Anthony Weiner must be channeling Jesus as he plows ahead with running for Mayor of New York City. After all, Jesus had it right, "Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone." What Weiner intuits is that most of us generate sexual fantasies that may seem weird and far out to some, while perfectly normal to others. Indeed, many people are comfortable acting out these fantasies with consenting partners.
Society has tried to regulate these urges by selectively outlawing some practices as dangerous or illegal in civilized society. Most of us are brought up within the constraints of these laws, the objective being to protect us from predators or those who are too innocent or powerless to protest.
Moral and legal issues aside, we are now living in a world that allows us to view a smorgasbord of sexual fantasies and practices in living color. Most of this fare offers images of sexual gymnastics and bizarre penetrations, and the catalog of such practices seems infinite. The Internet is a virtual brothel, permissible, legal and open to all. No practice seems excluded, and it is no big deal for anyone on the planet to take a peep from the comfort of his or her own home and join the party.
Weiner is no fool. He knows he is on the side of contemporary attitudes. His role model is Bill Clinton, who received the rare political forgiveness for, to be charitable, sexual activity in the Oval Office with a young intern. One wonders today if his impeachable offenses were mere infidelity, public revelation, the venue of his caper, the age difference of his paramour or his redefining the sexual act.
As for his impeachers on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, one wonders how many would pass muster in upholding the spousal pledge. The collective memory is short, and as everybody knows, we all might "do it" if we could. After all, Clinton said he "did it" because he could. Weiner, in contrast, merely showed a bulge. Maybe he thought he was auditioning for a Calvin Klein male underwear ad. From what we are told, he would not have made the cut.
Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, has literally sat at the feet of an expert, Hillary Clinton, and learned firsthand how a spouse must proceed in such circumstances. When staying together means following an ambitious power agenda, all bets are off. "Just stay the course," is now the accepted mantra. Ambition trumps infidelity. Besides, Weiner's infidelity was merely virtual, and may have actually ginned up his married sex life. Let's give him high marks for candor despite his failing mark for telling the truth, hardly a barrier for political office.
Weiner has numerous examples to give him comfort. Ted Kennedy, who died a pillar of the Senate after an incident in Chappaquiddick that left a young woman dead. Jefferson impregnated his 14-year-old slave. Hamilton, who invented our banking system, was a womanizer. His image is on our 10-dollar bill. The old, promiscuous Ben Franklin, a wife deserter and serial adulterer, made it onto the hundred-dollar bill. Cleveland had an illegitimate child, and John Kennedy, a master exerciser of the venery, is remembered with deep affection. Then there were Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter admitted to Playboy magazine that he lusted in his heart. If only he had had Internet access at the time.
For years such conduct was kept out of the media by mutual consent. Now, as in the case of Weiner, it is flaunted as a courageous episode of revelation and self-confession, complete with abject apologies. It worked so well the first time, that he embellished it the second time around by bringing in his wife to vouch for his bona fides as a devoted husband, which may be true.
Then there is the case of Eliot Spitzer, who is running for New York City Comptroller, but Spitzer eschewed the computer and went face-to-face the old-fashioned way. What's scary about Spitzer is how wildly extravagant the price for his pleasure was, and now he's running to watch New York's money. Watch out for the outrageous subway fares if he gets his hands on that office.
Still, maybe it is the electorate that wants a person with a hyperactive libido, a "sexy prexy." Both Weiner and Spitzer obviously believe that they are fulfilling that requirement. Just imagine if they both make it to the governance of our beloved Big Apple. It would put a new spin on 'Stop and Frisk' and all the lights in Times Square might be replaced by red ones.
Warren Adler recently released Target Churchill, a Cold War thriller he co-authored with Pulitzer Prize nominated Churchill biographer James C. Humes. Best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. Random Hearts (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), The Sunset Gang (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), Private Lies, Funny Boys, Madeline's Miracles, Trans-Siberian Express and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler's mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. The Sunset Gang also premiered Off-Broadway as a musical with music composed by the noted composer L. Russell Brown and lyrics by Adler himself. The New York Times called it, "A bittersweet musical about aging and desire... a deeper examination of love and loyalty among people over 60."
For more information on Warren Adler visit www.warrenadler.com