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June 10, 2011

Patterico, Part 3: Why Was Weiner DMing With a Dirty-Talking 17-Year-Old Girl Who Kept Telling Him She "Loved" Him?

Before the link: There are two charges possible here. Let's call them Murder and Manslaughter, because I don't actually want to talk about what the real charges are.

Murder: You know what this charge is.

The media doesn't want to talk about this charge. Let me drop my media-hating for one moment and say, "I get it." I know. It's a huge charge. The likelihood you will ever be able to prove Murder is rather low. And you'd sound overzealous even talking about it.

Plus, let's talk about the real reason: We all want this girl, who is 17 and a child and just starting her life, to be innocent here. No one is eager -- not Patterico, not me -- to write stuff that shines a girl in a bad light.

And look: Sure, he'd be crazy to do that. Crazier than even he's been acting.

So let's talk about the charge that's easier to talk about. We don't have to say anything about the girl, or think too much about uncomfortable things, or even propose a single action not already admitted by Weiner, to get to Manslaughter.

Manslaughter. That his private communications were not criminal and not sexual, but still wildly inappropriate.

What was Weiner's pattern? He tended to cruise social media looking for cute, often young women flattering him with crushes and favorable comments about his looks. If you said Weiner was hottt, and your picture showed you to be reasonably attractive, click, you got a follow.

If you said you wanted a "sexual relationship" with him, you got a follow.

If you bragged about him being "my boyfriend," you got a follow.

And, in the case of a 17 year old girl who had a bit of a habit of talking like a 30 year old sailor, if you said you "loved" him, you got a follow.

Why did that happen?

Again, let's not talk about Murder, and let's not think about it. Put the Murder charge out of mind. Let's think about lesser offenses.

Let's assume this girl was not, in fact, propositioned with anything that the police would have an interest in.

But yet still: Why did he follow her?

Because she "loved" him? Let me propose that if a 17 year old girl, with a history of some frank, Cinemax-at-night public tweets, says she "loves" a 46-year-old Congressman, under no circumstances should he follow her, and create the possibility of a private DM.

What's that? He just followed everyone who hit that #YesWeiner thing?

1, you know that's not true. He was only following 91 people in April, and only double that in May. He had 45,000 followers. Surely more hit #YesWeiner.

2, it turns out some people who hit #YesWeiner didn't get that supposedly-automatic follow.

guynotfollowed.png

Why didn't that guy get followed?

Oh, right. Because he's a guy. He's... somehow not interesting to Weiner. And yes it is a guy; I have clipped his name. No pretty picture; no flirty banter. Just hit #YesWeiner, as he was told, but didn't get a follow.

The magic words were not #YesWeiner.

The magic words were hott, sexual relations, my boyfriend, and love. Coming from an attractive, usually young, girl.

So why did he follow a girl that he should never in a thousand years have even been acknowledging?

Let me quote Alec Baldwin's disastrous defense of Weiner. I think he does actually offer a good point -- at least, a good one for the Manslaughter charge. I don't think we need to strain our minds for the other charge.

My thought on Weiner is that he is a very busy man. Like most, although not all, politicians, he probably spends a great deal of time going to meetings, raising campaign funds and seizing upon every opportunity to remind people of how great he is as a public servant and a human being. It's exhausting. He exists under a constant pressure cooker of self-analysis and public appraisal. Like other politicians, he needs something to take the edge off. For some people, regardless of occupation, that could mean booze, drugs, gambling, food or shopping. For high functioning men like Weiner and other officials who have lived through such scandals, who are constantly on the go, that leaves one tried and true source of a reliable high. The affirmation that comes when someone lets you know they want to sleep with you. Or even cyber-sleep with you.

That is an exilerating feeling. Alec Baldwin isn't lying. It's a good question whether it's the First Sex that's actually good, or it's the incredible excitement, the buzz, that comes in anticipation of the First Sex. Christmas, or Christmas Eve?

From Anthony Weiner's embarrassing declaration in that Cosmo interview, we know he's a bit of a love-junkie, chasing that high. As he said, he wanted to be "sucked into the throes of love," and you can tell he means it, because that makes no damn sense. So he means it.

And so here's a 17 year old. Likes to talk about sex publicly on Twitter. Pretty cute. Kind of girl you'd like if you were yourself 17 years old, and not a particularly handsome sort of 17 year old, but an awkward, skinny funny-looking kind of guy. Girl that that awkward, skinny, funny-looking 17 year old never could have gotten.

But now she says she "loves" him. And he does enjoy the validation of infatuated women.

Who doesn't?

But she's not a woman. She's a 17 year old girl. She is, for legal purposes, a child.

In the Manslaughter theory, he never says anything legally actionable in his private communications with her -- and yes, he seems to have had them. Rather, he just enjoys the crush-vibes he gets from her, flattered that a pretty young thing could be in "love" with a still-not-confident-and-mature boy-man like him.

Sure, he deflects away her serious protestations of love, but he doesn't say anything legally actionable. He just... enjoys the flattery of a pretty 17 year old who's in love with him.

Perfectly innocent.

Except it's not innocent. It's not innocent.

Because there is no one reading this right now who, if I were to suggest a similar scenario with an adult just seeking out their daughter's private attention, doing nothing actually illegal but just enjoying the fact the girl had a major league crush on him... well, there would be problems. Real problems.

You don't have to prove someone's a criminal to know he's a creep.

Why is Anthony Weiner having private communications with underage girls clearly infatuated with him at all?

Let's assume it's not Murder. Let's assume he deflected any of these lovesick girl's stronger declarations of affections.

Why was he contacting them?

To talk politics? To talk shop? To ask a 17 year old girl, "What do you think we should do to back the Republicans off their debt-limit no-negotiation stance"?

Or to engage in some creepy, weird indulgence in the crush-vibes of that girl?

There's no crime in the Manslaughter theory, but there is serious offense.

So that's my theory.

My theory is that it's Manslaughter because I don't want to think about it being anything more.

But read the evidence yourself.

Yes, he did indeed DM her, unless it's a coincidence that she referred to him as "cape and tights" just like he referred to himself as putting on the "cape and tights" in a chat with the Blackjack Dealer.

Sure, that could be a coincidence. If you still believe in "coincidence" in this matter, and if you still do, you haven't been paying attention.

And yes... she sure seems to indicate a little private mutual admiration society was going on behind the scenes.

You don't have to think something criminal happened here to say that a 46 year old man should not be seeking this type of "frivolity" and romantic validation from a starstruck 17 year old girl.

Just perfectly innocent. A married 46 year old Congressman private messaging a smitten, hero-worshipping, bad-girl-talking 17 year old girl who "loved" him.

What could be more innocent than that?



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posted by Ace at 02:30 AM

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