Sunday, May 29, 2011


I don't know what's going on with Anthony Weiner. There are a billion post and articles linked at Memeorandum right now, all concerning allegations that he tweeted a picture of an underwear-clad erection to a Seattle journalism student half his age (he says his account was hacked). Andrew Breitbart is spreading the story big time -- and that alone was enough to make me believe he'd sunk even lower than he normally does. (And gosh, wouldn't you just know it -- the young woman in question is black. A scandal/fake scandal involving a black person! And Andrew Breitbart is currently making it his life's work! Who'da thunk?)

But I'm reading some of this and I'm not convinced that Weiner's argument -- that all of this can be explained as the work of hackers -- holds up. I know, I know -- this is a scandal that starts with Breitbart. Why not dismiss all of it? Well, read this, from a blogger who's right-wing but isn't Breitbart. Read it with an open mind. Is there really more than one recipient of inappropriate tweets from Weiner? Is the other recipient a high school girl?

I don't know. What I do know is that politicians, across the political spectrum, seem almost incapable of sexual discretion. And Americans in general, in the Twitter/Facebook era, seem incapable of grasping that stuff they post is publicly available.

If there's anything to this, as I fear there might be, by rights it should have zero impact on our politics -- have scandals involving John Ensign and David Vitter slowed Republicans down one bit? (Has Vitter's scandal even slowed him down?) But of course that won't be what happens -- this will be about liberalism. This will be ascribed to you and me.

I've been skeptical of Weiner's approach to politics -- I like it that he's festy, and I find him entertaining to watch, but does he ever help us win anything? Does he ever sway anyone who's on the fence? I guess it's good to have Anthony Weiners and Alan Graysons, but I want some leaders who can chip away at the Republicans' stranglehold on public opinion and Beltway conventional wisdom. For all the entertainment value he delivers, he hasn't done that. If this is the beginning of the end for him, I'm not sure it will be as much of a loss as I know a lot of you think it will be -- except to the extent that his sins (if they exist) will be hung around our necks.

No comments: