The last post on Anthony Weiner on my watch, I swear.
But with his resignation now official and the media casting about for the next scandal du jour (hey, guys...look over here!), it's time for a little perspective on just what Anthony Weiner did not do, courtesy of Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker and Lawrence O'Donnell:
Weiner's sins, being wholly online, basically onanistic, pathetically "immature," and totally without direct fleshly carnality, are literally ridiculous. They lack the swaggering macho that pushes more traditional, arguably crueler male transgressions - having affairs, whoring, fathering children out of wedlock - into the comparatively (though only comparatively) safer territory of "boys will be boys" and "men are like that."
One more factor that comes to mind: the particular media addictions of the political class. I suspect that, unlike normal people, a preponderance of that class - commentators, political reporters and editors, operatives, "strategists," aides, news producers, etc. - spends several hours of every day watching cable-news television (or having it drone and flicker in the background), reading political blogs, sending and receiving e-mails about the latest political uproar, and talking about same to other members of the same class, on the phone or face to face. Actual office-holding politicians don't necessarily have the time for all that, but they live inside the bubble it creates. The ambient atmosphere is one of constant overexcitement, hysteria, and sometimes unbearable tension, all focussed on the story of the day. That may be a reason why the protagonists of political scandals are dispatched more quickly and more mercilessly than in the past.