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Weiner to resign
June 16, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, of New York's 9th congressional district, will resign from Congress today at 2 p.m. in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Weiner, who is best known for his colorful and argumentative speaking style, has been under increasing pressure to resign since a sexting scandal erupted several weeks ago. Democratic leaders, from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to President Obama, have suggested that Weiner should give up his seat in the House, saying the distractions created by his explicit online exchanges suggest he can no longer serve effectively.
posted by brina (331 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you tweet your meat you lose your seat.
posted by punkfloyd at 9:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [145 favorites]


He has turned the name Weiner into a laughingstock. Good day, sir!
posted by mazola at 9:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


It's sad how spent, saggy, and flaccid he looks in in recent photos. Of his face, I mean.

But seriously folks: once again, it's not the "crime", it's the cover-up.
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's a shame. He was actually one of the good ones.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [16 favorites]


If you tweet your meat you lose your seat.

We would also have accepted "LOOSE TWEETS LOSE SEATS".
posted by cortex at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [57 favorites]


This country is stupid.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [50 favorites]


it's not the "crime", it's the cover-up.

How ironic that if he'd just covered up there would have been no crime!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:17 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


is this about the penis thing
posted by Greg Nog at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


it's not the "crime", it's the unsuccessful cover-up
posted by brain_drain at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Surely not in Shipshead Bay itself?
Although that would be a great, GOBian spectacle.
posted by Flashman at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


so I guess David Vitter will be stepping down any time now, right?
posted by demonic winged headgear at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [30 favorites]


As one of his Brooklyn constituents, I am both disappointed in his stupidity in doing this as a person in power, and that he gave in to the pressure to resign. I have voted for him several times over the years, and was proud to actually have a representative that actually seemed to give a damn.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


Lying about public policy and giving kickbacks to donors? Just politics.

Thinking with your dick, but not harming anyone outside your family? Unforgivable.
posted by jcreigh at 9:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [47 favorites]


He has turned the name Weiner into a laughingstock. Good day, sir!

200 years from now, it will be generally and incorrectly understood that this incident is the origin of the slang term "weiner."
posted by stevis23 at 9:20 AM on June 16, 2011 [49 favorites]


But seriously folks: once again, it's not the "crime", it's the cover-up.

Well that and the continuing revelation that the sexting may not have been consensual in all cases.

But his political opponents don't care one whit about consent issues. It's a convenient excuse.
posted by muddgirl at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Remind me, which Democrats demanded that Bill Clinton resign? Charlie Rangel?
posted by 1adam12 at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Further solidifying the Democrats' reputation for cowardice. Nice going, morons.
posted by klanawa at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [28 favorites]


so I guess David Vitter will be stepping down any time now, right?

I hope not, this terrible DISTRACTION is totally destroying the Republicans.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:21 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm just sad people will blame his resignation on prudes and Republican whiners, instead of on the fact that he sexually harassed women. He should resign, dammit. But not for the reasons he's doing it.
posted by lydhre at 9:22 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


I prefer to think of it not as Weiner stepping down, but Weiner pulling out.
posted by inturnaround at 9:22 AM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


As a friend noted: Weiner pulled out just in time!
posted by spamguy at 9:22 AM on June 16, 2011


I'm sending a clothed picture of my penis to the media right now in protest.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


And here's Rachel Maddow's chart comparing Weiner's sex scandal to others.
posted by brina at 9:24 AM on June 16, 2011


It's a shame. He was actually one of the good ones.

This is why he has to go. He's been out in front, on TV, asking questions and as a proxy for Pelosi and the minority leadership. He was supposed to be a rising star, and now that the media senses blood in the water, they're not about to drop it without taking a scalp.

What he did was so stupid and needless, and the way he handled it was so poorly executed and needlessly took down others with him, he's useless to the leadership now. They can't use him anymore and they can't even defend him because the offense and response was so dumb. Nothing left to do but fall on the sword and move into a lobbying gig.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:24 AM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


What's the over/under on how long before he starts writing for Slate? I say 3 months.
posted by joshuajcohen at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good work putting enough links in the post to pretend it's not just a chat about the news thread.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a lot I could say, but I live walking distance from Sheepshead Bay -- it's in the Brooklyn boonies -- that I'm just going to go over there and yell at him.
posted by griphus at 9:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool. Now he can run for president.
posted by tommyD at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I admit I thought about going over there on my lunch break.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wolfdog: "Good work putting enough links in the post to pretend it's not just a chat about the news thread."

Hey, some of us are just here for the dick jokes.
posted by wcfields at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [25 favorites]


I don't know. Did he harass them? I'm reading spotty coverage but to me, any of the women he's had contact with, he didn't harass them. It's a two way street. And that new girl--Ginger Lee--with her "oh I can't feature dance anymore since the scandal." Please. You do porn. How can a "scandal" (that isn't even a scandal) even ruin that career? "He asked me to lie." What? Your customers at the club don't ask you to lie when they talk with you and you darn well know they are married/with girlfriends? PLEASE.

The whole thing is just stupid. To me, the only person he has hurt and is unforgivable to is his wife. He didn't grab someone in the office. He didn't pinch a butt outside the office. He didn't do jack except be an idiot publically.

How many of those who are in office are skirt chasers, liers, cheaters, etc. and their actions are affecting the public?

He's just the creepy, old internet perv. That's all.
posted by stormpooper at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


and by "some of us" I assume you mean all of us, including the national media.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2011


Is this for certitude or just a rumor?
posted by entropicamericana at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


And not one of these women told him to "go away, back off, you're creepy?" Back in the mIRC days I had a great time counter-harassing the weirdo pervs who were on the boards. The best is setting your profile with "FBI.gov" address. Man, did they run. :)
posted by stormpooper at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just for reference, how long did it take Larry Craig to resign after his scandal broke?

Answer: He didn't.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sorry, stormpooper, I'd forgotten that it is impossible to harass sex workers or dancers.
posted by lydhre at 9:32 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Tech aspect + dick jokes = Beltway media collapse into paroxysms of joy and obsessive coverage.

If he had actually (snail) mailed his dick pics or simply cheated on his wife there would not be half of this dust-up.

Twitter!
Dicks!
Facebook!
Cocks!

*repeat ad nauseam*
posted by joe lisboa at 9:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I hinted at previously on Metafilter, I didn't want him to resign, and I think he was stupid and irresponsible in his actions, I wish that people would stand up for the right for adults to do stupid things that might be unacceptable to the ridiculous, often hypocritical Puritanical idiots running the media -- or at least who the media is targeting -- in this country. But as the "scandal" dribbled on and on, I became less and less interested in choosing this particular hill to die on.

And though I'm pissed that the Democratic leadership hung him out to dry/threw him under the bus/some other metaphor, I'm also thinking about this from a long game perspective, and look forward to the next Republican sex scandal and the fact that the Dems took the supposed high road this time. It's an ick game but there's a part of me that hopes they play it that way.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:34 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lydhre, how did he harass them? I just don't see it. Ginger Lee has no case. Did he say "if you don't lie, I'll kill you, stop you from getting hired?"

Did she tell him to back off, go away, ignore her texts, involve police?

Nope. She ran to the media and Gloria Allred. I don't have a lot of sympathy for her case.

My mom who was a "dancer" and was raped by a customer who was a cop in 1970 (and I came to be), that gets my sympathy. But a person who runs to the media? Not so much.
posted by stormpooper at 9:35 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


it's not the "crime", it's the cover-up.

And yet, those on the right would have no problem ignoring this kind of indiscretion from one of their own. How many times have Right wing figures done similar or worse, by actually cheating on their wives in physical relationships, and not only kept their seats, but actually get groomed for higher positions.

Getting rid of Wiener is a mistake that the Left is choosing to make, and it will weaken the side. His actions were stupid and hurtful to his family, but it did nothing to harm his community and wasn't (at this point) illegal.

It'd be forgotten in a couple of years, and the left could have kept a strong voice willing to argue their platform. Now we'll have an empty space and some stale jokes to make about the man.
posted by quin at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


See...thats the difference between democrats and republicans.

At least democrats retire. Republicans state they didn't know that pleading guilty meant pleading guilty and finish out their term before being given a douchebag job by the guy who was actually supposed to meet him in the prairie home companion airport bathroom gloryhole stall.

Yes, I'm still angry.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


What is the world coming to when the career-ending scandals of our rising political stars involve no actual sex? Next thing you know, Senators will be taking bribes in Bitcoins.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


Can someone explain something to me? I have never tweeted (although I have an account), so I'm not familiar with the service/interface - how can you tweet a picture of your penis? I thought it was strictly a text thing. Did he actually upload his penis picture somewhere, then tweet a link to it? Or was it some kind of internal twitter-mail thing? If it was in a tweet, did Weiner not understand the public nature of tweets? Can you make private tweets that are only visible to some people? I'm confused.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Salvor Hardin, this explains some of what you're asking about.
posted by brina at 9:40 AM on June 16, 2011


If you tweet your meat you lose your seat.
IF YOU DON'T TWEET YOUR MEAT, HOW CAN YOU HAVE ANY PUDDING?
posted by PapaLobo at 9:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [55 favorites]




I thought he was going to rise to the challenge, penetrate the opposition and achieve a successful climax.
posted by mmrtnt at 9:42 AM on June 16, 2011


BREAKING: Salvor Hardin is contemplating a Congressional run.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gosh. If we kick people out of congress for something this minor, imagine what the punishment must be for starting an illegal war, grafting from your constituents, or participating in rent-seeking behavior.

Oh, wait.
posted by schmod at 9:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [21 favorites]


Salvor Hardin-You can use sites like twitpics to tweet pictures. You can "privately" tweet by sending a specific user direct mail via twitter so he could easily dm pics of penis via twitter.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011


Well, at least Weiner doesn't prefer a wide stance.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:45 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once again the Democrats get knocked flat on their ass by a feather. Screw healthcare, if they ever get anything passed, they won't defend it from future attacks. They don't defend anything.
posted by Ardiril at 9:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


TPM is suggesting the reason Weiner got forced out, vs. any of the other dirtbags who have done far worse and kept their seats, is that part of the strategy of letting Pelosi keep her leadership position was that in terms of public profile, she would accede to a number of new fresh faces in the Dem caucus, one of whom was Weiner. None of the aforementioned dirtbags had the high national profile Weiner does. So the nail that sticks up has to get hammered down.

I can't believe I wrote that many words about Weiner without a dick joke. Not easy, kids. Not easy.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I know it is low hanging fruit to blame this on weak-kneed Dems and all, but there is a deeper story here than that, and stupidsexyFlanders (and others upthread) have got it.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:51 AM on June 16, 2011


Christ, what an idiot. Don't let the door hit your weiner on the way out.
posted by desjardins at 9:52 AM on June 16, 2011


prairie home companion airport bathroom gloryhole stall

Now I've got that put-on, over the top Garrison Keillor voice telling me the latest News From Late Woebegone except this episode is all Craig, Weiner, Clinton, etc. stories. Told completely deadpan and WAY too slowly.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2011


They should really just have the electorate of DC elect his successor.
posted by atbash at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


... the continuing revelation that the sexting may not have been consensual in all cases.

Muddgirl, could you post a link or two about this? On account of my poor google-fu skills, I'm not seeing it so far.

Or elaborate some on what specifically happened that may not have been consensual?

Thanks.
posted by marsha56 at 9:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


How many times have Right wing figures done similar or worse, by actually cheating on their wives in physical relationships

Weiner's problem isn't that his actions were sexual. It's that they were indiscreet. He showed incredibly poor judgment for a public figure, let alone an elected government official. This is one of the rare occasions when I'd actually see some purpose to the disgraced person seeking "treatment," because there would seem to be some level of compulsion to drive a person in Weiner's position to act as stupidly as he did, repeatedly.

In Massachusetts, we had a state senator who one morning suddenly began sexually harassing women, and very strangely. Weiner's actions remind me a bit of that guy. Now, that guy might have actually been suffering some kind of sudden neurochemical episode, whereas Weiner's issue might be more about impulse control and/or addiction. But it's behavior that is not just inappropriate; it's actually bizarre, and really does implicate his ability to hold office.

Resigning is the right move. If he doesn't, he should be tossed out. I have all the sympathy in the world for him as a person, and I hope he gets help as necessary. I feel for his family. But he cannot continue in that job, and anybody who thinks otherwise is, I suspect, seeing too much "Democrat vs. Republican."
posted by red clover at 9:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [28 favorites]


If anyone in this thread accusing Weiner of harassing women could post some links indicating that, I'd really appreciate it. I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to find accounts of women complaining that he did anything non-consensual, and can't find any.

And I'm having a hard time even conceiving how that could be done online, through Twitter, as you have to voluntarily follow someone to get direct tweets from the person, and you can take them off your follow list at any time.

I didn't like that President Obama even weighed in on this, as it just brought more attention to an issue I think is pretty ridiculous. Weiner's wife has a reason to be upset, of course. He may have wasted more time on this than I would like (but then, I'd like to think that politicians spend more time working than they probably do).

But unlike some politicians, for example, and right now I can only think of Republicans, who campaign against homosexual rights and for "family values" and are later outed for hiring male prostitutes, etc., Weiner has not, as far as I can see, compromised his political office. He didn't hire any of these women to work for him, or pay for sex (that we know of), or lie to a grand jury, etc. He tried to cover it up, out of embarrassment--for about a minute, and then confessed that he fucked up.

So, slap on the wrist and move on, that's how I feel. I'm actually pissed that it's led to his resignation, when I can think of so many currently serving politicians who have done much worse, not just personally but politically.
posted by misha at 9:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


That "deeper story" is just a bullshit smokescreen. Do you really want a party of weak-kneed panty-waists? Cuz that's what you've got. No wonder conservatives can run amok like assholes without any real opposition.
posted by Ardiril at 9:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you really want a party of weak-kneed panty-waists?

I've always wondered about that.

panty-waist seems like a 1940's kinda insult.
or is it "panty waste"...which just sounds nasty?
posted by hal_c_on at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


They should really just have the electorate of DC elect his successor.

NY-9 meet your new Representative: Elenor "John" Holmes-Norton
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:01 AM on June 16, 2011


A panty-waist is a shirt/pants outfit for kids that buttons at the waist.
posted by Ardiril at 10:03 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


One side of me says: Good. Step down. You were dumbass, and it's the right thing to do. It's simply not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

The other side says: If your team plays by the rules, but the other team refuses to admit that there is even a rule book, then your team is always gonna get its ass kicked.

I'm kinda torn on this one.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:04 AM on June 16, 2011 [22 favorites]


Weiner should have refused to do anything until Kyl and Vitter resigned first.
posted by mikelieman at 10:07 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


joe lisboa: "Yeah, I know it is low hanging fruit to blame this on weak-kneed Dems and all"

Yeah, well Weiner was probably the one single Democrat who didn't fit that "weak-kneed" characteristic. And now he's gone. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Remember when he publicly shamed the legislature into providing healthcare for the 9/11 first-responders?

Sure, Weiner's tweets were shameful/embarrasing, but the fact that he was essentially the only one who fought earnestly for the First Responders' bill should be just as shameful to the several hundred legislators who opposed it on ideological grounds.

As far as I can tell, Anthony Weiner is one of the most competent legislators in congress. At the moment, the people of NY-9 are easily the most effectively-represented democratic district in the House, despite being in an overwhelming minority. The guy's bloody fantastic at his job.

Tweeting some pictures of your junk, and being incessantly flirtatious pales in comparison to the personal lives of American Heroes McCain, Guiliani, and Gingrich.
posted by schmod at 10:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


Weiner goes soft, resigns.

Try the veal.
posted by elder18 at 10:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel sorry for the guy. Being a man, with a name like that, he could only be in politics. (Dick Armey, Dick Wadhams) If he was a woman, he could have become the love interest in a Bond movie. This is clearly discrimination against men.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2011


As far as I can tell, Anthony Weiner is one of the most competent legislators in congress.

I like the guy -- at least his rhetoric, etc. -- but this claim is demonstrably wrong.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I a bad liberal (yet again) for thinking that this whole thing is bad and stupid all around, and can't take sides between team fight and team resign?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:15 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why Weiner should resign—and then run for re-election
Is this a good idea? I am not American, and thus I find the whole thing ridiculous.
On one hand: if I were Weiner's wife, I'd punch him out, wait and see if he improved, and then divorce if he didn't. Actually, that is exactly what I did when my ex did something far more stupid. I did not compromise his job in any way. (Heck, he needed an income for child-support).
On the other hand: if I were anyone else in Weiner's constituency, I'd insist that my vote has the final say. Not Pelosi, not the president, and certainly not the media.
If I were in Weiner's constituency, I might even vote for him, depending on the alternatives. Politicians are supposed to have political opinions, not perfect lives.
posted by mumimor at 10:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Interesting fact about this case: It seems that Rep. Weiner's last name, in an unlikely coincidence, is also a slang word for the male genitalia—a fact that, when combined with his scandalous behavior of late, could easily lead to some extremely amusing double entendres.

THERE. DONE. CAN WE ALL MOVE ON NOW PLEASE?
posted by PlusDistance at 10:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Weiner should have refused to do anything until Kyl and Vitter resigned first.

Oh jeez. I forgot about that hypocrite, Vitter.

Why do all these seemingly-religious, conservative politicians do things which would land them in hell? Thats what I don't understand.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:19 AM on June 16, 2011


To be clear, I was objecting to your term legislator, not representative, schmod. These are different things. I am not trying to be pedantic here. (But hey it happens). His rep in D.C. (from what I understand) is that he is an attention-hound, spotlight-seeking kinda guy who shirks the real heavy-lifting of the sausage-making process that is legislating.

sausage. heavy-lifting. weiner. discuss.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:19 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why do all these seemingly-religious, conservative politicians do things which would land them in hell? Thats what I don't understand.

I imagine it's because they think they have a get-out-of-jail free card if they just repent of their sins.
posted by LN at 10:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


C'mon Anthony, there's a time and place for posting nudes and twitter aint it.






house.gov/r/gonewild
posted by wcfields at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


lol cocks
posted by edgeways at 10:26 AM on June 16, 2011


THERE. DONE. CAN WE ALL MOVE ON NOW PLEASE?

Move on? Dick jokes are the endgame of American democracy.
posted by ryanrs at 10:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The guy hass been punished enough. Now that he's resigned, we're going to all have to stop spanking Weiner.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:30 AM on June 16, 2011


Move on? Dick jokes are the endgame of American democracy.

It is also a founding principle/myth: that all men are, uh, created equal.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:31 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Upvotes for anyone else who makes a dick joke!
posted by cashman at 10:32 AM on June 16, 2011


A coworker: If I were his wife, I’d be incandescent with rage right now.
Me: A Huma torch, you mean?
posted by AJaffe at 10:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


My mom who was a "dancer" and was raped by a customer who was a cop in 1970 (and I came to be), that gets my sympathy. But a person who runs to the media? Not so much.

My heart truly goes out to your mother. However: I suspect the reason your mother did not go to the media, and this other woman did, may not have as such been because of a lack of character strength on this other woman's part. And I suspect the reason your mother did NOT go to the media was not because she was "tougher".

Rather, I think the difference is we, as a society, are much more aware of the fact that sexual harrassment is a problem than we were in your mother's day. I suspect that if your mother had any inclination that her complaint would have been taken seriously, she would have sued that cop's ass into the next time zone.

So - while I commend your mother for being able to survive that, I would not as such compare the reactions of these two women without bearing the very different cultural reactions to such matters in mind as well. Because that, and not the inner strengths or weaknesses of each women, is a more likely explanation for why your mother did what she did and why this woman did what she did.

Now then --

it just hit me that Weiner was the guy who chewed out Congress for slapping down one of the 9/11 First Responders health bills. So my reaction is now turning into, "Dude, you were doing so well, why'd you have to blow it with something this stupid?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone have a link for watching the live announcement?
posted by marsha56 at 10:34 AM on June 16, 2011


Again, nothing at all points to Weiner's twitting being non-consensual. For all the obvious reasons mentioned above.
posted by mumimor at 10:36 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cspan will have it.
posted by cashman at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope everyone has learned their lesson. From now on we should stick to email and descriptions of one's private bits.

Which are, in my case, quite spectacular (memail me for details. Actually, forget that. In honor of Mr. Weiner I will be memailing some of you at random. Check your inboxes!)
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Poor guy. Now he gets to use all of his connections to become a well-paid lobbyist for liberal causes and no accountability. Boo-hoo-hoo for Anthony Weiner!
posted by Renoroc at 10:37 AM on June 16, 2011


A NYT article where some of the women Weiner was sending pictures to claim that they weren't consensual.
posted by Copronymus at 10:40 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weirdly, the Guardian seems to have the best live coverage at the moment. (No video as of yet.)

Just posted on the Guardian liveblog: "1.37pm ET: Anthony Weiner has just been spotted going into his apartment building in Queens – and somehow is going to get to his press conference in Brooklyn scheduled for 2pm. Not gonna happen."
posted by brina at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Supporting information for some of my claims above: here.

(not the dick joke claims)
posted by joe lisboa at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2011


It's not tweeting sexually explicit pictures that he should resign over, it's the lying about it. He was not above lying until it became impossible to keep the charade up.

It's hugely disappointing, and I wouldn't think resigning was the right thing to do if he'd been more honest about the situation from the start. He's outed himself as someone who will lie in order to protect his self-interests while in office. I don't care whether a politician who does this is a democrat or a republican- they are not someone who can be trusted in a position of power.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks again, It's Never Lurgi, I feel so much better about myself after your email!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:42 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


so I guess David Vitter will be stepping down any time now, right?

"If I were a Republican, I would be very gleeful right now. Imagine re-electing Sen. David Vitter, R-LA. The esteemed senator not only frequented prostitutes, but did so while wearing diapers. But most people don’t even know about it. The media failed to cover it. His Republican colleagues raised funds for his re-election. They knew they could count on the spinelessness of Democrats. Democrats never confronted them over Vitter."
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


For the record, while you do have to follow a Twitter user to get direct messages from them, moving immediately to "so that's consent to engage in sexual banter" is a bit much. Making a social media connection is not the same as engaging in flirtation, let alone consenting to junk-shots.
posted by Kpele at 10:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, at least we got the headline "Teen Questioned About Contact With Weiner" out of this mess.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's also good live coverage at WNYC's website -- to include streaming video.
posted by brina at 10:50 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's outed himself as someone who will lie in order to protect his self-interests while in office.

I'm charmed by the idea that there's a single politician who wouldn't consequently lie about it.

"Oh yeah, those dick pics? Yeah, those were me. You wanna see it?"
*whips it out*
"Now see right now it's not hard but if you give me a minute or two I can show you that it's the same one as in the pics. Where's Huma? Is she around? No? Okay, then, let me just sign on to the internet real quick, see if I can find somethin..."
*makes absent-minded clicking noise, typing at laptop, while flaccid penis dangles from fly*
"Hold on, sorry, I don't have my bookmarks here."
*continues typing, making clicking noise with side of mouth*
"Sorry, takin' a while. Helen Thomas, you wanna tell the rest of 'em a story or something while I load this?"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:51 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Aww, this is a shame.

Premature evacuation.
posted by klangklangston at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yep, it was the lying up and until the point it became impossible to keep the lie going any longer that was his gravest mistake here. I don't feel a whole lotta sympathy. The whole "but repub scandals are worse!!!" thing is irrelevant - if you don't hold your own to a semblance of decency and honesty, then you're never going to have claim to moral high ground.
posted by modernnomad at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011


(and I say that as a raging liberal)
posted by modernnomad at 10:53 AM on June 16, 2011


Weiner's problem isn't that his actions were sexual. It's that they were indiscreet. He showed incredibly poor judgment for a public figure, let alone an elected government official.

I totally agree. It confuses me how his behavior got so out of hand. There was that Twitter watchgroup on his tail, it's not like his enemies were vague and in the shadows. There wasn't anyone in his office with the balls (heh) to say, hey, boss, you've got to clean up your Twitter a little. Follow less porn stars, more government agencies. And stop friending women on Facebook after they post about how hot they think you are, just, come ooooooon.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:55 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is a giant pile of bullshit.

He wouldn't play the media's game so they dogpile on him at the first opportunity.

The first amendment is going to be the demonstrable root cause of the downfall of the United States as a global power. It's already started.
posted by Sphinx at 10:57 AM on June 16, 2011


I blame the franking privilege. Nothing that starts out with franking will end well.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


The nicest thing about his resignation is that now we might not have to listen to all the crap about him on TV coverage, while the nation continues to lose on so many fronts:

HERE IS BUT ONE
A map has been issued showing that where you live is a good predictor of life expectancy for your area. Some areas of the nation are much better off than others.

But that said, the study does not note the important thing:
There are 49 nations that have better life expectancy than in the United "exceptionalism" States of America.

and now, back to jokes about weiners.
posted by Postroad at 10:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:59 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Poor guy. Now he gets to use all of his connections to become a well-paid lobbyist for liberal causes and no accountability. Boo-hoo-hoo for Anthony Weiner!

It's not just that I feel bad for him. Yes, even disgraced members of Congress are relatively well-off. I get it. But I feel bad for my country for the fact that we're going to lose a member of Congress over something like this.

I'm not approving of what he did; obviously, he made many bad choices, both in sending the photos and in how he dealt with the media. But not everyone who makes bad choices involving sending risque pictures is evil. Some behavior is bad but not that bad, yet it's much more fun to villify someone than to see shades of grey. If what he did is "harassment," then wouldn't you have to say everyone who's ever used MySpace or Facebook and received a friend request with a naughty photo is a victim of "harrassment"? Again, what he did isn't something I would advise anyone to do. But being obnoxious and insensitive isn't necessarily illegal.

As for his wife, she is surely very embarrassed now because of people like us making a big deal about it. Whether this would have been a violation within their marriage if it had stayed private is something none of us can know. Of course, he is also to blame for the fact that it became public.
posted by John Cohen at 11:00 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not the Republicans' fault that the Democrats didn't capitalize on Vitter.

As I said before, MORE politicians need to lose their jobs after just plain lying to and misleading the public, not less.

Just because the team you like doesn't seem to have the collective will or ability to effect more resignations of the team you don't like doesn't mean that Weiner shouldn't go.
posted by chimaera at 11:02 AM on June 16, 2011


He wouldn't play the media's game so they dogpile on him at the first opportunity.

However, this is a centuries-old political trope. That the Democrats let the media run so far with it is what is so galling. Sacrificing one of your own should be a measure of desperation, not a first resort.

Also, that whole Pelosi/"new faces" shit-stream? It backfires, because it only shows how weak Pelosi is.
posted by Ardiril at 11:03 AM on June 16, 2011


Not that I believe this is why he is resigning (it should be), but the infamous picture that started this was unsolicited and not consensual. He said it was "a joke" but Ms. Cordoba said she didn't get the joke.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/a-steward-of-our-interests-cont/240229/

Sexual harassment
posted by Danila at 11:03 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok, so I'm watching on WABC here. So far, they're just messing around with microphone setup.
posted by marsha56 at 11:04 AM on June 16, 2011


I can see the headlines now:

"I'M OUT!" WEINER EJACULATES
posted by mazola at 11:06 AM on June 16, 2011


Documents show that Clarence Thomas has lied about at least $800,000 in income to his wife from anti-healthcare groups.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:08 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


What pissed me off about the whole thing (besides the complete undisciplined ineptitude) was that he sees a young woman who wants to talk about politics or whatever and he automatically thinks "sexual relationship" because she's young and hot and who cares if she wants to talk politics? He wants to get with her, so that's it.

Fuck that.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:09 AM on June 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


That "deeper story" is just a bullshit smokescreen. Do you really want a party of weak-kneed panty-waists? Cuz that's what you've got. No wonder conservatives can run amok like assholes without any real opposition.

Panty-waists? Strange, that's an insult I've only ever heard uttered by conservatives.

As I've said before, I don't give a flying fuck about his sexual shenanigans. He strikes me as pathetic and I sort of hope his wife dumps him, but I have no say in or understanding of their relationship.

But instead of taking responsibility for his indiscretion, the guy spent a week yelping about how he'd been hacked and how this needed to be investigated to find the real culprits yadda yadda, at a time when computer security is in the news because breakins are happening so frequently and ordinary people are having to get credit cards replaced and so on. Weiner gets caught doing something embarrassing, and decides to pretend he's a victim of 3v1lL h4x0r$ despite knowing there were multiple identifiable beefcake pictures of himself loose on the internet and that his career would now be held hostage to the multiple recipients of same. Fuck him, he is too stupid to be in Congress.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:10 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


The first amendment is going to be the demonstrable root cause of the downfall of the United States as a global power.

I (am free to) disagree.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:11 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?


Strawman. We don't pick brain surgeons on their ability to represent the public, which I assume requires a modicum of honesty when acting in public. We (at least in theory) pick representatives because we trust them to try and fulfill their promises upon which they were elected. I've got no issue with the sexual proclivities of politicians -- that's between them and their significant others. But Weiner should have at least had the courage to admit it when the first pic (which he had placed into the public domain) was discovered. Instead, he waffled in the worst sort of stereotypical way associated with politicians ("I cannot confirm with certitude..." FFS).

Frankly, the best suggestion I read was in Slate yesterday I believe, which was that he should resign, and then immediately announce that he will run in the special election to replace him -- let his constituents decide.
posted by modernnomad at 11:11 AM on June 16, 2011


What pissed me off about the whole thing (besides the complete undisciplined ineptitude) was that he sees a young woman who wants to talk about politics or whatever and he automatically thinks "sexual relationship" because she's young and hot and who cares if she wants to talk politics? He wants to get with her, so that's it.

Yeah, it would be cool if he were to give that as his reason for stepping down, along with the lying where he blamed others. He's really not this good guy who made a little "mistake", not imo. More than one woman has said that they were excited to talk to their favorite congressman about politics and he kept pushing the sexual talk out of nowhere. I don't think there are many women who haven't encountered "that guy" but it shouldn't really be your congressman should it?
posted by Danila at 11:13 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tangential: was there coverage, wide knowledge, or even public rumor about US government philanderers (etc) in the past? I can just see it, FDR resigning after half a term, and "Cactus Jack" Garner at the helm of state entering WWII... was it the Gary Hart affair that marked modern media treatment/censure of what the Romans called "fucking around?"
posted by jtron at 11:14 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Take what you wrote, anigbrowl, and raise it one level of abstraction. Then you can write, "Fuck 'em, the Democrats are too stupid to be in Congress." The details in this case (hazy as they are filtered through a media with ads to sell) fall to the big picture.
posted by Ardiril at 11:14 AM on June 16, 2011


Getting rid of Wiener is a mistake that the Left is choosing to make, and it will weaken the side.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to hurt the Left. Redistricting may have some effect, but as long as his district remains intact someone cut from the same cloth will replace him.

This is a lot of hullabaloo over nothing, no crimes, no real political consequences. I am surprised at how long he stayed in office after the scandal broke. The stress must have been tremendous.
posted by BigSky at 11:14 AM on June 16, 2011


he sees a young woman who wants to talk about politics or whatever and he automatically thinks "sexual relationship" because she's young and hot and who cares if she wants to talk politics? He wants to get with her, so that's it.

From what I read on some of the links posted here I thought he did talk politics to them for a while, and then he got excited and threw a dick pic in.
posted by cashman at 11:15 AM on June 16, 2011


And here's Rachel Maddow's chart comparing Weiner's sex scandal to others.
God this was amusing and painful.
posted by PapaLobo at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2011


Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

I don't want a brain surgeon hanging brain while my brain is hanging in his hands.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The real question everybody wants to know. Is the "WERE YOU FULLY ERECT?!!?!" lunatic gonna be at today's press conference.
posted by cashman at 11:18 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Starting.
posted by cashman at 11:21 AM on June 16, 2011


Not that I believe this is why he is resigning (it should be), but the infamous picture that started this was unsolicited and not consensual. He said it was "a joke" but Ms. Cordoba said she didn't get the joke.

That's so weird. I thought I saw a snippet of conversation when this was first breaking that was essentially him offering to show a picture of his junk and her saying yes. Was that completely fabricated or maybe from a different conversation with a different person? Maybe someone was making a joke that I failed to grasp and I took it as an actual chatlog.

I wonder if I can find out where I saw that so I can clear this up for myself.
posted by ODiV at 11:21 AM on June 16, 2011


I thought he did talk politics to them for a while, and then he got excited and threw a dick pic in.

If that's the way he operates, good riddance, he was no asset to Liberal Causes.

The first I saw him was his appearance on the Correspondents' Dinner where he joked about his name vs. John Boehner's. I was rather disappointed with both his sense of humor and his ability to engage with the opposition. And after that, the Weiner's Weiner scandal became rather unsurprising to me.

He talks a good game but has failed to get anybody in Washington to follow him. He was first to attack Justice Thomas on his income non-reporting and nobody seemed to follow him... and I wonder if it was because all the other "Liberals" are spineless, or because they just had no respect for Weiner.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2011


Weiner should go? Really? The guy who argued passionately for the public option in the health care debate, against his own party? The guy who criticized Obama for caving in on health care and not negotiating effectively with Republicans? The one and only person in the democratic party who can actually argue effectively against blowhards like Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly?

This just shows once again that democrats are losers, they blow whatever direction the (republican) wind blows.
posted by ryanfou at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh my god, he's there!
posted by cashman at 11:23 AM on June 16, 2011


they need to kick that guy out this is ridiculous
posted by Danila at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consent is something of a red herring because the law recognizes both "quid pro quo" and "hostile environment" standards of harassment. Even beyond what's legally actionable, there's an asston of discussion about the undesirability of both street and online harassment, which are usually anonymous, transitory, and easy to avoid. The legal standard is fairly conservative, employers can set a higher standard on conduct over social media, and people can make their own judgements that a person is an asshole. (Scot Adams comes to mind here.) So I have no sympathy for Weiner here.

On the other hand, being a twit with a bad idea of personal boundaries in online correspondence doesn't strike me as being as ugly a scandal as a lot of the other crap going on in government at this time. It would be lovely if the media were devoting significant time to the fact that Planned Parenthood has been defunded in two states encouraged by another ACORN-like hoax entrapment video.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


If what he did is "harassment," then wouldn't you have to say everyone who's ever used MySpace or Facebook and received a friend request with a naughty photo is a victim of "harrassment"?

Is this a trick question?
posted by bq at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoops that's three states.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:26 AM on June 16, 2011


Weiner should go? Really? The guy who argued passionately for the public option in the health care debate,

Being right on the substantive politics questions doesn't give you a free pass in your dealings with your constituents, the media, or the public in general. A political system based on that kind of free pass just results in "well, he made the trains run on time..."
posted by modernnomad at 11:27 AM on June 16, 2011


Weiner has resigned...long live Weiner.

Weiner will rise proudly again one day in the not too distant future, of that I am sure.

Let us hope it does not involve the reckless, impetous Weiner, but the feisty, too smart by half Weiner putting the GOP on the defensive for their continued slipping of a fast one up the behind of the nation in broad daylight.

Now thee Weiner, remove thyself from thy Twittering and repent, and lie still, and think deep and hard, but flaccid and remorseful... for a while.

I could do this all day long...
posted by Skygazer at 11:27 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weiner should go? Really? The guy who [...snip...]?

Vitter should go? Really? The guy who [did things I like]?

Bush should go? Really? The guy who [did things I like]?

Clinton should go? Really? The guy who [did things I like]?

Every argument I see for Weiner NOT resigning seems to be "The other guy gets away with X, so my guy should, too."

That thinking is exactly why we have a cadre of elected officials who are slime and have learned that they can lie to your face and everyone (in their own party at least) will forgive them for it.
posted by chimaera at 11:29 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


For those who were unable to watch a live feed, Weiner's statement was interrupted several times by people in the audience asking lewd questions, in particular by one man who repeatedly asked, "Is it more than seven inches?"
posted by brina at 11:29 AM on June 16, 2011


Why do all these seemingly-religious, conservative politicians do things which would land them in hell? Thats what I don't understand.

Freud called it "reaction formation". Jung would describe it as a manifestation of the war against one's Shadow. T.H. White thought that Lancelot had to be the strongest because he knew himself to be weak. We have a very difficult time accepting the things inside us that we don't like, and one of the ways that we deal with that anxiety is to rail furiously against those "ills" in the broader community and in individuals who are not us.

So I think you have it backwards. They're not professing an ideology and then doing things counter to that ideology. They are doing the things that make up who they are, but because they cannot face who they are, they instead adopt ideologies that castigate those behaviors. If they can destroy the acceptability of those behaviors through their words, maybe they will no longer be those people in their own hearts. It is doomed to fail, as an enterprise, but it comes from a place of deep anxiety and terror, so I have some sympathy for them. Not as much as I do for their undeserving victims, mind you, but some; all that hate injures indiscriminately.
posted by Errant at 11:29 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


Vitter, Clinton, and Bush broke the law. With Weiner the situation is a bit less clear.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 AM on June 16, 2011


Ok, so I'm watching on WABC here.

It has to be some kind of statement that after the press conference, as people are yelling crazy things at a guy resigning over tweeting pics of his private parts, that almost immediately the video switched over to - a soundless, stationary view of pre-rush hour cars on the highway slowly approaching a tollbooth. It's like some kind of crappy internet-era version of Koyaanisqatsi that will show up somewhere as an animated gif.
posted by cashman at 11:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Weiner should go? Really? The guy who argued passionately for the public option in the health care debate, against his own party? The guy who criticized Obama for caving in on health care and not negotiating effectively with Republicans? The one and only person in the democratic party who can actually argue effectively against blowhards like Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly?

I will grant you the point on his rhetorical abilities and the need for a strong voice from the Left, but people are projecting progressive bona fides onto Weiner because of that cable-ready image, not because of any particular legislative bona fides. boner fides

Seriously, read this please: link.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I hope this at least proves to the dummies out there that there isn't a liberal- or conservative-biased media, just a media obsessed with conflict.
posted by palidor at 11:33 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why do all these seemingly-religious, conservative politicians do things which would land them in hell?

Isn't "we're all sinners" one of the core beliefs of Christianity?
posted by ODiV at 11:34 AM on June 16, 2011


God those jerks in the audience were disgusting. They also gave a loud cheer when he stated that he was resigning.

Why didn't his staff screen who was let into the room?
posted by marsha56 at 11:35 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Vitter, Clinton, and Bush broke the law. With Weiner the situation is a bit less clear.

How many taxpayer dollars went into the investigation of his accusations that he was hacked? False criminal report is a law offense of the same scale as prostitution offenses. Sometimes it's a misdemeanor, sometimes it's a felony. Bush and Clinton, to be sure, committed what I consider to be dereliction of duty of their office (perjury and waging a war under false pretenses, respectively), so they are definitely of a higher order. But still everyone in their party was willing to overlook it. That's the problem I'm pointing out.
posted by chimaera at 11:35 AM on June 16, 2011


just a media obsessed with conflict.

I think you mean sex. If they were more interested in conflict, we'd presumably have more coverage on Afghanistan.
posted by ODiV at 11:35 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, what Weiner did was soooo awful compared to what previous "liberal lions" have done. Stuff like that should ruin his career irreparably and we should croon about it.

I agree that Weiner brought this on himself, but let's not get self-righteous to the point we vilify the guy. What he did, while wrong, wasn't even in the same universe as the kind of evil that routinely goes unchecked in Washington.

But all the same, its not like he isn't responsible for this outcome (although our culture's perversely un-reflective puritanical impulses definitely seem to trump any appreciation for scale or proportion these days, now that we've gotten into the habit of throwing the personal and the public all into the same gumbo pot, equivocating any minor transgression with the worst as glibly as a sociopath discussing a massacre of school kids, and proudly puffing out our own chests at every opportunity). I just wish it had happened to a bigger asshole. I also wish we did a better job of reconciling the biological realities of being human animals with our social and cultural expectations. I'm not meaning to excuse Weiner's original or subsequent actions, nor rebuking his critics, because the critics' basic position is right: he utterly screwed up. But it strikes me how mercy and understanding seem to be in short supply these days when moral outrage is on offer.

Looking back over human history, I'm not sure we've ever been blessed with moral or political leaders as utterly beyond reproach as the ones we seem to be expecting to appear on the scene to save us now, so in a way, this incident just makes me feel more hopeless.

For those who were unable to watch a live feed, Weiner's statement was interrupted several times by people in the audience asking lewd questions, in particular by one man who repeatedly asked, "Is it more than seven inches?"

Huh. Yeah. I'm sure that guy's a perfect saint himself, with a tasteful wit like that.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


2009: The Bloomberg campaign begins planting unflattering stories about Weiner in the New York media -- involving missed votes in Congress and fundraisers involving international supermodels -- and the congressman gets cold feet. At the end of May '09, he announces that he won't run for mayor.

Not at all coincidentally, it's around this time that Weiner begins showing a sudden interest in congressional and national politics -- and, more specifically, in talking about congressional and national politics on cable news programs. For producers, he's a perfect guest -- smart, glib, cocky and provocative. With the healthcare reform debate heating up, Weiner begins championing a single-payer system. It's an issue he's previously shown no interest in and that has zero chance of winning enactment. His sudden activism is an unwelcome surprise to many single-payer advocates in the House, who conclude that Weiner is using the issue to win attention for himself.
and:
2010: Weiner's hero status to liberal activists is affirmed by a House floor rant against Republican obstructionism on a healthcare bill for 9/11 workers. But Weiner's own Democratic colleagues, particularly those from New York, see his theatrics much differently. Several New York members -- most notably Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney -- had labored to craft the 9/11 bill and to win over Republican support, but Weiner had played no meaningful role before the floor debate. "He almost blew up the [expletive] bill," one disgruntled New York member later tells the Washington Post. The episode perfectly illustrates the conflicting realities of Weiner's new role in politics: To activists outside Washington, he's a refreshing voice shaking up Congress; to his own colleagues, he's a camera-seeking nuisance who's interested in gaining publicity for himself -- not in doing any substantive work.
- from the link above.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


How many taxpayer dollars went into the investigation of his accusations that he was hacked? False criminal report is a law offense of the same scale as prostitution offenses.

None. He never initiated any kind of investigation.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect that if your mother had any inclination that her complaint would have been taken seriously, she would have sued that cop's ass into the next time zone.
Actually she went to the police station to talk with his commander and guess where that went? Nowhere. So instead she gave up me to adoption, my brother to foster care, and off she went to the army to be stationed in Korea.

This is why this Ginger Lee isn't a feminist, wasn't harassed, and has no case:

In one email to Weiner, sent on Jan. 2, Ginger says. "Just tell me what to do or say, this stuff is so far out of my league I can't even pretend to know what to do."

Weiner responded, "I want you to make decisions that help you be healthy and sane. We need to be zen about this."

He continued, "I'm going to stop talking about this. No new oxygen."

Ginger -- who REFUSED to call herself a stripper during a news conference with Gloria Allred and instead claimed she was a "featured dancer" -- has a bit of an identity issue ... because in her emails to Weiner she referred to herself as, "The most famous stripper in America right now."

She also told Weiner she was getting offers from strip clubs all over the country, but she didn't want to do the "stripper cashes in w/clubs because she may or may not have communicated w/somebody" thing.

Ginger eventually had a change of heart, because she was front and center at the Pink Pony last night.


So...

1. she isn't a stripper. Refuses to be called a stripper but tells him she's the most famous stripper in America now.
2. She hired Gloria Allred (or at least is doing her bidding).
3. Asks this guy for advice. ADVICE on how to handle this. Not "stop bothering me. Do not contact me or I'll go to the police, Congress, your wife...."
4. and back on the saddle she goes right to the Pink Pony.

She isn't standing up for women's rights, harassment, or even his wife/adultry (depending on how you want to look at that). She's standing for her moment of fame, being manipulated by Allred, and boo hooing that she is some innocent waif whose income is impacted.

I'm sure the Pony treated her right.

Sorry, still not feeling sorry for her. In my opinion, she's a dingbat letting people manipulate her and she's giving the whole women's harassment when it is a valid issue/violation a cry wolf joke.

And she's the first one who posted something about him being hot on his Facebook.


As for Anthony? He was just being a weenie.
posted by stormpooper at 11:37 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


That thinking is exactly why we have a cadre of elected officials who are slime and have learned that they can lie to your face and everyone (in their own party at least) will forgive them for it.

This isn't going to change. I say "they are slimeballs but they are my slimeballs. Keep fighting for the policies I want.". Cynical? Yes.
posted by josher71 at 11:39 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


None. He never initiated any kind of investigation.

I stand corrected. That is still tangential to my point that it is misleading of the public that is the reason he should resign.
posted by chimaera at 11:41 AM on June 16, 2011


I apologize if I offended you, stormpooper; but I'm not so sure my point doesn't still stand, in that society thinks somewhat differently about sexual harrassment today than it did several years ago, and judging two people in very different time periods to the same standards may not be entirely fair.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:42 AM on June 16, 2011


I agree that Weiner brought this on himself, but let's not get self-righteous to the point we vilify the guy. What he did, while wrong, wasn't even in the same universe as the kind of evil that routinely goes unchecked in Washington.

Every argument I see for Weiner NOT resigning seems to be "The other guy gets away with X, so my guy should, too."

(I think it bears repeating, just this once)
posted by chimaera at 11:42 AM on June 16, 2011


Every argument I see for Weiner NOT resigning seems to be "The other guy gets away with X, so my guy should, too."

I'm perfectly fine with this argument.
posted by josher71 at 11:43 AM on June 16, 2011


How many taxpayer dollars went into the investigation of his accusations that he was hacked? False criminal report is a law offense of the same scale as prostitution offenses. Sometimes it's a misdemeanor, sometimes it's a felony. Bush and Clinton, to be sure, committed what I consider to be dereliction of duty of their office (perjury and waging a war under false pretenses, respectively), so they are definitely of a higher order. But still everyone in their party was willing to overlook it. That's the problem I'm pointing out.

As far as I'm aware, there was no criminal investigation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:44 AM on June 16, 2011


I think you mean sex. If they were more interested in conflict, we'd presumably have more coverage on Afghanistan.

No, in that case there would have been coverage of Ensign, or Vitter. And there's no coverage of Afghanistan because everyone in government seems to be on the same page about keeping up the status quo.

I mean, sex helps sell the story, and it might have gone differently if there wasn't a slow drip of text and pictures, but I'm pretty sure the media was on it so hard because of his position representing the Dem leadership. This wasn't about nagging GOP figures about what they though of the scandal, it was asking every last Democrat, including the president, if Weiner should go. That's the conflict.
posted by palidor at 11:44 AM on June 16, 2011


All along I've just been disgusted with his stupidity more than anything else.

But those assholes at the press conference succeeded in making me finally feel sorry for Weiner.
posted by marsha56 at 11:44 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This isn't going to change. I say "they are slimeballs but they are my slimeballs. Keep fighting for the policies I want.". Cynical? Yes.

Then why have a discussion at all? I assert that "but he's my slimeball" is exactly why we are where we are. How can you complain about the other guy's slimeball? It's not impossible, you know, to find non-slimeballs who will fight for the policies you want.
posted by chimaera at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2011


Every argument I see for Weiner NOT resigning seems to be "The other guy gets away with X, so my guy should, too."

Wrong. I'm not arguing Weiner shouldn't resign. So you're lumping things that confirm your biases into the wrong conceptual categories here.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2011


At the end of the day, the Dems are pussies, and couldn't shut up and stand in line. Every new Dem suggesting he resign was another nail in the coffin. The Democrat party's problem continues to be a failure to have any kind of unified messaging.
posted by palidor at 11:45 AM on June 16, 2011


Gennette Cordova, the college student who was mentioned in the tweet which started this whole thing, stated:
Ms. Cordova, who had traded messages with Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, about their shared concern over his conservative critics, said she had never sent him anything provocative. Asked if she was taken aback by his decision to send the photo, she responded, “Oh gosh, yes.”
posted by muddgirl at 11:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


OUR SCHLONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:46 AM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


One of my friends made an interesting point: this shows he's a bad politician not from a moral standpoint, but from a risk-assessment standpoint. A lot of political decisions are cost/benefit analyses, and this was a pretty good indication that he's not correctly assessing the risk of tweeting crotch shots.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I accidentally typed "democrat party" as if I'm a righty talker, but consider it intentional today as part of my disgust for the party's failure.
posted by palidor at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011


It's not impossible, you know, to find non-slimeballs who will fight for the policies you want.

Sometimes it seems unlikely but point taken. I still don't think he should resign.
posted by josher71 at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011


Thanks muddgirl.
posted by marsha56 at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011


Wrong. I'm not arguing Weiner shouldn't resign. So you're lumping things that confirm your biases into the wrong conceptual categories here.

I happily stand corrected again. Carry on.
posted by chimaera at 11:47 AM on June 16, 2011


BREAKING: Salvor Hardin is contemplating a Congressional run.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:42 PM on June 16 [+] [!] [quote]


I would, but there are much easier ways to disseminate* pictures of my crotch.

Also, thanks for clearing up my confusion brina et al.

* giggle
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:50 AM on June 16, 2011


@Empress you far from offended me. Just putting the facts down of the experience.

I just really don't see Ginger as being harassed. To me being harassed is telling him stop, go away, drop dead. She did none of those things. I'm not saying that she wasn't INITIALLY harassed by his stupid emails but to go on and on and on with him and not once saying buzz off doesn't deserve her grandstanding with Allred.

Anita Hill? Harassed

Monica Lewinsky? Not harassed; just really, really naive and too trusting of John Goodman, err...Linda Tripp. (and whom I do believed had suffered economic and personal loss)

This Ginger Lee? Not harassed. Don't even know what it is.
posted by stormpooper at 11:52 AM on June 16, 2011


It would really behoove everyone beating the DEMS ARE PUSSIES (your distasteful word, not mine) drum to inform themselves of the particulars and the principals, here.

Weiner was disliked by many within his own party. There is another story here that is being missed because everyone is so eager to, well, scream DEMS ARE PUSSIES.

I mean, knock yourself out if that is what you want to do all afternoon, but sometimes the facts do not fit a neat little meta-narrative that you happen to favor.

(Something I have discovered time and again w/r/t my own views, so I am not claiming special snowflake status epistemologically here.)
posted by joe lisboa at 11:52 AM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is Ms. Cordova's official statement about the whole thing:

"There have never been any inappropriate exchanges between Anthony Weiner and myself, including the tweet/picture in question, which had apparently been deleted before it reached me. I cannot answer the questions that I do not have the answers to. I am not sure whether or not this letter will alleviate any future harassment. I also do not have a clear understanding as to how or why exactly I am involved in this fiasco. I do know that my life has been seriously impacted by speculation and faulty allegations. My reputation has been called into question by those who lack the character to report the facts."

So, if you are using her as an example of the sexual harassment claim, she says she was not harassed. Other women initiated or actively engaged in the sexual banter. And Ginger Lee does not say she was harassed, only that he asked her to not speak to the press about it.
posted by misha at 11:53 AM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah, the exchange I was thinking about was another woman and not Cordova.
posted by ODiV at 11:53 AM on June 16, 2011


Some people may have disliked him Joe, but he was liked enough by Pelosi to be considered her "golden boy" or whatever. Obviously the party thought highly of him at one point.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:55 AM on June 16, 2011


Now he can pursue his true calling as a Cable News Host. Because the ability to effectively argue with Bill O'Reilly is NOT a necessary skill for an effective legislator.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:56 AM on June 16, 2011


That thinking is exactly why we have a cadre of elected officials

No, the kind of thinking that says politicians must be the absolute paragon of virtue is why the only best liars get to the top. I really don't care what my elected representative does in their spare time, it's none of my business. As long as they aren't breaking the law or doing something morally reprehensible, I honestly don't care what they do, as long as they are effective at representing me in government. Yes what Weiner did was morally .... icky, but it's not illegal. It probably hurt his wife, but that's also between them. People do the wrong thing all the time, should it end his career?

It might feel nice to rail against slimey politicians, but how valuable is your moral high ground when the country is being looted by everyone else? Wouldn't it be nice to stop people dying or going bankrupt because they don't have medical coverage

joe lisboa: yes there have been quite a few hit pieces Weiner recently talking about how self-serving he is, which could very well be true. But again, if he is effectively representing his district, I don't see a problem with this. There is probably a lot of truth to those articles, but I consider them opportunistic sucker punches, really.

chimaera: your world might be a nice place to live, but it's not the one I live in... dishonesty and underhanded tactics DO get people ahead. I don't do that sort of thing myself because I consider myself a moral person, but pretending that everybody will play nice if you do is pretty naive. There is a lot at stake in politics.
posted by ryanfou at 11:56 AM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


joe lisboa, compare how the GOP responds to things like this to how Dems do. The former will put up a "no comment" front, preventing the media from weakening the accused's standing, whereas Dems scatter and worry about how not condemning whatever moral failure will affect their election chances. Dems are pussies, I'm sorry.
posted by palidor at 11:56 AM on June 16, 2011


....Well, stormpooper, to be honest -- I may not have offended you, but I may be starting to get offended myself. Because it looks like your definition for whether or not someone was harrassed was whether they complained a certain number of times. If they didn't, then...you don't count it as harrassment.

But I note your mother only went to the police that one time; I take it you consider that one time sufficient? If so, then why are you saying Ginger Lee "may have been 'initially' harrassed", but that stopped being so? What's the difference?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

Wait, how can they both be the best one?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obviously the party thought highly of him at one point.

Oh, no doubt! But I suspect the very propensity for lobbing rhetorical firebombs and aggressively seeking out cameratime which got him the gig in the first place is what ended up frustrating so many of his peers in the end. Especially when he seemed (again I do not work on the Hill) to not especially give a shit about the daily efforts that go into actually drafting legislation and getting it passed.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:58 AM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, if you are using her as an example of the sexual harassment claim, she says she was not harassed.

Did I use the word harrassed? I don't think I've ever used that word in connection with Weiner. However, even though Cordova does not consider harassment (and I must point out that she has a rightful interest in disengaging from this entire scandal as quickly as possible), it was non-consensual, which in my mind moves Weiner's behavior from harmless fun to inappropriate behavior.
posted by muddgirl at 11:59 AM on June 16, 2011


I am bowing out (speaking of camera-hogs) but I want to be clear: I am not trying to pile on the guy or take cheap shots while he is down. I just think there is a broader story here that just does not fit tightly into the meta-narrative: DEMS ARE PUSSIES. That is all.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:00 PM on June 16, 2011


My point is, all Democrats had to do was be disciplined and say "no comment" for a couple weeks. They freaked out, and now one of their best (their only?) shit-slingers is gone.
posted by palidor at 12:00 PM on June 16, 2011



Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

Wait, how can they both be the best one?


'best one that' establishes a sub-category of brain surgeons.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:02 PM on June 16, 2011


So is unwanted spam from an adult service or website a form of sexual harassment, too, since it's likewise non-consensual?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to think we can have this conversation without invoking people's mothers, no matter who brought it up first.

So, if you are using [Cordova] as an example of the sexual harassment claim, she says she was not harassed.

Setting aside the semantics of the word "harassment" and whatever civil-action baggage is packed into the phrase "sexual harassment," Ms. Cordova's official statement presents a slightly different tone than how she comes off in the comments quoted by the NYTimes. The latter seems more, "WTF lewd pics, Congressman?" Decide for yourself which 'version' to put more stock in, but I don't think you can say that one is definitely more representative of what she feels happened.
posted by red clover at 12:04 PM on June 16, 2011


he was liked enough by Pelosi to be considered her "golden boy" or whatever.

Please cite. I've heard from multiple sources that he is the ONLY scandal-ridden Democrat Pelosi has ever called to resign.

Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

I don't understand how anyone acquires the services of the "best" brain surgeon (unless they are rich enough to pay massive amounts of money out of their own pocket for medical services). I do want a competent and knowledgeable brain surgeon; experienced is nice, but not totally necessary, and when in surgery, I don't want the assistants/nurses whispering behind their back and giggling.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:05 PM on June 16, 2011


The brain surgeon was his mother!
posted by ryanrs at 12:06 PM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


So is unwanted spam from an adult service or website a form of sexual harassment, too, since it's likewise non-consensual?

Probably technically, but not remotely in the same category, in my opinion. Having a one on one conversation with someone and them send unwanted sexually explicit messages and photos directly to you is an entirely different ballgame.

It's like how the media isn't sexually harassing us even though they're showing us the exact picture that Weiner tweeted.
posted by ODiV at 12:07 PM on June 16, 2011


Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

I guess I would go with the one who had the least hairy palms.
posted by Skygazer at 12:08 PM on June 16, 2011


So is unwanted spam from an adult service or website a form of sexual harassment, too, since it's likewise non-consensual?

Is that addressed to me? I'll reiterate that AFAIK I've never used the phrase "sexual harassment" to refer to Weiner's behavior.

I would say that if a porn site was spamming me pornographic images, I would consider that to be sexual harassment. I also consider consider goatse to be a form of sexual harassment, although like many types of harassment it is socially acceptable.
posted by muddgirl at 12:08 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not goatse itself, but the "joke" where you arrange to have someone exposed to it.
posted by muddgirl at 12:09 PM on June 16, 2011


I should point out that even though this story is reinforcing my meta-narrative that Dems are pussies, I'm still going to pound the pavement to get out the vote for the 2012 election. Because I understand what it means to be a team player!

And if anyone comes in to say Dems and GOP are all alike wahh wahh Noam Chomsky I'll whip out my Anthony Weiner.
posted by palidor at 12:10 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pussy is a good thing, right?
posted by found missing at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please cite. I've heard from multiple sources that he is the ONLY scandal-ridden Democrat Pelosi has ever called to resign.

It's kind of impossible to Google for a good pre-scandal cite on that but it has been mentioned in several stories post-scandal. I think status as a personal "golden boy" would make it more likely for someone who put their own reputation on the line for him to call for him to resign over something as embarrassing as this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every argument I see for Weiner NOT resigning seems to be "The other guy gets away with X, so my guy should, too."

Well since he is resigning, I think this should set the new standard, and if he's out, I want anyone else who gets caught in a worse sex scandal to also be required to end their political career in resignation. (and really, since this was just stupid sexless inappropriate flirting, any sex scandal is going to be worse)

The only thing that could possible come out of this is that it will set the bar stupidly low for getting drummed out of office. And sadly, the cynical asshole in me suggest that the only ones who will pay attention to it are the Left, who will use any perceived displeasure from the voters as an excuse to knuckle under, whereas the Right will just look at the next incident and say "no, this is totally different, and now he's found god, so it's all ok."

I fucking hate politics.
posted by quin at 12:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"If I were a Republican, I would be very gleeful right now. Imagine re-electing Sen. David Vitter, R-LA. The esteemed senator not only frequented prostitutes, but did so while wearing diapers. But most people don’t even know about it. The media failed to cover it. His Republican colleagues raised funds for his re-election. They knew they could count on the spinelessness of Democrats. Democrats never confronted them over Vitter."

This is wrong in multiple ways, and a good example of why some Democrats just do not get political strategy. First, most people do know about it. There was plenty of media coverage. And the constant mention of his wearing diapers just demonstrates prudishness on the part of the complainer. I don't get that kink at all, but there's nothing illegal about it. However, that's all incidental to the more fundamental mistakes on display here.

Now, Vitter is a total hypocrite; he got his seat as a result of a sex scandal that led another Republican to resign in 1999, and as soon as he got it he used the occasion of his victory to bash Clinton for his infidelity - at a time when Vitter himself was apparently patronizing prostitutes (1999-2001). Total hypocrite. But by the time it became public in 2007, it was an old scandal; and Clinton didn't resign, so Vitter's hypocrisy had no impact on the course of events.

What happened when it became public? Vitter put out a statement the next day admitting he had patronized prostitutes several years earlier, claiming that he had sought forgiveness of his church/family, and apologizing to his constituents. After staying out of the public eye for a week, he held a press conference with his wife beside him and reiterated that it was bad and he was sorry. He didn't face any criminal charges because the statute of limitations had expired. When you get down to it, most people don't care that much about something that happened 6-8 years previously, and that's probably why Vitter won re-election handily in 2010.

And yet, some people on the left still can't let it go, demonstrating a complete lack of understanding about politics. Let's recap:

1. Keep something under wraps long enough, and it ceases to be relevant. If Vitter had been caught using prostitutes in 2007, that would have been very scandalous. A revelation that he used prostitutes >5 years earlier? Yawn.
2. When caught, admit to the truth straight away. Doesn't make Vitter any less of a hypocrite, but at least he didn't insult the intelligence of the voters by trying to pretend there was a conspiracy against him.
3. After someone been re-elected, any previous scandal is over forever. Complaining about Vitter's hypocrisy after voters in his state have already made the decision to send him back to DC is just hopeless. His opponents had the chance to bring it up during the campaign, and it didn't work. The argument is lost, bringing it up again just reminds everyone that Vitter was the winner and this opponents were the losers. In politics, there is no benefit in reminding people of lost causes. None. Zero. Nada.
4. When it comes to sex scandals, it's always the lying that matters. Focusing on the particular kink (eg that Vitter wore diapers) is self-defeating. It makes the accuser look prurient and obsessed, which was why the GOP failed to unseat Clinton. The stuff with the cigar was so goofy and adolescent that it trivialized the scandal and actually made Clinton easier to relate to. If the GOP had deliberately left the precise details vague, then people would have imagined the worst and there would have been much more pressure on Clinton to resign than there actually was.
5. Where the left is concerned, making fun of someone's sex kink also looks hypocritical because one of the basic ideas of being a liberal is being tolerant of others' sexuality. Vitter going to prostitutes - illegal, scandalous. Vitter wearing diapers....well, that's weird, but I understand quite a few people have that kink.

Vitter might be a terrible hypocrite, but he at least understands politics. Weiner's actual offense is trivial, a mix of poor judgment and immaturity. But he was indiscreet and got caught doing something in the present; then he lied and spun about it for over a week and made a complete fool of himself; then he blew off calls for his resignation and avoided the media instead of doing an apology tour in his district. You know something? If he had actually emulated Vitter and copped to it straight away, it would probably have blown over by now. If Fox Noise and the rest had kept on about it, the Weiner would have started to win victim points because he had already come clean. Instead he dug himself deeper and deeper into hole, and ended up looking delusional and arrogant, and a source of ongoing embarrassment for the Democratic party.

Think about it.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [21 favorites]


200 years from now, it will be generally and incorrectly understood that this incident is the origin of the slang term "weiner."

In part because Urban Dictionary will have come to occupy the niche that the OED occupies today.
posted by aught at 12:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fuck Vitter. Really. The Dems should crucify the GOP over that fucker now and keep hammering away until they relent.
posted by Skygazer at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


@Empress. I couldn't tell you my mom's history since I've only met her twice. I'm sure it wasn't a one time deal. But whatever happened, happened.

I'm sorry I am upsetting you but we just have different views on what sexual harassment is.

To me, the story is Ginger posted a comment on Weiner's FB. He responds (was this the first sexual email, don't remember). She responds. By now he must have sent a suggestive email. The next step is in her court.

If it was gross and unwanted--say so. She did not. She never did. I'm not saying that he isn't a perv, freak, weirdo, gross, or stupid (yes to all) but I just don't see it as harassment.

Harassment to me is if he physically touched her inappropriately. But they never met. (think slimeball in a bar who you have never met before touches you).

Harassment to me is if he sends the creepy email and she tells him to buzz off yet he does not.

Harassment to me is if he sends email, alludes to unwanted sexual discussions or comments, and they work together and/or he is her boss.

But a guy making one, non physical inappropriate comment isn't harassment. It's him being a social idiot, disrespectful, and actually quite laughable. Now if he did it a second time, then it is harassment.

And that's just how I view it. Harassment was when I walked down the street and had my butt grabbed by a guy on a bike. Harassment was not when a coworker asked me to lunch. It wasn't harassment when he asked me to sleep with him. It was gross, weird, and uncomfortable. No threat was made to my job or self. Harassment WAS when the moron did it again. I quit and got another job.
posted by stormpooper at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


EXTRA EXTRA!
The Democratic News
Our mascot is the ass.

Read all about it!
OBAMA TO STEP DOWN FOR LOOKING AT BOOBS
BIDEN TO RESIGN AFTER UTTERING F-WORD
HARRY REID TO HANG SELF AFTER ENDING SENTENCE WITH PREPOSITION
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Most of us can recognize a range of bad behavior from "dude, that ain't cool" to "you should rot in jail for doing that." We don't know where Weiner falls on that continuum because everyone has decided to run with their own agenda here.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:24 PM on June 16, 2011


> THERE. DONE. CAN WE ALL MOVE ON NOW PLEASE?

Well I guess so. Now that you stuck that in there.

> Which brain surgeon would you prefer, the best one or the best one that doesn't lie about aspects of their private life that embarrass them?

You're confusing technical skill with ethical behavior. When your ethical behavior is supposed to be part of your technical skill, it's a different question.


Also, I'd prefer the one that doesn't split into duplicate people while operating
posted by mmrtnt at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2011


anigbrowl, I think you make a lot of good points. But what's important to me is what the accused's colleagues do. The media is a bunch of sharks, if they smell blood, they're all over a story. It could have happened 10 years ago, but I think if the GOP had reacted to Vitter's history being exposed the way the Dems reacted to Weiner's troubles in the present, Vitter's job might not have been so secure. Larry Craig held on for quite a while, if I'm not mistaken, because his colleagues didn't totally abandon him. And I think Weiner would have been able to keep his job if Democrats were able to be disciplined and unified.
posted by palidor at 12:26 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I fully accept I could be wrong, and just going with my own meta-narrative, but Dems were so quick to abandon Weiner it's not even funny.
posted by palidor at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2011


... was it the Gary Hart affair that marked modern media treatment/censure of what the Romans called "fucking around?

Wilbur Mills and Fanny Fox were a national story in 1974. Mills didn't resign and was re-elected just a few weeks later. Just a few weeks after that, he was caught again in a public drunken display with both Fanny and her husband. This time he did resign his Ways and Means chairmanship and did not seek re-election in 1976.

I would agree that the Gary Hart 'Monkey Business' affair in 1987 was the first American political sex scandal with swift and devastating consequences.
posted by marsha56 at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would say that if a porn site was spamming me pornographic images, I would consider that to be sexual harassment.

Interesting point of view. Maybe I could get behind it, but it seems a little drastic. It seems reasonable to me that even sexual imagery in advertising might be viewed as a form of sexual harassment (because in such cases, advertisers are consciously trying to exploit hard-wired realities of male sexual biology--specifically, things like the fact that sexual arousal can influence the neurological processes behind decision making--to sell products) but when it comes to sexual behavior, doesn't any overt attempt at seduction potentially become a form of sexual harassment in this view? The attempt to elicit sexual arousal in a potential sexual partner seems to be as likely a candidate as any for designation as a normal feature of natural human mating behavior. But is it also morally wrong? I don't know. We don't have any broadly understood, socially acceptable ways of negotiating sexual behavior. It all looks awfully ad hoc and made out of silly string under analysis.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:29 PM on June 16, 2011


Weiner would have been able to keep his job if Democrats were able to be disciplined and unified.

You're presuming two things. First, that fellow Democrats wanted Weiner to keep his job. From some of the links and excerpts that have been posted in this thread, it appears that at least some of them did not. Second, that it would be a good thing if Democrats rallied around Weiner, despite his conduct, merely because he is "one of us." I do not think that would be a good thing.
posted by red clover at 12:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


my take on why Republicans don't resign over this stuff, while The Democrats have to cave in to the pressure is that the Dems still rely on personality based politics, while the GOP has pretty much shifted to pure ideology based politics.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Emily Bazelon had this to say about Weiner on the Slate political podcast. (my transcription sorry for errors.)
"What it takes to become a congressman or a president now requires such egomania that the people who are drawn to it are more likely to be people who are crazy in some way. And that that's what we're seeing is it has to do with their psychological profile. And so it's not true that if I picked the ten men I liked the best and put them in congress, they would act like this. It's the fact that Anthony Weiner wanted to be in congress and had what it took to run that makes him more likely to act like this."
It's probably not fair to write down what she said aloud off the top of her head, but this is a very important problem with the system. It's not an honourable trade, and it doesn't attract honourable people.

Let's not forget that Weiner played an almost Rovian trick to win his seat in the first place, and that the only reason he's not a no-name back bencher is because of a shouty, showboating speech that got him on the nightly news.

He's being forced out because he's small beer. Let's move on.
posted by Trochanter at 12:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Good points. Thread over!
posted by palidor at 12:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


the GOP has pretty much shifted to pure ideology based politics.

And it took THIS to make that apparent?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:42 PM on June 16, 2011


It's probably not fair to write down what she said aloud off the top of her head, but this is a very important problem with the system. It's not an honourable trade, and it doesn't attract honourable people.

Read Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's muckraker about Washington and the railroad industry, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, published in 1873.

Congress has never attracted honorable people. That's not a recent phenomenon.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2011


You're confusing technical skill with ethical behavior. When your ethical behavior is supposed to be part of your technical skill, it's a different question.

Well, two things. I don't consider personal ethics to be relavent to the abilities of a politician to do the actual work of legislation. Obviously something that makes it harder for him to get votes is going to do damage his ability to be elected again, but his politics are still the same.

Second, I don't personally consider lying about your private life to be unethical. Some things are just personal. I don't mind when closeted politicians lie about their sex life, for instance, since it would damage their electability among some people and they should have the right to keep it a secret if they want to.

Obviously what Weiner did may have been harassment, and that is a different case. I don't think anyone should really care about the other lies though since he avoided making the criminal complaint.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2011


That's kind of why I get so tired of typically lefty people, with beliefs similar to myself, who simply whine about the status quo and how all politics is shit but do nothing to engage with the system and change it. I swear if every intelligent left-leaning dude out there my age actually bothered to give a shit there might actually be some changes.
posted by palidor at 12:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


On further thought, maybe this whole affair is really just another play in the seemingly relentless media campaign to convince us all of the enormous sociopolitical relevance of Twitter.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh, I think what billyfleetwood posted above explains the difference of my perspective on this. I care about the ideology, not the personality.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:50 PM on June 16, 2011


palidor, I admit I'm at a loss.
posted by Trochanter at 12:51 PM on June 16, 2011


Using pussy as an insult is obnoxious.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


I really don't care what my elected representative does in their spare time, it's none of my business.

Me either. Weiner would have kept his job (and I would've been totally ok with him keeping it) if he'd come out on day one and said "Whoa yeah. I've been sending nasty pictures to a couple girls. I really shouldn't have done that and I'm not gonna do that anymore. I apologize to my wife and the ladies I've been nasty to/with, and I hope they can forgive me." But he didn't. He went in front of his own constituents and lied. Lied, lied, lied about it. If that doesn't evaporate the public's trust, I don't know what does.

I don't give a shit that Clinton got a beej in the oval office, or put anything wherever. That's between him and Hillary and the third person(s) involved. He perjured himself. I don't care if he perjured himself lying about his golf score, he was the fucking President. I think he should have been convicted and removed from office.

So please stop making the issue about the initial sexual transgression. Most people that I know that called for his resignation (who were not doing so out of seeking partisan advantage) did so not because of the transgression but because of the lies.
posted by chimaera at 12:56 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't fully seperate out the sexual transgression. You will know it is fully not about sex when the politician doesn't have to lie because no one is asking about it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:59 PM on June 16, 2011


I think "pussy" is a pretty good word to use when you want to say someone is cowardly but without the more extreme implications of calling someone a coward.

Also sorry Trochanter it's just something I like to harp on about because I know too many people who complain about politics and government as if they're all-knowing yet do nothing to change anything. I think it makes things worse.
posted by palidor at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2011


Larry Craig held on for quite a while, if I'm not mistaken, because his colleagues didn't totally abandon him. And I think Weiner would have been able to keep his job if Democrats were able to be disciplined and unified.

I don't really agree. Larry Craig didn't run for re-election, and his political career pretty much withered as soon as that came to light. Although I think his 'wide stance' was ridiculous, there was no evidence of a pattern or any proof that he did anything. He got arrested for something that could be interpreted as gay footsie, but it was an awfully thin case and bordered on entrapment/police state tactics in many people's eyes. I think the Congressional Democrats were wise not to pile on, and he was out of Congress a little over a year later in any case.

However, you're quite right that in many cases the GOP has better party discipline and will rally round a colleague who pays appropriate lip service to God/country/family, much as they did with Vitter. Weiner didn't give Democrats a chance to be disciplined and unified because his response to a breaking scandal was to escalate it into a game of truth or dare. By the time he came clean, it was way too late.

On the other hand, Charles Rangel still has a job despite a list of financial scandals as long as your arm, censure by a (Democratic majority) house and so on. Quite why he has any friends when the GOP have made him a poster boy for political corruption is beyond me; I guess everyone feels a bit sorry for him because he's so old and comes from a different political generation.

my take on why Republicans don't resign over this stuff, while The Democrats have to cave in to the pressure is that the Dems still rely on personality based politics, while the GOP has pretty much shifted to pure ideology based politics.

Chris Lee, a GOP congressman, resigned just last February over posting shirtless pics of himself on Craigslist. That was actually pretty close to what Weiner did (sexual picture + internet * public figure = awkward), and complaining about the GOP while ignoring this recent parallel looks a bit clueless.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:01 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't fully seperate out the sexual transgression. You will know it is fully not about sex when the politician doesn't have to lie because no one is asking about it.


*and when someone who lied about the benefits of a policy or the need for a war is forced to resign.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...if Democrats were able to be disciplined and unified.

How many things in the US could be made better if this statement didn't ever need to be appended to the end of a comment?

I find it deeply depressing; the party most generally in line with my personal politics seems patently incapable of securing victories because of incompetence and pointless internal conflicts. I don't want to see the Democrats become a dark parody of the Right, but I do need to see them push the window back to the left a bit (a lot.) and discipline and unity would help quite a bit here.
posted by quin at 1:03 PM on June 16, 2011


You can't fully seperate out the sexual transgression. You will know it is fully not about sex when the politician doesn't have to lie because no one is asking about it.

True, but do you seriously think that the chorus for his resignation would have spilled over into his own party if he'd simply owned up to it right off the bat and apologized? I think he'd still be in office and there wouldn't be a several-hundred-post Mefi thread about him in the last few weeks.

*and when someone who lied about the benefits of a policy or the need for a war is forced to resign.

I'm not entirely with you on the first one. That's where ideology comes in, and separating wishful thinking from a lie is nearly impossible. As for the need for a war, it's clear that Bush intentionally misled the public into Iraq, and yeah, he should've resigned too.
posted by chimaera at 1:09 PM on June 16, 2011


Weiner should go? Really? The guy who argued passionately for the public option in the health care debate, against his own party? The guy who criticized Obama for caving in on health care and not negotiating effectively with Republicans? The one and only person in the democratic party who can actually argue effectively against blowhards like Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly?

And there you have the real reason the Democratic leadership is howling for his blood.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 1:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Opportunistic empty suit who never did anything but look out for number one. If you think chumps like this proto-Newt are assets to progressive causes or the Democratic party, don't worry; there are a hundred dozen just like him next in line.
posted by Kwine at 1:11 PM on June 16, 2011


I think "pussy" is a pretty good word to use when you want to say someone is cowardly but without the more extreme implications of calling someone a coward.

You have to give Weiner credit for having balls. I mean, he tweeted them, so there they are.
posted by found missing at 1:12 PM on June 16, 2011


Here's my totally not too paranoid theory:
Weiner had to leave because the right wing controlled Democratic leadership wanted him to leave.

They got rid of Grayson by defunding his Florida campaign.
They got rid of Weiner by not standing by him and/or pushing back. As many other pointed out, Larry Craig never resigned, Santorum is still in business even though he was intimately involved in the Ensign scandal, that douchebag Vtter is still in office - all the preceding did far worse than Weiner. I want to see how they are going to get rid of Sanders (yeah I know he's not a Dem).

I in no way condone Weiner's actions and he deserves a strong reprimand at the least - but the way his party threw him under the bus because he is the antitheses of a 'a Blue dog democrat is shameless. Which is why I won't be voting Democrat next year along with a few million (at the least) other who are tired of the lip service given to true progressive ideas.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


At some point Republicans will start calling for Dems to resign when they've been caught [running a red light]. Republicans, of course, will ignore it when their own members are caught. Democrats will do the honorable thing, if only because all the accusations of poor judgment from R's are impairing the D agenda.

Once it becomes known that [running a red light] can cost you your job (if you're a D), Democrats will try to cover it up when they are discovered, at which point it will be about the lying, not the [red-light-running]. R's, meanwhile, will continue to merrily [run red lights] with nary a peep.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.
posted by chortly at 1:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Democrats will try to cover it up when they are discovered, at which point it will be about the lying, not the [red-light-running].

"Hey Doc, the other party makes me resign when I cover up indiscretions!"

"Then stop covering them up!"
posted by chimaera at 1:21 PM on June 16, 2011


"But when I don't cover it up, Democrats (and of course Republican) ask me to resign anyway, because I showed poor judgment in [running the red light] and in resisting calls to resign, when I knew it would only inflame matters, impair the Democratic agenda and irreparably damage me as a politician anyway."
posted by chortly at 1:33 PM on June 16, 2011


I think "pussy" is a pretty good word to use when you want to say someone is cowardly but without the more extreme implications of calling someone a coward.

No, it's not. Really. It has overtones that imply lessened masculinity by using a feminized term. Not necessarily the origins of the term in this usage, but definitely culturally adapted to that aspect now.

So in essence calling a man a 'feminine' term as a derogatory statement is just never a good thing.

If you mean "coward" say coward. You're forgetting the other implications the supposed less extreme term has.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


But when I don't cover it up, Democrats (and of course Republican) ask me to resign anyway...

You really think so? You think Weiner would've resigned and this would still be major news if he'd come out with the truth from the start? I know there would've been a ton of Republicans carrying on about it, but they'd do that anyway. I don't think things would've turned out this way if he'd owned up to it off the bat.
posted by chimaera at 1:39 PM on June 16, 2011


I am not a good google person. But we have seen several papers, also linked here on Metafilter, demonstrating that liberal people live the moral life: they stay married, they earn money, they pay taxes, They have insurances, they participate in civil duties, their children don't have teen-pregnancies, their children get educated etc. etc.
Conservative people do just about everything they claim to hate. They have pre-marital sex, then they get babies from doing it, then they get married as teens and proceed to have extra-marital sex, and abortions and loose their jobs and not pay taxes and not save up for pensions or college etc. etc. The thing is, every now and then, they cry and make up with God, and he forgives them. Liberals can't do that. They don't have a relationship with God.

Weiner is a liberal acting out - he flirted with people online, including a creepy stripper. (And since I am a liberal I think he's a creepy old man. I do, no irony)
Vitter is a conservative acting out - they do it with style: real life prostitutes, diapers, public humiliation. (Of course he is creepy, whaddya expect?)

It's two completely different ways of addressing life. Two completely different ways of understanding ethics. You can't really say the Democrats are wimps, because their voters see things very differently from Republican voters. They expect their politicians to do what they say (not least because they have a wide tolerance. Weiner would never have had a problem if he hadn't lied). Republican voters expect their politicians to lie, abuse substances, accept corruption, enjoy extramarital sex, because that is the very point of power in their eyes. Democratic voters are far more idealistic, when it comes to social issues. It's confusing, but if one listens to the logic of each party's voters, it makes sense.
posted by mumimor at 1:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I submit that the reason the public has very low regard for congress is *not* that congress members insufficiently stand behind their sleaziest peers.
posted by found missing at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2011


Plenty of liberals have a relationship with God.
posted by bq at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Second, I don't personally consider lying about your private life to be unethical. Some things are just personal. I don't mind when closeted politicians lie about their sex life, for instance, since it would damage their electability among some people and they should have the right to keep it a secret if they want to.

Of course lying is unethical. If you want to keep something private you say 'no comment' or 'none of your business'...in fact, I wish people would say that a lot more often, I'm not a fan of the confessional society. A public figure lying about their private life is implicitly acknowledging that such matters are public business but that it's OK to misdirect the public's attention. When was the last time you heard a politician or anyone similar tell people to mind their own business? I wish more of them would. The public does not, in fact, have a right to know everything about a person.

Which is why I won't be voting Democrat next year along with a few million (at the least) other who are tired of the lip service given to true progressive ideas.

Yes, if only Democrats had rallied around and helped Weiner sustain the fiction that his Twitter account was hacked, and presumably that someone broke into his congressional office and photographed him covertly while he was changing his shirt. And waxing his genitalia. Because nothing boosts your political capital like sticking to a completely and laughably unbelievable story.

So who are you going to vote for, the Tea Party?

At some point Republicans will start calling for Dems to resign when they've been caught [running a red light]. Republicans, of course, will ignore it when their own members are caught.

You don't remember this? It was only 4 months ago. The guy quit within hours. Between him and Weiner, which one do you think has a better chance of a political comeback a few years from now?
posted by anigbrowl at 1:43 PM on June 16, 2011


For those who were unable to watch a live feed, Weiner's statement was interrupted several times by people in the audience asking lewd questions, in particular by one man who repeatedly asked, "Is it more than seven inches?"

Huh. Yeah. I'm sure that guy's a perfect saint himself, with a tasteful wit like that.


Slate reports that the person yelling out during the resignation was a Howard Stern regular, Benjy Bronk. Ratings must be low on whatever satellite system it was Stern went to.
posted by aught at 1:47 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also sorry Trochanter it's just something I like to harp on about because I know too many people who complain about politics and government as if they're all-knowing yet do nothing to change anything. I think it makes things worse.

palidor, have you ever engaged meaningfully with those around you to help those "too many do-nothings" actually do something?

My experience is that there are three kinds of people in the world: 1. Those who don't give a shit and don't do anything, accordingly*; 2. Those who do give a shit and work their tails off for change; and the kind most germane to this conversation,

3. Those who do give a shit but don't know how to make a difference. They know that "just" voting isn't quite enough, but jeez, gimme a break already, I'm one of the only guys I know who even votes regularly, not just in the presidential years, and yeah, I hate the corruption and the sleaze but I'm just one person, what can I actually do?

Complaining about the world is easy. Changing the world is hard. I hope you (who I presume to be a political activist fighting the good fight in demonstrable ways both online and off-, based on your complaints) are always looking for ways to extend a hand of assistance to those who indicate that they'd like to cross the line from a do-nothing to a change-something.

For most people, helping out with their first local campaign in some simple way is the equivalent of "first hit is free"... and most of those people tell the same story: "I'm not really the political type, but my next door neighbor knew the candidate and asked me to help out one night, so I went." Then bang! A new activist is born and a fairy gets its wings.

*One might think there is also a Type 4: those who love to bitch and moan and claim they give a shit, but refuse to actually take action. I actually don't believe these are any different from Type 1.
posted by pineapple at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't worry; there are a hundred dozen just like him next in line.

I hope so, because his willingness to loudly go toe-to-toe with people he disagreed with, while obnoxious, seemed pretty unique on the Left.

A couple of hundred more like him would be very much welcomed, but I'm staring off into the middle distance, and I must not be seeing them just yet.
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


You really think so? You think Weiner would've resigned and this would still be major news if he'd come out with the truth from the start? I know there would've been a ton of Republicans carrying on about it, but they'd do that anyway. I don't think things would've turned out this way if he'd owned up to it off the bat.

I was talking more about what the reactions of the parties and the media are than what Weiner himself would do. But yes, I do indeed think that 100% of Republicans, 50% of Democrats, and 90% of the media would have been asking for his resignation had he confessed at the outset, as opposed to 100% of Republicans, 90% of Democrats, and 95% of the media calling for his resignation after the week-long "cover-up".

To put it more game-theoretically, here's my guess at the costs under various circumstances:

R commits minor crime:
Complaints by: 0% of R's, 20% of Dems, 10% of media.
D commits minor crime:
Complaints by: 100% of R's, 50% of Dems, 90% of media.

R commits minor crime which is (so far) covered up, though there are rumors:
Complaints by: 0% of R's, 0% of Dems, 10% of media
D commits minor crime which is (so far) covered up, though there are rumors:
Complaints by: 75% of R's, 20% of Dems, 30% of media

R commits minor crime, covered it up, and then cover is blown:
Complaints by: 20% of R's, 30% of Dems, 30% of media.
D commits minor crime, covered it up, and then cover is blown:
Complaints by: 100% of R's, 90% of Dems, 95% of media.

I'm sure we differ about the numbers, but the point is, (a) Democrats will accuse their own regardless of the magnitude of the crime, mainly because of the circular logic that they will lose eventually, so better to get it over with sooner, and (b) cover-ups don't make things much worse, since if you're an R, R's will stand by you anyway, and if you're a D, the D's will turn on you even if you come clean immediately. On the other hand, D's have a much higher incentive to cover-up if they think they can get away with it, since for an R, being discovered committing the minor crime doesn't hurt them much, whereas for a D, failed cover-up or no, being discovered is a lot worse than a successful cover-up.
posted by chortly at 1:55 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Howard Stern is still on the air?
posted by vibrotronica at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So who are you going to vote for, the Tea Party?

I am fully aware that we have a forced two party system here in the U.S (only one party away from the forced one party system back in the old U.S.S.R.) . The answer is that I likely won't vote for any presidential candidate . I will vote for local and congressional candidates who have displayed trye progressive voting records and/or commitments in their life.

OMG! you say - Michelle Backman will win! Sarah Palin will declare nuclear war! OMG! Screw that noise. I live in a country run supposedly by Democrats where we run torture and rendition camps, keep people confined in cages without trial, have all my emails and phone calls open to the government without oversignt, where 400 people own more wealth than 160 million others, Unions and political labor are things of the past, where a third of us have no health care, where my wages have decreased by TWO THIRDS in ten years, where my property can be taken away and I can be jailed indefinitely without court order and where I have to be fondled just to ride a fucking airplane. Well screw the" Sarah Palin will win! " scare tactics. I'm already screwed and have no reason at all to vote Democratic next election.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:00 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Dude, wtf. Please come to Harlem and replace Rangel. What you did has nothing to do with your ability to legislate. Shameful, yes. But nowhere near as hypocritical as Spitzer, Craig, or Haggard.
posted by Eideteker at 2:00 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat: "I want to see how they are going to get rid of Sanders (yeah I know he's not a Dem)."

They know not to bother. He's too stubborn to be forced out, and is perfectly capable of operating as a complete independent, especially given that he represents a small and tight-knit state. The Democrats hold a thin majority in the Senate, and it's not in the interest of the Democrats or Sen. Sanders to engage in any sort of axe-grinding match.

Also, if Sanders says something liberal intelligent, the Democrats can disavow any knowledge by pointing to the (I) next to his name. Really, it's a great arrangement for everybody involved, and that little (I), combined with the alliance with the (D)s gives him a surprisingly decent amount of influence.

If the Senate Democrats wanted to screw Sanders, he could just as easily hurt them back by voting against them and filibustering pivotal issues that do not effect Vermont (of which there are many). Their majority is far too thin to risk losing a vote.

Also, there are 6 year terms in the Senate, which changes the dynamics of intra-party conflicts considerably. You don't want a member of your party to defect, and then spend the next 6 years hellbent on destroying that party -- one Senator can inflict quite a lot of damage on his own party (see also: Joe Lieberman).

Still, I would have expected more from Weiner than for him to bend to pressure from the Democrats.
posted by schmod at 2:04 PM on June 16, 2011


Still, I would have expected more from Weiner than for him to bend to pressure from the Democrats.

From what I could see, he wasn't bending at all.
posted by found missing at 2:06 PM on June 16, 2011


It's hard being in congress.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


It’s a start.

Please bear in mind that this man is well into middle age, when reflection is supposed to temper action. The question What Was He Thinking? is scarcely relevant. The fact that he went forward regardless tells us all we need to know about his judgment, his self-control, his self-respect, his respect for his wife, for his unborn child (a girl, I wonder?), his family, his colleagues, his constituents, the very institution of the legislative branch, and co-eds young enough to be his daughter.

So, yeah, he should have resigned, absolutely. I hope he doesn't imagine this is just a time out and that he should be able to come back later. There are plenty of other ways he can serve humanity.

And I’m not partisan on this issue. Not only should he have resigned, so too should have Clinton, Gingrich, Teddy, and any other number of high officials who can’t keep their libidos in check. (And don’t get me started on financial shenanigans.)

Why?

Because the job of crafting law is supposed to require dignitas. Because they should behave at least as well if not better than the people who put them there. Because they should have better judgment than a not too bright fourteen year old boy. Because their standards should not simply be (as we see in the private sector) what the law will let them get away with. Because they should not use their positions for squalid private satisfaction. Because a man of poor judgment and little reflection should not be encouraged to make laws. Because hanging on “for the good of my constituency” is self serving, self important nonsense. Because we should have a few institutions where we can point out to our children as proof that honor is not an outdated concept. Because there are worse things in life to be remembered for than falling on your sword.

Because no member – no member - of government should ever imagine that he is indispensable.

As I say – it’s a start.

(And PS - maybe a colorful and argumentative speaking style is not exactly called for anymore, on either side. Maybe a little collegiality and statesmanship would be in order. Not that that's going to happen any time soon, but again - it's a start.)
posted by IndigoJones at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


From what I could see, he wasn't bending at all.

Damn, there are some sorry jokes on this thread.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


>> I'm already screwed and have no reason at all to vote Democratic next election.

Poet_Lariat: Who, exactly, is being punished by your silent protest of not voting in national races? I'm curious. Which party do you believe bears the bulk of the responsibility for the atrocities that you mention?

From an earlier remark I made but which applies here:
I appreciate taking the principled stand, but I happen to feel that the "100% or nothing" approach to supporting liberal candidates has failed the Democratic Party in the last few years. It's like all Democrats set these insanely unattainable expectations down as a line in the sand and said, "You're either completely with us, or you're just not good enough, you're DINO and we don't support you." And where did that get the party? We went from the Big Tent to an Elitist Tent where if you don't take a perfectly hard line on every single plank of the platform, you aren't an air-quotes REAL Democrat.

Business-driven Republicans say to their candidate, "Eh, you know, your hardcore homophobia makes me uncomfortable... but we see eye to eye on regulation, so here's a PAC donation, go forth. Besides, it's not like I'm gonna vote for the other guy."

And churchy Republicans say to their candidate, "Eh, well, I'm uncomfortable with the fact that you support small business growth—including the liquor stores—but I know you're good for that abstinence-education-only vote, so I'll get 20 of my fellow congregants to the polls for you. Besides, it's not like I'm gonna vote for the other guy."

These strange bedfellows have come to understand that, ultimately, 75% of one's agenda supported is far more palatable than 0%.

And the Democrats say to their candidate, "Well, you are pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, pro-health-care-reform, pro-working-class, pro-decriminalization, anti-death-penalty, pro-gun-control, pro-women's-rights, pro-public-education, pro-union, and encourage the separation of church and state. But.... you know... that one time back on city council you didn't vote for more household recycling. And, it's not like I'm gonna vote for the other guy. So, I guess in good conscience I just can't vote at all."
As the kids these days like to say: SMH.
posted by pineapple at 2:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Damn, there are some sorry jokes on this thread.

My account was hacked. I have a lawyer looking into it.
posted by found missing at 2:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


No, it's not. Really. It has overtones that imply lessened masculinity by using a feminized term. Not necessarily the origins of the term in this usage, but definitely culturally adapted to that aspect now.

So in essence calling a man a 'feminine' term as a derogatory statement is just never a good thing.

If you mean "coward" say coward. You're forgetting the other implications the supposed less extreme term has.


I'm sorry, I guess I'd thought the word didn't really have any feminine association. I mean, of course there's its use as slang, but I never thought of calling someone a pussy equivalent to calling them a vagina. In my mind it's just a wholly independent term that's synonymous with coward.

But believe me, I'm the last person who wants to perpetuate equating femininity with weakness, so I'll stop using it that way.
posted by palidor at 2:24 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


palidor, have you ever engaged meaningfully with those around you to help those "too many do-nothings" actually do something?

Oh boy do I try. I think the problem is that too many people see it as this wholly intellectual exercise. What happens most often is that I get into debates about why Democrats are different from Republicans, because the people I speak of are the type who, while they won't admit it as such, think there's a grand conspiracy among the wealthy elite and politicians to maintain the status quo. So I explain to them legislative differences, what's at stake if the GOP gains more power, but they're so entrenched in what amounts to apathy that no matter how well-reasoned my points are, they tend to go on believing that everything is shit, basically. I try to at least get them to engage with something locally, but I haven't yet managed to get anyone to volunteer.
posted by palidor at 2:30 PM on June 16, 2011


You're totally right about the "first hit is free" thing, though. Despite being the type of person you would expect to totally hate the experience, the first time I went out and went door to door for a campaign (getting a local steel mill to invest in pollution-preventing safeguards), I was instantly hooked. I don't know what it is, but even with every last person having a dog that immediately starts barking uncontrollably the second you knock on the door, I really love being able to engage people that way.
posted by palidor at 2:36 PM on June 16, 2011


The young rope-rider and cmgonzalez are right. Using the word 'pussy' as a synonym for 'cowardly' is sexist and offensive.

But believe me, I'm the last person who wants to perpetuate equating femininity with weakness, so I'll stop using it that way.

Thanks palidor! I appreciate that.
posted by marsha56 at 2:40 PM on June 16, 2011


Calling a weak man a pussy goes back much further than calling female genitalia a pussy.
posted by Bonzai at 2:45 PM on June 16, 2011


Calling a weak man a pussy goes back much further than calling female genitalia a pussy.

Be that as it may, please see cmgonzalez' comment below, which I agree with wholeheartedly:

It has overtones that imply lessened masculinity by using a feminized term. Not necessarily the origins of the term in this usage, but definitely culturally adapted to that aspect now.
posted by marsha56 at 2:48 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm curious. Which party do you believe bears the bulk of the responsibility for the atrocities that you mention?

The one who is currently in power.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:48 PM on June 16, 2011


Calling a weak man a pussy goes back much further than calling female genitalia a pussy.

Which makes it even stranger, because that hearkens it back to cats, and everyone knows that the average house-cat is fully capable of destroying any number of humans, dogs, eagles, helicopters, and bears.

Cowardly they aren't. (even when they are hiding and acting "scared" it's all a ploy to lure you in closer, just before the pain and death start.)

posted by quin at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I try to at least get them to engage with something locally, but I haven't yet managed to get anyone to volunteer.

palidor: good for you, and sorry to be all "be the change you wish you see blah blah". Keep fighting.
posted by pineapple at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2011


I just saw this:

Why didn't his staff screen who was let into the room?

I don't know if he has staff anymore.

Ultimately it's Weiner's fault, of course, but I consider the Dems' failure to stay unified and let this blow over as contributing to the unemployment of everyone on his staff.
posted by palidor at 2:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


How come Larry Craig never resigned? Weiner has been an idiot, but Larry Craig was worse, said he'd resign, and didn't.
posted by theora55 at 2:55 PM on June 16, 2011


palidor: good for you, and sorry to be all "be the change you wish you see blah blah". Keep fighting.

My only wish is that these people stop seeing politics and governance as solely some intellectual exercise, something to be debated, and realize that each and every one of us is engaged in it physically, whether we want to be or not. And if you don't take initiative yourself to "be the change you wish to see," everyone else who does have the ambition is going to force their change on you. I can't get anyone to understand that.
posted by palidor at 2:58 PM on June 16, 2011


we should just give up on Republican and Democratic and go for the Transmetropolitan definitions of "Party In Power" and "Party Not In Power".

After a while, the blurring gets to the point where everyone is the same indistinct image.
posted by mephron at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2011


theora55: because Larry Craig is an asshole?
posted by mephron at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2011


How come Larry Craig never resigned? Weiner has been an idiot, but Larry Craig was worse, said he'd resign, and didn't.

Craig took a sort of middle path; he did in fact come under pressure from other Republicans, said he'd resign, and then changed his mind (but didn't run for re-election). He was admonished by an ethics committee in 2008. Wikipedia has a pretty good summary.

I did not care for the way the whole thing played out; although his 'wide stance' defense was absurd and he came off as a total hypocrite, I thought a lot of the criticism of him was disturbingly homophobic too. While I wouldn't want to be disturbed in a public restroom by someone looking for/engaged in sexual activity, all Craig actually did was behave in a manner that suggested he was looking for an anonymous hookup, and later there were some allegations of gay sexual propositions in the very, very distant past. I suppose it's sort of karma in action considering his homophobia-enabling politics, but to be honest I was a great deal more weirded out by the idea of undercover toilet police.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone who knows how this works should make a separate thread about this issue: it is a problem for American democracy that you guys only have two parties.
For me, it is shocking that otherwise sensible people will advocate not voting. Some years, I have not voted, but that maybe changed the local turnout form 89% to 88.99001%. And my friends laughed at me. Here it is a fiesta. We meet our neighbors We eat special election-meals (pig with parsley sauce. But if you are muslim, you can have the parsley without the pig). Everyone votes. My 17-yo is looking forward to her first vote.

I can understand not voting for one of two parties, which are both determined by donor-contributions. I can understand how one at last gives up on values and ideas. But hey, can' you guys do anything?

Politics here are as crazy as ever, but we have the young people, just waiting till it's their turn
posted by mumimor at 3:56 PM on June 16, 2011


I could never live under a system in which parsley is made into a sauce.
posted by found missing at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2011


Honestly I think people who refuse to vote as protest against the two-party system are just being immature, more than anything. Governing is a massive, and massively complicated series of compromises, and saying "I'm not going to vote because no one represents my exact beliefs" is just a refusal to be a part of that compromise. It does nothing to advance their beliefs or cause, and pretty much amounts to narcissism.
posted by palidor at 4:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's easy to be complacent in modern America. It's a rich, comfortable country with good food, the largest stock of entertainment available in the history of the world, plenty of booze and drugs, multiple major and minor sports leagues, strong law enforcement, and extreme amounts of defense. Our problems are complicated, obscure, and long term. We have plenty of loud voices telling us they aren't even problems.

Most people who don't vote aren't doing it out of protest, they just don't care because they don't think the country needs much change.

For me, I just see us as doomed in the long term (not out of existence, but into a state of severe decline) and the differences between the parties that do exist don't much change that. I do vote, but going third party much of the time which many people here consider to be the same as not voting.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I vote for president in a non-swing state, which is the functional equivalent of not voting.
posted by found missing at 4:11 PM on June 16, 2011


I argue a lot with my friend about how voting third party is pretty much the same as not voting.

My reasoning is that, at least on a national scale, the more Democrats get elected, and have strong cushion of support, the more comfortable they'll feel pushing more progressive legislation. Right now the major factor preventing any serious push towards progressive reform is Dems in more right-leaning districts afraid of losing their seats if they vote for a progressive agenda. If it can be communicated through increase Democratic voting, over the next couple decades, that those districts are safe for Dems, I think we'll see a lot more of the change progressives want.

And I think voting third party doesn't help that.
posted by palidor at 4:12 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or to put it differently:

I think the instinct is to vote for the candidate that most closely subscribes to the same beliefs as you. But this ignores reality, where what's most important is passing legislation. Even if a super lefty third party candidate gets to Congress, none of those beliefs you share are going to matter if they're the only one willing to vote on them. So I take the long view, where it's more important to strengthen the party so that progressive voices within the party can in turn get stronger. I think voting for a third party candidate in the manner I described is short-sighted.
posted by palidor at 4:18 PM on June 16, 2011


Honestly I think people who refuse to vote as protest against the two-party system are just being immature, more than anything.

When I was young and immature, I agreed with this sentiment. Now that I'm old and jaded, I have a LOT more sympathy with people who refuse to vote for and re-elect Dems who refuse to stand up and fight the system.

I have always voted in every election and will continue to do so. However, how can you read Poet Lariat's comment and dismiss him as immature and not feel his pain and frustration:

I live in a country run supposedly by Democrats where we run torture and rendition camps, keep people confined in cages without trial, have all my emails and phone calls open to the government without oversignt, where 400 people own more wealth than 160 million others, Unions and political labor are things of the past, where a third of us have no health care, where my wages have decreased by TWO THIRDS in ten years, where my property can be taken away and I can be jailed indefinitely without court order and where I have to be fondled just to ride a fucking airplane. Well screw the" Sarah Palin will win! " scare tactics. I'm already screwed and have no reason at all to vote Democratic next election.
posted by marsha56 at 4:21 PM on June 16, 2011



Someone who knows how this works should make a separate thread about this issue: it is a problem for American democracy that you guys only have two parties.

We have two independents in the senate, so that's a start.

I argue a lot with my friend about how voting third party is pretty much the same as not voting.

Voting at all is pretty much the same as not voting. I mean to say, by the time November rolls around, the fix is already in, the candidates have already been bought and sold.

Voting third part at least suggests that there are people willing to vote but who don't like either side. Granted, the numbers are so few that one gets labelled a crank and therefore worthy of being dismissed, but at least you can be smug about criticizing whoever does win. And if more people did it, then perhaps we could break the two party duopoly.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2011


My reasoning is that, at least on a national scale, the more Democrats get elected, and have strong cushion of support, the more comfortable they'll feel pushing more progressive legislation.

We could have a Dem prez and a 90% Dem representation both the House and Senate, but so long as their campaigns were bought and paid for by the big corporate powers, we'll never get a progressive agenda passed. It's not about getting more Dems elected, it's about getting money out of politics. And Citizens United moved us from an already shitty position to an even shittier one.
posted by marsha56 at 4:33 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


marsha56, I do absolutely feel Poet_Lariat's pain. And I am not the person who said it was immature to not vote at all (although I do find it short-sighted).

But I do feel that to be a Dem, and withhold your vote from the Dems, because they aren't quite Dem enough for you, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As palidor pointed out, only when backed by the might of a majority vote can an elected official of either party hope to effect change.

To paraphrase the words of that modern Canadian poet Neil Ellwood Peart: if one doesn't contribute to the majority vote of one's own party, then—like it or not—one is contributing to the majority vote of the opposition.

That choice must be acknowledged, rather than willfully ignored.

>> It's not about getting more Dems elected, it's about getting money out of politics.

And so... how do you get money out of politics? If not by getting more Dems elected, so that they can enact legislation to reform lobbying and corporate influence?
posted by pineapple at 4:37 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing. I kind of agree with what you guys are saying, but I choose to believe otherwise. Because if I believed it was as as hopeless as is described, I wouldn't want to do anything to try to change. It's like Pascal's wager for politics, sort of.
posted by palidor at 4:39 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe you would still do things, just different things.
posted by ryanrs at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011


because fuck Pascal's wager
posted by ryanrs at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011


But I do feel that to be a Dem, and withhold your vote from the Dems, because they aren't quite Dem enough for you, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

See, I think people don't quite understand how far people who withhold votes feel they are from the party. If you are stridently anti-war, for example, it's pretty tough to vote for a party that does plenty of bombing. If someone is still considering voting for you in that case, they are doing a lot of compromising of their positions, not a little.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:51 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do you get the money out when all the people running and all the people elected have already been bought and paid for? I don't know. I don't really see a way forward. Just a long, slow, continuous decline. And I don't see it in the American character to violently overthrow a 'freely elected' government. Maybe our best hope is that we spend ourselves into such a deep hole that we get taken over by a benign foreign government, or more likely by a foreign government so tyrannical that we are finally goaded into the revolution that we need right now.

Don't quote me on ANY of this. I'm just spouting off out of despair. I don't know what the answers are. I just feel like we're really fucked and I don't see a way out.
posted by marsha56 at 4:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry for dropping that turd and running away. But I really do have to leave for awhile. Be back later tonight.
posted by marsha56 at 5:00 PM on June 16, 2011


they are doing a lot of compromising of their positions, not a little

Exactly. And it's not as if the compromises are on insignificant side issues, with consensus on the major party platforms. It's on the big issues that I find the Democrats most disappointing (like war, civil liberties, the drug war).
posted by ryanrs at 5:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bill Clinton held on. David Vitter held on. Larry Craig held on. Eliott Spitzer came back. But Anthony Wiener had to step down. The difference? PICTURES.

There are actual naked pics of Anthony Wiener, pics that will never ever go away. I think that alone is why some people--on the left and the right--will feel forever squicky when they see Wiener now. His moral authority has been damaged, perhaps critically. Personally, I think it's bullshit, because AFAIK Wiener never said a word about sexual matters; his fight was about the conservative/corporate dirty tricks. He was the liberal vent for the Democrats. Not quite as left as Dennis Kuchinich, but more articulate and more entertaining to watch. Still, with this scandal I'm trying to find a whiff of hypocrisy and am still looking.

But he can't play those games now. He's like Samson with his ponytail lopped off. It doesn't surprise me that the Democrats threw him under the bus, because this is a generational thing, too. Older generations look at getting a BJ in the Oval Office or regular visits to a hooker as business as usual, Boys Will Be Boys and all that. Which is why those aforementioned guys stayed in office. But Wiener did something that--at least for many older folks--was truly alien behavior. Sexting? Sending naked photos? The pasty white 60-something talking heads on TV keep shaking their heads about how pathetic it all looks. That's why Wiener had to step down--it's seen as deviant from the normal deviant behavior, and there are pics to prove it and follow Wiener around forever.
posted by zardoz at 5:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are actual naked pics of Anthony Wiener

You mean shirtless?
posted by ryanrs at 5:14 PM on June 16, 2011


This guy's got it.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:18 PM on June 16, 2011


Mybe he can go on Spitzer's talk show. They could be a duo: Weiner & Spitzer...sounds like an obscene Yiddish Vaudeville team.
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a picture of Weiner's weiner from when Breitbart was on a radio show passing his cell phone with the pic on it around and it got caught on their studio's cameras.

Also, how much of a loser is Breitbart that his huge coup involves passing a picture of someone's dick around? I tend to be even-tempered about my political "enemies" but Breitbart is a douchebag supreme.

Also I'm afraid now that I can't ever go into politics unless I make sure to get on good terms with my ex-girlfriend I engaged in long-distance Internet activities with. Or I can just hope she deleted the pictures. I haven't lolololol
posted by palidor at 5:41 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"To mark his resignation, Anthony Weiner will be at half-mast tomorrow." Andy Borowitz
posted by preferred nomenclature at 5:44 PM on June 16, 2011


Also I'm afraid now that I can't ever go into politics unless I make sure to get on good terms with my ex-girlfriend I engaged in long-distance Internet activities with.

As pointed out in the previous thread, some large percentage of the country has already put some embarrassing picture of themselves on the internet. We've had 3 presidents in a row that have admitted to experimenting with drugs during their youth and that's an increasingly irrelevant taboo. I don't think that sort of thing prior to one's political career matters very much to the electorate. A bit easier to say for men than for women, but it's only a matter of time. I think Melissa Petro could run for Weiner's seat.

Actually, that would be awesome in multiple ways.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2011


how much of a loser is Breitbart that his huge coup involves passing a picture of someone's dick around?

Instead of him manufacturing fake shit, people are now sending him real shit. That's a significant change.
posted by ryanrs at 6:05 PM on June 16, 2011


I am fully aware that we have a forced two party system here in the U.S (only one party away from the forced one party system back in the old U.S.S.R.)

Based on the remainder of your post I think I have my answer, but I will ask out of politeness anyways: do you have even the remotest idea how unhinged this makes you sound? And how insulting (to put it mildly) this is/was to the millions who perished under Stalin?

If McCain won the 2008 election, the vast majority of my friends and family would be seriously, seriously fucked because of -- well, for a host of reasons, but most directly and obviously because of -- the lack of the automotive bailout. That was not theoretical bullshit, it was real policy with real consequences for millions of people.

A President Romney (as he explicitly argued at the time!) would have let the American automotive industry wither and die. A President Obama did not. That matters.

But this is just like the USSR, so carry on.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I honestly don't believe Romney would actually have not bailed them out. Once a Republican is in power they actually have to worry about the economy instead of trying to obstruct efforts to fix it. Look at Bush and his bailouts.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:20 PM on June 16, 2011


(But yeah, we are significantly better than the Soviets at governing)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:21 PM on June 16, 2011


You're right that once Republicans are elected their hard right economic pronouncements while out of power mean nothing, but the automotive bailout is a pretty good example of something you couldn't have expected all Republicans to push through. Romney, probably; McCain, I don't know. Even "Obamacare" with all of its flaws will do good that would never have happened with a Republican president.

But I've found that someone committed to believing both parties are the same will debate these hypotheticals endlessly, like, "you don't know that Republicans wouldn't have passed health care reform!" or find ways to undermine things considered positive, whether by questioning their value or dismissing their relevance to the bigger picture.

Anyway, it's not an easy thing to do, but you kind of have to ignore a lot of the "dismal" realities of money in politics right now. If you focus on that, which is really where one's mind tends to go when evaluating whether there will be any progressive change, then things will seem hopeless. I just try to remind myself that the time scale is decades, not years.
posted by palidor at 8:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


you kind of have to ignore a lot of the "dismal" realities

You sure do, Billy. (Hand on shoulder) You sure do.
posted by Trochanter at 8:31 PM on June 16, 2011


And how insulting (to put it mildly) this is/was to the millions who perished under Stalin?

A reverse Russian Godwin . A Godwinsky !
Let me make that better that for you :

...And how insulting (to put it mildly) this is/was to the millions of children who perished under Stalin? ...
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:30 PM on June 16, 2011


Poet_Lariat: way to ignore every single substantive point I raised in my comment. You are not exactly doing yourself any favors here.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


...And how insulting (to put it mildly) this is/was to the millions of children who perished under Stalin? ...

This is just incoherent.

Please stick to your hysterical dailykos talking points, please.
The rest of us are (were) trying to have an adult conversation.

Here's my totally not too paranoid theory:
Weiner had to leave because the right wing controlled Democratic leadership wanted him to leave.


That is some Grade-A conspiratorial thinking there. You have stared too long into the (ron paul) abyss and you have become the monster you thought you were fighting. Good luck with that.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The sad reality is that it's far easier to find fault with well, just about anything, than it is to find a path towards something positive. And with politics everyone is pretty much set in their opinions, and their reasoning evolves from there, not the other way around. I try to fight this in myself, but I feel like we're kind of hard-wired to, like, post-justify. For all of my debating with friends about the value of getting Democrats elected, I haven't ever convinced anyone. And I don't think it's a failure on my part arguing my points, but come to think of it, I don't think anything else has sharpened my debating skills more than trying to convince lefties that it's worth it to support Democrats, heh.
posted by palidor at 11:35 PM on June 16, 2011


I just mean, that list Poet_Lariat gave of all the problems with our government, and then the ease in ignoring a legitimate instance of something positive the Dems did.

Why must we all be so damn rigid...!!?
posted by palidor at 11:38 PM on June 16, 2011


If you really simplify it, convincing someone who believes we are a doomed corporatocracy to vote for a Democrat is like this:

"Doing something is better than nothing!"

"NO! Doing nothing is best!"
posted by palidor at 11:41 PM on June 16, 2011


Why must we all be so damn rigid...!!?

Because it is easier to pound your keyboard than it is to pound the street in a voter registration drive?
posted by joe lisboa at 11:51 PM on June 16, 2011


Poet_Lariat: "They got rid of Grayson by defunding his Florida campaign."

Grayson sunk himself with a nasty misleading ad that compared his opponent to the Taliban. Maybe not resignation-worthy, but he didn't get pummeled for no reason.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:49 AM on June 17, 2011


Poet Lariat did have a big point earlier. Broken down:

I live in a country run supposedly by Democrats where we run torture and rendition camps Who do I vote for to fix this? Barely any Democrats speak up against this.
keep people confined in cages without trial, Who do I vote for to fix this? Barely anybody is speaking to stop this.
have all my emails and phone calls open to the government without oversight, Who do I vote for to fix this? Collectively we've either forgotten about this or shrugged and said "It doesn't matter." or "Gotta stop the terrorists."
where 400 people own more wealth than 160 million others, Who do I vote for to fix this? *Nobody* is pushing through any policies to stop this.
Unions and political labor are things of the past, Who do I vote for to fix this? There were protests in Wisconsin, but there hasn't been change.
where a third of us have no health care, Who do I vote for to fix this? Single-payer isn't even proposed as a crazy idea, the public option was taken away before it could be considered.
where my wages have decreased by TWO THIRDS in ten years, Who do I vote for to fix this? Nobody's even talking about it.
where my property can be taken away and I can be jailed indefinitely without court order Who do I vote for to fix this? I haven't even heard of anyone proposing rolling back any of these changes.
and where I have to be fondled just to ride a fucking airplane. Who do I vote for to fix this? This seems to be the one that's gotten the most attention. And by attention, I seem to mean "Media worries for a week and forgets".

I understand the game theory necessity of voting against Republicans. But some days I want to vote *for* someone, not just against them. And I am lucky in some cases, as I have Ron Wyden and Peter Defazio representing me, and they seem to be doing more than most on that front. There's some pride for them. But on a national scale? This isn't just looking for someone to compromise on. If I'm told that one party is going to actively work to worsen everything listed above, and the other party is going to actively work to worsen everything above, but they're going to be more efficient at doing so? What are my options? Keep feeding people who align with my views in the most minimal manner because some day there might possibly be someone who at least partially represents me and who has managed to gather power without being corrupted?

When I look historically and see that our president is more right-wing than Reagan on many aspects, and I'm forced to the point where I'm looking at Nixon and going "He was a racist, evil bastard, but at least he fought for what he believed in", what are my options?

I understand the impact of failing to vote against Republicans. But I look at what politicians claim in my name, who claim that they have my support, and some days I want to send a message, to metaphorically look them in the eyes and say "No more. You don't represent me. You don't advocate for my interests. The most useful you have ever even claimed to be is as a placeholder to keep someone else who's more efficient in their malice from getting into power. And you know what? When I'm forced to vote for the lesser of two evils, I'm just making things more evil. So until I can escape, you aren't going to get even the minimal ability to claim my backing."

It's not coming from a position of game theory, or of rational self-interest. It's coming from frustration. Yes, Republicans might be worse. But given the options between bad and worse, pardon me for not being enthusiastic for voting for bad.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:13 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you really simplify it,

Perhaps that should read: If you really cast it as something entirely different than what it is...

How about this:

"Doing something is better than nothing!"

"Voting for a Democrat IS doing nothing!"

Democrats gave us NAFTA. Democrats are blowing shit up in three countries. Democrats are beholden to the bodies that fund their campaigns. Nobody can win who doesn't court that money. Obama was said to have found this new, grassroots, hi-tech internet way of funding his campaign, but by god there were two tents at his victory party. One for the little people and one for the fat cats.

You don't just "ignore" the biggest freaking problem in the world.

You say you must content yourself that the changes you aim for will take decades. Well, I say good luck because there are forces pushing things the other way at a rate that's of another order. You're walking at a mile an hour on a conveyor belt that's travelling the opposite direction at ten.

I don't think change can come from within the system. The system has been sold away. Change is going to have to come through disobedience. And things will have to get worse before people are motivated to do acts that will land them in jail. Unfortunately, the tools to repress the disobedience are being engineered as we speak. It's going to be ugly.

I don't like it one bit, but that's the way I see it.

Not even to mention that we're bankrolling a China that, as far as I know, has never gotten around to renouncing the whole "Global Revolution" thing...

Also: hear hear to Poet_Lariat's points quoted above.
posted by Trochanter at 1:47 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, guys. Honestly I feel like these airings of grievances are counterproductive more than anything. I could list everything Dems and Obama have failed to do, I could detail how close money and politics are, and work myself up to the frustration you're talking about. But what does that accomplish? I mean, from your position, tell me what you're doing to change things for the better.

You can call me delusional, but I choose to believe what I believe and remain positive about what can be changed because it gives me avenues to accomplish it. When I go door to door for a campaign, I feel great, I feel wonderful engaging with people and getting them to care. What do you feel when you're hanging out with your friends detailing all of the ills of our system leading us to our doom? What does it do for your motivation to get out there and "be the change you want to see"?

It's not just an intellectual exercise, to reiterate my point from earlier. It's about finding ways to be positive. You can't do that when you're trying to logically prove why the USA is fucked. And like I said, you can call my "Pascal's wager for politics" delusional, but it works for me. Ten years ago I would have said the exact same things you guys were saying, but at some point I decided it's way more worthwhile to look for the positive path than to continue to be stuck in a cycle of negative thinking. Sorry.
posted by palidor at 4:19 AM on June 17, 2011


It's pretty obvious the answer is a grass roots movement such as a Tea Party for the Left. You take over one district at a time and hold the politicians you have elected accountable-- if they don't represent your views, they are out. Unfortunately the first stumbling block is finding someone to run-- as the Tea Party discovered. Most people who run for congress do so for the power and prestige. In order to increase/maintain power and prestige they must court the National Party (power) as well as Big Business (money.) The Average Joe who is willing to ignore them and follow the dictates of the grass roots electorate is usually an irrational wack-a-doo or a spineless dummy. It is extraordinarily rare to find someone smart and capable who is also interested in representing the common man.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:12 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A couple of weeks ago, a few friends and I were at a local coffee shop when Senator Mark Warner came in. We asked him over and he sat down with us for five minutes. He accepted our invitation and was cordial and genial and relaxed.

(Important background: Mark Warner was the very successful governor of Virginia and has always been viewed as a Democratic wunderkind. He's a pro-business blue-dog by any definition and is part of the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Six" that is supposedly hammering out a budget-reduction proposal.)

So here he was, a very powerful and influential Democrat sitting with us. A couple of us at the table told Mr. Warner that we were lifelong, loyal Democrats and that we wanted the Democrats in congress to represent us as, you know, Democrats. He acted receptive and grateful but you could literally watch his eyes glaze over.

He has no more intention of acting like a real Democrat than any Republican that may take his place. It's crushingly depressing, and I totally understand where palindor's coming from.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


palidor: You can't do that when you're trying to logically prove why the USA is fucked.

People can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can also give their vote to lesser-evil Democratic politics, and give their time, cash, and heart to the dozens of idealistic political groups doing great work in providing services and lobbying for better legislation.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:48 AM on June 17, 2011


A couple of us at the table told Mr. Warner that we were lifelong, loyal Democrats and that we wanted the Democrats in congress to represent us as, you know, Democrats. He acted receptive and grateful but you could literally watch his eyes glaze over.

Asking a blue-dog Democrat senator, especially one in Virginia of all places, to "act like a real Democrat" is an invitation on a silver platter for the eye glaze-over.
posted by blucevalo at 5:52 AM on June 17, 2011


Bill Clinton held on.

As I said above, he shouldn't have.

And just imagine if he hadn't. Al Gore as a sitting president would most likely have gotten and uncontestable four years, possibly eight. Not that I have any brief for Al Gore, he who helped usher out Glass Steagell, but he just might have avoided this stupid war.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:57 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's pretty obvious the answer is a grass roots movement such as a Tea Party for the Left.

The Tea Party is not a grassroots movement. It is funded by the likes of the Koch brothers and Fox News.
posted by desjardins at 6:31 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]



"Doing something is better than nothing!"

"NO! Doing nothing is best!"


Well yes, because there are situations where that is literally the case. Doing nothing would have let the Bush tax cuts expire, and those cuts are a big part of why I think we are doomed.

Doing nothing in Libya would have been great with me too, though that one is clearly debatable.

I'd rather do nothing and let the Patriot Act sunset.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:56 AM on June 17, 2011


Rachel Maddow has more to say about this.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:07 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah I've been impressed with Maddow over the past couple weeks hammering on Democrats for their reactions to this. But I'm like two days behind on my MSNBC watching so I'm excited to hear what she says about the resignation when I finally catch up (yes I'm weird and am perpetually catching up to the present but it's kind of fun knowing what's coming the next day or two while all the talking heads are clueless ha ha)
posted by palidor at 8:25 AM on June 17, 2011


Okay, but do you want the guy who's down at the zoo poking and taunting the gorilla in the cage to represent you? Because it seems like that was part of what Weiner was doing. He knew people were watching him... that there was a whole Twitter group that was watching his tweets, keeping track of his contacts, and warning young women he "friended" about him. He knew this because at least two people told him they had been contacted. It doesn't take a subtle mind to imagine that they or someone else might try to set him up (get an attractive friendly to leave a provocative comment and see where it goes). It doesn't take a genius to exercise some caution.

This shadowy Dan Wolfe entity was saying there was going to be a Weiner scandal even before Weiner dealt himself his own death blow. I think that's because they had hooked him, reeled him in (the "Me" photo was nice and helpful!), and were cranking up the BBQ.

I think he was taunting them when he started IMing with the high school girl. He wanted to send them into a tizzy... but (hopefully) had no plans to sext that up. He enjoyed lathering them up, and he thought he could misdirect them with stuff like that while continuing to carry on under their noses.

At any rate, aside from being creepy with Twitter followers, he's no deep strategist. He seems like a not terribly bright guy who's super easy to manipulate because of his ego.
posted by taz at 9:52 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ta-Nehisi Coates has had a couple of great posts and comment threads that capture my pov on this.
posted by Danila at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2011


Re: Taz

Yeah, it seems like Weiner caught the Gary Harts to some extent. "Go ahead, follow me!"
posted by klangklangston at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2011


Meanwhile, here's an actual, substantive policy-making scandal involving possible self-dealing of a sitting Republican legislator. Any one up for putting a wager on whether this news will lead to any calls for resignation from the public, the press, or the Republican party leadership?
When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the GOP blueprint for cutting government spending, he asked Americans to make sacrifices on everything from Medicare to education, while preserving lucrative tax subsidies for the booming oil, mining and energy industries.

It turns out a constituency within his own personal investments stood to benefit from those tax breaks, Newsweek and The Daily Beast have learned.

The financial disclosure report Ryan filed with Congress last month and made public this week shows he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan's budget plan.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2011


Link.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking for the willy in the Ryan story, and I'm not seeing the willy. Where's the HOOK, saul?
posted by Trochanter at 1:20 PM on June 17, 2011


And I just keep thinking, okay, the dems determine this extremely effective if compulsive guy can't serve because he's a distraction, yet Gabby Giffords, who is physically unable to do anything to serve her constituents, keeps her seat. Politics are weird.
posted by Scram at 2:58 PM on June 17, 2011


I think it is good that he has chosen to resign. This is the kind of thing that in Europe you wouldn't resign over. You'd make some joke about "Women eh?" (maybe throw in a line about how at least it was a woman you'd sent the pics to, depending on how homophobic you were feeling that day) everyone would laugh it off and it would be at best a mini-scandal.

It shouldn't be. Sending people unwanted pictures of your private bits isn't respectful to them as people. Now when I and my friends send each other junk shots?That's a joke. When someone in power does it, uninvited? That doesn't seem funny to me. I mean yeah, I can see why people are saying he shouldn't have resigned. He is very effective, very vocal, and very Democratic in the best traditions of the party. He is also a jerk in a way that once made public demeans the people who were sent uninvited pictures. Worse, had he stayed in office it would be saying that he doesn't think Twitting uninvited pictures of his junk to strangers is offensive. It is. Dude should totally run for re-election though.

This doesn't touch the Republican hypocrisy involved, because it can't. Basically we can have a society based on mutual respect, which Weiner violated, or we can be Republicans. The right doesn't give two fucks about mutual respect and it never will. That doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't.
posted by Peztopiary at 3:36 AM on June 18, 2011


Basically we can have a society based on mutual respect, which Weiner violated, or we can be Republicans. The right doesn't give two fucks about mutual respect and it never will. That doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't.

Maybe. But taking the moral high ground also makes us more vulnerable to cynical manipulation. In the same way that unpunished cheaters win in contests against players strictly observing the rules, rule following is a serious handicap when only one side is observing and conscientiously self-enforcing the rules (when there are such weak outside enforcement mechanisms). As long as our system relies as much as it does on self-enforcement and provides few independent mechanisms for checking abuse of political authority, being scrupulous will sometimes be a handicap in practical tactical terms. And truly cynical, opportunistic political actors who care only about using the system to further particular personal financial or business interests will always be in a good position to turn the integrity of the honest actors in the system against them. Every seat the Democratic party loses for any reason costs every remaining individual Democrat legislator some measure of political power and influence. Republicans know that, in their bones, that's why they never sell out their own members even if it might be the right thing to do.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:46 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


NYT: Fake Identities Were Used on Twitter in Effort to Get Information on Weiner
At least three months before the revelation that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner was sending lewd messages and photos to women online, a small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter. Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.
This is actually pretty bizarre stuff, and to me it's totally unclear who was trying to do what to whom.

Here is Mediaite's story on their story in which they ran with the fake tweeters thing (supposedly verified their identities, but they were wrong).
posted by taz at 10:56 AM on June 18, 2011


Because it is easier to pound your keyboard than it is to pound the street in a voter registration drive.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:13 PM on June 22, 2011


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