The Congressman from New York is struggling with how best to handle his imploding career. wOw’s own Dear Margo has some answers
In my line of work, giving advice, people write to me … but when someone with a problem is so overwhelmed by publicity, I just assume he would have written if he’d had the time. So herewith, I offer, unbidden, my counsel to Representative Weiner during this clearly tumultuous and regrettable period in his life.
First, ignore everyone making fun of your name. Most people with a handle that is also a nickname for one’s privates do not wind up in the middle of a sex fiasco. (True, a couple of well-known Dicks have come a cropper here, but, like you, they were victims of linguistic coincidence.) The nature of your transgression (for which you’ve apologized tearfully and endlessly, God knows) indicates several things. For one, being in your 40s may not have allowed you to gain the tech savvy necessary to understand that any message or picture sent through so-called “social media” has the capacity to duplicate itself with the instinct of a rabbit and the speed of light.
The basis of your trouble is neither your thumbs nor ownership of a Blackberry; it is your exhibitionism. While Andrew Breitbart has done you the courtesy of not releasing the picture of your penis sans covering, we nonetheless know (from the picture in the gray underpants) that while you do, indeed, have something to exhibit, this is nothing we do in polite society. And the fact that you hold elected office makes you seem particularly lacking in judgment. Were you out of the country when one office holder (oddly, a New York Congressman) posted a shirtless picture of himself on Craigslist? I mean, not even his schwantz, just his bare chest! Granted, he was advertising for a playmate, but still. Video, as well, can be lethal. Poor John Edwards allowed himself to be filmed while he and his mistress were engaging in, well … never mind. The point is: There is more expected from public servants. You likely may have misunderstood an old Washington political saying: “Gain enough power to be a big, swinging dick.” There is no instruction to photograph it, however.
Your timing, too, was unfortunate. Although admitting a history of “chatting” with strange young women, you resumed this practice when you’d been married only a month. Your bride, Huma, beloved by many, has clearly been Huma-iliated. Although you sent us her well wishes at your press conference, she is now, mercifully, out of the country with her boss, the Secretary of State—a woman who knows a little something about these matters but, as the kids say, we will not go there. Then too, her just announced pregnancy has everyone gasping. This, however, works in your favor in The Second Chance Department. It is for the sake of your marriage that I recommended checking into a place for, oh, maybe 30 days, and have your office announce you are seeking help for a disorder (to be determined). This is the dog whistle to everyone who is angry with you that indicates you are seeking help and that you know something is wrong. I did notice that a therapist in New York has already offered her services—the first one free—but I would not suggest you take her up on the offer. She is 24 and goes by the name of The Naked Therapist. She says it’s good to knock down the barrier of clothing for problems such as yours. Guess what? It’s not.
Try to be positive. Put it out of your mind that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are ready to kill you. This is on the record. We will just have to guess about the Clintons, the Weiner family, and dear, broadsided Huma. “For better or for worse” is an established part of the marriage vows, but who really expects this? It’s important for people to understand that you were not comparing these porn stars and college girls to your wife. I’d wager you were not thinking of your wife. But now you must. I have a hunch you will yet have to resign, but that will fit nicely with your entering a mental health facility. (Let us hope your gold-plated Congressional health insurance kicks in, even if you’ve left the House.) Also, time and tradition have proven that a quick trip to Cartier does wonders for any husband in the doghouse.
I personally do not believe in “closure” or “healing,” but I do believe in moving forward, chastened. As the great drama coach, Stella Adler, said, “Don’t go back; go on.” And perhaps try to adjust your language. Your remark, before the axe fell, that you could not say “with certitude” that the crotch shot was yours was a guilt giveaway. You just didn’t sound cocksure, which really opened the door … if only for Mr. Breitbart, who apparently didn’t appreciate your suggesting he was behind your troubles. Also, the fact that your cyber-pen-pals sent your, uh, correspondence and pictures to him suggests you may have been consorting with right-wingers. But all that is history now.
Like everyone who’s lived through trauma, you no doubt believe you will always feel as down and beleaguered as you do right now. This is not so. A time will come when you will have your life back. You may have a different job and a different wife, but there will be good times again. And for myself—admitting to an ethnocentric fear for the way my people are perceived—I just want to say that I am grateful that, unlike, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, you do not have two Jewish names.
Margo Howard is wowOwow’s advice columnist. This article also appears in The New Republic