Anthony Weiner is well and truly finished in public life. He polled a mere 5% in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York City. His post-election party was a dismal affair, even by the standards of a 5% vote-getter. Not only did his wife not show up, one of his sexting partners–we have no idea how many there really were–did. Aspiring porn actress and publicity seeker Sydney Leathers (presumably not her real name) crashed Weiner’s campaign party and stole the show:
Weiner himself was last seen driving away from the scene of his humiliation and flipping reporters the bird:
It is hard to blame Weiner for that gesture: what does he have to lose? He is as finished as one can be in the modern world. I disapprove of Weiner as much as anyone, but it is impossible to take pleasure in his current humiliation. And I am inclined to applaud him for giving the world a departing salute.
But as we draw the curtain on Anthony Weiner, one has the nagging feeling that we are missing something: that lessons should be learned from his story. After all, Anthony Weiner was no random exhibitionist. He served 12 years in Congress, and was taken seriously as a candidate for higher office. His wife, Huma Abedin, was absurdly overpraised as a key aide to Hillary Clinton. For years, Weiner was one of the most popular liberal guests on cable news, and was considered an unusually effective spokesman for liberal positions. As recently as the end of June, long after sexting scandals had forced his resignation from the House, Weiner was considered the frontrunner to be Mayor of New York.
Weiner, not long ago, was well on his way to becoming a liberal icon. Now, it is hard to see how he can expect to find a job, anywhere. Doesn’t Weiner’s story have something to tell us about our political class, and about modern liberalism? One might think so. But he is being hustled off the stage before he causes further embarrassment, and even his wife–understandably, to be sure–seems to have abandoned him. No lessons, evidently, will be learned; no conclusions drawn.