And so yet another father’s life is ruined. In the wake of his fifth “sexting” “scandal,” former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, a well-known confidant of Hillary Clinton, has left him.
If I may editorialize for a moment: Shame on you, Ms. Abedin.
I realize Anthony wasn’t the perfect husband — what with his sexting, his lying about the sexting, and his missing a vote on bipartisan entitlement reform because he was sexting in the Capitol men’s room — but what husband, I ask you, is perfect?
Yes, Anthony Weiner has sent pictures of his shirtless body to perhaps thousands of women half his age.
But sexting is simply how Millennials communicate. These “twentysomethings” are glued to their SnapChats and their Tinders and their Grindrs, 24/7. So how else do you expect an aging Congressman to reach out to the youth vote? He has no choice but to speak in their language of shirtless selfies.
Let me pause and say I have nothing but the utmost respect for my friend Huma. But because of personal experience, I empathize with Anthony.
I know what it’s like to see your uncovered belly on the cover of the New York Post and Gawker, just because hackers broke into your phone, took illicit selfies of you; and then broke into your Twitter account in order to send those selfies to other users. I know what it’s like to be the butt of childish headlines like “Dig Fat Belly” or “Poll: Are These A Normal Human Being’s Nipples?“
But I digress.
While most see this divorce as the end of Weiner’s public life, I see it as a new beginning.
“The Horny Congressman,” as he is glibly called on Twitter, was known as an attention-seeking, but ultimately ineffective and compromise-averse, politician. However, America is the home of the “second act.” And Weiner’s second act could be taking on the role of a civil rights hero.
You see, Anthony Weiner is about to go through something harder than the rigors of Navy SEAL training, waterboarding, or ISIS captivity. I am speaking, of course, of family court.
Weiner will experience the greatest trial known to man as he navigates the full-contact obstacle course of brutal alimony payments, grabby bailiffs, and baseless contempt charges from corrupt family court judges (who rule your ad hominem objections and your motions for trial by combat as “out of order”).
As a former political star, Weiner knows how to make his voice heard. If he stands up for himself and every other father in the world, he can make a difference.
Imagine if the embattled New Yorker stands up and says, “No, you are the one who’s out of order!” to any tyrannical judge who tries to sentence him to supervised visitations — a.k.a. second-class fatherhood.
Imagine if Weiner, finally freed from the shackles of his wife’s partisan bias, announces his support for a principled No Labels-esque independent movement, like the Fathers’ Rights Party?
Imagine if Weiner, with his political clout, leads a “Million Fathers March” on Washington. He could stage sit-ins in courthouses. He could become an alimony protestor, using his profile as a political prisoner in father’s jail to raise awareness. The possibilities are endless.
You, Ms. Abedin, have awakened a dangerous giant.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.