Thursday, June 16, 2011

Profiles In Hypocrisy

Updated Thursday, June 16

Caption: Another Democratic congressional leader expresses outrage about Anthony Weiner.

Image credit: Brandon Baunach

You know, some things just never get old, do they? One of those things seems to be hypocritical nonsense Democratic members of Congress feel the need to bless us with whenever they feel like shanking one of their own after he's gotten himself in trouble:
Many Democrats rallied around Clinton during that scandal. This time around, Wasserman Schultz, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the chair of the DCCC have all called on Weiner to resign immediately.

"Has there been maybe an unrealistic too harsh standard applied in this case?" [Politico's Mike] Allen asked.

"I don't think so," Wasserman Schultz said, before laying out her case that the Weiner scandal's ability to effectively drown out anything else in Congress for the past couple weeks is reason enough for Weiner to leave.
I think that particularly because there was an effort to not tell the truth, I think that because he has engaged in some what I think is some very inappropriate conduct that has distracted his ability to do his job and distracted from almost all of our ability to do our jobs and make sure that we can effectively serve our constituents, I think that the best conclusion is that he should focus on addressing his problems and resign from the House.
Asked if she expects Weiner to step down, Wasserman Schultz said, "I don't know ultimately what his decision will be."

DNC Chair Explains Why Clinton Got To Stay But Weiner Has To Go
By that standard, I can't think of a single Democratic congressman right now who can afford to send pictures of his crotch around the Internet.

But this statement probably does have a grain of truth in it. What's becoming increasingly clear is that Weiner wasn't all that well liked among Democrats in Congress. He is ambitious, and he's outspoken. His colleagues must find all that annoying, particularly since he made quite a show of speaking out for the health care reforms they eventually removed from sight, and the 9/11 responders bill they would just as soon not have had to deal with. Unfortunately, as Alex Pareene wrote a few days ago at Salon:
I tend to find it pretty silly when pundits, columnists and bloggers "call for" the resignations of any public officials guilty of having embarrassing things reported about them. (As opposed to the ones who are caught on wiretaps accepting bribes or something.) This time is no different. I have never been much of a fan of Anthony Weiner ... but I never called on him to resign because I thought he was a tool of reactionary anti-Muslim bigots, so why bother calling for his head now that I know he's a tool of reactionary bigots who also enjoys sexting porn stars?

Who are we to tell Anthony Weiner to quit?
What seems to be utterly lost on the political "professionals" in the Democratic Party is that those of us who don't live in DC actually expect our congressmen to do something useful, as in, something that either benefits us or at least makes the country a better place. The Democrats have a sad record of non-achievement in that area, and blaming Weiner for their unpopularity, however emotionally satisfying it might be, is not going to change that. Two weeks from now, most of us will probably have forgotten who he is, and the election is still more than a year away.

Well, maybe we'll forget, if they ever give us a chance. Josh Marshall made what is perhaps the most economically pithy observation of the day:
Best way to make Weiner story go away is for [a] new prominent Democrat to tell him to resign each day. Ideally early in each news cycle.

Best Practices
The Democrats should just shut up about this, and move on. Yet, ironically given that what started this was Weiner's self-indulgent activity, they seem unable to resist the urge to re-connect with their inner infants on this issue.

Tell me again why this crew of clowns is so much better than The Other Guys?

UPDATE (Jun. 16): Well, they got what they wanted:
TPM has confirmed that after weeks of increasingly embarrassing revelations and building pressure from within his own party, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) will on Thursday resign his seat in Congress. He told Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of his decision on Wednesday evening.

Anthony Weiner Resigning
This has to be a new low for the Democratic House "leadership". I think I will be putting that word in quotes for quite some time, thanks to their performance these last few years. The only people who seem to be really upset about this are they.

I'll let Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, who has made business out of covering DC scandals and an establishment progressive if ever there was one, have the last word:
I get that it's icky and makes people cringe. But c'mon. I've been following congressional scandals for 15 years. And my God in the grand scheme of things this is pretty silly compared to the levels of wrongdoing, thievery and vicious behavior we've all seen. And that disconnect -- the most insistent and open demands for resignation ever compared to one of the silliest scandals ever -- just doesn't sit right with me. Especially when, last time we checked at least, his constituents did not want him to resign.

Weiner Gives Up The Ghost
Makes you proud to watch our leaders in action, doesn't it?

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