This article should probably be titled “Sexual Misconduct Doesn’t Matter”. It could be a made for TV movie starring Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, and Anthony Weiner.
In a CNN article today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Shame on us” if New Yorkers elect Weiner to City Hall. I wonder what discoveries would be made if someone looked deeply into Cuomo’s past? There is no such thing as a “clean” politician.
This is not a defense of Mr. Weiner. I was disappointed when he admitted his proclivity for “sexting”. It wasn’t his foolish acts that upset me, I felt America was losing a fighter who stood up for the average man. He was a hard worker, unlike many of our Congressmen, and demanded the same from his staff, many of whom did not last long in his employ.
Cuomo is simply being judgmental, which is an error of humanity. Weiner didn’t steal money from his state, and spend it to fly to Argentina and have sex, as did Mark Sanford, and he didn’t lie to Congress, as did President Clinton, (and President Bush). His sexual problem is a family issue, and that’s where it should stay.
And, to his credit, Weiner is not hiding from his past, or claiming he deserves a second chance, he is simply asking for one.
Weiner said he was “encouraged by the number of people who say they want to give me a second chance and listen to my ideas.”
He is also aware of his detractors. He knows some are not ready to give offer forgiveness.
“There may be people who say they’re not, and that they’ll never vote for me. And I get that, I respect that. They have the right to have that view,” he said. “But even those people, I want them to hear me and what I have to say.”
“People are going to make their determination based on the issues they think are important,” he said. “If citizens want to talk to me about my personal failings, that’s their right. I’m going to do everything I can to answer them.”
That’s what anyone who seeks a position which makes them responsible for millions of people should do.
Sanford, on the other hand, had no issues to stand on. He was simply a Republican who won his party’s primary in a bright red state. The voter turn-out was low, and he barely defeated his Democratic opponent in a state that hasn’t elected one in over 20 years.
Bill Clinton is an enigma. His popularity runs so deep, if he decided to run for any office in the land, he would probably win.
For me, there is no excuse for abusing the privilege of being someone’s partner in life. If Weiner’s wife chooses to forgive him for his discretions, that is her choice. And, voters have the responsibility to decide which candidate is best qualified, and has ideas that match his or her wants and needs. Campaigns should be fought over ideas. Unfortunately in the 21st century, they are too often covered in mud. Personal attacks have become the norm, and it’s unfortunate for the American people because all too often the winning candidate is later proven to be a poor choice.
There is a time when discovery of sexual deviance or misconduct is fair game for a politician’s opponent. That is when he, or she, wages an entire campaign based on morality and family values. Hypocrisy should be punished.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to red state Republican candidates. They can do, and have done, innumerable unspeakable things, and continue to receive enough votes to win against their Democratic opponents. Then I have to ask, “what’s wrong with you people”?
And that summarizes the problem. Too many go to the polls and vote for a party, and not for a person. Or they vote for a television ad, not on the issues a candidate believes in.
Weiner won all of his Congressional elections by at least 59%. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say, and how voters will make their decision.
The Guardian Express.