Jewish World Review July 31, 2013/ 24 Menachem-Av, 5773
A serial sexter stays in New York's mayoral race. What’s next?
By John Kass
JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Sometime in the future, perhaps 10 years or so from now, candidates running for mayor of New York will look back on the Anthony Weiner saga and laugh and laugh.
Then they will each text photographs of their special purposes to perfect strangers. And voters will yawn.
You don't think so? Please think again.
The notion that our politics keeps sliding down that slippery slope isn't some random theory. It's now a measurable fact.
Just like the fact that I'm writing to you now not as John Kass, conservative/libertarian, but rather as "Raul Dynamite."
That's the name given to me by a WLS-AM 890 producer using the same name generator used by the creepy Weiner, who called himself "Carlos Danger" on his distasteful sex texts.
"And I'm Feliciana Evil," announced my co-host, Lauren Cohn.
Feliciana Evil is wicked indeed. A woman with the name of Feliciana Evil could easily be appointed secretary of state.
But what could a man with the name Raul Dynamite possibly do for a living?
Raul Dynamite sounds either like a bendable action figure, a porn star or a respected economist advocating vast increases in federal spending while raising the debt ceiling.
"Raul Dynamite? Nice," said a guy in advertising. "You've got to make dinner reservations in that name."
Or perhaps Raul Dynamite could be a New York mayoral candidate.
All I need is a pencil-thin mustache and a bolero hat, and I, too, could run for mayor of New York. But I won't.
Lost in the uproar over the latest chapter in the saga is what really happened to the loathsome Weiner and his city.
He left Congress in disgrace in 2011 after he was caught texting images of his nether regions to young women.
But rather than take a long walk into the woods alone something most married men would at least have had the decency to contemplate back when we had a common understanding of dishonor Weiner instead decided to run for mayor.
The man is a serial sexter running for mayor, and he didn't disappear after his first offense. What is remarkable is that only a few weeks ago, Weiner was on top in the mayoral race, a candidate of such brazen ego he had a certain appeal.
It's easy to forget that now that Weiner's virtual paramour, Sydney Leathers (yeah I thought it was a fake name too), has surfaced to discuss how she fell for his policy positions.
In an interview with a TV gossip show, Leathers said Weiner described himself as "an argumentative, perpetually horny middle-aged man. And that time I was like, 'Oh, no, you're not.' But, yes, he is."
And I'm like, oh, you're so right.
Since then, Weiner's poll ratings have dropped, and it seems that right now, New York doesn't want to give him a third chance. And that's where America loses the thread of this thing.
A third chance? Why did New York even give him a second chance?
Because it's New York. And because we've been on this slope for years, slipping and sliding, and now we've picked up speed.
Children who get their political news from "Inside Edition" probably won't believe this, but there was a time when a candidate could get in trouble for merely thinking about sex.
Not broadcasting it, not photographing it, not using a smartphone to take pictures of his nether regions so that Sydney Leathers and the National Security Agency could see it.
Just thinking about sex was dangerous.
It happened to Jimmy Carter, before he was elected president in 1976. He once confessed to looking at attractive women with "lust" in his heart. The nation was scandalized, aghast that a presidential candidate would touch the subject.
And all the poor guy said was that he looked.
A few years later, we were asking our candidates what kind of undershorts they wore, and we elected a draft dodger to the presidency. You probably thought that was impossible once too. Happily, we've since raised our standards, and during a time of worldwide economic collapse, we elected a community organizer.
One of that fellow's claims to fame was that in the Illinois Senate, he was so uncertain about what to do that he kept voting "present." And now he's president of the United States.
Some consider that an improvement, others don't, but rather than argue, let's let history decide at the proper time, like when we're all on food stamps and China occupies Washington.
In the meantime, let's just acknowledge that the general trend has been a downward slide.
So Anthony Weiner keeps on running and his wife, Huma, stands by her man, although I'm sure you, too, were pleased that she didn't use that fake Southern accent used by her mentor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, years ago in a similar circumstance.
And we move forward into a future where concepts like "honor" and "shame" are inexorably and relentlessly forgotten.
Why? Because they're awkward, they're about judging the behavior of others, and who wants that anymore?
Such troublesome words are best left to colorful, backward tribal peoples of other lands. We are Americans, looking ahead, to where the Anthony Weiners will lead us.
John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.
© 2012, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.