kottke.org posts about Amy Davidson

Risk, politics, and texting WeinersJun 09 2011

This is a very smart take on the Anthony Weiner situation from Amy Davidson at the New Yorker. Davidson argues that Weiner's recent sextual actions are politically relevant because they demonstrate that he's not very good at evaluating risk.

Measuring risk is what politicians do for a living -- from when they decide to run, to voting to hire policemen or teachers or to go to war. One doesn't want them to be completely, or even mostly cautious: politicians who never say anything that causes anyone to cringe, and never take a political risk, are useless. [...] That is why it is, sad to say, a matter of legitimate interest that Weiner's wife was pregnant when he sent those tweets. It widens our sense of just how careless he is with the lives of others, particularly those of people who are more vulnerable than he is. That is good to know about a politician; it is distinct from the question of whether someone who lies to his wife will lie to the public and, I'd argue, is more important.

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