Saturday, June 18, 2011
Anthony Weiner, deja vu
One of the most striking things about l'affaire Weiner is how quick the other Democrats were to throw him under the bus. When Bill Clinton was caught with Monica, the Democrats quickly rallied around him and pooh-poohed the affair as "just sex." When Charlie Rangel, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was caught not paying his taxes, there were no big cries for his resignation from fellow Democrats. But when Anthony Weiner was caught with his pants down, nobody stood up for him. Not even those team players and consummate spin artists Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
One has to assume that this was in large part because of Weiner's abrasive personality. Those of us who knew him as a talking head on TV knew that it didn't take much to set him off. He always seemed to be on the verge of another fit of hysterical anger if anyone disagreed with him. He was reportedly this way behind the scenes as well, even with his fellow Democrats.
There was a guy on my swim team in college who looked a lot like Weiner. This guy was constantly boasting, and always left nonswimmers with the impression that he was the best swimmer on the team, which was far from true. He had strong social climbing instincts, and always wanted to know what other students' parents did. He could be charming at times, and was skillful at flattery, though he would erupt in near-hysterical anger at the hint of a slight. But the most striking thing about him was that while he was capable of both compliments and insults to people to their faces, during the entire three years I knew him I never once heard him say a single good thing about anybody behind his back.
The resemblance to Weiner was more than physical.
To know such a narcissistic personality is to despise him. Which explains why nobody stood up for Weiner.