Now that the whole sorry partisan circle-jerk of “Weinergate” is receding in the rear view mirror, perhaps we should reflect on why personalities such as Representative Weiner seem to be the norm rather than the exception in DC.
Politics, traditionally a vocation reserved for only the most ambitiously egomaniacal among us, is typically staffed with those adept in convincingly and shamelessly lying regarding their opponents, their policies, their richly padded resumes, their religious habits, their childhood, their preferred hobbies, their school records, their military records, etc…yet they are typically rewarded by voters for displaying this excessive talent in the art of obfuscation. If you’re a good and convincing liar, you will most likely have electoral success in politics. This is true of Left and Right alike.
The playwright and recovering progressive David Mamet today on Michael Medved’s radio show remarked on how he ultimately was unable to support Obama in 2008 due to an exchange overheard between the president and a reporter on his love of Chicago baseball and his fondness for “Cominskey Field”. As a Chicagoan and loyal White Sox fan, Mamet was acutely aware that there was no such place as Cominskey Field, Comiskey Park being in fact where the White Sox played ball. He lamented that if a politician, who after all makes his living by lying, was unable to lie to him believably, how could he effectively lie in his behalf while governing.
I think that deep down most of us expect our politicians to lie, as long as the lie is not too brazen and is told in our service. By all accounts Anthony Weiner was an exceptionally good liar and so was supported by a constituency for whom he lied effectively in behalf of. Only when his lies became so obvious and ridiculous and self serving, was he turned on by enemies and friends alike. A bold and confidant lie in service of cuckolding a loved one is a lie so close to home that not even a talented and practiced politician can spin it it seems. A lie told by another in service of our own self-interest however, is a lie that can be spun because it is silently excused by those of us who benefit.
Lying as we all know, is in a politicians nature. It is in their nature due only to our mute acceptance of it when it suits our needs.