Friday, June 17, 2011

No Longer Distracted

Representative Weiner has resigned, so the US Congress, at last having been purged of married men who have made inappropriate sexual advances, can get back to the important business of granting subsidies to polluters, defunding social programs, green-lighting indefinite foreign occupations, legitimating war crimes, facilitating assorted Constitutional violations, and throwing money at too-big-to-fail corporate parasites.

Weiner's salacious photographs and text messages have so "distracted" Congress and the press corps as to all but cripple the republic, but here the genius of the American Way asserts itself by drawing a sharp, clear line of accountability. Glennzilla:

Megan McArdle insists that "society has [an] interest in whether people keep their vows" in marriage and thus it's a good thing "to use a few of our precious news hours to say, 'Hey, not okay'!" Except McArdle has absolutely no idea what vows Weiner and his wife have made to each other, and she shouldn't know, because it's none of her business, despite her eagerness to learn about it and publicly condemn it. Even if she had any idea of what she was talking about -- and she plainly doesn't -- nothing is less relevant than Megan McArdle's views of the arrangement Anthony Weiner and his wife have for their marriage and whether each partner is adhering to that arrangement. That a journalist at The Atlantic wants to talk about this, and dig into the details, and issue judgments about it, says all one needs to know about our press corps.
American political figures can get away with nearly anything that cannot be summarized in a titillating sentence fragment of only a few words, but woe to any who try to violate the marital vows that well-paid pundits assume they made. Castigating and expelling transgressors on these grounds requires no expertise, insight, knowledge, or even fact-checking; confident, attention-grabbing, "distracting" assertions about a public figure's private indiscretions come ever so easily.

We must draw a line here in the USA -- and since we must, we have evolved a genius for drawing easy ones.

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