Calls are being heard for Anthony Weiner to drop out of the New York mayoral race, and for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to quit. Both men are standing their ground.
Observing their lives is like watching and reading about train wreck in Spain. You know it’s awful, but you can’t look away. The two men and their raunchy behavior make for lively news stories, especially now that the Royal Baby has been born and named, and the trial of George Zimmerman is over.
They are taking their cues, it seems, from Bill Clinton, who should have resigned the presidency once he had disgraced himself by having a creepy White House affair with one of his interns. But he just couldn’t stand the idea of not being president, so he brought the government to a halt for more than a year while he battled to hang onto power, to no one’s benefit but his own. But in doing so, he set a new standard for sleaziness.
Weiner, who sent photos of himself in his underpants to women, was a member of Congress. He did the right thing by resigning, but he kept up his behavior afterward. The question is whether he is morally or mentally fit for high office. The same question applies to Filner, who has been accused of serial harassment of women, and being a danger for women to be around.
Neither man seems to have a moral compass, and both seem to be more than a bit nuts.
Both, like Clinton, are addicted to power. Both are former members of Congress with little in the way of knowledge of how to run big cities. But being in Congress creates an almost fatal compulsion to keep and grow power, and if one can’t be in Congress, well, being mayor of an important city may be the next best thing.
The crazy thing is, voters buy into it. Filner was elected, after all, even though his temper and intemperate habits have had him in trouble before, and he is unqualified to govern. And Weiner is the leader in a crowded race for New York City’s mayor, even though many politicians are calling for him to resign. Maybe the voters get what they deserve.