in their pants for the few short years we pay them damned good money to do these important jobs.

  •  Your diary has a huge hole in it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HamdenRice, gramofsam1, avadoria, zenox

    He's married.

    The only exercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took exercise. -- Peter O'Toole

    by dov12348 on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:06:42 AM PDT

  •  These people still don't get it.. (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing short of a scarlet letter "A" would satisfy many of these liberal commenters. Excellent...well-reasoned posting... but I am shocked at the prudish attitudes that still keep surfacing. After the initial news conference shocker, I thought liberals would mellow over the next several days. It's not happening. He betrayed your trust? Get over it. He doesn't need to account for his sexuality truthfully. You elected him to be a voice for the causes you support.....he's done that very well and I would hate to see him leave office just because you feel violated by his lack of truthfullness about sex. Move on with your life...  

    Go back and reread this posting. You're missing the point and some great advice to get over your sexual hang ups

  •  Balloon-Juice.com (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avadoria, emsprater, jayden, wecandoit7

    "Why Weiner Should Stay Put"

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/...

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:28:18 AM PDT

  •  He should have given us a heads up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7, kareylou

    You know what - he messed up because he should have said to his buddy Jon Stewart - "trust me, don't do a big long segment defending me"

    All it woulda taken.

    Or a note to a couple high profile bloggers - "don't"

    That's it.  The dude made Breitbart look legit.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:29:47 AM PDT

  •  Like I said before (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, emsprater, wecandoit7

    Like I said before when it came to the picture, who cares?

    Breitbart is still and will always be a un-American republican.

    Good diary

  •  Thank you for this diary. (7+ / 0-)

    I have filthy pen pals. I enjoy porn. In that I am like millions upon millions of other Americans. It's nice to get a little dirt break when life is giving me tsuris.

    Breitbart et al won't come after me; I am a nonperson to folks like him. I don't have money or power that can be seen. Weiner does and that makes chasing him everywhere worth it.

    I totally support Anthony Weiner. My opinion of him is not changed.

    I have one small complaint. I wish when confronted with the penis photo he had simply said "Yes, that is my penis and I don't discuss my penis or the uses to which I put it with the media. If you wish to discuss my penis; feel free. But don't expect to have that discussion with me." And then stonewalled.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:37:57 AM PDT

  •  Shorter diary: He's our guy so it's ok (8+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but this is what the "gotcha game" hath wrought.

    It's comical how the right and left simply trade places depending on who is the "victim" of the latest sexcapade.  

  •  Well said ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikejay611, wecandoit7

    At first I was disappointed in the whole deal ... especially his non-denial denial.  But then I thought ... I have been guilty of most of the things that has everyone upset with    him.  Of course I am not proud of the fact that I was stupid enough to let compromising pictures of me be available.  Of course, I am not proud that at times I have hedged on things rather than just admit that I was stupid and did something better left undone.   I  had to come to terms with the fact that I wanted a perfect public hero to rescue imperfect me.   So now I lament that he is not (at the moment at least) as strong a voice as he has been.

    I am not sure that we can keep sex and sexual behavior out of the picture.  Sex is mostly a private thing, but it is so easy to understand ( I mean that everyone has hidden sexual urges about which they are uncomfortable.) and so it is easier to be judgemental when others "act out".  It has been used as a way to discredit people forever.  

    The question is how do we go on from here.

    "Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe." Robert Browning in 'Ceuciaja'

    by CorinaR on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:38:49 AM PDT

  •  I wish our politicias were more free (4+ / 0-)

    to act out and explore their sexual interests.  Instead we put them in these prisons of such heavy puritanical expectations.  Practicing repression of one's sexual desires every day is not healthy.  Yet that is what we demand of our representatives, else we throw them to the wolves.   Maybe if they were not engaged in cycles of such heavy repression, guilt, and pretension they would be better representatives.

     Given the vanity, exhibitionism, and confidence required for life in public service it does not surprise me in the least that men who seek that would also want to proudly display their cocks to the world.  Hell, maybe it should be mandatory.  Then we know who has the least to prove.

    This is a really great diary, thank you.

  •  Hey (6+ / 0-)

    I've had my sexual escapades, naughty ones, embarrassing ones, joyful ones: human ones.

    What offends me here is not the act(s) committed by Mr. Weiner, but rather the recklessness with which he carries them out. I think the author, or anyone of the same mind as the author (including myself btw) should ask this question of themselves: if you were in a position of power, and knew that certain others were out to get you, would you behave as recklessly as Mr. Weiner?

  •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, emsprater, wecandoit7

    Couldn't agree more about sex.

    I think you overstate the liberation of gay male America; a bit idealized;  but that is a quibble.

    The main point:  There is NOTHING wrong with powerful men flirting with women who are not professionally or personally under any obligation to  humor (or acquiesce) to those advances.  Nothing.

    The only point is hypocrisy:

    If a politician makes a point about sexual propriety, then he puts in on the table.  Like Sanford.

    It he builds a political career going after organized crime and then uses prostitutes, then he puts it on the table.  Like Spitzer.

    If he rails against teh Gays, and picks up men in bathrooms or goes to male prostitutes, then he puts it on the table.  Like Craig and Haggard.

    Wiener, as far as I know, never did that.  

    His private life is between him, his wife and anyone he unwisely choses to share it with. I don't care if she is 18 or 88.  That is his business.

    And  I think it morally objectionable for you or anyone else to think it is their business.  

    That's right: morally objectionable.  It shows an unhealthy and instrusive concern about other people's private lives.

  •  An Anthony Weiner fan who DOES feel betrayed (6+ / 0-)

    Hey -- it is not all about Anthony Weiner.  I appreciate his heroic efforts as the leading HR progressive on all issues, but,

    He did himself in.  He poisoned his own name.  HE is now THE STORY -- not unemployment, saving Medicare & Social Security, bank reform, global warming -- or any of the issues that Weiner worked on.

    Sad to say, Weiner is now a distraction to the progressive agenda and he MUST resign.  We can not afford a prolonged debate about his sex life, texting, or lies to the media.  

    •  NO! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emsprater, mikejay611

      If we continue to eat our own when something stupid like this happens, it will continue to be an effective tactic against us.  

      Why am I even talking about this?  Cripes.  I should move on.  THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

      •  Eat our own? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ElizabethRegina1558, Expat Texan

        He damaged HIMSELF. As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't deserve my trust - at least not anytime soon. And I don't say that because of the sexual nature of it, but because of the impulsiveness and recklessness he's shown. He's apparently been just one slip-up away from scandal for months, and yet he kept doing it. This, in an age of electronic communications when everything is retrievable and traceable. And just a few short months after another member of the NY delegation got reamed for something similar. The stupidity!

        I'm furious with him. He not only risked his career, but also set back the causes we fight for.

  •  Grandma not shocked by Weiner (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, emsprater, mikejay611, wecandoit7

    Anyone who lived through the hippie days of the 60's and 70's, as I did, has seen and probably experienced a lot of sexual activities that participants would likely prefer weren't made public, however unashamed they/we were at the time.  Heck, most of us, of any age, would be embarrassed by any publication of our sexually related activities, especially those of us who are single and have dated many people over the years, some of whom unexpectedly turned out to be married.  I know that I have plenty of regrets and memories that I would rather forget, along with the good memories that I also would not want to share with the public. But I don't think that even married people would be unembarrassed by exposure of activities related to their private sex life. As for Weiner, he probably hurt his wife, and he carelessly risked his career, but what he actually did seems to me less shocking than, say, having sex on a first date, which a lot of people have done without thinking much about it.  I still find the hacking of his account and public exposure, in an attempt to ruin a good man, the most despicable part of all this.

    •  I'm not "shocked" but Weiner is a liability (0+ / 0-)

      Who cares what he does with "his wiener?"  Not me.  

      But I do care that the "news" today is all about Anthony.  We have crucial issues that need immediate attention and Weiner is a dangerous distraction.  

      He needs to go.

  •  Imagine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat Whisperer, Chi

    somewhere, someone reading this and having an epiphany: "He's right! The rest of us DO have a problem with sex! We ARE too uptight! He IS totally in the right here!"

    The problem is... anyone who is capable of being converted to this viewpoint, ALREADY HAS this viewpoint.

    Can you imagine this argument working on ANYONE on the right side of the aisle? I can't. "Come on people, lighten up!" has never been a very convincing argument to them.

    In other words, you're right, but that argument will get you nowhere.

  •  rightwing gloating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7

    is the reason it's hard to get past lie/apologize

    he should apologize for lying (which he's done)

    and the gloating will turn into credibility on cable news.

    I'd like to forgive him, for the carelessness and the lies, and some day I will. As I don't live in NY, I'll never have the opportunity to vote for him, so it really doesn't matter.

    (Diarist is absolutely right about people's attitudes to sex.)

    "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" -- T. Pratchett, The Truth

    by congenitalefty on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:26:05 AM PDT

  •  His wife might disagree with you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, Caipirinha, Chi
    Despite his online activities, he seems to have avoided breaching that most sachrosanct of our carefully-constructed rituals and institutions - he never cheated on his wife by having sexual relations with any of these people.

    Although Weiner's wife seems to be standing by him, I doubt that her pride is not hurt. If we are to respect "human nature," then we should also respect that being 'jealous' of one's spouse (gay or straight) when he/she shows sexual attention (even when it is online by exchanging e-mails, photos and phone calls of sexual content) to someone else is also human nature. We (most of us), by nature, are competitive beings and when it comes to sexuality we measure our worth by our spouse's devotion to us. "Online sex exchanging lewd images and language" with others is not an exemption. We should simply not have a sexual commitment to a "spouse" if we wish to do so. That would be the honorable thing to do.

    The elephant in the room is the fact that his spouse was publicily humiliated by Weiner's selfish and careless indulgement of his "basic instincts" on public forums. As a public person, he should know better. Sure we are sexual beings and have the sexual urges...and so do the lizards. What the lizards lack however is judgment. I like to think that we have evolved a bit further than that stage. I know for fact that if I indulge in sexual exchange with others online would pain (hurt his pride) my spouse, especially if it becomes public knowledge. The "social constructions" you speak about are based on "natural human feelings" of wanting to be special to your other not only in private but also in public eye. Your celebration of our sexual urges omits the part where we are 'jealous' of our intimate partner. Since we may not all be lucky enough to have your tight and muscular abs and etc. , we may feel less in comparison. That too is natural and thus should be respected.

    Weiner's judgment has failed not only by making a fool out of himself in public eye but also by embarrassing and failing so many of his supporters who deserved better.

    He lost his credibility in the worst possible way:

    By being stupid and dishonest.

    Character does matter.

    "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:27:29 AM PDT

    •  If she does - it's none of our business n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  If he was not a public person (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        ...you would be right. Then it would be none of our business. But Mr. Weiner is a "representative" of public who is responsible for far more than just his own personal interests. A trust was given to him to represent the Democratic party in congress. His irresponsible acts not only humiliated his wife but also his supporters who defended him by putting their credibilty on line.

        Judgment matters

        Character matters

        Trustability matters

        One's "word" is his/her honor

        Honor matters

        "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

        by zenox on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 01:48:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He made himself vulnerable to the Breitbarts (0+ / 0-)

      of this world.  That's what I'm angry with him about.  He knew he was a leading progressive, he knew politics can be a nasty business, and yet he went ahead and made himself completely vulnerable to the opposition - he had no idea what the politics of the women he was flirting with online were, or what they might do with his texts and pics he sent them.

      By making himself so vulnerable to rightwing attack, he let us down and he let his constituents down, bigtime.

  •  Check out Glenn Greenwald's column (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, mikejay611, wecandoit7, peggy

    http://goo.gl/...

    This isn't a case of illegal sex activity or gross hypocrisy (i.e., David Vitter, Larry Craig, Mark Foley (who built their careers on Family Values) or Eliot Spitzer (who viciously prosecuted trivial prostitution cases)).  There's no lying under oath (Clinton) or allegedly illegal payments (Ensign, Edwards).  From what is known, none of the women claim harassment and Weiner didn't even have actual sex with any of them.  This is just pure mucking around in the private, consensual, unquestionably legal private sexual affairs of someone for partisan gain, voyeuristic fun and the soothing fulfillment of judgmental condemnation.  And in that regard, it s

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:35:16 AM PDT

    •  I have no problem with that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wecandoit7, Caipirinha

      provided all of your assumptions turn out to be true.  As long he he knew these women were all adults I don't care.  Personally, I think it's a juvenile way to muck around and you are begging for trouble doing this but I am not the morality police.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So Weiner's off the hook (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi

      because none of the women claimed harrassment? Sounds like he lucked out. All it would have taken was one lewd picture to one woman who found it unacceptable.

  •  Morality in politics (5+ / 0-)

    I've been hearing the argument a lot lately that this whole episode reflects poorly on Weiner's character, and that he betrayed our trust.  Why did you even put your trust in a Congressman's genitals in the first place?  And I know people like to say, "well, he lied, so this takes a huge hit on his credibility".  I'm completely perplexed by this, because he has shown nothing but credibility and passion when going about his day job.  His efforts contributed so much to obtaining health care for the 9/11 First responders, and to the Affordable Care act, but apparently that's trumped by some juvenile tweets and some little white lies about trivialities.  There's a clear separation between the seriousness of his work and the adolescence of his private life.

    It's this separation that makes me question why we even put so much stock in a person's "morality" at the voting booth in the first place.  We think that if somebody lives a moral life, then they will approach their policy-making duties morally as well.  Except there's nothing moral about lying a country into war, or depriving a tornado-stricken town of aid, or bailing out billionaires with tax breaks and then saying there's no money to help the sick or the unemployed.  But of course, these are the policies of many people in the Republican Party who allegedly live moral lives themselves.

    Contrast that with the guy who tweeted pictures of his bulging undies to consenting college-aged girls, and then went on TV to hide that fact - morally dubious, to be sure.  But you know what is moral?  Being a fierce advocate for the well-being of the 9/11 heroes.  Fighting for your ability to buy affordable, quality health care.  Demanding judicial integrity within the highest courts in the country.  I will stick to judging his character and his importance in Congress on his weighty list of accomplishments.  As long as he continues to beef up his progressive credentials, I'll continue to have his back.

  •  I think you make a valid (0+ / 0-)

    argument, but I respectfully disagree with much of what you say here.

    First, I don't think that the sexual behavior you describe is particularly enlightening, at least not when it involves another person who trusts you and when two people have promised to be faithful to one another.  As I understand it, Weiner engaged in this sexual activity after he was married.  I don't find "sexting" or other "virtual" sexual activity to be immune from the charge of cheating on one's partner.  

    Second, Anthony Weiner's judgment was so poor here in how he engaged in this activity so openly and without any regard to the consequences of getting caught, that it makes me wonder if he would make similarly poor judgments on other matters.

    I like the man; I would like to support him, but the damage he has done to the Dems just makes me angry and frustrated at the stupidity of the entire mess he created.  It is particularly frustrating to me that in an age of puritanical right wing crazies, Weiner has given them plenty of fodder to keep their bonfires lit.

    Whether he resigns or not, I don't think he will ever be an effective voice for progressives again.

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

  •  politically incorrect but i'll say it anyhow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7


    Weiner will survive.  Why?  Because a) he did what a whole LOT of men do, who despite the disrespect to the wife, don't see it as breaking any vows b) almost any man caught red handed sending hot pics is going to lie; and c) he walked over the hot coals and cried on camera.  If he had stood pat, said nothing, refused to apologize, then he'd be toast.  Oh one last item:  he's well built and hot, and he'll be forgiven by his voters.  Let Jon Stewart be your guide - he's "Chest in Show."  Embarrassing, but survivable.  And should he survive?  yeah.  Just about anybody would lie as a first instinct.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:46:11 AM PDT

  •  Only solid analysis I've seen of this whole (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater

    foolish "look, bright shiny!" corporate media-stoked outrage.  

    Hey Democrats, how's that stellar economic recovery working for you?

    Yeah, thought so.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:46:21 AM PDT

  •  If you don't want to be judged, (0+ / 0-)

    don't appear on a reality TV show.  Also, don't run for fucking high public office.  All this pie in the sky sexual idealism is well and good but there are perfectly practical reasons for wanting your politicians to have their personal lives be on the up and up.  

    You're ok with a sleazy bullshit artist writing your laws, hey that's cool but you can't expect us all to jump for joy about it.

  •  Straight Man's Reply (0+ / 0-)

    Gay or straight, Weiner is a LIAR - he LIED to ALL OF US. And for NOTHING - had he been STRAIGHT FORWARD, I'd have his back as well... but he's just a lying politician who treated his constituents like shit...

  •  Lying is Perfectly Fine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, khereva, wecandoit7

    It's perfectly appropriate to answer an inappropriate question with a lie... no matter who you are.  In fact, my understanding is that it is perfectly legal to LIE UNDER OATH to an irrelevent (and hence inappropriate) question.

    The fact is, there is no 5th Amendment in the court of public opinion.  That leaves no other choice but to lie because if you "take the 5th" then everyone assumes the worst.  And that is not OK.  So the only choice is to lie.

    •  No - lying is never perfectly fine... (0+ / 0-)

      lying is evil - and lying is wrong. And lying about bullshit is the worse lie of them all - he had no reason to lie other than his ego and self-image egging him on....

      •  Name one important thing he ever lied about (5+ / 0-)

        Just curious.

      •  Thank you, Christine O'Donnell (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrblifil, mariawells, mikejay611, peggy

        I guess you wouldn't lie to the Nazis looking for hidden Jews in your attic either, eh?

        •  Stupid nazi comparison (0+ / 0-)

          The Nazis were evil - and perpetrating crimes against humanity. So YES I would lie to the nazis... But if I was a politician engaged in a legal activity which I knew was career destroying and I got caught, I'd tell the truth...

          •  You can do what you want (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            But that doesn't mean everyone else has to.

            The current bloodlust to catch any public figure "with his pants down" is evil.  

          •  You were the one who said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611

            "lying is never perfectly fine."  Don't say things you don't mean if you don't want "stupid" analogies (not comparisons, btw) thrown at you.  Words have meanings, after all.

            I can think of lots of instances that don't involve the Nazis or even anyone evil at all wherein telling a lie would be preferable than telling the truth.  Black and white moral judgments are a bit too Old Testament for me, thanks.

            •  Lying is never perfectly fine (0+ / 0-)

              but if you want to go to extreme examples - like hiding Jews from Nazis, then we weigh lying against murder, rape and slavery and come down on the side of lying...

              •  I don't see anything wrong with (0+ / 0-)

                lying to protect someone from the Nazis.  There's not an ounce of wrongness there.  Morality doesn't occur in a vacuum, their rightness or wrongness is entirely dependent on their effects on people.  Since there would be no negative moral effect in lying to the Nazis, there's no way to claim it is any way wrong.

                Moral absolutes such as you're describing are a fiction made up to unvoid the uncomfortable gray areas that we have to deal with every day.

                •  it's an absurd extreme example (0+ / 0-)

                  but if you believe that lying is wrong - then lying is wrong. Lying to the Nazis might be wrong - but far less wrong than turning innocents over to their persecutors. It's a personal decision...and a silly conversation because Weiner had no reason to lie and chose to do so to protect his own professional scalp -

                  •  You don't need an absurd extreme example. (0+ / 0-)

                    Is it morally wrong to lie to one's spouse to get them to a surprise birthday party?  Most likely not.  Is it morally wrong to lie to someone who unintentially hurt you (like stepping on your foot by mistake) that it didn't hurt, to save them feeling bad about it?  Most likely not.  I can come up with endless scenarios of varying levels where the context makes a lie utterly harmless, or in some cases even the morally correct thing to do.

                    if you believe that lying is wrong - then lying is wrong.

                    In your other post you decried my use of the term "morality" because it sounded religious to you, but there is no way you can believe lying is universally wrong except via religious morality.  You're invoking a moral absolutism that can only be based on some sort of eternal law of right and wrong such as that pronounced by a Supreme Being.  

                    That's not how morality, or right and wrong if you prefer, actually work in the real world.  In the real world, the wrongness of an act can only be judged based on the negative effect or potential negative effect it has on people.  Telling a lie that is not possibly going to cause harm to someone--and, in fact, will actually result in a positive outcome--cannot be deemed "wrong" except by using some external legalistic mechanism to evaluate right and wrong such as divine fiat.

            •  it's not a moral judgement (0+ / 0-)

              I didnt call it a sin - I said lying is wrong - as is stealing and murder - and yet there are times when we steal (to feed our hungry children) and kill - to protect our familes. It doesn't make it right - but it might seem necessary...

              •  Saying something is right or wrong (0+ / 0-)

                is a moral judgment.  What else would it be?  

                •  ethical judgement (0+ / 0-)

                  moral sounds religious - i.e., a lesson learned - ethical is a personal decision based on established standards of right and wrong...

                  •  Morality isn't religious. (0+ / 0-)

                    That's just nonsense.  While religions do tend to give moral teachings, that doesn't mean someone means "religious morals" when using the term morality.  

                    You're incorrect to use ethics, as "ethics" are a term that are specifically meant to be based on context!  All ethics are situational, depending on one's position, the scenario in question.  Blanket "always right/always wrong" statements cannot be used to connote ethical issues as you are doing.  

      •  Have you ever cheated on your spouse? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        googleimage, mikejay611, wecandoit7

        Now you are in front of a camera and if you refuse to answer me, the whole world is going to think the answer is yes.

        I have absolutely no right to ask you that question.  And now if you don't say "No" the whole world will know -- or assume -- that you did.

        YES, of COURSE, you can LIE.  For god's sake, what are you supposed to say???

        Thank you, Boris, for the obvious example.

    •  I can't believe people rec'd this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darmok

      I agree he shouldn't have to answer to the public for his online activities, but lets not give him a complete pass for lying.  John Edwards lied.  Bill Clinton lied.  Those lies cost the Democratic party something.   People who learn to lie easily, can be very dangerous.  The Republican party is built on lies, lets not give free pass to all our politicians to speak untruths.  

  •  Personally, I have no problem with what he did (8+ / 0-)

    provided it was all done with consenting adults.

    His wife may have a problem.  His family may have a problem.  But I don't think his sex fantasies are my concern.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 08:54:11 AM PDT

  •  Does this include ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Expat Texan

    ... his campaign for NY city council using the Crown Heights affair as a racial wedge? I would like to know whether he's ever attoned for his distribution of a late, anonymous flier that was so far over the ethical line and so morally indefensible, it makes my stomach turn to think about it, even today.

    Anthony Weiner's penis is attached to an amazing human being who does very important and positive things in the world.
  •  Excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, emsprater, wecandoit7

    As a gay man, this really spoke to me.  This is so true.
    thank you.

  •  I don't disagree (5+ / 0-)

    but I do still have a problem with a man in his forties sending a woman in her early twenties a picture of his junk. That will never sit well with me no matter how enlightened sexually our culture may become.

  •  Politicians should take a cue from David Letterman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7

    He was, you may recall, blackmailed -- blackmailed! -- over some pictures from a sketchy relationship he had with a subordinate. This was not some stupid thing he did -- tweeting when he intended to email, e.g. -- but someone using private materials, obtained illicitly, to commit a crime.

    But when this stuff came out, did Letterman say, as he well might have, "This is a private matter?" No; in fact, he came out and said that he'd done "some creepy stuff," and that he was very sorry for the potential harm it might cause other people.

    Frankly, Letterman's actions are less creepy in my eyes than Weiner's. But the bigger thing is that Letterman did the grown-up thing, and took responsibility for his actions. Weiner was apparently so embarrassed and ashamed by where his sexuality had taken him that he ducked taking responsibility for it for as long as he could. That doesn't fly with me.

    In granting security clearances, I don't think it should matter what someone's sexual proclivities are, providing they are all legal. But it does matter if they are ashamed of their sexual proclivities, because that opens the door to blackmail of various types.

    And I apply the same standard to politicians: what if, on the eve of some significant vote, Weiner's "friend the Congressman from the great state of Utah" had pulled him aside and, in all "earnestness" shown him this picture that was being purported to be Weiner's privates -- "It isn't, is it?"

    How effective a legislator would Weiner be in that circumstance?

    I think Weiner needs to take some time out to figure out who he really is, and then maybe come back and run for office as that person.

    In the meantime, I doubt it's that difficult to find an articulate proponent of most of what Weiner promoted who is not hiding anything creepy from the public.

  •  thanks, wecandoit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7

    i too rarely comment any more and check in only occasionally but i think you wrote an enlightened and relevant diary

  •  Ode (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anak, Egghead, mikejay611, wecandoit7, Chi

    Congressman Weiner, you look like a fool
    You’ve obviously broken the old Tin God Rule
    Just as your career seemed to really be bloomin
    You went out and showed us that you’re only human
    We can’t accept that, times of conflict and strife
    Call for people as pure as was old Caesar’s wife
    Beyond even suspicion, and purer than snow
    (which can be really filthy, as New Yorkers know)

    But I hope you hang on, all this stuff will all pass
    And we need you there, kicking  Republican Ass

    I do hope there’s no truth in what I heard today
    That Fruit of the Loom wants to hire you away
    With an offer I hear they have laid on the table
    Selling men’s underclothes with the Weinerware label

  •  Got a Disagreement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7

    Good Diary overall and good points.  But I am probably going to echo many people ideas....the problem is not his online avtivity, it was his lying about his online activity when caught and misleading the public.

    I personally have no care about what Anthony Weiner does with his weiner.  That is his business.  What is okay for him might be wrong to me or vice versa but again its his personal business.

    On the bigger point in your diary, I do agree to an extent.  I do think gay men have gotten more enlightened on the issue of sex because well they had too....gay men are men first and foremost and they are dealing with other men.  That means they had to quickly come to terms with how men are.

    •  It's true... (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, an aspect I failed to discuss is that men can be pretty scummy. Learning to deal with them both has a moderating effect on our own behavior - but also an engine-revving effect in other areas. On the whole though, I think that gay men have sort of pioneered a series of rituals and standards that the rest of society would do well to emulate.

      I did an update addressing the issue of lying, btw. :)

  •  A black man's perspective on Anthony Weiner (12+ / 0-)

    You shouldn't send unsolicited dick pics to people you don't know.  If you do so, you are engaging in a form of harassment.   Your right to sexual fantasy ends where it intrudes on the privacy and freedoms of another (including the freedom not to see your dick).   I'm guessing gay men, in this wonderful world of ours, don't send dick pics to people who they don't know but see on their facebook page or on twitter with out any mind to whether they are gay or straight, prude or porn star.  

    You can't equate what gay men or men in general would want in sexuality with what a women would want -  and that isn't coming from a feminist perspective.  That is coming from I date women perspective.  Very few women in our society respond kindly to unsoliticied dick pics.  I'm not saying women are above liking the male nude form, I'm saying the majority of women are not going to enjoy some guy they don't know sending them a picture of their twig and berrys.

    * What does this have to do with me being black?  About the same as your opinion have to do with you being gay.  Any straight male could have written what you wrote.  

    I find this as wildly off the mark as electablog's rape comparison.  This is more than an "unruly" sex drive - people go to jail for exposing themselves to other people.  The fact that it was done digitally simply removes it from the criminal realm.  

    •  I think you're wrong... (0+ / 0-)

      I think you're wrong, sorry. My being gay is relevant because gays have evolved a different set of rituals that I think the rest of society would do well to emulate. The last paragraph of my pre-update diary addresses this:

      As a country - and as liberals - I hope that in time everyone can be more like gay men: accepting of sex, indulgent of indiscretion, and aware that the previous two traits are at once integral to who we are and completely unrelated to the other things we seek to accomplish during this brief sojourn we call life.

      The key part, in this "scandal," is the part about being indulgent of indiscretion.

      My understanding is that these were long conversations and that the pictures did not come out of the clear blue sky. If he did do that - OOPS! Big mistake. And none of our freakin' business.

      •  Your different set of rituals doesn't take into (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        account the desires of straight women; it probably doesn't include religious people (not saying gay people can't be religious, saying you are ignoring them); or sexual abuse victims.  

        Maybe you would like it if someone sent you an unsoliticited crotch shot - I would certainly like it if a pretty woman sent me a picture of her boobs.  But you have no right, gay or straight, to place your morality on someone else and than go "gee, everyone should be as open as me."  Some people don't want to be that open.  That is their perogative.  Guys with crotch shots should be aware of that and respect it.  

        And the photo he sent to the black student was completely unsolicited.  As she notes "He has had six inappropriate relationships with women online in the last three years. If it wasn't clear, I was not one of them."

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

        And finally I think you have a lot of stereotypes about gay and straight people that are unfounded.  What you are seeing as a difference between gay people and straight people I see as a difference between men and women.  

      •  Be Careful (0+ / 0-)

        What you ask for, because you may get it.

        Specifically, I am deeply troubled by your use of stereotype as it relates to what gay men "do" or "are" sexually. You're just one gay man.  You obviously have a relationship with sex that you find liberating and healthy.  Good on you.

        But by you claiming that this is the viewpoint of all gay men, you are relying on stereotype because, of course, even you haven't met all gay men.  What stereotype am am I talking about? The stereotype many folks who are not gay hold is, of course, that gay men are sexually irresponsible, will fuck anything and anyone and as a result are a scourge on society as a whole and not to be trusted around children because their urges are uncontrollable and they might rape children.

        (Not that it should need saying given my history here, but in the interest of making sure that folks don't get the wrong idea:  Do I personally believe this bullshit stereotype? Hell no.  Even if I wasn't bi myself, I know too many gay men who are monogamous.  I also know many gay men who are not monogamous but nonetheless don't make their open relationships when it comes to who they fuck the sine qua non of being gay men.)

        So, are you sure you really want to go there when it comes to defending Congressman Weiner's conduct when it comes to sending unsolicited dick pics to people that we all agree are NOT gay men over Twitter?  It seems to me that this is one anti-gay stereotype that needs to die an ignominous death - and arguments like yours could well give it new life.

        Which is why I said be careful what you ask for.  You may get it.

        P.S.  Would you mind telling me how you even feel you can speak for all gay men and their relationship to sex?

        If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

        by shanikka on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 07:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Been Huma, done that, got the T shirt (10+ / 0-)

    Well, not exactly Huma, but married to an alpha male in a position of power with constant exposure to young women.

    I discovered the crazy flirty stuff six weeks after the birth of our daughter. I was devastated. It happened twelve years ago and took many, many years to get my head around what had happened... and dispel the fear it would happen again.

    The lying and hiding was the most traumatic part of it all. Not the silly stuff he was doing that could have gotten him fired.

    Looking back my husband was not mentally healthy. He denied THAT as much he denied everything else, the lying, the sex stuff, the sky was blue....and so much of his emotional self.

    He had serious traumas he brushed under the rug and one of the ways he dealt with all this denial was inappropriate sexual behavior.

    What I do know is that it took many years to recover. Therapy made things worse, both couple's counseling and individual counseling. We tried twenty or so tries at it... both as individuals and as a couple. It re-stimulated the trauma and created more trauma.

    Eventually we dug ourselves out of the dung heap and have a fabulous marriage. I'd say the biggest thing that helped was relaxing and making mental health our biggest priority. Chilling the frack out.
    was the way back to life and happiness.

    It's hard to see how Weiner and his wife would ever be able to relax with such high profile, power-driven, stress-filled careers. It would be very big challenge to give up the adrenaline rush for deep love, contentment, and peace.

    I don't know if Weiner should stay or resign. I don't know what is in his head or in Huma's head or where the marriage is at. But my very best to both of them as they struggle.

    One hetero woman's perspective.

  •  Perspective from one who doesn't care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wapitig8r, emsprater, mikejay611

    The whole thing was overblown from the get-go.

    What the media called a "lewd" photo was inoffensive enough to be shown repeatedly on TV. Lewd is what's behind the magazine cover.

    Next, Anthony Weiner has very good camera skills for a congressman. The first thing I thought was that it wasn't Anthony Weiner sending the shot, because the composition of the photo was so good. Same thing for the inoffensive chest shot. No way a politician took that photo. It never crossed my mind that a congressman was morally incapable of sending a lame come-on to a female admirer, just that he would lack the technical/artistic skills.

    Finally, the shot of his briefs was Photoshopped at the penis head, to make it slightly darker. Well done, too. Those briefs don't show color variations unless it's black underneath, and even then. Most politicians would fuck up the Photoshop. Weiner did not.

    In conclusion, I'm worried about the environment, the economy, and the continuing cultural descent into innanity, banality and a few other tys.

  •  Aw...come on... (0+ / 0-)

    Weiner ought to be the poster boy for Congress.

    Given that so little gets done in Congress, it must be that many members of Congress are spending most of their time playing with their own weenie or some else's weenie.   Weiner may be unusual in that he likes to photograph his own weenie and send pictures of his weenie to others, but lying seems to be commonplace in Washington.

    So, I suggest we all write our own Congress-weenie and suggest Weiner be named the Congressional Poster Boy.  Just imagine a big poster in all post offices and government buildings featuring Weiner playing with his weenie and captioned "your tax dollars at work."  

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 09:50:59 AM PDT

  •  He's a dumbass. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry, I can't get past what an utter fucking idiot he is.  If it makes me unliberal, so be it -- I expect men to control their primitive urges when they're in constant danger of scandal at the hands of political opponents.  Weiner is literally a dickhead for what he's done.

    I'm sorry, but I find this "Oh, he's just a human doing what comes naturally" to be absolute bollocks.  I expect a United States Congressman to have better discipline than to expose himself, literally, to the ruination of his career because he couldn't keep his dick off the internet for the few short years we asked him to work for us.

    •  And not only the ruination of his career, (4+ / 0-)

      but also a major setback to progressive causes. Shit, imagine if this had come out next fall. We would have been royally fucked.

      I really don't care what Weiner does in his private life. But in this case, the way he went about it was RECKLESS.

    •  I agree. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darmok, FrankSpoke, Caipirinha, Chi, kareylou

      I like the diary -- it's well argued and thought provoking.  But sorry; as dKos readers should know better than anyone, there is a ton at stake in American politics -- the health, wealth, and livelihood of every citizen of the world is affected by what happens at either end of Pennsylvania Ave.  When one attains the rarified status of a U.S. Representative, it comes with a heightened responsibility.  There are very few parts of the country that could send someone as feisty and liberal as Weiner to Washington (but Brooklyn/Queens is one of them), and thus very few potential flag bearers for the progressive cause.  With so much riding on how effectively those few folks do their jobs, it really isn't too much to ask for them to just keep it in their fucking pants (or at least off the Internet).  

      I appreciate the diarists' perspective; and, as a 20-year LGBT activist, I do think we have a lot to learn from the community about these sorts of issues.  But political power brokers need to battle on the playing field they're given, not the one they wish they had -- and here in the one we have, it's simply not ok to use the imprimatur of your office to flirt with random strangers on the Internet, without undermining your effectiveness.

      Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

      by cardinal on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:10:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Echoing Dilbert (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, emsprater

    Well said, diarist!

    http://www.dilbert.com/...

  •  But about those penis pix (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, NonnyO

    The diarist says he has sent penis pix, and I guess as a gay guy, he also enjoys receiving penis pix. And we know that straight men also like sending penis pix.

    But there's one group missing here. Do straight women like seeing penis pix? 'Cause this straight woman doesn't find them even remotely erotic, attractive, or in any way what she'd want to see during "flirting."

    •  Good question. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, Chi

      Very few straight women I know would enjoy receiving such pictures.  I think it's the narcissism of the types of folks who are successful in politics that makes them think, "gee, I bet a young woman who admires my political work would love to see my junk!"

      Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

      by cardinal on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:54:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's politicians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO

        I think it's men. Men send penis pix. It's not just politicians who send this sort of stuff.

        Guys. Stop. This is not how to flirt with women.

        •  Well, I've never (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO

          sent a penis pic to anyone.  Perhaps that's because most of my friends have been women throughout the years, so I've heard repeatedly how unwelcome such a gesture would be, even to someone who otherwise found me attractive.

          Some guys don't get that, though -- and I can understand because it took me a while to wrap my brain around it.  I remember conversations like this from high school:

          "Tom Cruise is sooooo hot.  OMG, I would love to meet him."
          "Hey, you know there's one movie where you can see his dick."
          "EEWWWW, gross!"
          "Huh? I don't get it."

          Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

          by cardinal on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 11:16:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      The sexual parts of people are the least attractive parts of the human body.

      ONLY IN PERSON, and properly primed with enough foreplay do those private parts start to look "attractive."

      Just 'out there' in photos or movies without any imaginative stimulus?  Nah.  Keep the bits hidden.  My imagination is better than the reality.

      Many years ago an old ex-boyfriend took me to 'Deep Throat' because he thought it was a wonderful porno flick.  He didn't appreciate that I giggled all the way through the movie, plus whatever other sexually explicit movie was on the double-feature.  I assume he wanted me to be as aroused as he was..., but I was most assuredly not.

      I'm the first to admit sex FEELS good.  It just LOOKS funny!

      Printed words can turn me on (talk during sex turns me off), or a lot of IN PERSON foreplay..., just NOT photos or movies of sexual parts.

      I'm a senior citizen now, and a straight woman, but even after all these years, no matter how good sex feels, the photos or movies are a distinct turn-off.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 05:08:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Plenty of my girl friends love 'em... (0+ / 0-)

      Not that I would ever send one to them - they are, after all, females and I am gay - but yes. There are a lot of women I know who after a few drinks whip out their iPhones.

      This stuff is COMMON, everyone. That's part of my point!

  •  The problem with Anthony Weiner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ElizabethRegina1558, NonnyO

    Is that the revelations of his sexy online chats weird people out.  This entire episode has reduced his effectiveness.

    David Vitter was caught for doing worse, but while he was able to win re-election for the Senate, his behavior became an albatross for the Republicans to defend.

    From a legal perspective, this is probably not enough to force him to resign.  But one must look at this from a political perspective

    At some point the Democratic leadership will decide if having Anthony Weiner around is beneficial or detrimental to the party as a whole.

    Would impeaching Clinton have been better for the Democratic party in the long term?  Perhaps.  The economy was doing well, and the Republicans looked like judgmental prudes during the impeachment era.

    But if Clinton was removed, or stepped down of his own volition, then Gore would have become President.

  •  I'm a straight old lady--and I agree. (6+ / 0-)

    The worst pornographic pictures I've ever seen were taken by an elderly couple I knew in my youth.

    Now this couple were members of a small-town, Midwestern Baptist church.  Elders and Sunday-school teachers.  Pillars of the community.

    At the time, they were retiring and moving to a new house--and the wife had Alzheimer's disease--so the old house was total chaos.

    I was helping some friends who were relatives of the couple with the pre-move sort-out/clean-up process, and I stumbled upon some tucked-away Polaroid photos.  

    Her photo wasn't so bad--a naked fat lady wrapped in a towel.  HIS, OTOH, was a fully aroused naked crotch shot from below!

    Back then, there wasn't an issue of the photos becoming public.  

    If Weiner had printed his photos himself, on his home computer, and snail-mailed them, he'd have been a lot better off!

    But after knowing that sweet little old lady who took those photos of her husband, I figure that Weiner's lapse of judgement was just that.  A  lapse.

    Martin Luther King slept around.  Ghandi liked to sleep with (but not touch!) naked young nubile girls.

    In other words, real heroes often have sexual clay feet.

    We need to accept that and move on.

  •  I called Congressman Weiner's office (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googleimage, wecandoit7

    in Brooklyn today and told them I don't think he should resign. If Bill "Clenis"Clinton could ride it out, Anthony Weiner can too. His aide told me the calls are mixed. Maybe those of us who support the Congressman's capacity to do good should all call.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:10:43 AM PDT

  •  Thank you nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7

    John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

    by tiponeill on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:13:08 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! n\t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wecandoit7
  •  A "Carrie/Samantha" perspective (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, wecandoit7, Caipirinha, Chi

    In my single days, I was a combination of Carrie and Samantha.  I'm right there with you that sex, flirtation, eroticism are all normal and natural.  

    When the dick photo story first broke, I thought it might have been a private photo for Huma.  And I thought - awesome! My Congressman has a sexy sex life.  Like Ice-T and Coco, lol.

    The thing I disagree with is your statement that AW never cheated on his wife.  I do consider what he did cheating, because he had built up online sex relationships with other women without his wife's knowledge or participation.  

    I feel that if you're going to embrace the convention of a monogamous marriage, then do it.  Don't fuck around in secret with a bunch of random women you meet online.

    You have a great writing style, and I agree with a lot of what you said, most of all that he should not resign.  I love your second paragraph in particular.  Thanks for a refreshing perspective.  

    I love New York in June, how about you?

    by avadoria on Wed Jun 08, 2011 at 10:25:18 AM PDT

    •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi

      I agree that it was a mistake - but stop short of judging him or holding him to a standard of perfection when it comes to this matter.  Now, if I someday discover that AIG bought his vote... out with the bastard!! ;)

  •  Thank you for your perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emsprater, wecandoit7

    It helped me work through my own feelings on this situation quite a bit.  

    (I have stated on this site that I was very disappointed in Wiener for "behaving stupidly")

    Thank you again for your diary.

  •  Thanks - as a gay man, I'm embarrassed Weiner lied (3+ / 0-)

    feel sorry for his wife finding out this way - but, other than that - do not see what the big deal is. Uh ...
    (Well ... OK, I'll leave that one for John Stewart ... too easy ...).

    Making people ashamed of their private sexual behavior is a tried & true way of marginalizing all those who don't fit into what an increasingly narrow group get to define as "NORMAL" and excluding them from power.  Private behavior is just that: private - and should be off-limits as long as no one is exploited or abused or laws broken. (On that topic, some of our European friends would also argue about our puritanical laws around sex, but that another discussion.)

    I'm a bit distressed to hear discussions among "Liberals" that Weiner should have held himself to higher standards because he's in public office - but who gets to decide those "standards".  Do I want Reince Priebus doing this?  Honestly, he really doesn't look like he's having that much "fun" in his life - and I'd rather have public offic