Thank You, Weiner

Why his downfall makes me happy

Disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner seems like a decent enough fellow, except for his unfortunate habit of sending strangers photos of his genitalia. The news came out last night that his wife of a scant year is pregnant, and I’m humane enough to feel troubled by that. What should be a joyous moment in the life of a young couple has been subsumed by a media maelstrom that has to be excruciating for them both.

And yet. And yet. I am so happy for the Congressman’s downfall—as every other middle-aged mom should be.

For all the times I’ve sent my children photos of chair legs, or the inside of my pocket, I feel better. I feel vindicated. For all the text messages where I accidentally hit SEND instead of CLEAR, and which thus read “Srg” or “KKrsy”—messages to which the kids unfailingly respond as snootily as possible, texting back “??” or “HHptq?”—well, okay. I can relate to that. For all the embarrassment my phone has caused me by playing silly tunes my children have programmed into it at staff meetings or important interviews—tunes they know I’m helpless to remove—all right, then. I’m not the only one flummoxed by a phone that’s smarter than I am.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Weiner’s Waterloo was entering the wrong code for the link to the image he was sending his “sexting” partner. As someone who can’t manage to enter the correct code for the bathroom door at work on a regular basis, I sympathize with him. I’m not good with numbers and buttons and such. Oldsters like me and somewhat youngsters like the Congressman—who, interestingly, was anointed one of “10 Politicians to Follow” by Time magazine, in an impressive show of prescience—love to harangue the teen generation about the dangers of the Internet, and to warn its members that once they put something out into the online world, it will always be there. The cockles of my heart are warmed to think that out there in the ether, Weiner’s cock and the legs of my kitchen chairs are circling together, united in the hot flush of humiliation forevermore.