Kate Flora here. Normally, I don’t like to have conversations about politics. But as my birthday approaches and I continue my unarrested slide into old fogey status, I am musing today about Anthony Weiner, and those New York voters who say that his ridiculous and embarrassing behavior won’t affect their decision to vote for him. Here’s what I am wondering: WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY THINKING?
Since when did character and judgment stop being something we expect of the people who are going to be our leaders? Who are going to be responsible for the financial safety of a major city? Since when did we stop expecting our leaders to be role models, or at least demonstrate that they possess self-control control and some measure of judgment and dignity?
Evidently, things have changed a lot since I dressed up as Margaret Chase Smith for a high school debate. But I would ask the people who say this is simply a private matter between Weiner and his wife whether they would hire someone like Anthony Weiner. Here’s a man who lost his last job because of misbehavior. Who was reportedly a very difficult congressional peer, veering between lecturing and yelling at his colleagues. Not the best demeanor for a successful workplace environment.
Then there is the matter of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, because when else is Mr. Weiner going to be snapping photos of his wiener and sending them to his sex chat honeys? Probably not while he’s at home with his wife and baby boy. “Sexting” is a cute little word that suggests innocuous behavior between consenting adults. And Richard Kim, on The Nation blog, poses the question: should the mere existence of an X-rated selfie disqualify one from public office? (Read more: In Defense of Carlos Danger | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/175418/defense-carlos-danger#ixzz2aBCEeyvD) But if his repeated incidents of such behavior are any clue, there’s a problem of narcissism and possibly of some form of sex addiction. Not exactly a good combination to have in an employee, ask anyone in any corporate HR department. In the private sector, Mr. Weiner, or Carlos Danger as he likes to be known, would be a lawsuit waiting to happen. A high-risk person to consider making an employee, especially if those photos featured on The Dirty website are sent out over a business phone. Why should we not anticipate that the same issues would arise in the public arena? Over a phone that we pay for? And public officials are all of our employees. Shouldn’t the people of New York City have more respect for themselves?
Of course, those of us here in Maine have had some experience with a temper-challenged, foot-in-mouth, ungovernably vulgar political leader, and we can tell you that it’s not a one time problem. Most recently, Governor Paul LePage said this about another politician:
“Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”
Our governor has told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” called the IRS “the new Gestapo” and urged Maine schoolchildren that if they want a good education, they should go to private school. We may not have a sex scandal, but we have a politician with such questionable judgment and such a trenchant, truculent personality that he’s inspired a Facebook page: Mainers Embarrassed by LePage.
If New Yorkers don’t wait to waive (sp) their Weiner, they might as well start their own embarrassment page right now.