Feeling sympathetic towards Anthony Weiner? You shouldn’t.
Just in case you were feeling the eensienst, weensiest amount of sympathy for embattled House Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY-9), Salon news editor Steve Kornacki has a write-up about how Weiner got himself elected to office in the first place (via Ed Morrissey):
Weiner’s opening came in 1991, when the City Council was radically expanded, from 35 to 51 seats. One of the new districts, the 48th, would be in Southern Brooklyn. It was a neat match for Weiner. The new seat was in the heart of Schumer’s district, there was no incumbent, and the population was heavily Jewish. He jumped in the race.
He was not the favorite. Two other candidates with more name recognition, deeper ties to the community, stronger organizational support, and bigger bankrolls seemed to have the inside track: Michael Garson (the candidate of the Brooklyn Democratic organization) and Adele Cohen (the favorite of a progressive/labor coalition that backed candidates across the city in ’91). It was a low-profile race, but Weiner attracted positive reviews, aggressively campaigning and using his performer’s flair to steal the show at debates and candidate forums. But as the all-important Sept. 10 Democratic primary approached, the consensus was that he’d come up short and that, as Newsday put it in an editorial endorsing one of his opponents, he should “try again next time.”
It was at this point that Weiner’s campaign decided to blanket the district with leaflets attacking his opponents. But these were no ordinary campaign attacks: They played the race card, and at a very sensitive time. They were also anonymous.
Just weeks earlier, the Crown Heights riot — a deadly, days-long affair that brought to the surface long-standing tension between the area’s black and Jewish populations — had played out a few miles away from the 48th District. The episode had gripped all of New York and had been national news. It was just days after order had been restored that Weiner’s campaign distributed its anonymous leaflets, which linked Cohen — whose voters he was targeting in particular — to Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins, who was then New York’s mayor. It is hard to imagine two more-hated political figures in the 48th District at that moment. Jackson just a few years earlier had called New York “Hymie town,” and it was an article of faith among white voters in Weiner’s part of Brooklyn that Dinkins had protected the black rioters in Crown Heights — and thus endangered the white population — by refusing to order a harsh police crackdown. (Two years later, Dinkins would lose to Rudy Giuliani by an 80-20 percent margin in the 48th District.) The leaflets urged voters to “just say no” to the “Jackson-Dinkins agenda” that Cohen supposedly represented. At City Hall, Dinkins held up the flier and branded it “hateful.”
It’s something worth keeping in mind now, as Weiner’s career hangs in the balance. Is it unfair if he loses his political future because of a scandal as dumb as this one? Sure. But it’s also not exactly fair that he ever made it this far.
By that standard, about 75% of the Democrat party would be disqualified from office, considering that race card playing is in the unofficial Democrat handbook for how to effectively shut down discussion, and defeat and/or silence your Republican opposition in a New York minute. Bring it!
Anyway, not only is there the news that Weiner was a shameless race card player when it suited his political ambitions, but there’s this development just coming over the wires (via):
Their marriage has become the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny amid an embarrassing online sex scandal.
Now, Representative Anthony D. Weiner and Huma Abedin are about to make news of a different kind: they are expecting their first child.
Ms. Abedin, 35, is in the early stages of pregnancy, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.
The pregnancy, which the couple has disclosed to close friends and family, adds a new dimension to questions about the future of their marriage.
If Weiner wasn’t feeling like a low-life wiener before now after all that he’s confessed to, he really should now.
On a humorous note, James Taranto notices how liberal “feminists” are spinning the post-Weinergate commentary by condemning Weiner’s actions but adding that he’s not a hypocrite like a Republican would be because he supposedly never included family values in his various electoral campaigns or Congressional agenda:
One suspects this is merely an attempt to rationalize away the bad behavior of their political allies while reserving the right to condemn similar misbehavior in their foes. Hey, [Joan] Walsh and [Amanda] Marcotte are only human. But what a rationalization it is! What they are claiming is that their side has no moral standards, and therefore there is no basis on which they may be held to account.
Not only that, but some “feminists” are treating him just like they did serial adulterer Bill Clinton during his various affairs scandals while in the Oval Office: Tepid condemnations mixed with unwavering continued support. After all Weiner, like Clinton, is a staunch defender of “women’s rights” which is code for “abortion rights.” Don’t wanna bite the hand that feeds … or something like that. Exception to the rule being Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13) of the DCCC, a co-founder of a Philly abortion clinic who is now demanding that Weiner resign.
As that Politico article notes, other Democrats are bailing on Weiner, too:
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who served as DNC chairman during the Clinton administration, echoed her during an interview on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
“He should resign and he should get treatment, real treatment,” the blunt-spoken Philadelphian said.
On Tuesday, another former DNC chairman, Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine, said that Weiner’s public lies are reason enough to pack it in. Several other Democratic officials, including Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is running for the Senate and Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) have made clear their preference that Weiner step aside. The Associated Press reported that Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), as well as Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) have also called on Weiner to resign.
As they say, stay tuned.
Related Reading: Kirsten Powers (an ex of Rep. Weiner) – He Lied to Me