I grew up on Presidents getting blow jobs in the Oval Office. I get sex scandals happen. I’m even willing to overlook them in some circumstances but “The Good Wife” is such a played out concept in the post-Lewinsky world that CBS made a show about it. C.B.S. When that happens it’s a pretty safe bet the good wife trope is so firmly embedded in the public consciousness that it’s a script written by people who think they know what you want to hear rather than anything remotely nuanced or genuine.
So you know how in 2011 Anthony Weiner tweeted a shot of his junk? I was impressed by how his pregnant wife, Hillary Clinton advisor Huma Abedin, largely stayed out of the good wife role during the subsequent scandal that caused Weiner to resign from the House of Representatives. For once a bunch of political operatives didn’t sit in a room and say, “Ok. So how do we publicly parade this dude’s marriage around so that everyone is reminded that marriage is private?” Instead Huma Abedin just did her thing privately very elegantly making the whole “it’s private” point without treating me like an idiot.
But now Weiner and Abedin have carefully choreographed Weiner’s re-entry into public life and subsequent run for mayor of NYC. While they were rehabilitating Weiner’s image by telling “People” and the like that they, as a couple, worked through his wang photography based transgressions guess what Weiner was doing? Letting off steam with yet more wang photography and sexting under the muy caliente screen name “Carlos Danger.”
That’s epically stupid. Also? Gross.
Except for the “Carlos Danger” part. That’s hilarious.
Now Huma Abedin is playing the good wife. She’s literally standing by her man at press conferences and writing pieces for Harper’s about how she has forgiven her husband as if this were 1995 and the electoral weren’t so jaded by sex scandals CBS had caught on to the narrative.
The message we’re supposed to hear is, “If I, the dong-sta-grammer’s wife, can forgive him then you should too. “Dude can’t keep it in his pants but is still great at his job” is a thing. This is really a private marital issue and should be treated as such.”
I’m struck by the level to which this line no longer works for me.
Who knows why Huma Abedin’s really staying with the guy. Maybe she’s crazy ambitious. Maybe it’s a family values / for the children thing. Maybe she loves him. I don’t really care because I actually do think their marriage is their business.
Perhaps that’s why I’m no longer finding the “wife’s forgiveness as campaign tactic” palatable. If your husband’s skeezy online activities are a private marital issue then fine. Treat it as such. If part of your campaign’s strategy is to publicly pose for photo ops and talk at length about the forgiveness in your marriage then that’s not what you’re doing.
You’re using your marriage as a tactic and that grosses me out almost as much as the wang snapchats. You’re simultaneously claiming reverence for marriage and using it as a convenient plot point in a trite self serving narrative worthy of 8 year olds in the “Father Knows Best” era thereby casting me, the humble member of the public, as an unsophisticated dolt who is incapable of detecting that level of hypocrisy.
It’s a post “Good Wife” world. That doesn’t fly any more.