For the first time in my life I saw a sitting congressman give an honest apology for doing something dumb, then lying about it. I thought that was what congress did as a rule. He must be sorry because he got caught. I be sorry too. (I’m un-Friending several “Friends” as I write).
Nevertheless, I think Mr. Weiner expressed honest remorse. I believe his apology was sincere and met the requirements of personal accountability. Still, he did what was expected in my mind. I grant him no extra credit. This is a good example of how SHAME works. I bet he keeps his mouse on its pad from now on.
Imagine a world where we were shamed when we did something wrong! Today you can read about it being used before the 1960’s, and even then, never realized for some. What do you think those public hangings and stocks were all about? Public shame. Much higher repentance rate, less taxpayer support. Anyone remember what the Scarlett Letter was about? It wasn’t about adultery as much as it was about shame. That’s a powerful punishment and it serves to correct behavior when it works.
Shame as punishment. Huh. A feeling of extreme embarrassment. But shame can’t really be imposed. It has to be volunteered for. The individual must actually be deeply shamed when they get caught, or it can be faked or denied. And since Weiner didn’t resign, I allow this as a possibility. Though I suspect shame is only the beginning of his problems.
But if we’re going to hold Weiner responsible for lying, shouldn’t we hold ALL politicians responsible for lying? AND, shouldn’t we, like Mr. Brighbart, call someone out when they lie about us? Another example of personal accountability.
I loved what Andrew Brightbart had to say in his defense, and of course he was right, but I would admonish him for his agreement to take the stage at that time. It was effective, but it was also rude. Still, I loved the fact that he stood up for himself. May we all be as strong as both of these men.