Weinergate: Question of the day, double-standards edition

Posted by: Phineas on June 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Writing at Pajamas Media, Rand Simberg first thinks back to how hard (1) Bill Clinton fought to stay in office after a far worse sex scandal in a far more important office, then looks at all the Democrats suddenly calling on Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign and asks a simple question:

Can someone explain to me what Anthony Weiner did that was so much worse than what Bill Clinton did that he is being asked by his fellow Democrats to resign?

As someone who had the graphic details of then-President Bubba’s sexual escapades seared –SEARED! (2)– into my mind at the time, I have to say this is not only a simple question, but a good one.

Look at prior congressional sex scandals:

  • In 1983, Congressman Gerry Studds (D) was reprimanded for having sex with a 17-year old male House Page. Studds not only didn’t resign for what was arguably a worse offense (3), he turned it into a triumph, actually being applauded in the House when he stood on the floor to receive his reprimand.
  • Idaho Senator Larry Craig (R) was caught soliciting sex in a public restroom. He first resigned, then stayed to finish out his term.
  • Senator David Vitter (R) visited brothels, probably committing a crime (4), yet he not only did not resign, he was reelected.
  • And, my favorite, Barney Frank (D), whose “personal aide” ran a gay escort service from Frank’s apartment. (Frank claims he never knew until… Yeah, right.) And Barney is still there.
  • In a non-sex scandal, New Orleans “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D) was widely believed to be as corrupt as the day is long, but he only left when defeated for reelection.

I’m sure we can think of others that are worse than a congressman cheating on his wife with phone and internet-sex, yet weren’t asked to resign. And all these people lied as much as Weiner — though probably not so wretchedly.

(Note: While John Ensign did resign in the wake of his scandal, there is a strong possibility of criminal violations in this case.)

So, to repeat Simberg’s question, if Clinton, Studds, Craig, Vitter, and Jefferson all got to stay, why does Anthony Weiner, whose offenses were lesser, have to go?

To be frank, since no crime was committed that we know of, let his voters pass judgment on him. They’ll be passing judgment on themselves, too.

And, as a partisan who wants to see the Democrats crushed in 2012, I want Wiener to stay so that our side can turn him into one of the “faces of Congress” for the election. Ask yourselves why the Democrats are pressuring him to go, now — it’s because they’re scared we’ll do just that.

So, there’s your question for the day, folks: Dear Democrats — if Bill could stay, why not Tony?

via Ed Driscoll

Footnotes:

(1) Get your minds out of the gutter.

(2) Just like Kerry in Cambodia, only this really happened.

(3) Not the sex itself (the age of consent in DC is 16), but for violating the trust implied in parents sending their teens to work in the House.

(4) Or is that not a crime in Louisiana?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “Weinergate: Question of the day, double-standards edition”

Comments

  1. Tex says:

    I have this constant argument with this Liberal co-worker of mine about why Weiner should resign. His argument, like the French argument in such matters, is that what Weiner does in his “private” life has nothing to do with this “public” life and has no reason to resign. My arguments are as follows:

    1. Tweeting pictures of your wiener to women you have never met personally is not my idea of a “private” life. It’s very public. I could understand if he just Tweeted a picture of his wiener ONLY to his wife, then perhaps that would be a private matter.

    2. His actions show a person with a complete lack of common sense. Therefore, if he practices no common sense in this part of his life, how can he be expected to practice common sense in his public duties?

    3. He lied to his wife and to the media (and to the citizens of this country by extension) about his actions when caught. Therefore, if a person has no compunction about lying to his wife or to the public, what makes anyone believe he would hesitate to take a bribe or misuse public funds?

    Liberals are without a doubt the dumbest creatures on the face of the Earth. As we say down here in Texas, they’re dumber than a fence post.

  2. Great White Rat says:

    That’s an easy one, Phineas. The reason you see a double standard is because you’re not thinking like a liberal.

    First, the Dems will always scream for the head of any Republican involved in anything even slightly scandalous. That’s to be expected.

    For their own, you only need to consider one factor: what’s the most important thing to liberals?

    Power.

    If they feel their power is not threatened, no conduct is too creepy or perverted. They’ll back one of their own with gusto, no matter what he’s done, if they think it won’t hurt their grasp on the reins of power – or if it will shore up their strength in any demographic (1).

    If they sense that power is slipping away, then they’ll sacrifice anyone to try to restore their hold. When the polls are not good, they’ll suddenly morph into custodians of traditional morality if they think it will make them look good.

    Consider the Clinton and Weiner cases in the context of the overall political situation.

    The Clinton case happened against a backdrop of good employment figures and an economy fueled by the dot-com bubble. It came with the GOP looking bad after Gingrich was widely considered to be responsible for “shutting down the government” in the mid-90s and in the wake of a pitiful Dole presidential campaign. The nation was not at war, Clinton was personally popular and the polls were looking good. Even the rape allegations and proof of lying under oath could be laughed off, and were.

    Times are far different in the Weiner case. Unemployment threatens to go to double digits, gas prices are high, the economy is in the tank with no sign of recovery soon. The party is coming off a whipping in the 2010 elections, we’ve added the Libyan KMA (2) to the Afghanistan front, and Obama is looking weak for next year’s re-election bid. People are increasingly disgusted with the Democrats, and the last thing the party needs is to defend a sleazy character like Weiner. No, we need to instill the idea in people’s minds that we’re regular folks and repulsed by it all. So under the bus goes Weiner.

    So to them it’s not a double standard. it’s perfectly consistent. You think the act or the breach of common decency is the criterion, and decide whether someone should stay or go accordingly. They use a different measuring stick, and by those standards they’re consistent.

    Footnotes

    (1) For example, Studds molesting children or Frank having an escort service run out of his apartment. The Democrats think the homosexual vote is too important to discover morality in those cases.

    (2) Kinetic Military Action, of course. What, you thought I meant something else by KMA?

  3. Kate says:

    You are both correct…there is a definite double standard, but that is because Republicans tend to take the moral high ground and the democrats use morals based on relative circumstances, AND they are in it for the power. Why else would they allow this farce to continue to this point and only now get out in front of it and ask Weiner to resign?

    I know his constituents in Bronx/Brooklyn may have other ideas, but really do you want a freakish liar to represent you?

  4. captaingrumpy says:

    NO.

  5. Jojo says:

    In my opinion Weiner will resist resigning untill the bitter end. Beside giving up his questionable notoriety, I believe he knows he is unemployable in the private sector with us commoners. With his weak, single track mind, sexual predilection and his blatant in-your-face abrasiveness, I wouldn’t expect him to last more than a few hours in a private sector job.