Monday, June 13, 2011


The Weiner story just gets worse and worse, but if he has to go right now, it annoys me that the last straw seems to have been a series of photos taken at the House Members Gym. I understand not wanting the guy to abuse the government phone system or e-mail to advance his sex life, but those would be improper appropriations of actual services. When he takes a picture in the House gym, what is he stealing from the government exactly -- light waves? Does the mirror undergo depreciation when it's hit by his camera flash?

And the gym's not even fully governmental -- Politico describes it as "a private exercise facility in the Capitol complex that is open to current and former lawmakers."

Sure, it's part of a space reserved for those doing government for the people, but it's a space for them to go when they're not working. Weiner wasn't working. Neither was anyone around him.

So it's not OK for Weiner to abuse government facilities this way, but it's fine for Paul Ryan to sit in his congressional office (undoubtedly government property) and discuss his daily workout at great length with a fawning Politico reporter, the result being a story that a highly effective bit of self-promotion for Ryan:

It's OK for Ryan's fellow Republican Aaron Schock to pose in a private gym for a Mr.-Schock-goes-to-Washington story in the local press back in Illinois, then appear shirtless in a Men's Health cover story about his workout regimen, followed by TV appearances promoting the article (and himself).

I guess it's only unseemly if you're selling yourself as a congressional studpuppy to one person at a time. (Or if you have zero belly fat.)

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