Anthony Weiner — quitter

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) resigned from his Congressional seat today because of his sexual scandal and, to be sure, because of the politicking that the scandal triggered. It is worth pointing out that Weiner committed not one crime in this matter. But that did not matter. He was forced from Congress by leading Congressional Democrats and by a Democratic President for reasons of political expediency.

I believe a better path for Weiner the professional politician would have had the Congressman resign his seat while stating that he intended to run for his vacated seat in the special election that would follow his resignation. In the absence of any criminal act by Weiner, it is only his constituents with whom the Congressman needed to consult about his political future.


Greg Sargent takes issue with the pack journalism which Twitter enables which helped to bring down Anthony Weiner:

So Anthony Weiner is resigning, after discussions with his wife persuaded him he could no longer serve. He was facing the prospect of an ethics investigation, and House leaders were set to strip him of a key committee slot, both of which would have compounded his humiliation.

Weiner can be described, I think, as Twitter’s first major political casualty, in several ways. For one thing, no other equally high profile elected official has had to resign because of a scandal set in motion by a single Tweet. For another, it was the lack of experience with Twitter-sparked scandals that led him to botch his initial response to the unfolding story. He claimed the underwear bulge picture had been Tweeted from his account by his hacker. He was navigating the largely uncharted technological waters of Twitter-based scandals, and as a result, he badly screwed up. In the future, politicans [sic] who get in trouble over a wayward Tweet wiill [sic] look back on Weiner’s travails as a guide on what not to do. Weiner, alas, had no such playbook at his disposal, and he compounded his problems at the outset.

Weiner was Twitter’s first major political casualty in a darker way, too. This eposide [sic] demonstrated in a unique way that Twitter can encourage pack political journalism at its worst. I’m not defending Weiner. He lied to his colleagues, and what he did was unspeakably foolish, given that his outspoken liberalism guaranteed that he’d be a tempting target for the right. I’m agnostic on whether he should have resigned; other public officials who have committed far worse acts, sexual and otherwise, haven’t faced a fraction of the pressure he faced to step down. But ultimately, all you can say about his departure is that Democrats have now lost a very effective spokesman for the liberal cause….

Hasbara or lunacy at the Washington Times?

Salon’s Justin Elliot writes:

We thought everything that could be said about Anthony Weiner‘s lewd photo scandal had been said. But Eliana Benador, a former influential neoconservative public relations operative, has proved us wrong.

Writing for the “Communities” section of the Washingtom [sic] Times’ website, Benador argues that the Twitter scandal shows that … the Jewish Weiner might have converted to Islam!

Hasbara is the Hebrew word for Israel-centric and –friendly public diplomacy. Eliana Benador once owned a public relations firm that promoted hawkish neoconservative policies during the George W. Bush administration. She currently works as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for two West Bank settlement communities. Given her resume and politics, I believe we can say with confidence that Benador is capable of promoting nonsense to achieve her political goals.

Is Anthony Weiner a Muslim Fifth Columnist, as Benador suggests? Has he converted to Islam? Is there a “socialist” political agenda driving this marital union? Is his wife, Huma Abedin, someone who the Saudi Arabians sent to the United States to infiltrate the American elite? Is Weiner conspiring against the United States and Israel? Benador’s claims and intimations about Weiner and Abedin appear too outlandish to apply to a man who has shown himself to be a pro-Israel demagogue and an opportunist with designs on the New York City mayor’ office. Why, then, would Benador write her article? What did she hope to accomplish? Did she write her article just to smear a Jewish-American politician who chose to marry a putative enemy of Israel? Is Benador a paranoid crank?

Only a God could tell us the whole and believable truth about this bizarre incident. In any case, the Washington Times has already pulled Benador’s article for review, which I take as a sign indicating the true value of the piece.

Mean, naughty snark of the day

Lizz Winstead thoughtfully points out that:

The only way we will get news on debt ceiling, Clarence Thomas or economy is if Anthony Weiner wrote it on his cock and emailed it to Palin

The politics of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s criminal career

Might we consider Dominique Strauss-Kahn‘s recent troubles to be little more than a sex scandal? If we did, Strauss-Kahn would just be a cad and schmuck, like Anthony Weiner. Has he not been made ridiculous by his own hand? Are his troubles just another instance in which a powerful man is found to be undeserving of the highest honors and, perhaps, even brute sympathy? Is this scandal his alone? Or, is there more to the scandal than one man’s perverse desires and the stigma he must now wear?

I would say that Strauss-Kahn’s predicament amounts to something more than a sex scandal. Marie Bénilde, writing for Le Monde Diplomatique, succinctly gives the reasons for considering them to be so:

A positive aspect to the furore [sic] after the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges including attempted rape was the revelation of the workings of the French media. These include the extreme personalization of politics (leader writers deplore this while pursuing their own causes); the continuity between communications advisers and journalists when a “client” fits mainstream media ideology; and the close ties, always condemned but never severed, between the press and government. The DSK affair also revealed the class reflexes that move editorial writers, on the top rungs of the social ladder, when the powerful fall. The misfortunes of the weak are too banal to be news.

Some men are petty tyrants. Their crimes are matters to be handled by the police and the courts. Other men are grand tyrants. Their crimes often become political matters because their power and influence shields their actions from critical scrutiny and legal accountability. Strauss-Kahn’s troubles belong to the second category. He was a member of the French elite, a leader of the International Monetary Fund and, it seems, an abuser of women for much of his life. His sexual misadventures were not the private affairs of two or more consenting adults. They were instances in which he abused his power. And the members of his class, political party and others closely related to his milieu indirectly sponsored his criminal by providing political and social coverage for him.

Revolutions were made over lesser slights.

Quote of the day

Russell Mokhiber asks:

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner talks dirty and sends out lewd pictures over the Internet.

Our Congresswoman — Shelley Moore Capito — votes to end Medicare while more than 40,000 Americans die every year due to lack of health insurance.

Who should resign?

Anthony Weiner — Schmuck

At a news conference today Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted that he had indeed sent a photo of his crotch to a young college student.