Hello, my name is Ashley, and I’ll be your server this evening. This summer, our chef has a season long special: WeinerSpitzle. WeinerSpitzle is an only in NY combination of hubris, stupidity, perversion, and blatant disregard for the law. We take a little bit of working class Bronx-boy-made-good-goes-bad, mix it in with the fallen star of an uber-powerful real estate dynasty, and serve it up to voters too shocked at the utter gall of it not to order it. So far, it’s the clear winner!
Only in NY.
It’s hard to believe that this election cycle we have not one but two formerly-disgraced-now-looking-for-redemption politicians in the mix. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s transgression – mistakenly sending semi-nude (not even nude!) photos of his – ahem, weiner – out on Twitter, rather than to a private, consenting adult, and then blatantly lying about it, was stupid and showed lack of judgement and lack of respect for his wife, but wasn’t criminal. Elliot Spitzer, on the other hand, flaunted the laws he had sworn to protect first as Attorney General, and then as land-slide elected Governor, when he frequented a “high-class prostitute”. (I love the distinction – isn’t “high class” prostitute an oxymoron? Do high class hookers have better manners? Do low class whores chew with their mouths open?)
And now they both want back in. And according to a poll released today – they just may get their wish.
NYC has always been a place of reinvention. It’s just that usually, that means arriving as a wide-eyed farm girl, and ending up a star! (Or at least a cynical, divorced, botoxed 40-something.) Elliot Spitzer and Anothony Weiner aren’t so much reinventing themselves as they are re-birthing themselves in their pre-disgraced form. It’s all very L.A. if you ask me.
New Yorkers are no strangers to political scandal, in the last seven years, 32 NY state officeholders have been convicted of a crime, censured or otherwise accused of wrongdoing, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group. In the past two years alone, there have been 103,805 violations of campaign finance law in NY state.
But these two runs – former congressman Weiner’s for The democratic Mayoral nomination, and former governor Spitzer’s for NYC Comptroller, bring degrading the political system to a new low…even for New York.
Weiner is just a bad liar with poor judgement, bad attention to detail (always check before hitting send), and an inflated sense of his sexual appeal, while Spitzer is an arrogant, hypocritical egomaniac who broke the law. Fun. So what would be so terrible if they both won? If we really are served up some WeinerSpitzle here in NY?
First, it’s distracting. The election cycle, already fraught – as all American politics are – with varying degrees of circus-like spectacles – would be even worse. While WeinerSpitzle would be a gift to late night TV and a slow news cycle, the spectacle of it all would deprive NYers of real debate on the issues that matter. Serious discussion will be replaced with snark, heckling, and penis jokes. Yay.
Second of all, it’s embarrassing. Do we really want to be a city that elects a Mayor who was careless enough to send a pictures of his privates out into the world? Do we want a comptroller who can’t comptrol his own sexual needs?
Third, it sends a terrible message to girls. I’m not making a judgement about the sexuality of both men. I don’t care what they do in the bedroom, or who they do it with. But if we elect two men who publicly humiliated their wives, we’ll be sending a message to boys that they can get away with it, and to girls, that they are so worthless that no matter how badly men treat them, those men will still be beloved by the general public and trusted to lead us.
A new poll out today shows Weiner in the lead, and Spitzer not just leading — but trouncing the competition. But as for me, I won’t be ordering any WeinerSpitzle this season. Because I know what comes with that.