Mencken Weeps (With Laughter)

“The joke’s on us — New York City used to be a national punchline. If we elect Anthony Weiner, it will be again,” Kyle Smith wrote late last month in the New York Post, If you missed it back then, read the whole thing, but here’s the gist:


Weiner thinks he can put his scandal behind him, but the details are too irresistible for anyone to forget. These jokes are from last week alone:

Jimmy Fallon: “A new poll found that former Congressman Anthony Weiner only has a 15% chance of winning the race for New York City mayor. Although in his defense, he’s a grower not a shower.”

Stephen Colbert: “Weiner would be a great New York City mayor. For one thing, we wouldn’t have to worry about a soda ban because we’ve all seen that he puts more than 16 ounces in his cup.”

Jay Leno: “The Wall Street Journal said that Mr. Weiner didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Hey, Anthony Weiner didn’t e-mail or text you back? Consider yourself lucky!”

You think any talk-show host will stop making these jibes one, two, even four years into a Weiner term?

No matter which Democrat wins, we’re probably doomed to a return of the cycle of buying off unions and other interest groups, holding back cops, raising taxes and driving out businesses.

But Weiner’s prominence would magnify his every failure and make it national news, a self-fulfilling prophecy that could reverse the 20-year trend of people and businesses being eager to move here.

We would become a 4-year-long dick joke.


Which is about to become super-sized. (So to speak): Client #9, Happy and Peppy and Bursting with Love…of public service:

Eliot Spitzer is well aware of the criticism and jokes coming his way following his announcement that he will run for New York City’s comptroller, and he says he knows what’s required to get through it.

“This is a very difficult decision, it reopens all these issues,” Spitzer said on CBS’s This Morning. “You need will power, you need fortitude, you need skin as thick as a rhinoceros has.”

TMI, dude. TMI.

Spitzer, who resigned as New York governor because of a prostitution scandal in 2008, highlighted his experience as a prosecutor, the state’s attorney general, and governor as a testament to his dedication to public service. “The most satisfying thing for me ever is public service,” Spitzer explained.

Ashley Dupré could not be reached for comment. But the ghost of H.L. Mencken could, as his famous quote that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard” goes through the bordello’s looking glass.

Which brings us to

NEW YORK – Gracie Mansion isn’t the only contested hotspot for political redemption in New York City this year.The day after former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced his campaign for city comptroller, he was issued a direct challenge for the post by a woman who says she was the madam who supplied him with escorts. Self-described “ex-madam” Kristin Davis used Spitzer’s campaign to once again announce her already-declared candidacy for comptroller on Monday.

“Eliot Spitzer broke state and federal laws in his use of prostitutes and paid no penalty; I broke the law and paid my debt to society,” Davis, who served four months in prison, said in a statement. “There cannot be two standards of justice, one for the average citizen and another for the political and social elite.”


In New York City? The ghost of Mencken really is weeping with laughter at such naïveté.

Update: And now it’s Spitzer’s turn to cry — because he believes that’s what it takes to seek “redemption” in today’s Oprahfied television culture.



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