I'm going to be writing a column later today for posting tomorrow morning giving some of my fuller thoughts on this Weiner situation, but I'll just say now that it ought to be obvious that this man has no business being mayor of my dear Morgantown, let alone New York. The man really has no shame. And it would seem that his oft-pitied spouse--who according to what Weiner said yesterday knew all about this new woman before they decided he deserved to be the mayor--doesn't have much either.
What happened to shame? Bill Bennett wrote that liberal humanism destroyed shame. Then, Bennett proved that he himself was a pretty good liberal humanist, having the gall to lecture the rest of us about our morals while he was losing tens of thousands of dollars at crap tables.
I say the market is the chief culprit. In a nutshell, you can get rich and famous by being outrageous. Some people want wealth and fame so much that they'll endure these rituals of public humiliation, knowing that they'll pass and they'll get book or television deals on one of these many absurd cable channels that make a business of recycling publicity whores. Who can doubt that if Weiner does quite the race or lose it, we'll have an Anthony and Huma reality show within six months?
If I'd read my post-modern philosophy more recently and more thoroughly, I'm sure I'd have at hand the apposite cutting quote from Baudrillard or one of those guys about all this. But I don't, so I'll just have to. say it more prosaically. It's a real sickness in our culture, that people become famous for doing appalling things. I'm on the train right now, up to NY, and I'll be on Alex Wagner's show at noon, for those of you interested.