Yesterday morning, things were looking good for Alec Baldwin, actor and star of Emmy Award winning 30 Rock comedy series. Rumors were rampant that he was a possible candidate to step into Anthony Weiner's (slightly soiled) Democratic briefs, when the congressman finally smells the stench and resigns.
The Academy Award nominee could have shimmied in with his Baldwin blend of "Reagan" charm and won all our hearts, but his "he's just a high functioning guy" defense in the Huffington Post published yesterday shows him to be out of touch with reality and unelectable.
Baldwin's defense of Weinergate is this: the congressman is a "high functioning man," who is "so busy" he deserves something "to take the edge off." He is using cybersex instead of "booze, drugs, gambling, food or shopping" as much as the next guy. It makes you wonder what planet is Alec Baldwin on?
In case he hasn't noticed, we are in the middle of a long, painful recession. People all over the country are working relentlessly trying to earn money to keep a roof over their heads, save for college, afford health care, etc. Some desperados may be flashing their unmentionables to blow off steam but most ... (what are we?) ... "low functioning" people are kicking back with a cup of joe, or a glass of wine, thanking their lucky stars they made it through another day. I know, because I am one of them.
Just so I can help Alec understand the lifestyle of many of his potential voters, let's get personal.
I do not have the high-powered status of a famous actor or a politician. I am full time parent and columnist, with no nanny, housekeeper, or assistant and zero family members nearby to help out. I work sixteen hours a day, at least five days a week. I volunteer a significant amount of time for my kids' school, actively raise money for charities dear to my heart, cook, clean, write, balance the books, help with homework, sew torn ears back onto fluffy bunnies, work out, blog, tweet, leave money under pillows from tooth fairies and try to have a view on the Middle East.
In the middle of all this, my husband and I are organizing/moving our family to another continent with two weeks notice. Our busy, pressurized life is not any different to that of millions of families all over the country and if it isn't as "exhausting" as Rep. Weiner's schedule, I'll eat my cell phone.
The question is:
how are all us "low functioning" people managing to refrain from tweeting out pictures of our magic kingdoms to complete strangers? Answer: because it is such stupid thing to do and, frankly, who has the time?
Modern life is tough. It is tough on everyone, celebrities and politicians included. What separates us all as human beings though, is how we rise to that challenge. When our kids act up, we stop ourselves from leaving spiteful messages on their answering machines. When "appointment sex with your spouse doesn't arrive when you need it most," you get over it. When you get caught doing something you probably shouldn't, you don't spend day after day telling a web of lies to the world and your wife; you tell the truth.
If Anthony Weiner is Alec Baldwin's idea of the "modern human being," then he has just lost my vote.