Democrats love to blame inanimate objects for their personal failures: the ATM caused our current high unemployment, while the wily internet tripped up poor Anthony Weiner, who is at last stepping down. Newsbusters points out two very interesting examples of this tendency, both appearing in the New York Times.
The first was a piece Kate Zernike: “Naked Hubris…While digital flux makes it easier for politicians to stray…” Yes, Anthony Weiner is a victim of the internet. Zernike began with Alexander Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds. Not defending adultery, but I must insist that Hamilton’s dalliance was less sick and decadent than Weiner’s, though you get the impression that Ms. Zernike believes Hamilton might have been sending around photos of his private parts, if only he had had the technology.
Ms. Zernike’s intimate knowledge of history and human nature is captured in this amusing correction: “An earlier version of this article misstated that Alexander Hamilton blackmailed the husband of his lover. In fact, Mr. Hamilton was being blackmailed.”
Newsbusters also highlights Sheryl Gay Stolbert’s companion piece, “When it comes to scandal, boys will be boys.”
But technology keeps adding new and in many ways more seductive temptations to the mix. And this is happening at a time when, many argue, a more prying press corps, stricter public standards and greater partisanship have combined to make Washington oddly more puritanical than it once was. Hamilton, after all, had confessed his affair to investigators in Congress several years before he was actually exposed for it. But 15 years after the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton, revealing lurid details of his sexual dalliances with a White House intern, most politicians now know that they can’t count on the press or their peers to stay silent about straying.
No explanation yet of what inanimate object is responsible for Weiner’s two weeks of lying.
Another example of decadence: here is a story about a public school conducting a survey asking 7th graders about oral sex.