I do not care about Anthony Weiner, his career or his dick. But there is something breathtakingly insane and yet utterly predictable about all three.
There is a certain kind of alpha male attracted to the modern political game—neurotically ambitious, chronically sleep-deprived and disagreeably fixated on winning, whatever that might mean at a given moment. They’re the kind of guys who are comfortable on the cable news scream-shows and also fanatically dedicated to the gym, which they shoehorn into their 20-hour days.
Weiner is a good exemplar of this class of weirdos who now run our lives. They also appear very frequently in the Obama White House, and no doubt in the prior version as well. They are usually dangerously pumped up (note how Weiner accented his firm man-titties for the camera), overworked and either constantly on the verge of hysteria (Rahm Emanuel) or so eerily self-controlled you suspect they are part Vulcan (Geithner). These are the guys capable of designing an education advocacy program with the perverse, twisted title, ‘Race to the Top’, suggesting that they think the main reason to learn things is to show off to everyone how superior you are. The Weiner debacle illustrates something not often acknowledged among us: THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM.
It’s easy to suppose how the disease progresses among these types: they have early successes, are smart and aggressive, learn ruthlessness and are attracted to others like themselves, which reinforces their worst tendencies. They achieve a measure of status and suddenly are surrounded by people sucking up to them (sometimes literally), thereby convincing them that their original intuition—that they are extremely special—is correct. From there it’s a quick slide down the psychological precipice to sensations of invincibility, hubris and catastrophe.
Despite the finger-pointing at Weiner for not knowing how to reel it in, our culture reinforces this profile and constantly rewards those who fit it. We pretend to think we find them appalling when for the most part we can’t imagine being dominated by anyone else.