So the WSJ has the obligatory “what’s next for Anthony Weiner” article, in which the familiar ideas that “Americans like a comeback story” and “Americans are quick to forgive” blah blah blah are trotted out. The weird thing about the story, however, is the finger-wagging tone of it, where separate people suggest that Weiner has “a few screws loose” or that he ought to do “penance” and that he needs to show “remorse.”
All this is a goofy manifestation of a puritanical type of mindset (or, at least, assuming that one exists), because, really: who did Anthony Weiner hurt, exactly? His wife, perhaps (who hasn’t made her feelings clear one way or the other, but one assumes…) The people? As far as we know it was consensual.
What evidence is there that Weiner has screws loose? Has there been any suggestion that his actual job performance was poor? Has there been any suggestion previous to now that he was an unstable or otherwise damaged personality? As far as we can tell, the answers are no.
Basically, Weiner did a dumb thing in that other people were bound to get all wound up in a tizzy over something very silly and ultimately personal, but other than that—do what you gotta do there, champ. It’s weird to see these quotes, which are basically the same quotes you’d see after any disgraced politician story, except that it’s no ordinary disgraced politician story: it is tragically trivial.