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Is Weiner Really Such A Bad Guy?

I don’t use this blog as a platform for political opinions or broad social commentary, but the Anthony Weiner “sexting” fiasco has raised some issues in my mind.  And I guess, in a roundabout way, it actually does pertain to psychiatry and medicine, so I figured I’d share these thoughts.

Unless you’ve been exiled to the Gulag for the last month, you probably know that Weiner, a Democratic New York congressman, was forced to resign from his post after the outcry over lewd photographs he sent to women from his Twitter account.  He left his office in disgrace and is apparently entering rehab.  (Maybe I’ll write about the wisdom of that move in a different post.)

The thing is, Weiner was a generally well-liked Congressman and was reportedly a leading candidate to run for mayor of New York in 2013.    He had many supporters and, until the “Weinergate” scandal broke, was seen as a very capable politican.  One might argue, in fact, that his sexual exploits had no effect on his ability to legislate, despite the vociferous (and at times rabid) barbs levied upon him by pundits and critics after the scandal became public.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not condoning his behavior.  I am not saying that we should ignore it because “he’s otherwise a good guy.”  In no way should we turn a blind eye to something that shows such poor taste, a profound lack of judgment, and a disregard for his relationship with his wife.

But does it require the sudden unraveling of an entire political career?  Weiner has done some bad things.  But do they make him a bad congressman?

Some of the same questions arose during the recent flurry of stories about doctors who speak for drug companies.  As ProPublica has written in its “Dollars for Docs” series, some doctors have earned tens of thousands of dollars speaking on behalf of companies when they are also expected to be fair and unbiased in their assessment of patients, or in their analysis and presentation of data from clinical trials.

This is, in my opinion, a clear conflict of interest.  However, some of the articles went one step further and pointed out that many of those doctors have been disciplined by their respective Medical Boards, or have had other blemishes on their record.  Are these conflicts of interest?  No.  To me, it seems more like muckraking.  It’s further ammunition with which critics can attack Big Pharma and the “bad” doctors who carry out its dirty work.

Now I don’t mean to say that every sin or transgression should be ignored.  If one of those doctors had been disciplined for excessive or inappropriate prescribing, or for prescription fraud, or for questionable business practices, then I can see why it might be an issue worthy of concern.  But to paint all these doctors with a broad stroke and malign them even further because of past disciplinary action (and not simply on the basis of the rather obvious financial conflicts of interest), seems unfair.

The bottom line is, sometimes good people do bad things.  And unfortunately, even when those “bad things” are unrelated to the business at hand, we sometimes ruin lives and careers in our attempts to exact justice.  Whatever happened to rehabilitation and recovery?  A second chance?  Can we evaluate doctors (and politicians) by the quality of their work and their potential current conflicts, rather than something they did ten or twenty years ago?

(By the way, there are some bad—i.e., uninformed, irresponsible—doctors out there who have no disciplinary actions and no relationships with pharmaceutical companies.  Where are the journalists and patient-advocacy groups looking into their malfeasance?)

In our society, we are quick to judge—particularly those in positions of great power and responsibility.  And those judgments stick.  They become a lens through which we see a person, and those lenses rarely come off, regardless of how hard that person has worked to overcome those characterizations.  Ask any recovered alcoholic or drug addict.  Ask any ex-felon who has cleaned up his act.  Ask any “impaired professional.”  (In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those professionals, whose “impairments” stemmed from a longstanding mental illness [now in remission] and affected none of my patients or colleagues, but which have introduced significant obstacles to my employability for the last five years.)  And ask any politician who has had to surrender an office due to a personal failing like Weiner’s.

Come to think of it, ask any patient who has been given a psychiatric diagnosis and whose words and actions will be interpreted by her friends, family,  doctors, or boss as part of her “borderline personality” or “bipolar” or “psychosis.”  It’s hard to live that down.

When evaluations matter, we should strive to judge people by the criteria that count, instead of the criteria that strengthen our biases, confirm our misconceptions, and polarize us further.  If we are able to do so, we may make it easier for people to recover and emerge even stronger after making mistakes or missteps in their lives.  We also might get along with each other just a little better.

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44 Responses to Is Weiner Really Such A Bad Guy?

  1. Jackie says:

    I’m going to try to write about politics without getting political.

    Anthony Weiner had to go because he was sucking up all the airtime. The pundits on all the news channels were talking about this night after night, and campaigns/messages/plans from other politicians were being ignored. Imagine: “Coming up later in the hour: “Obama brings world peace!” but first this discussion about the latest sext from Weiner. Wolf, what’s your take on this?”

    Now, America is The Land of Second/Third/Fourth Chances so if Weiner really is all that as a politician, then he’ll be able to recover. I wouldn’t rule him out as a candidate for New York mayor in the future because of this — he could spin it around, and even make into a positive. America likes the scrappy guy, the guy fighting against the odds for a comeback, but only if s/he plays by “our” rules, admits wrongdoing and apologizes.

    I would recommend that Mr. Weiner study that Hugh Grant “mea culpa” interview on the Tonight Show, to see how the first step to redemption is done.

    • Carol Levy says:

      Problem was the media’s, he sucked up all the airtime because that is what news has become, the risque, the scandalous, the ridiculous – Does the urder trial about a child deserve all the airtime it is being given – where is Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Weiner they say was brought down by his lie, maybe that is so but he did not deserve the pilloring the media gave him.

  2. duanesherry says:

    Steve,

    I don’t think many people handle power well.
    Not many at all.

    I think it can be summed up with, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Like many politicians, Weiner probably began to feel quite powerful.
    The rest is history.

    Psychiatrists are put in positions of power.
    And I think this is why there is so much failure in psychiatry.

    As far as the “sin”… the “politics”… I pass.

    Duane

  3. stephany says:

    Here’s the deal, Steve. The difference with doctors ‘behaving badly’ as the phrase has been coined w Dollars for Docs, is that Wiener is not a doctor, he is/was an an ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANT in our government system and if we cannot demand public servants who represent us to have certain standards (high) and morals while in the office they were nominated to hold, then we lose a lot in what America tolerates, next thing you know we’ll have a President David Brennan in the Oval office, not in charge of AstraZeneca!

    I DO believe patients have the right to know their doctor’s background. One psychiatrist in the PNW was just busted for molesting (sex) a vulnerable SZ patient and was banned from seeing female patients until the matter was reviewed by the Med board—now as a male patient would you still want to know why he is only seeing men? I would!

    Weiner took a position and abused his power, and actually made a fool of our government in the process, I know let’s just dismiss all behavior of that nature in the category of “boys will be boys” or “women politicians are sharks”…..??

    I also don’t believe exposing Dollars for Docs is taking down professionals, it’s the transparency the medical/pharma profession should have, hell these ppl are in charge of HEALTH of human beings.

    The patient can then decide if they want to see that doc or not, if they know their background, frankly when choosing doctors it’s the human connection in mental health world at least that most patients seek…if some don’t want to see a doc who has a history, they don’t have to, but the info should be out there, because after a patient sees the doctor and then finds out later that might be a wedge into the trust issue ppl have w docs. I’d rather know upfront and take it from there.

    Weiner, is a public servant, not a doctor, 2 different stories of discussion in my opinion.

  4. stephany says:

    For interest in the discussion here is a recent psychiatrist story I referenced above.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/06/17/2065145/tacoma-doctor-faces-restrictions.html

    I think I’d want to know, most ppl would.

    • stevebMD says:

      I would want to know, too. But I’d also want to know about any doctor who has no clue what schizoaffective disorder is, has no idea how to treat it, can’t tell you the side effects of the medications he/she is prescribing, or what to do if a patient does report a side effect. And I’d venture to say that there are far more of those doctors than doctors who sleep with their patients.

      • Jackie says:

        I would want to know, too. But I followed the link, and it would appear that — whatever else we could call someone who preys on the vulnerable — perhaps we can’t call this doctor a psychiatrist.

        “Dr. Ronald Schubert, a family-practice physician and surgeon who, until recently, worked at MultiCare’s Westgate Clinic, was to have been treating the woman for schizoaffective disorder, including hallucinations, scoliosis and depression.”

      • stephany says:

        The article was an example of DOCTOR behaving badly, being this article on Steve’s blog is about doctors, patients and when to know they have a background of any sort, that was one I had recently read. I’ll leave the dollars for docs database to speak for itself on that.

        Let’s not forget Weiner is a politician and a public servant and this is what we are talking about, whether or not he should ‘catch a break’ for a second chance…. medical malpractice, whatever we call it, transparency and honesty is a must in psychiatry, because of the delicate nature of the human being, don’t patients begin a professional relationship w doctors built on TRUST?

      • Iatrogenia says:

        You’re right, Steve. That would be 90% of them. They all should go, IMHO.

  5. stephany says:

    This is off on a tangent. That article is obviously one article, referencing a ‘background check’ for patients and the behaving badly discussion.

    New discussion being a doc on how to treat SZ? welcome to my world, I’ve been the unfortunate observer w my daughter in her care to elite hospitals and medicaid dumps…. not many understand the patients or the drugs and there is rarely informed consent or talk of alternative care, not even psychologists are brought in…bead bracelet therapy so far has not proven to be useful! 🙂

    Inpatient in locked psych wards is super archaic, offers little to help and demands drugs for discharge, that is a fact, Ive seen it for too long.

    Back to Weiner…same as the state paid doctors at instiutions they are public servants who should have a certain standard all its own, on top of everything else.

  6. stephany says:

    Here’s one of a psychologist abusing power w patient

    http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=125346&catid=8

    Patient suffered mental collapse after affair and was institutionalized, says the article.

  7. Iatrogenia says:

    Much as I hate to lose a progressive vote in Congress, Weiner’s behavior would have been creepy in a 20-year-old. Congresscritters need SOME gravitas!

    Steve, you said, rightly, “Come to think of it, ask any patient who has been given a psychiatric diagnosis and whose words and actions will be interpreted by her friends, family, doctors, or boss as part of her “borderline personality” or “bipolar” or “psychosis.” It’s hard to live that down.”

    Not only is it hard to live down if it is known by others, it’s extremely demoralizing to the patient. How could causing self-doubt and undermining autonomy possibly be good for a patient’s mental health? Yet that’s how most psychiatrists make their living — by cultivating dependency in patients on the doctor’s arbitrary judgment of them and on the drugs they vend.

    Now, should a psychiatrist, a medical professional who sets himself or herself up as a judge of others’ moral and mental status, be above reproach? You bet. A doctor who takes pharma payments to tout drugs without consideration of patients’ wellbeing — that’s simply crass. One could construct a personality disorder around it.

    And if there are other signs of moral turpitude in a psychiatrist’s past, double the reasons to drum him or her out of the profession. It should happen to more of them. (I see pharma b*tch Alan Schatzberg is still practicing.)

  8. Stan says:

    disclosure statement was added to this article: which may/may not change the context of how others may interrupt/perceive the stated opinions within.

    “Ask any “impaired professional.” (In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those professionals, whose “impairments” stemmed from a longstanding mental illness [now in remission] and affected none of my patients or colleagues, but which have introduced significant obstacles to my employability for the last five years.)”

    Just a casual opinion/observation; it could be debated whether a medical professional suffering from an “impairment” is self aware enough or has the objective capacity to make a board sweeping statements in hide-sight with relative certainty “affected none of my patients or colleagues”.

    my two cents for what it’s worth…

    • stevebMD says:

      Stan wrote: “it could be debated whether [he] … is self aware enough or has the objective capacity to make a board sweeping statements in hide-sight with relative certainty ‘affected none of my patients or colleagues.'”

      Thanks for your feedback, Stan. All I can say is: just ask my patients and colleagues. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

      Regarding the “mental illness” in question, the experience has taught me not only that mental illness is real, but also that people can be highly functional and competent, and use their experience as a source of immense personal knowledge and inner strength, and as a guide to others with the same concerns. That’s something I hope to convey to all of my patients because, in a sense, I have been there.

      (BTW, my experience has also taught me how modern psychiatry is way off-base in how it diagnoses and treats many conditions and individuals. Hence this blog… Most of my commentary could never be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and no drug company will ever pay me to say what I’ve written here. But it’s a way to share my experience, and maybe, just maybe, help someone to think differently for a change.)

      • Iatrogenia says:

        To me, that is a positive credential, like Marsha Linehan.

        How do you know your colleagues are not themselves mentally ill? Some clearly suffer from grandiosity, lack of empathy, even sadism. Contempt for patients is definitely endemic in psychiatry. Surely this can add up to something for the DSM-5.

  9. Stan says:

    “Thanks for your feedback, Stan. All I can say is: just ask my patients and colleagues. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.”

    May i ask for some clarification: have you gone back to ask or disclosed your impairment to your past colleagues and patients?

    Of course, without the full disclosure of your actual impairment & it’s impact/influence upon your functionality/actions we are conversing in somewhat clouded nuances.

    But to play devils advocate here: if this “impairment” was serious enough to cause significant obstacles to employ-ability over an extended period of time; one might rationally conclude it could have been serious enough to have some significant effects/impact on direct clinical interaction and therapeutic processes with patients & colleagues.

    You can be functioning under some fairly significant impairments & personally still fall under the belief that your problems are not being recognized or effecting those around you. You could use substance abuse as a stellar example for this scenario, where in many instances intervention & awareness only comes to the impaired sufferer after a major event, incident, or coined “wake up call”

    Now we can debate your conclusions about Mental Illness at a future juncture…If your stating you believe “mental illness” is primarily biological/pathological disease or genetics/brain chemical imbalance or just like diabetes; you’ll have quite a lively debate going on here.

    In personally opinion all DSM labeled mental health/life conditions, are not biologically based diseases/illnesses; unless you have some newly discovered proof showing otherwise to share with everyone

    • stevebMD says:

      Stan:

      “May i ask for some clarification: have you gone back to ask or disclosed your impairment to your past colleagues and patients?”

      Yes, i have. Every time.

      “But to play devils advocate here: if this “impairment” was serious enough to cause significant obstacles to employ-ability over an extended period of time; one might rationally conclude it could have been serious enough to have some significant effects/impact on direct clinical interaction and therapeutic processes with patients & colleagues.”

      Wow, that would indeed be playing Devil’s Advocate to the hilt. The obstacles to employability have not arisen out of any negligence in “therapeutic processes” or “direct clinical interaction” whatsoever, but instead by the administrative/bureaucratic restrictions placed on people like me (feel free to email me for an explanation of what I mean). In fact, I can give you numerous examples of negligent practices by other docs who are fully employable anytime, anywhere.

      By the same token, let’s assume Weiner cleans up his act and becomes mayor of NYC in 2017. Are we going to judge him by what he does as a mayor in 2017-2021, or by Twitter messages he sent in 2011? That was the whole reason for my post.

      “You can be functioning under some fairly significant impairments & personally still fall under the belief that your problems are not being recognized or effecting those around you.”

      Again, the proof is in the pudding. The moment I hurt a patient, or misrepresent myself, or betray my responsibility to the people I serve, is the moment I surrender my medical license. The problem is, others do this on a regular basis and practice without any scrutiny, supervision, or sanction. Is this fair?

    • GG says:

      ‘if this “impairment” was serious enough to cause significant obstacles to employ-ability over an extended period of time; one might rationally conclude it could have been serious enough to have some significant effects/impact on direct clinical interaction and therapeutic processes with patients & colleagues.’

      Well, “could have” covers a lot of territory, but what I take from the “rationally conclude” part of your statement is a belief that the sort of obstacles to employability that Steve is alluding to are well correlated with effects on clinical care. This is, of course, the way the system should function. Alas, judicial and administrative actions are relatively blunt and imprecise instruments, and possible future employers do not always take the time to consider all available information. The difficulties in employablility that sometimes result can be unfair for the sanctioned individuals and, ultimately, inefficient for society as a whole.

      I have worked closely with Steve for nine months. He is not the first physician I have worked with who has run into such difficulties with employment. And yes, I have done due diligence in these cases, even going so far as to speak with the prosecutor regarding a previous physician’s transgressions. Clearly there are physicians whose impairments require intervention and physicians who should never again practice. Similarly, there are some felons and disgraced politicians who warrant the ongoing difficulties they experience. However, individuals are sometimes sanctioned for actions unrelated to job performance. Deciding appropriately who to sanction, and how to respond to such sanctions, requires thoughtful consideration, which is in limited supply among politically appointed regulators and among employers who function in competitive markets. We may collectively decide that more thoughtful consideration is too costly, but it is our responsibility to acknowledge that mistakes will be made.

  10. stephany says:

    That wasn’t the average Twitter message….pic of his body parts in underwear sent to a young woman is typically regarded as lewd conduct, calling what Weiner did a basic twitter message waters it all down, just like he wants it to be. Yes, I don’t like what Weiner did, nor do I respect someone who does that sort of thing, call me a prude, or narrowminded but that’s just down right creepy.

  11. Stan says:

    “By the same token, let’s assume Weiner cleans up his act and becomes mayor of NYC in 2017. Are we going to judge him by what he does as a mayor in 2017-2021, or by Twitter messages he sent in 2011? That was the whole reason for my post.”

    I would be beyond surprised if Wiener was elected Mayor (let alone dog catcher) of New York City in 2017. His actions are clear undisputed evidence of his true character ( which was an grave insult to the public trust and his elected office). Let us remember it’s not just Weiner’s Twitter transgressions or his infidelity; He’s blatantly lied to his constituents and to all of America in an attempt to cover it up.

    Shall that be held against him in regards to holding public office in the future…your damned right it should…bad character doesn’t go away in cheap rehab innuendos or just get fixed…

    Are you actually going to diagnosis him as a sexual addict here…treat him for his pathological dishonesty…his narcissistic sociopathic tendencies?

    That is just a crock of sh-t, and anyone with an once of comment sense remaining would know that..Whoops, my bad: comment sense and psychiatry are such a juxtaposition in real practice

    This question was actually the reason I asked about your disclosure regarding this article. I got the impression that you in some ways are creating a subliminal defense for your prior actions through defending Weiner.

    Call me unsympathetic or callous…but I just happen to believe you come clean with your junk out in the open….do the best you can to move forward from there…that doesn’t erase your past or absolve you of culpability for your prior actions…that is just life and learning a valuable (sometimes costly & painful) lesson from your mistakes.

    • stevebMD says:

      Stan,

      I do not believe Weiner is a sex addict. (Of course, he is not my patient, I have not evaluated him, I cannot say this with any certainty.) Frankly, I agree with you that any psychiatric diagnosis of Weiner is likely to be a “crock of sh-t.” But let’s see what the experts say.

      I’m not defending myself (subliminally or otherwise) by Weiner’s actions. I’ve done some bad things, and I have a past that can’t be erased. The same is true for Anthony Weiner, and for you (and for everyone reading this post). “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone….” I’m moving forward, I’m not trying to erase my past, I’m not asking for anyone to absolve me

      What impact does that have on the patients I see every day? Only they can say. Let’s ask them.

      • Jackie says:

        After reading the disclosure, Dr. Steve, I would have my son make an appointment with you in a heart-beat. Who would be a better doctor for a smart young man thrown very difficult challenges in life, than one who has overcome challenges of his own? Alas, we’re in different states — but I’m keeping your contact information just in case!

        I said this on another post weeks ago, before you made the disclosure to us, obviously — your patients are very lucky to have you as their doctor.

    • Jackie says:

      “Call me unsympathetic or callous…but I just happen to believe you come clean with your junk out in the open…”

      Stan, putting his “junk out in the open” is kinda what got Anthony Weiner in trouble!

  12. Iatrogenia says:

    If Elliot Spitzer can have a second act, so can Weiner. And NYC can be very forgiving.

  13. stephany says:

    I want to add this is a great discussion, and thanks for starting it here Steve, and for allowing diverse conversation, as well as write from your own candid personal story!

  14. Jackie says:

    As a layperson, I only recently learned of the “Goldwater Rule” for psychiatrists from this article in the NYT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/health/views/24mind.html?_r=1

    It would seem to me that psychiatrists posting here should pause and make sure any comments they make about Weiner don’t run afoul of the APA ethics code. Weiner may run for office again someday, and comments by doctors about his mental health could be used against him by future opponents, and Weiner could then bring ethics charges against those doctors. I’m taking the position that Steve’s blog would fall under the definition of “media”.

    Anyway, if I understand it correctly, for a psychiatrist it’s OK to discuss behavior without examining someone, but not OK to diagnose. So, watch out for questions such as those posed by Stan: “Are you actually going to diagnosis him as a sexual addict here…treat him for his pathological dishonesty…his narcissistic sociopathic tendencies?”

    Let’s be careful out there.

  15. Anonymouus says:

    Bravo Dr. Steve!

    As someone with what is considered one of the more debilitating mental illnesses, and someone who climbed about as far up the food-chain in a highly selective and demanding profession……guess what? We walk among you. Yup, DSM certified with a hidden, cringe-worthy, often too embarassing to recount.history. Do I advertise my illness? Of course not, I have a family and repiutation to protect. Do I own it? You bet!

    My doctor’s background is within C/Lpsych in a county hospital and he sees some private patients. I knew that this man knew crazy first hand,and nothing I could possibly tell him would be shocking or alarming. When you finally admit you need help, you can only trust someone with empathy. Empathy as defined by the knowledge of knowing the other’s state – not to be confused with compassion. Compassion is is the extra gravy. I am the fortunate recipient of both in this relationship.

    Text books, internships, residencies, etc., all good and necessary. Human experience, priceless! As far as I am concerned, and most likely, your patients, you practice the best kind of medicine.

    As far as Anthony Weiner…..you can’t fix stupid.

  16. Colleen says:

    Hi Steve, I find it funny that prostitute enthusiast David Vitter didn’t resign. Having a penchant for hiring prostitutes is in fact illegal. Yet the Republican has not resigned and will not. Tweeting pictures of you penis is stupid and childish but not illegal yet the Democrat resigned. Odd. But at least it all takes the focus off the the “no weapons of mass destruction” fiasco that resulted in 966,000 plus deaths so far. Those pictures rallied America in disgust but almost a million deaths in the Middle East. Whatever….

  17. Rob Lindeman says:

    I’m disturbed that public rehabilitation these days entails a visit to private rehabilitation. Do we need any more evidence of the total medicalization of morals?

    I predict Weiner will land on his feet. Probably at CNN, alongside Eliot Spitzer.

  18. stephany says:

    Jackie, just curious as to what specific part of the non-specific disclosure inspired you to ‘keep contact info’ just in case?

    • Jackie says:

      Stephany, could you re-phrase the question? I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

      • stephany says:

        Steve doesn’t give specific details in his disclosure in the body of this post detailing what he was disclosing, besides a remitted mental illness, which leads to more questions….

      • stephany says:

        “Impaired professional” is about it for the disclosure. I’d like to see more about that in a separate post, I believe it would be enlightening for readers and patients, even other doctors read a post about it.

      • Jackie says:

        I think Dr. Steve’s a good guy and a good doctor, and I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s none of my business what he did in the past (I’m only a blog reader/poster, after all), but when he says it happened over five years ago and didn’t hurt patients or colleagues I’m going to believe him. And I’m also going to assume that if any restitution was required, it has been taken care of.

        For me, the fact that Dr. Steve has achieved all that he has while dealing with a (now remitted) mental illness, denotes strength of character. Something my son complained about very early was that, however good his doctor was, he had no personal experience of mental illness, or what it was like to take those medications. If we had been able to locate a doctor with that insight, we would have taken him there.

        My son’s an adult now and makes his own decisions. But I’d be happy for him to see Dr. Steve, given what I know about his approach to medicine.

      • stephany says:

        Oh, I’m not questioning Steve’s being a good guy, I’m a facts type of person, and after my daughter had a decade of misdiagnosis and over-drugging to the point of disabling her by psychiatrists, I became that way–wanting facts, before emotions to base my ideas or thoughts, it goes w the territory! My daughter has lost quality of life, so it’s a big spur to my always asking questions.

        I’m sure Steve will clarify your question of whether or not restitution or other was needed or completed.

      • Jackie says:

        Stephany, I didn’t ask Dr. Steve if he had paid restitution, and I don’t expect any answers from him, given that I wasn’t personally affected in any way.

        I’m sorry to hear about your daughter.

  19. stephany says:

    Rob Lindeman, I agree it just seems morals, integrity and high standards are no longer requirements of leaders of our country, yes Wiener, as Clinton and all the ‘others’ (Edwards et al) always end back on their feet, and my concern is Americans readily accept this public official’s behaviors as ‘the norm’ and easily dismissed with a diagnosis or rehab program as an answer.

    I DO expect more from electedf officials, though obviously those expectations are NOT the norm of others!

    Weiner and all of the others caught were only caught, and prob wouldnt admit the mistakes or seek help unless forced to, because remember everyone, Weiner denied and lied abt these actions of his at first until it all imploded.

  20. Carol Levy says:

    By the way, there are some bad—i.e., uninformed, irresponsible—doctors out there who have no disciplinary actions and no relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Where are the journalists and patient-advocacy groups looking into their malfeasance?)

    After 14 years in the court, and the defendant’s testimony being called perjurious, I was forced to settle my med. mal. case for bupkis. Within the month Governor Ridge named the doctor as Pa.sec’t of health nominee.
    He was confirmed (Peter J,. Jannetta 1995-1996)despite my telling the senators and governor about this doctor’s perjury (non-indicted). The media did not care. They are not there anymore. The old journalistic integrity and independence seems to be long gone.
    Scandals are evidently much more fun to write about.
    (In fact the trigeminal Neuralgia Association banned my book. I was told it was brecause I wrote about my experience with Dr. Jannetta – although did not mention the med mal, just wrote about my hospital and surgical experience with him (for about 8 pages) as I did for every other surgeon and doc I dealt with during the time span of the book. If you are a “name” a free pass often goes with it.))

    Carol Jay Levy
    author A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey
    http://womeninpainawareness.ning.com/
    http://apainedlife.blogspot.com/

  21. AA says:

    If it were a choice between the politician who lies about sex but who fights for me regarding things like Medicare and Social Security vs. the perfect politician would gut the two programs in a heartbeat, I will take the Weiners of the world any day.

    I am not condoning what he did but if you’re concerned about having health insurance when reaching 65 as I am, I want the politician who will fight for my needs. If I am sick and don’t have health insurance, the pure clean politician who gutted the program is worthless to me.

    It is all relative. No one would have normally voted for Edwin Edwards in a million years but next to David Duke, he looked like a saint in the LA governor’s race.

    Thus the campaign slogan, “Vote for the crook.”

    As far as Steve and his past, if I were to chose to see a psychiatrist, he sounds like the type of professional I would see in a heartbeat. Of course, I would want to know what happened but as long he was forthcoming, i would have no problems seeing him.

    Again, it is the perfect folks who may be more dangerous.

  22. Carol Levy says:

    I wonder, Steve, if the unemployability was related more to the label than having anything to do with your history, absent the naming of al illness. (You do not have to respond but too often that becomes the issue, what you have been called as opposed to who you are and what you bring to the table.
    A little disclosure of my own, because it so relates to the ‘naming’ issues. I was suicidal in college (This I tell in my book so it is already well known.)and made an attempt that landed me in the psych hospital – for 2 weeks. They could not find anything diagnosable or pillable so they released me. The diagnosis – adjustment reaction to adolescence. Now granted that must be a legit DSM tag but what teenager does not have adjustment reactions to being a teenager? In my case, if I ever trot out this info, which is now decades old, I use it as a tagline for a laugh.
    Carol (author, A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey)

  23. Jeff says:

    Juan Cole puts this in perspective. See his blog Informed Comment for “Top Ten Things Anthony Weiner has Said that are Worse than Sexting.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2011/06/top-things-anthony-weiner-has-said-that-are-worse-than-sexting.html

  24. leejcaroll says:

    Thanks Jackie, I wanted to write something but wasn’t sure what to say.

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