"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Would Weiner Have Responded If He Wanted Weinergate To Go Away?

I'm not sure there's a way out for Congressman Anthony Weiner after five days of lies and increasingly implausible stories surrounding the obvious truth that, on a Friday night, at home with his computer, he sent a picture of his "Member of Congress" to a 21 year-old college girl.   But, if had chosen to, he might have mitigated the damage to his career by saying something like this:
It has come to my attention that a picture that I sent through Twitter on Friday night that I had intended to be a private message was accidentally made public by me.   The picture was intended to be sent to a private citizen, a young lady whom I have never met in person, but with whom I have had occasion to correspond privately over the Internet via Twitter.   The nature of this correspondence, to my mind, has always been innocent flirtation between two adults; I never intended it to be anything more than that, and I do not believe it should be viewed as anything more than innocent flirtation.   It so happens that, in the Internet age, flirtation often takes place over vehicles like Twitter, and, with the advance of technology, can sometimes involve the exchange of pictures.   But, with the advance of technology, unfortunately, it becomes easier to make mistakes that can, with the push of the wrong button, reach tens of thousands of people.   The picture in question here, I understand, will be viewed by some as salacious, and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended.   Naturally I am personally embarrassed by these events being made public.   I also regret very much the embarrassment this has caused by wife.   Finally, I regret very much the embarrassment this must have caused the young lady in question, and I would ask that all of you respect her privacy, since none of this was her fault.   Thank you. 
I think if he'd said something like this on Saturday, this would all be over by now.    He'd have come off as honest, human, gracious and concerned about the young lady's reputation, apologetic to his wife, and he also would have identified himself with the vast numbers of Americans who engage in virtual relationships  and virtual flirtation on the Internet, via email, via texting, etc.

The problem, of course, is that, if you're the type of creep who wants to send pictures of your Johnson to young girls, you're also unlikely to be the type of guy who can stand up, say mea culpa sincerely, and ask for forgiveness for your sins.    It's a Catch-22.   If you're not a stand up guy, it's hard to be a stand up guy.   No pun intended.  

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