I always thought that if Anthony Weiner ever took Viagra he’d just get taller. Color me chastened.
Conservatives are having a ball with Congressman Weiner’s amazingly colossal bad week, and with good reason. For starters, it’s a guy named Weiner who’s been accused of sending a photo of his franks and beans, cleverly disguised by what look like a pair of grey underoos, to a 21-year-old girl that he follows on Twitter. What’s not to like about that? Secondly, Anthony Weiner is one of the single most obnoxious members (of, um, Congress) to pollute TV screens and devour newsprint. The protegé of Senator Chuck Schumer, Weiner has never met a camera he didn’t like (clearly he likes some more than others, though), and has specialized in spouting misrepresentations and bad faith arguments about Republican and conservative positions to serious news outlets and MSNBC every chance he gets. If Speaker John Boehner had made a boner like this one, Weiner would have called for his head.
Sigh. There’s simply no way to write about this seriously. Whenever I think of this I feel like Beavis and Butthead sitting through a sex education class after they’ve been warned not to laugh.
Nevertheless, I shall try.
The media has latched on to this story, somewhat surprisingly. Dare I say it, they’re being almost as hard on Weiner as they would be if he were a Republican. My guess is that this is because even our thumbless Lame Stream Media can grasp the concept of a Weiner wiener scandal. Also, much like Johnny Fever finally getting a chance to say “Booger” on the air, this gives Wolf Blitzer and company carte blanche to say Weiner in a context that directly involves a penis. Who could resist?
There are serious issues here, of course, and we should pay attention to them. The first is the idea that the Congressman’s Twitter account was, in his words, “hacked.” That’s a serious charge, and the person responsible has committed a crime. It calls into question the security of the Congressman’s computer and whatever is stored on it (confidential memos, Department of Defense briefings, pictures of the Congressman’s tiny todger, etc). If Weiner’s account was hacked, there needs to be a formal investigation by the FBI to determine the culprit, and there needs to be a re-evaluation of security procedures for all members (of, um, Congress).
But that’s not important now because Weiner’s account was not hacked. I might have been willing to buy that excuse if Weiner hadn’t reacted to this incident by changing his story (the “hack” became a “prank” as soon as he was reminded that hacking is a crime), by his explicit uncertainty whether the photo is of him (because nobody keeps tabs on the many photos we take of our own private parts), by his immediate reaction of calling a lawyer, and by his laughable contention that he’s hired a private investigator to solve the case rather than trouble the already overburdened police.
So no, the security issue here is nothing to worry about.
The other issue is that a Congressman (newly married, no less), is sending pictures of his (best case scenario) partially erect penis to a 21-year-old college student. The worst case scenario is that the picture was of his fully erect penis, in which case his last name will be filed in the dictionary under “ironic”. Either way, it’s not a good scenario. It’s a legitimate scandal.
Representative Chris Lee, a largely unknown Republican, resigned after posting a shirtless picture of himself on Craig’s List in a really pathetic and creepy attempt to pick up women, but the only guns in that picture were his biceps. Here we have a prominent Democrat and the (shudder) odds-on favorite to become the next Mayor of New York City, sending a far more obscene picture to someone and is, so far at least, holding off calls for his resignation or even an investigation.
This isn’t really a partisan issue or, at least, it shouldn’t be. Everyone has a sex drive, and scandals of this sort cross party lines regularly. For every Bill Clinton and John Edwards on the Left, there’s a Larry Craig or Mark Foley on the Right. But this is not a simple case of an extramarital dalliance. This is genuinely gross behavior and I, for one, simply doubt that this is the first time Weiner’s done something like this. The question then becomes, will the media allow him to obfuscate his way out of this scandal, or will they hold him to the same standard they would hold a Republican who engaged in such repugnant behavior?
The Roundup: Michelle Malkin’s syndicated column about the “Ick-arus of Capitol Hill” is here, and her blog posting is here. Hot Air has the tale of how Weiner finally called the cops…on a reporter trying to ask him questions. The always great Iowahawk (you really should be following him on Twitter), gets into the mystery. Jonah Goldberg has written a very fun G-file (available only to subscribers, and you should be one) and syndicated column.