Hand-wringing, perplexity and dog poop
As a liberal, I initially responded to the Weiner news with the same hand-wringing and perplexity as Traister does in this diavlog, because I was experiencing cognitive dissonance. At the end of the day, I really wanted to condemn Weiner for what he did, even though I might find his behavior quite amusing if he were, say, a fictional character in a movie. In other words, I tend to be more or less forgiving of sexual foibles. It's like a dog doing his business on the living room rug. You don't want the dog to do this, but it is in no way as big a deal as the dog biting someone.
Here's how I squared the circle.
I gave myself the permission to hold politicians to a different moral standard when it comes to sex. We all hold different people to different standards when it comes to sex. Goldberg and Traister both make clear that sexting is verboten in their households, yet in general they find the practice to be as harmless as late night porn viewing.
I'm not asking horny male politicians to become nuns, but I am asking them to chose outlets for their libido that won't become public. I'm asking them to be prudent and discreet. If they are not, I'm going to be outraged at their behavior like everyone else. The people who defend or, at least, "think deeply" about the tawdriness of these scandals don't appear more sophisticated. They look like dupes and fools.