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But that's not all Weiner did. Wiener, and his wife, have made a point of being public about their renewed marriage by collaborating on profiles in the New York Times and People. Weiner made a point of saying that he was living on some sort of redemptive trajectory, while simultaneously continuing to do the exact same thing that had originally been his downfall. While, on some level, the hubris required to do this is kind of impressive, it is also incredibly disturbing that Weiner's most consistent act in the last few years seems to be lying and expecting voters to forgive him over and over.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. It's frequently cited as being a positive trait, as an indicator of growth and maturity. Forgiveness is often associated with strength. And yet watching Weiner and his wife at the press conference they held Tuesday, the face of forgiveness looked anything but strong. In the face of Huma Abedin, as she on again reiterated her support of her husband as both a man and a candidate, we saw what forgiveness really looks like. And how does it look? Well, the Times spoke to many New York women who are utterly baffled by Abedin's ability to not only forgive Weiner for this latest humiliation but also to publicly stand beside him and continue to support him. Gloria Steinem—who thinks Weiner should leave the race—told the Times in an email, “I have no way of knowing whether Huma, for whom I have great respect, is responding out of new motherhood, the Stockholm syndrome or a mystery." Stockholm syndrome seems, at this point, to be the most likely.
But in the end, it's really none of our business if Weiner's wife chooses to forgive him for what he's done to her and their family. However, as voters, it is our business to choose whether or not we should forgive him for what he has done to us during the mayoral campaign, a campaign which he has, in the words of just about everybody, turned into a circus. And we shouldn't forgive him. We should not allow ourselves to play into this guy's self-imposed personal narrative of political-hero-turned-martyr-turned-prodigal-son. First of all, Weiner was never that great of a politician to begin with. Similarly to Spitzer, he probably wouldn't have had to leave office if he weren't doing such a mediocre job as a legislator. Not only that, but Weiner had virtually no political allies, even after all his years in politics. No one defended him publicly. for what he did. No one was in his corner. Even now, people don't like him, they like his wife. Why on earth would we want to elect a mayor who was a legislative failure with no friends? This is the political equivalent of being a virgin who can't drive. This city is about to bid farewell to a mayor who, agree with all his policies or not, was very good at making allies and working with the people who were important in terms of getting shit done. This is a good quality to have in a mayor. Weiner has demonstrated time and time again that the only people who want to be close to him are anonymous women on the Internet and, it seems, his wife. And as if all those reasons weren't enough, let's not forget, that Weiner is coming close to ruining sexting. This is a terrible thing! No one should ever have to feel bad about sending a dick pic (as long as it's, you know, consensual sexting), but now some people probably do. Probably because every time you hear the words "dick pic" now, you think of Anthony Wiener, and, for most people, that is just not a turn on. Weiner needs to go away, so that the innocence and fun that has always been a part of sexting can be restored. And, also, so that New York can have a mayor who can be a positive force for our city, who isn't constantly shaming his wife, and who can choose a better screen name than "Carlos Danger." Well, ok. Forget that last part. "Carlos Danger" might be the best screen name ever.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen