"WELL," I thought, watching New York Rep. Anthony Weiner squirm during his mortifying confession on national TV yesterday, "I don't think he's as bad as the others."
That's right - I was actually looking for something positive in the news that Weiner had, indeed, sent sexually suggestive photos and emails to six women he met through Facebook and Twitter.
That's what these past few weeks of powerful-men-gone-wrong have done to my judgment. From Arnold Schwarzenegger's admission that he knocked up the maid, to John Edwards' indictment for using campaign funds to conceal the existence of his baby mama, to Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper - well, there's something about Weiner's situation that makes me go, "At least he's not a hypocrite."
Like sanctimonious former Nevada Sen. John Ensign, who sanctimoniously called marriage "the cornerstone on which our society was founded" - and then had an affair with his top aide's wife.
He's also not a self-righteous law-and-order type like former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who busted prostitution rings - and then hired the services of a high-priced call girl.
And he's not a false Christian like 2012 presidential contender Newt Gingrich, who cheated on his first wife (who was hospitalized at the time). And then cheated on his second wife with a tart who became Mrs. Gingrich No. 3.
Compared with these creeps, Weiner looks merely stupid, like an adolescent Facebook stalker and Twit-iot who thinks the cute things whose photos he cruises are actually his "friends."
I know - I'm grabbing at straws here. But I am so disheartened by the icky sex scandals of powerful men, I'm looking for anything to make me feel better.
OK, it's not working.
Nor is the tired but probably true theory that, once men are elected to public office, they're suddenly regarded as powerful by a certain type of woman - the kind of woman who, just sayin', wouldn't have given them a second glance when they were nerdy political wonks.
The sudden sexual attention goes to their little heads. These guys can be old and slithery as lizards, but their power will always allow them to bed a pretty young thing, blinded by the power of lawmakers.
"But why isn't that the case with female politicians?" asked my clueless (in this matter) male editor yesterday, after he'd watched Weiner's news conference. "How come they don't act out in the same way?"
"Because power in a woman isn't an aphrodisiac to most men," I told him. "Flirty compliance is. Name one female politician who's gotten where she is by being flirty and compliant."
That's why, I daresay, the powerful philanderer Bill Clinton is still regarded as hot by the opposite sex. And the powerful Hillary Clinton is, well, not.
Anyway, as far as Weiner is concerned, he may not be a public hypocrite, but he's still a private cad who cheated on his wife - whom he married less than a year ago - by conducting cyber-relationships with comely young Twitter twits.
At least his wife, Huma Abedin, will find a sympathetic shoulder whenever she has the emotional stamina to head back to work.
She's a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton. The ladies, poor things, have much to talk about.
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