The Tragedy Of Anthony Weiner

I have refrained from commenting on the slow-motion car crash that has been Anthony Weiner’s campaign to be the next mayor of New York City, partly because it has been hard to keep up with each new lurid detail or revelation that has emerged with every passing day, but also because the story is just very profoundly sad. Here is a very gifted politician, someone who clearly and viscerally cares about New Yorkers, undone by bizarre and foolish decisions made in his personal life.

Rachel Maddow did a good, and fairly humorous, breakdown of the story on one of her recent shows:

 

It is hard to disagree with her analysis. But with the latest polling data showing Weiner slipping into fourth place, it is also disappointing, because of the various Democratic mayoral candidates, he is the only one who possesses anything approaching real charisma or political astuteness. Were it not for his personal demons and indiscretions, he would likely make a very decent mayor, and a great ambassador for the city.

But since this is now almost certainly not going to transpire, rather than laughing at the man any further, it might be good to look back at some of the political waves that he made, and the highlights from his congressional career:

 

The man is a good politician, you have to hand it to him. As regular readers will know, I am scrupulously Semi-Partisan. But nonetheless I must admit it is quite cathartic to watch a Democrat who can deliver a line and give as good as so many Republicans are able to do. Lord knows the Democratic Party needs more public figures like Anthony Weiner. Just with less sexting on the side.

On Defeating Terrorism

This is how to do it:

Image courtesy of Enid Alvarez/New York Daily News
Image courtesy of Enid Alvarez/New York Daily News

Today, the 10th of May 2013, the spire was added to the top of One World Trade Center, bringing the building to a symbolic height of 1,776 feet and making it the tallest structure in the western hemisphere.

The New York Post reports:

The silver spire topping One World Trade Center on Friday was fully installed on the building’s roof, bringing the structure to its full, symbolic height of 1,776 feet.

Loud applause and cries of joy erupted from assembled construction workers as the spire was gently lowered and secured into place.

“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” said project manager Juan Estevez from a temporary platform on the roof of the tower where he and other workers watched the milestone.

“It’s a culmination of a tremendous amount of team work … rebuilding the New York City skyline once again.”

And this is how not to do it:

 

 

This is Fox News talking head (and supposed token liberal) Bob Beckel cowering like – well, a pathetic coward – and arguing that all foreign student visas for muslim students in the United States should be revoked, and no new visas issued for a period of five years, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.

It’s not clear from Beckel’s “sober and solemn” pronouncement whether he means to target anyone from outside the US who self-identifies as a muslim, or students from predominantly muslim countries (whether they self-identify as muslims or not), or through some other method of profiling. Probably because he hadn’t thought it through before going on live television and acting the part of a terrified little girl in the face of a lone act of terrorism.

So there we go. One case study in how to face up to and defeat terrorism, and another in how to cower in the face of terror.

In Condemnation Of Utter Stupidity

Take one part Republican politician, add two parts Real Housewives of Wherever, sprinkle some MySpace circa 2003 and then add a whole lot of stupid, and if you are still smiling and nodding, vote Mindy Meyer for New York State Senate.

She’s great, because she is against corruption: “I have no experience in corruption … This is how politics has to change. There is always corruption, but I have the intention to follow my values and ensure that none of what happens in my district is corrupt”. See? You can’t lose by betting on this horse.

I defy anyone to read Meyer’s policy positions on Stop & Frisk, school choice or abortion and understand whether she is for or against any of them. But hey, after 3 minutes of serious head-scratching thought, “Mindy believes in capital punishment for cop killers”. So there.

She needs to go away and go back to work on her fake tan, and leave politics to people who a) understand, b) legitimately care and c) don’t mock people who do A and B.

P.S. If this is just an elaborate prank planned by some organisation or another, then well done, you got me good.