How very sad, but at the same time not surprising in this nightmare of an election year, that one of humanity's oldest problems -- men's little dicks getting them in big trouble -- threatens to dominate the closing days of the presidential campaign.
We're actually talking about three dicks here.
There is Donald Trump's dick, he who has bragged about its yuge-ness and his innumerable unsolicited groppages, which at last count had resulted in sexual predation accusations by a dozen victims in the wake of the Access Hollywood hot-mic video that lubricated Hillary Clinton's commanding lead.
There is Anthony Weiner's dick, he who is the former U.S. representative and estranged husband of top Clinton aide and confidante Huma Abedin and has a well-documented inability to control his less savory appetites after numerous sexting scandals, the latest involving a 15-year-old girl that got the FBI's attention.
There also is James Comey's dick, he who despite being warned by the Justice Department not to create the impression of meddling in the election, went public about an FBI investigation concerning emails found on Weiner's computer although Comey had not read those emails, it is not known if they contain national security material, or whether they are duplicates of emails the bureau examined in its previous investigation and semi-exoneration of Clinton.
The Republicans who bullied Comey into blabbing on Friday afternoon in what The New York Times' Paul Krugman calls an especially malevolent example of "working the refs," sensed that this was their last best opportunity to slow if not halt the Clinton juggernaut, should be feeling a whole lot less chuff today.
And Comey should be feeling a great deal of discomfort having so ingloriously stepped on his own dick in drawing the FBI into an election campaign when it is supposed to remain above all that.
More clear-headed Republicans (all two or three of them) will be returning to earth because:
* Some 21 million people already have cast ballots, with Clinton widely regarded as having received a majority of those votes.
* Clinton's hold on an Electoral College runaway remains assured even though the length of her coattails is not.
* The FBI's Weiner probe (it seems you just can't avoid sexually loaded phrases) may only tangentially involve "Lying Hillary."
* The media focus has shifted from the Republicans' "this is bigger than Watergate" hysteria to Comey's conduct and Clinton's blistering counterattack.
* The knowledge that Justice Department officials are as furious with Comey as Clinton and her fellow Democrats are.
Comey had set himself up for the Friday fiasco when he parted with usual FBI practice in July by publicly defending the bureau's work on the "exhaustive" Clinton email investigation although no charges had been filed and the investigation had been closed. Comey did rebuke Clinton as being "extremely careless" in using a private email address and server.
When Comey's deputies informed him last Thursday that a trove of emails that may be linked to Clinton's private email server had been found in the course of the Weiner investigation, he faced a dilemma: Inform Congress or delay doing so despite his pledges of "transparency" when the FBI first undertook the Clinton investigation.
History will judge that Comey made the wrong call with Election Day a mere 11 days away and the Clinton emails having remained front and center in the Trump campaign's unrelenting attacks on her trustworthiness. The impression that Comey was indeed meddling in the election is unavoidable. He then compounded his mess by telling FBI employees in a memo that he hoped his announcement had not created "a misleading impression" when it did exactly that.
The developments are manna for a news media anxious for a development -- any development -- that would interrupt the Clinton coasting-to-victory narrative.
Most voters, on the other hand, have made up their minds. The election already is over for them and Hillary Clinton will be the next president.
POLITIX UPDATE IS WRITTEN BY SHAUN MULLEN, A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER FOR WHOM THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IS HIS 12th SINCE 1968. CLICK HERE FOR AN INDEX OF PREVIOUS COLUMNS.
© 2015-2016 SHAUN D. MULLEN