In the grand scheme of political sex scandals, where does the Anthony Weiner TwitPic disaster rank? It doesn’t, as far as I’m concerned. It’s the antisex scandal, not just because there was no actual sex, that we know of, but there’s absolutely nothing remotely titillating about a depilatorized middle-aged man sitting in front of his laptop casting lines to randoms and going after anything that bites back.
He’s not even good at it. I encourage you to look up his text message exchange with 40-year-old Vegas blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss and read the messages aloud in your best nasally outer-borough accent. Two of my favorite excerpts: “i’m pretty chatty/noisy in bed” and “you like me big and fat.”
The New York Post reported yesterday that Weiner put in a call to Bill Clinton to apologize, presumably for making a mockery of the wedding over which Clinton presided, and humiliating the woman who is like a sister to Chelsea. Not to mention that this whole ordeal probably hasn’t put Hillary in a great mood. But Clinton should be thanking Weiner for making him look like Cary Grant by comparison. Back when (i.e., two weeks ago around the time Arnold was exposed), if powerful men in office were going to have an affair, they were going to have an affair. Clinton made an effort. He seduced Monica Lewinsky in the historic, esteemed chambers of the Oval Office, surrounded by the Resolute Desk and Scalamandre silk drapes. He told her she looked pretty in blue. He thought of her on his vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, and brought back the souvenirs to prove it. He read her poetry — Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” — and taught her about fine cigars. Weiner probably doesn’t even have access to a humidor, just a camera phone to point at his hairless torso.
The image of him, home alone, on the couch using his household pets as props for bad sexual puns while his hot, now pregnant, wife is off galavanting around the world with the Secretary of State, is nothing to be proud of. Although Weiner is desperate to spin it that way. It’s just a virtual fantasy gone wrong, he says. Nothing ever happened off-line. But isn’t that even more pathetic? If, as Maureen Dowd pointed out, we live in a postfeminist world where all men are dogs, and mine were hypothetically to stray, I’d hope he would go out and make it worth it. But even a dog would know it’s better to play dead than just take a picture of his own balls.