The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Anthony Weiner needs to go away

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The Anthony Weiner campaign, like any horror flick, both attracts and repulses us, its example of human behavior so lacking in self-awareness that it stuns even the most jaded New Yorkers.

The New York Times has this priceless lede:

Anthony D. Weiner’s mayoral campaign entered a dark and chaotic phase on Thursday as he admitted to having explicit online relationships with at least three women since he left Congress, and the woman at the center of the latest scandal appeared on television, remembering him as a “perpetually horny middle-aged man.”

Even Weiner can no longer smoothly explain his own conduct: “There are more than — there are a few. I don’t have a specific number for you. . . .Sometimes they didn’t go consistently. Whatever.” Yeah, whatever. Regardless of the tabulation, Weiner is convinced what he has is not an addiction –spoken with the same conviction of alcoholics who insist they are just “social drinkers.”

I don’t agree with liberal Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on much, but I suspect he’s on the mark when he declares of Weiner, “I think he should withdraw, I think he needs serious psychiatric help.” Perhaps only he and his bizarrely deluded wife could argue with Nadler’s advice that Weiner “should take care of his own problems and let New York figure its policies and its mayor.”

As for Weiner’s wife, I fail to see Huma Abedin as a “brave” figure or even a victim at this part. If she were a drug addict’s wife scoring drugs for her husband, no one would think well of her; helping him feed his addiction to the limelight while encouraging his denial is not the conduct of a brave wife. It’s the behavior of an enabler and, in this case, someone who may want too badly to share that limelight.

Apparently there is no one close enough to Weiner to stage an intervention — either for his own benefit or for that of New Yorkers. But the latter can deliver with bluntness and finality what his relatives and friends could not a simple message: Get out of politics. That would be the best for all concerned.