Representative Anthony Weiner has resigned as of this afternoon.
God help us all.
There have been many voices, many things said, many opinions on this mess. No one can countenance a man who has violated his vows to his new wife by finding illicit pleasure on the Internet. It calls into question his personal integrity. It calls into account his honor. It makes us wonder if there is true fidelity in our world anymore.
There is more to it than that, though, for if this were a simple case of a man being unfaithful, that is not truly a shock in our society anymore. The fact is, the idea behind marriage, the sacred bond and vow of unity, has outlived its original intent, as a means to bind a woman to a man. It is no longer that; human society turned it into a be-all-and-end-all of existence, pressed it upon people as an absolute, and forged it into a necessity. What might have been a beautiful and love-affirming ceremony, is now a machine, bent on grinding up our existence, saddling us with debt and unreasonable expectations, in the name of "normalcy." It has gone from quaint joining ceremony to the "life blood" of society, especially here in America. It is used as a ball-and-chain to keep our nation weighted down to the dead hand of our distant past.
So, we may have cause to judge Anthony Weiner on the absolute notion that he has taken his wedding vows and shredded them through his Internet-fueled trysts, but we have to ask ourselves if we are such saints to be handing down such judgment. Marriage as an idea and marriage as an institution and marriage as a reality are no longer the same thing. There is a tremendous disconnect between the idea of the virginal bride being handed over to the land-owning groom along with her dowry that drives the fantasy of marriage, and the gritty man-falls-in-love-with-woman, marries her, then cannot keep his pants zipped reality that is marriage. The "moral" framework of marriage that the "Christian" churches of the world proclaim is under attack by such things as polygamy/polyandry, polyamory, and same-sex union, is not as fashionable as it once was, given the churches used marriage as a way to seal their power more than promote love. Could it be said we are a better humanity for having forced women into marriages of political or social convenience? Can it be said marriage is "saved" by denying women the right to divorce themselves from husbands they do not love, who abuse them, or force them into being brood mares?
Anthony Weiner's marriage is truly of a secondary importance to the story, because it is a subject that only he and his wife can actually work out between them. Society has no place intervening. It will survive, or it will fail, but it is up to them either way.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us in the unenviable position of being torn apart as a nation by yet another government peccadillo, another rush to judgment, another wave of recrimination. That is how they want it, they being The Monied Powers. This moment that has transfixed us so in the past few weeks, did so because one man saw fit to expose it to the light of day, then sought his moment in the Sun, as if this somehow proved his intentions were true and just. Andrew Breitbart, long known as a champion of GOP deviltry, turned his nefarious powers to the task of bringing Anthony Weiner down, and only succeeded because of Representative Weiner's lack of discretion. While there is plenty of scorn to be heaped on the Congressman, we should note that his recent inquiries into the affairs of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with regards to his wife's income through lobbying as it related to his ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, put him squarely in the Republican spotlight. Rather than have one of their judicial avatars come under scrutiny for ethical violations, Breitbart was sent to bring a Democratic Congressman down, and he delivered the goods. We have turned from the real problems plaguing our nation and world, to seize upon tabloid sleaze, as if it were news.
If there is any failure here, beyond the singular failings of a man, it is the collective failure of the American people to rein in the excesses and power-brokering of Washington, D.C. We have let the foxes run the hen house for too long, and we are now seeing the result, in an economic shambles exacerbated the dissolution of jobs and the hacking away of the support systems that keep Americans afloat. Those who have brought our nation to its knees with their profligate spending and fiscal irresponsibility, now intend to balance the books on our backs. Where anyone stands up, tries to buck the system, they are singled out and cut down, while other petty criminals continue to "represent" their constituents. Say what you will about his personality or his opinions, Anthony Weiner spoke his mind, and what many considered grandstanding, some of us considered lashing out at the inequities and insidious skulduggery that has substituted for governance for decades.
Let us hope that, rather than casting us back into the darkness, this moment opens up the horror show to the full view of all Americans, and that they react with true disgust at what they see. The time for rhetoric and rhapsodizing is over; the time for liberty and justice for all is now. Stand up, make your voice heard, vote, and clean Congress of the infestation that has so beleaguered us for too long. Let America once more be for Americans. Let government once more be of, by, and for the people. Let the fall of this man ring out, sounding the call to action, that we not allow what good he did to lie disregarded in the dust. His was the first shot in the battle to regain control of Federal government -- let it not be the last.