aaweinerIn Tuesday’s very interesting New York City primaries, Bill De Blasio, a low key guy with the nearly invisible job of public advocate, came very close to winning the forty percent of the vote he needed to avoid a run-off, and be named as the Democratic mayoral nomination. De Blasio ran hard from the left directly at the Bloomberg administration, and his election stands as a rejection of Bloombergism, or perhaps an embrace of New Face-sim. If he wins, he will be the first lefty to win since David Dinkins, whose performance was poor enough to get Rudy Giuliani elected. I’m very skeptical that New York City should be in the higher taxes, lots more services game. I do remember what New York was like in the seventies, when it was poor and dirty and dangerous. I support reigning in the banks–I just don’t support New York City reigning in the banks. Some hypocritical self-preservation is sometimes necessary.

Meanwhile, New York’s Katzenjammer Kids, Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, both lost.leathers11n-4-web Weiner was drubbed, Spitzer was defeated narrowly, 52% to 48%, but I’m kind of afraid that it’s over for both of them. It’s a shame about Spitzer, who has strong political instincts and a real appreciation of how Wall Street works, i.e., steals. I have no real insight into his thought process, but his entry into the race was a surprise; my guess is that when he saw the favorable early impression the similarly scandal-infected Weiner received, he thought that he, too, could overpower the little-known Scott Stringer and get back in the game. The plan kind of worked, until new revelations about Weiner came out. Carlos Danger and Sydney Leathers were not only too much for Weiner to survive; they were also too much for Spitzer.

And so exits Weiner, flashing the finger, with Lawrence O’Donnell catcalling “What’s wrong with you as he exits?”, with Huma Abedin absent and Sydney Leathers and her cleavage trying to crash his wound-licking party. Weiner should host and AM radio show.

What a great election.


. . .he’s done.

As the New York Post reported yesterday, “The other shoe dropped yesterday for Anthony Weiner, who was forced to admit he engaged in a months-long sexting affair with a woman — a year after he resigned from Congress in disgrace — using the bizarre online alias Carlos Danger. Weiner copped to the pathological behavior after the Web site reported that he had exchanged dozens of sexually explicit messages, phone calls and photos with a then 22-year-old Indiana woman. Weiner, who at the start of his mayoral campaign said other instances of sexual high jinks might surface, sent snapshots of his penis to the woman and engaged in extremely raunchy talk last summer — long after he claimed to have been rehabilitated.
Some of his messages were enough to make a porn star blush. “So I walk into a hotel room and you are at the end of the bed naked, except for some amazing f–k- me shoes, your legs are spread and your feet are flat on the ground,” wrote Weiner using both Carlos Danger and Dangr33. “I slide my c–k in you slow at first, then harder my b—s are slapping your a–. With each thrust you squeal a little. I start to f–k you so hard your t-ts almost hit you in the face. You reach behind and spread your a–.”

Weiner’s ‘net pal was identified by as “progressive activist” Sydney Leathers of Indiana. Hours after the raunchy chats were posted, Weiner issued a statement confirming that some of the details “are true” and apologized.”

Weiner’s candidacy was going to be an interesting test of what today’s voters would forgive. I believe they would have forgiven sexual indiscretion, preferring a sexual politician to a boring one. ut voters would never forget ludicrousness. Once you are the butt of mockery, you’re done. Anthony Weiner might have had a political career; Carlos Danger doesn’t.


(This article originally appeared on on July 6th.)

trailside-articleLargetrailside-articleLarge-2The New York political campaign season is designed so that the optimistic hothouses of polling firms and campaign consultancies can cultivate exotic candidacies in March and April, and the unremitting glares of voters can cause them to wilt them on the hot, unforgiving sands of Orchard Beach and the Far Rockaways in July and August. Well, it is July, and far from wilting, the frailest, most damaged candidate, Anthony Weiner, is flourishing, and actually leads in one poll. Last week, as Michael Barbaro reported in the Times, Weiner had a pure Kochian moment, a moment of undiluted New Yorky obstreperousness of the sort where an ordinary candidate can turn into the kind of public character that voters usually love or grudgingly admire. The exchange, between Weiner and a man objected to Weiner’s 2002 vote in Congress to support the war in Iraq.

WEINER: Sir, sir, simply because I am a candidate doesn’t give you a right to be disrespectful. All right, watch this, watch this! (He slowly turns his back to the heckler, in a conspicuous snub, and begins talking to an old woman.) How are you?

HECKLER: You should be ashamed of yourself!

WEINER: I’m ignoring you.

HECKLER: So Anthony Weiner, apparently, is afraid of free speech!

WEINER: Stop yelling at me.

HECKLER: You should apologize.

WEINER: You’re showing no respect. I am talking to somebody.

HECKLER: You showed no respect to our soldiers who died because of your shameful vote.

WEINER: You know what? I’m showing you all the respect you deserve.

HECKLER: You showed no respect —

WEINER: Cut it out! Stop with the show! You’re acting like a bozo.

(At this point, others in the crowd began to turn on the HECKLER.)

MAN: You made your point.

WOMAN: Did you ever serve in the Army or Navy?

WEINER: Take a hike! Take a hike!

HECKLER: You don’t show respect for the people.

WEINER: You are yelling at me. If you want to have a conversation with me, I am prepared to do it.

HECKLER: We deserve a mayor who had the judgment to vote against a war based on a lie.

HECKLER: Yeah, well —

WEINER: You really think I am going to be bullied by you yelling at the top of your lungs here? You think I would really stand for mayor if one person yelling is going to bully me? It’s not going to happen. I want to meet citizens. If you want to yell at the top of your lungs, keep doing it. I’m not going to be bullied by people like you, now or when I become mayor. If you want to have a conversation, I respect you enough to have a conversation. But yelling at the top of your lungs is not the New York way. We don’t roll like that.

Weiner’s “You’re acting like a bozo!’’ is almost a direct reference to Koch’s “Wackos!’’ epithet, which he gleefully wielded with great effect. Gleefully, but selectively. Koch battled on the streets but was all business in debates; one wonders if Weiner can be so disciplined when he faces his less charismatic rivals later in the summer. In the meantime, he should invite the heckler back, and try to reenact their exchange for a campaign ad.


Rep. Anthony Weiner in The New York Times: “While I appreciate the concern over the future of civility in politics, I believe a little raw anger right now is justified. Democrats make a mistake by pretending there is a bipartisan spirit in Congress these days, and would be better served by calling out Republican shams.

“The specifics of the debate last week should be an example of an issue beyond partisan dispute. The bill in question was created to help the thousands of citizens who went to ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. These are Americans who wanted to help, and who scientific studies now show are falling ill and dying in troubling numbers. . . .Though it should have been a legislative slam dunk, the bill was defeated on a simple up-or-down vote, with only 12 Republicans voting in favor. . . .

“It was frustrating to hear Republicans say these people didn’t deserve more help because, as one put it, “people get killed all the time.” Others called it another big entitlement program. Some said it was a giveaway to New York, or complained that the bill would have been paid for by closing a tax loophole. We responded to each of these arguments over the summer in the hours of hearings and markups of the bill. . . .There were also Republican objections that we put the bill on the “suspension calendar,” which is generally used for noncontroversial legislation. . . .What upset me most last week were comments voiced by Republicans who claimed to be supporters of the bill, yet who used their time on the House floor not to persuade skeptical Republican colleagues to vote yes but to excoriate Democrats for using the suspension calendar. . . .

“And I got angry. I didn’t break decorum, but I did say what I was thinking and feeling. . . . Instead of engaging in a real debate about how to address the challenges we face, Republicans have turned to obstruction, no matter the issue, and then cry foul after the fact. They claim to want an open legislative process with more consultation and debate, but the truth is they simply don’t want to pass anything. Meanwhile, conservative television and talk radio programs are full of false anger, intended to scare Americans. I think some genuine frustration at this misleading tactic is overdue. That’s why I got mad last week.”