I am plumb out of Weiner word plays so let me give it to you straight: I can’t get over the number of people who still believe Anthony Weiner’s behavior is “a private matter.” As my colleague Carrie Lukas observes part of this scandal is about “a ruling class that believes that rules don’t apply to them” and that doesn’t take commitments such as marriage quite as seriously as the peons do.
James Taranto captured this gem from Salon’s Joan Walsh:
“You know, I look kind of stupid,” Salon’s Joan Walsh said last night on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” owning up to her mistake last week in defending Anthony Weiner the Turgid Tweeter. She then proceeded to defend him again: “This is private business,” Walsh said. “You can’t accuse him of hypocrisy, he’s not a family values moralizer. You can’t accuse him yet of breaking the law.”
Amanda Marcotte, a former advisor to John Edwards, weighed in, too:
Prior to this scandal, the media and political operatives had to at least pretend that a politician’s sex life had some bearing on the public interest before they picked up the pitchforks. Being an adulterer wasn’t, in and of itself, a matter of public interest. There had to be a hook. If you were a social conservative who advocated for using the government to control the sexual behavior of consenting adults, for instance, then you were held to your own standard and your adulteries were considered public business. . . .
But with this Weiner scandal, there’s not even the veneer of an excuse in play. Weiner has an outstanding record supporting sexual rights of others, with 100% ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood,and has a strong record of support for gay rights.
So unless you are a social conservative your behavior is off limits?
That prominent women such as Walsh and Marcotte defend Weiner indicates a debased political culture and an even more debased feminism. The best thing I’ve seen so far on why Weiner must go is from Mark Steyn-admittedly Mark was taking issue with an earlier post of mine on The Corner. I had recalled that John Profumo resigned because of a sex scandal. Not so, said Mark, quoting from his own obituary of Profumo:
The denial was soon proven false, and that’s why Profumo resigned-not because he was untrue to his wife but because he was untrue to the House of Commons. The Westminster system-all the “my honorable friend,” “the noble Earl,” “the right honorable member opposite” stuff-is predicated on the assumption of integrity.
He went on to apply this to Weiner:
Whether or not tweeting your privates hither and yon is something sophisticates like David Gelernter are cool with, the malevolent toad Weiner has spent the last ten days lying to his constituents and to the American people on radio, TV, the Internet, and in print, trashing anyone who got in his way, from ideological foes like Andrew Breitbart to those CNN producers and ABC reporters who couldn’t quite bring themselves to swallow his guff. Those who did, such as George Soros’s head stenographer Eric Boehlert and Salon‘s Joan Walsh made fools of themselves. They’re at least private-sector rubes. But Weiner also deployed his vast retinue of taxpayer-funded staffers in service of his lie.
Whatever one feels about the pants on fire, the liar ought to be an issue. Why would any sentient being believe a word the right honorable Weiner says about anything ever again? The debt ceiling, Libya, Medicare, anything? Look at what this thuggish narcissist grotesque was prepared to do over the last week, and ask yourself. If Weiner is fit for “public life,” who isn’t?
The good news, of course, is that Weiner isn’t some yucky family values moralizer. Now, that’s the sort of person you don’t want in power!