Advantage Denton

June 12, 2011

Weiner’s Tomfoolery is Worse Than Clinton’s

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 4:38 pm

Why do I still defend Bill Clinton’s presidential performance while saying that I would not elect Representative Weiner as a dog catcher? While it is true that I am a huge fan of Bill Clinton’s work and never heard of Anthony Weiner until the recent scandal erupted, my opinion on this issue has nothing to do with political philosophies.

I am disgusted by both men being unfaithful to their wives and sincerely pray that my immediate family will be immune from such horrid events. Both men lied when they were caught. Both should have known better and should have been smart enough to at least not get caught by the public and their political enemies. So what is the difference?

Representative Weiner was so foolish and lacked fundamental judgement to such an extreme degree that he was sending pictures of his underwear clad erection to a stranger and he was stupid enough to do it publicly. By his own admission, he has been similarly corresponding with a number of other women whom he does not know. How can I trust a congressman to make good decisions on laws when he does not have the judgement or self control to practice his sexual perversions in a more discrete manner? Such foolishness disqualifies one for public office.

How is William Jefferson Clinton’s case different? Though it is entirely reprehensible for him to have sexual congress outside of his marriage, his choice of partner and mode of sinning was intended to be very discrete. No one has made a case that the woman with whom he dallied was a stranger or someone he should know would betray his confidence. He did not use public modes of communication to carry out his peccadillo. His was a much more old fashioned foolishness which did not reflect such an idiotic measure of recklessness. While anyone having an affair risks blackmail and disclosure, we would have very few persons in positions of power throughout history if we used some means of efficiently eliminating all leaders who strayed from marriage vows.

I don’t hire professionals based upon being without human flaws and I don’t vote only for perfect people. I do, however, vigorously avoid relying on people in positions of great power when they don’t make at least reasonable efforts to be discrete about their vices. When a political official has so little self control or so little judgement that they advertise on Craigslist with pictures of their naked torso or when they send tumescent underwear photos to strangers by public tweet, they are unfit for office.

When we search for the right lawyer for a client at Advantage Denton, these same principles come into play. We don’t expect lawyers to be perfect human beings. We don’t expect them to be free from all controversy. We do look closely to see if they handle pressure with grace, if they are at least aware of the public impression they make and if they have the critical skills and background to help you when you hire us to find the right lawyer. Have us find the right lawyer for you.

June 3, 2011

Is Discussion of Weiner’s Tweet Bad?

Filed under: Melissa Denton Posts — Melissa Denton @ 12:58 pm

Is it bad manners or unwise to read or participate in discussion of the foibles of prominent people? This is interesting to me right now because of two different embarrassing events I’ve seen chatter about recently.

One of these stories is the nation-wide discussion of US House of Representatives Member Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account having sent a picture of a man’s underwear clad body in a public Tweet to a 21 year old college student who does not personally know him and who happened to be one of his many followers.

The other discussion is on a lawyers only listserv about a Seattle lawyer who was caught with a “bait” car as he scratched it with a key and left a nasty note as he had done with other incorrectly parked cars in the same garage at his work.

In the first story, I’ve seen fairly clumsy denials by the accused (doubtless with the assistance of his advisors). Some very astute media folk and comedians have gleefully analyzed the evidence thus far and have concluded that Weiner did actually send the tweet. I also saw a very interesting analysis that seemed like a conspiracy theory, but contained compelling arguments, nonetheless. It implied that someone supportive of Justice Clarence Thomas is behind this cyber-error because the tweet happened on the same day that Justice Thomas’s financial disclosure was made public and Weiner has been a very public critic of Thomas’s conflicts of interest lately. A sexualized, race tinged (the tweet designee is black and Weiner is white) discrediting effort is eerily reminiscent of Justice Thomas’s Senate confirmation hearings.

The second, embarrassed lawyer car defacing discussion, is interesting because of how lawyers are talking about talking about it. A few lawyers brought the issue up and provided links to a news story on this colleague. A few lawyers (who did not personally know this chap) made some mildly pithy comments. A few lawyers chided the others for gossip and for kicking a man when he is down and stressed. Someone pointed out that judging another is risky business and yet another lawyer pointed out that this sensitivity seems to be reserved only for colleagues and friends.

Is it just human nature to discuss others’ problems? Is it a baser part of our nature that we should strive to replace with nobler instincts? Unkind discussion of another person’s error certainly makes you a candidate for closer examination of your own mistakes. Should we ever find satisfaction in the misfortune of others? How about when “poetic justice” seems to have been served or when someone gets “hoisted by their own petard”?

It would be just peachy if I could reduce this moral conundrum to a clear maxim to police myself by. For the moment, however, I will make do with trying to make decisions that I think are reasonable and kind, in deeds, in words, and in my own thoughts. It does not seem outrageous to me to be curious about the apparent errors of others and it is abhorrent to me to pass judgement on others when doing so is not necessary to decide my own course of action. I find this interesting. Do you?

Update: On Monday after I wrote this blog post on Friday, Representative Weiner admitted that he had posted the underwear clad picture and had sent many other sexually oriented pictures and messages to women he did not know on the internet. Wow. Ick.

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