LOS ANGELES, June 15, 2011—From the moment Anthony Weiner inadvertently tweeted a picture of his (redacted) to a barely legal coed, the majority of people (pretty much everybody except me) missed the entire point.
First came the jokes.
Then came a satirical hearing.
Then came the music.
Then came the movie.
Then came the sporting event.
Eventually there was indignation, condemnation, and the potential for a resignation.
Yet what was missing in this entire saga gets to the very heart of it all.
The Anthony Weiner story matters. Yet many people still have not figured out why.
Plenty of politicians have survived sex and financial scandals. Charles Rangel was accused of committing crimes that could have resulted in prison time if he had been tried and convicted. Bill Clinton lied under oath and had his law license suspended. Yet both of them kept their jobs.
Anthony Weiner engaged in lewd behavior. Yet as of now there is no concrete evidence that he did anything illegal. If it turns out that his contact with an underage girl crossed the line, that changes the game. Unless proven otherwise, his sins seem to be of the garden peccadillo variety.
So wy did Rangel and Clinton survive while Weiner is closer than both of them to political extinction?
Why are those who lost little sleep over both of those men ready to put the Anthony Weiner carcass out on the street?
Why are so many people (myself included) so downright gleeful over this man’s suffering? Why is this man so worthy of a political head being delivered on a silver platter?
It all comes down to the one thing that makes Weiner different from most of the rest of his fellow politicos.
Bill Clinton and Charles Rangel were both likable. Anthony Weiner is not likable.
Anthony Weiner is a mean-spirited bully. He is abusive toward political opponents. He demonizes people just for disagreeing with him. He is hateful, and hated.
Think about Congress (I know, I try not to either). Even after the shellacking that the Democrats had in 2010, they still have 192 House members. How many of them really stand out? Most of them may vote in ways that make conservatives cringe, but we know nothing about them.
The only ones we really know are the worst of the worst. These are the ones that are constantly in front of the cameras berating Republicans for existing and breathing air. The others simply do their jobs.
Everything in politics comes down to what I call the “beer-ballgame test.” Look at every presidential election since 1960. The guy that you would rather drink a beer with and watch a ballgame with won.
Bill Clinton was Bubba. Charles Rangel was Charlie. They were lovable rascals. They drove conservatives bonkers because they could charm their way out of anything. Rangel has a gift. People can watch him, know full well he is spewing garbage, and yet still see him laugh and smile and pal around with Republicans on television. The interviews end with mutual compliments. Rangel is a fierce partisan, but still pleasant. People can’t help but like him.
Anthony Weiner is as nasty as it gets. He makes politics personal. Some people mellow with age. He has gotten meaner.
After Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, members of Congress decided to sit together in a show of unity. Weiner sat with his frequent political sparring partner Peter King. The new age of civility began with King being magnanimous. Weiner addressed reporters, and when asked about King, said, “I still can’t stand the guy.” This was in February of 2011. The era of civility ended before it began.
He routinely attacks Fox News and its employees, yet keeps coming on the network. On March 2nd, 2011, he attacked Megyn Kelly. She is tough but polite. He was downright rude to her.
On March 16th, 2011, he spoke to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in an uncivil manner.
“Bachmann, I don’t think you want to go there. I don’t think you want to go there Bachmann,” he said. “And by the way, for her to make fun of me not knowing fact from fiction is a bit ironic to say the least.”
Calling her by her last name and attacking her intelligence went barely noticed since liberal men crossing the line with conservative women seems to be one of the last forms of bigotry still allowed.
On March 27th, 2011, he used Twitter in ways that may have been worse than his current scandal. In one fell swoop he managed to go after Tea Party people and much of Middle America.
“Perhaps the best thing of the week. The Iowa tea posse stops brushing their tooth long enough to boo me.”
His Wikipedia page on June 9th, 2011 contained an entry that had been there for some time. It seemed innocuous, but it should be given special attention.
“Weiner is known to be one of the most intense and demanding members of Congress. He often works long hours with his staff fact-checking documents, resulting in one of the highest staff turn-over rates of any member of Congress, including, at one point, three chiefs of staff in 18 months. Weiner admitted, ‘I push people pretty hard… I have nothing but love for people who endured it, even if they endured it for a short period of time.’”
High turnover in any profession is troubling. Higher than normal turnover is absolutely worth questioning.
Even as the scandal was about to explode, Weiner could not stop lashing out at people. It was one thing to be unable to control his lust. Yet he could not control his rage either. Impulse control had gotten him in trouble, and he just came unglued.
On May 31st, 2011, He called a reporter a “jack@ss.”
Many politicians have gotten caught with open microphones or secret recording devices. This was a man in front of the entire world publicly berating a reporter simply for trying to get a question answered. The reporter was doing his job in a professional manner. Congressman Weiner was simply unctuous.
All of this is just in the last four months. Mr. Weiner has been in Congress since 1999. He has been in politics for two decades. There are hundreds of examples of his abusive behavior.
This is not about conservatism or liberalism. It is not about sex. It is about the Golden Rule. Anthony Weiner did unto others, and now they are doing unto him.
He has checked into rehab. He has claimed that he wants to work on being a better husband and a better person.
Being a better person goes beyond his sexual demons. If he truly wants to be a better person, he has to make a commitment to stop treating political opponents as enemies.
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is approaching, and Weiner needs to know that New York Republicans are not enemies of America.
Weiner has not at any time since the scandal broken stated that he would bother to treat conservatives better. Conservatives have every reason to believe that if he survives this scandal, he will come back worse than ever. He will abuse conservative judicial nominees with a ferocity that would make the Robert Bork hearings seem like child’s play.
This is why Anthony Weiner matters. He deserves zero leniency. An ounce of mercy for him is too much.
His political career must be crushed permanently. The entire political system will be a more civil place when he is gone. America will be a better place. At the very least it will be much kinder.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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