I'll be on Stossel — the Fox Business Network (FBN) program hosted by icon of both libertarianism and tasteful facial hair, John Stossel — tonight at 9p ET.
We'll be talking about the fantastic documentary Weiner, which I described in a review for Reason as a "horror-comedy about ambition in electoral politics." In that review, I argued that the rehash of Weiner's multiple tabloid dramas are simply the backdrop for unbelievably compelling human drama:
What is riveting is watching two talented and ferociously ambitious people — Weiner and his wife, Hillary Clinton's right-hand and "body-woman" Huma Abedin — try to maintain their troubled marriage, raise their young son, and "get their lives back," which to them means being close to the levers of political power. Watching these two people debase themselves repeatedly all for the sake of naked ambition and a need to be beloved by strangers makes the film play like a horror-comedy.
Weiner literally frames his attempt at a political comeback as a gift to his wife, telling the off-camera filmmakers that Abedin "was eager to get her life back" and running for mayor was the "straightest line to do it." For those who don't fetishize elected officials and are generally cynical of the two-party electoral process, it's tough to understand who would want to endure living in a fishbowl filled with piranha at any point in one's life, much less so soon after going through such a public humiliation. But Weiner's desperate neediness, not his sexual compulsion, is the claw that repeatedly emerges from the ground to suck him back into the pit of hell.
Tune into FBN tonight at 9p ET to watch us try to figure out why anyone in their right mind would want to live the life of a politician.