**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
(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)