There is no shortage of coverage and commentary on the latest revelations about Anthony Weiner (or “Carlos Danger”) and his, shall we say, poor impulse control. I hope readers will forgive me for adding to it.
Some folks are weighing in about how dignified his wife Huma Abedin was during Weiner’s bizarre press conference yesterday. At the Wall Street Journal, the editors write, apropos of both Weiner (a candidate for New York mayor) and Eliot Spitzer (running for city comptroller) that city voters should “at least defeat these two to spare their wives.”
But spare them what? Yesterday Mr. Weiner, while admitting that he continued to behave badly for at least a year following the previous revelations that drove him out of Congress, indicated that he has no intentions of withdrawing from the mayoral race. Ms. Abedin offered no public demurral about the wisdom of her husband’s decision, indeed appears to support him fully. We cannot know what passed between them in private. But if she wished, she could do her husband and herself a world of good by torpedoing his career in public life. All she would have to do is oppose him publicly.
Yes, that “all” is a great deal, and would take courage–but even a credible threat of doing so would no doubt have convinced Mr. Weiner that out of the public eye is where he belongs. That he remains a candidate today can be chalked up to his wife’s support–even if it is only non-opposition, or ineffective private opposition. A firm, and if necessary, public “No, Anthony!” on Ms. Abedin’s part would put an end to this farce, would be good for Mr. Weiner’s soul, and might even in the long run help their marriage. It would certainly be good for New York City and the rest of the country to be permanently rid of Carlos Danger, Public Servant.
Anthony Weiner is in the grip of various compulsions, it seems. One of them–a compulsive conviction that he has something positive to offer to our political life–appears to be shared by Huma Abedin. That is a sad mistake.