What is going on?
I could not help noticing in a recent poll from Quinnipiac that 16 percent of New York Democratic primary voters still, for reasons completely indiscernible to any other sentient being, support the shambling, expletive-spewing mess that is the Weiner campaign.
Here are a few things, off the top of my head, that are running a better race than Anthony Weiner, whose campaign so far has consisted of blasting photos of his genitalia all over the Internet, giving himself the nickname “Carlos Danger” and then having his communications director issue an expletive-laced tirade against a former intern who published an unflattering report about the campaign.
- A bear carcass on fire, covered in hornets
- A jar of mayonnaise left out in the sun by mistake
- A rock
- Phallic rock — Weiner used to have an advantage over the phallic rock, but not since his communications director issued that tirade
- A othole
- A dead pigeon
- A plastic bag drifting through the wind waiting to start again
- A rat scurrying through the subway holding a french fry
- A subway car without air conditioning and a performance artist on board
To take a few random examples.
So I just want to understand what’s going through your mind, voter.
Do you not read the newspapers? Are you sitting, Miss Havisham-style, in an apartment that has been untouched since the 19th century, dressed in a wedding gown, holding a branch of candles? If so, how did you pick up the phone to answer this poll? How do you know who Anthony Weiner is?
What do you look for in a political candidate? Did some social anthropologist mislead you during your formative years and inform you that all candidates should be judged not by the color of their political affiliation, but by the content of their underwear?
What, exactly, appeals to you about him? Are you a tabloid headline writer desperate for job security in the turbulent world of print journalism? Do you admire his tenacity, shown in those videos of him saying he won’t quit, in spite of the fact that everyone — from certain single-celled organisms on up to national political leaders — has been urging him to do so? Whom else do you admire — people who ignore their doctors’ warnings and insist on smoking well into their 90s?
To think that I spent so many years judging people who, without fail, vote for the tallest candidate. I owe them an apology.
I know that at first the fact that the voting public has the memory and attention span of an exceptionally forgiving goldfish was playing in Weiner’s favor. “That Weiner guy’s back!” we said. “What a funny name. His wife seems accomplished! We all forgive him for — whatever it was.” Then more pictures surfaced. “Weiner did WHAT?” we said, in all our indignant goldfish glory. “We are SHOCKED, SHOCKED that this man would dare do such a thing! Especially with a name like that! No votes for you!”
Except for you, 16 percenters. Who are you? Are you sexting Carlos Danger right now? I wouldn’t put it past him. He seems to act in bulk.
Whom wouldn’t you vote for? Is it a person? Is it a concept? At what point do you look at the options before you and say, “Well, you know what, the Weiner campaign so far has done everything wrong short of setting itself on fire and jumping off a cliff, but I just think having a Mayor Weiner would be kind of hilarious so I’m willing to overlook it.”
Who are you? Are you secretly a small-government conservative who feels that a mayor who spends all his time taking pictures of the contents of his pants would probably not focus too much on Doing Mayor Things?
Do you really enjoy big servings of soda, and not want a mayor who will interfere with them?
Do you just really miss the Clinton era, and this bootleg Bill is the closest you can come?
Are you just throwing darts at your ballot? I would not judge you. In fact I might judge you less for that than for actively studying your options and deciding, “Nope, I’m sticking with Mr. Trouser Weasel.”
I have long suspected that a significant percentage of the voting population is, loosely speaking, idiots. Possibly fewer than 16 percent — 7 percent said in 2011 that they would DEFINITELY vote for Donald Trump, so that’s our baseline — possibly more — 28 percent of people said they might be willing to vote for Donald Trump. But 16 percent for Weiner? That’s high. I’d rather suspect it than have you prove it beyond a doubt.