Weiner’s criminal actions gives us all bad name

So Anthony Weiner has finally confessed to the specific behavior that will earn him a jail sentence.
Not too long ago, the former U.S. Representative stood before a judge in his home state, New York, and confessed his sexual indiscretions. Many of them. But the one that finally brought him before the bar of justice was “sexting” a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
I first heard this on the radio, which I always listen to in the car. Much safer than texting (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Weiner had done more than a bit of that himself). When I got home, I watched the clips on television. The next morning, I read all about it in the daily paper.
My reaction was, I suspect, exactly what that of my Boubby the Philosopher would have been: “I hope to God this man isn’t Jewish!  That would be bad for the Jews!” But of course, he is. I had pinned my hopes on learning otherwise because his first name isn’t one most folks would consider particularly Jewish. But Anthony does, indeed, belong to him. (His father’s name, for the record, is Mort.)
I have been in rehab at what used to be Legacy Preston Hollow three different times in recent years. When you’re rehabbing from broken bone surgeries and knee replacements, as I was, the routine is simple: every day you have physical therapy, and if you’re not moved by the day’s activity offerings, you stay in your room and watch a lot of TV. Other than attending Rabbi Howard Wolk’s always-interesting sessions, I mostly stayed in my room and watched a lot of TV. And I have a clear memory of seeing Anthony Weiner making public excuses for himself, vowing to do better (which meant less of what he was doing in the sex department) in the future. I’m not sure exactly when that was, but appearing with this man in disgrace was his wife — near him but a bit behind him, looking downward, as if she’d been crying her eyes out: a classic picture of Stand By Your Man. When the long-running series The Good Wife began airing on television, I wondered if that poor woman had been its inspiration.
A Bronx native, Weiner began what might have become a distinguished public service career as a Democratic congressman from New York, making his first headlines with pleas in the U.S. House urging better health care provisions for emergency responders. But his later headlines went downhill from there, a toxic mix of sex and politics. His wife, Huma Abedin (a Muslim who never took his last name) was a right-hander to Hillary Clinton, which embroiled Weiner in some other problems during the last presidential campaign. But like a “good wife,” she was long-suffering yet forgiving: The New York Post noted, sarcastically, just a couple of months ago that she kept downplaying her husband’s indiscretions: “Fool her four times and she’ll still take you back” was its published remark.
But no more. I’m certainly not going to repeat here what you can find so easily (and in full) in both online and print sources these days: to follow the trail of his dalliances, in person and in pictures, offers the same sort of sick fascination as watching a snake swallow a mouse. However, it seems that Huma is quite human, after all; she has finally filed for divorce. And Weiner, now marked with a lifetime brand of sex offender, cried as he admitted that his actions were both morally and legally wrong, but that he could not overcome his “evil inclinations.” He will be sentenced Sept. 8 — perhaps to 10 years in prison.
Full disclosure here: One of my nieces is a senior attorney in New York’s Southern Federal District, where Weiner will be learning his fate. I have not asked her any questions about this.
She would not have answered them, anyway…

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