In virtual repose on my Word Couch this morning is Eliot Spitzer, former NY attorney general and employer of expensive prostitutes. He’s just spoken with Dan Abrams about Anthony Weiner, the NY congressman whose sexual Tweets have gone viral. Spitzer made a few revelatory remarks that, like the Tweets that started all this, are symptomatic of a psychology begging for analysis.
So let us begin!
Eliot Spitzer says
“I sympathize with Anthony Weiner. I know he is going through torment like virtually no other, but his greatest sin from the perspective of the public was not being truthful at the moment of crisis.”
Here we go….
“I sympathize with Anthony Weiner.”
That’s easy. Spitzer identifies with Anthony Weiner. He feels the man’s pain. It’s nice that somebody does, I suppose. But we must not languish in the foggy aromatics of sympathy. Sympathy is (1) all about you, (2) a way to bask in soothing feel-good sounds, (3) a tactic to appear sympathetic yourself, (4) sleight of hand to divert attention from the real issue. If Spitzer weren’t sympathetic, he might simply have said: “Look! That man has gone and tweeted his penis! What’s wrong with him?”
“I know he is going through torment …”
What Spitzer ‘knows’ is the torment he himself endured. He’s referencing his own pain of loss — loss of job, loss of trust, loss of face. He must stop enabling torment and urge Weiner to move on. Weiner has work to do. He must quit his post and find a job, for starters.
…like virtually no other….
It’s probably true — there is no torment like having to see tweets of your penis in virtually every nook and cranny of daily life.
“but his greatest sin from the perspective of the public was not being truthful at the moment of crisis.”
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Why does Spitzer reference the ‘public perspective’ unless he agrees? But here, at last, is mention of the ‘greatest sin’ and Spitzer does not take the opportunity to state the true nature of the sin.
Here’s what an enlightened Spitzer might have said:
Weiner’s ‘greatest sin’ was agreeing to marry and becoming a congressman when he knew he was incapable of behaving responsibly. He broadened his sin by impregnating his wife while flirting online. To do this he photographed his impregnation device and tweeted it. The lies that followed are beside the point. Lying is what happens when you suddenly get a sense of your deed and realize it’s way too ugly to contemplate much less articulate.
Dr. Rae says: Between the words are the spaces where the self leaks through.