The Lessons of Weinergate

Politicians are less responsible and much dumber than those they seek to rule.

Editor's Note: This column is reprinted with permission of the Washington Examiner. Click here to read it at that site.

Ah, Weinergate, you are the gift that keeps on giving, the crotch-shot that launched a thousand puns. Yet, sadly, some people fancy themselves far too serious to embrace the hilarity.

"Just pathetic," an example of "American Puritanism," journalism professor Jeff Jarvis pronounced the media focus on Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) alleged boxer-brief malfunction.

Spare me. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a good old-fashioned political sex scandal. They're entertaining, and they may even be edifying—reminding us that self-styled "public servants" are often less responsible, more venal, and just plain dumber than those they seek to rule.

Jarvis delivered his jeremiad on CNN's Reliable Sources, where navel-gazing journos discuss their favorite subject, themselves. Weinergate led the hour, with CBS' Nancy Cordes confessing her embarrassment over having to ask Weiner about the "racy underwear photo" now plaguing Weiner:

"I don't think anyone says I would like to cover Capitol Hill because I think there will be a lot of sex scandals involving underpants. So, no, it wasn't any fun," Cordes said.

Not fun? You lie, Cordes. I haven't sniggered so much since the Atlantic profiled "Sister Mary Schmuck," a Brooklyn nun who gamely defends her unfortunate last name.

"At one point, there were 400 Schmucks in America," she told the magazine, undercounting by several orders of magnitude. (There must be at least that many on Capitol Hill alone.)

Maybe it's Weiner's onetime status as a rising left-wing star that's made liberal journalists queasy about the pile-on. When sex scandals and partisan loyalties collide, partisans get pious and prissy, lecturing us about America's "unserious" political culture.

But one of the few perks of being a libertarian is that you get to enjoy twice as many scandals. Politics is one big smorgasbord of schadenfreude, and I feel sorry for my Republican friends who root, root, root for the Red Team so ardently that it hampers their enjoyment of the wonderful GOP sex scandals of recent years.

Only someone with a calcified funnybone could fail to chuckle at the 2010 downfall of moralizing Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.). It's one thing to have an affair with a married staffer, but it takes true comic genius to have that staffer interview you on camera about the virtues of abstinence education.

A botched extramarital cover-up drove Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) from office as well. Ensign had an affair with the wife of one of his best friends, staffer Doug Hampton, then allegedly tried to buy Hampton off with a lobbying gig.

The New York Times story featured a priceless photo, possibly provided by Hampton himself. It was an autographed picture featuring Ensign with his arm around the buddy he cuckolded, signed "your friend and brother in Christ—John Ensign."

This is quality stuff, easily the equal of the material provided by the handsy Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), who liked nothing better than a good tickle fight with the fellas.

H.L. Mencken thought government as practiced in these United States was "dishonest, insane, and intolerable." But that never stopped the sage of Baltimore from enjoying what he called "incomparably the greatest show on earth."

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  • ||

    I'm pretty sure there isn't a "best of my knowledge" exception in that law he sponsered.

  • SIV||

    Weiner was relying on the "US Congressman exception".

  • ||

    Probably no "certitude" clause either...

  • ||

    We need a catchy little term that deflates this "public servant" nonsense.

    "Waste of taxpayer money" is too wordy...help me out here.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Public Parasite?

  • ||

    pubic parasite?

  • ||

    "High-Functioning Sociopath"

  • Devil Inchoate||

    government teat-sucker

  • ||

    gub'mint tweet chucker?

  • marlok||

    Subsidized Narcissist

  • ||

    Too abrasive guys...we need a nice sound bite that's not so blatantly insulting.

  • ||

    Spitzeriffic.

  • marlok||

    Come on man, we're trying our best.
    mandated meddler, bankrolled busybody

  • Seguin||

    Civic Temp.

  • ||

    Public Disservant.

  • ||

    I think "Career Politician" covers it. There is nothing lower. It immediately calls to mind someone who revels in writing laws while always feeling above them. Someone who has never earned an honest dollar but makes it his or her business to spend as much of your money as he/she can get away with - oh yeah, we can always borrow more. Have any of these scum ever discussed term limits? Easy question. No.

  • ||

    not completely flaccid???
    not fully erect pubic servant????

    Actually, I think Weiner is our best public servant as he reminds everyone that they are all, ever, dicks.

  • Realist||

    Fucking asshole.

  • OFF TOPIC||

    Check out this mewling screed from Spitzer: http://www.slate.com/id/2296359/

  • ||

    "Carefully calibrated government intervention in individual sectors can return those sectors to solvency and also force needed reform when done properly."

    He forgot to add..when done properly by Top Men.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Who?

  • ||

    Top ... Men

  • Fluffy||

    You know what else returns sectors to solvency?

    Bankruptcy.

  • ||

    One sure fire way of avoiding a scandal like this:

    DON'T TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR JUNK YOU MORON!

  • pussy||

    calls

  • fish||

    "Just pathetic," an example of "American Puritanism," journalism professor Jeff Jarvis pronounced the media focus on Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) alleged boxer-brief malfunction.

    I bet this asshole would have been jerking himself like a Dutch army recruit giving a sperm sample had this been anyone on the opposite side of the aisle and not Schumer Junior.

    That's pathetic.......

  • Some Call Me. . .Tim||

    He doesn't have enough money and power that he can't just pay for a hooker?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Yes, but not quite enough money and power to get away with killing one. Maybe if he got a committee chair.

  • Some Call Me. . .Tim||

    Or an Oldsmobile.

  • ||

    +10

  • Teddy||

    Not nice.

  • ||

    i thought it was the name...

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Thank god for this thread. I thought I'd missed out on Weinergate entirely! Except I don't want to wade through 800 posts on the previous thread to see which jokes have already been used.
    So never mind.

  • fish||

    >....to see which jokes have already been used.

    All of them!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Penis!

  • Realist||

    They write themseleves.

  • ||

    My nominee for most tasteful and clever play on his name: Jonah Goldberg's columne titled: Wiener not being frank with the public.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: We need to amend the Constitution to protect the sanctity of marriage from politicians.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Leibniz's mother's maiden name was Schmuck, which is why he always chose it as his "secret question" when registering at a new website.

  • TWylite||

    Let's be frank. Weiner's apology doesn't cut the mustard. Weiner has no business as a member of the house, and needs to get his buns out of office. I'm sure his constituents don't relish a special election, but the pain will be brief. They can't afford to be represented by a hot-dogging exhibitionist, or they will always be playing catch-up. Can I stop with the weiner/dick jokes, yet? The longer I go, more of a stretch it is.

  • Jim||

    A+. Good work.

  • ||

    Can I stop with the weiner/dick jokes, yet?

    Never. We get stuck with stupid fucking laws. Let these people be mocked to the grave.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Can I stop with the weiner/dick jokes, yet?

    No.

  • Mike M.||

    Weiner, Barney Frank, and Gary Johnson need to form a law firm.

  • ||

    Weiner, Frank, & Johnson...is that a law firm or a gang bang?

  • ||

    We must never forget.

  • ||

    doesn't he spell it Bawney...?

  • Some Call Me. . .Tim||

    It's time's like this when I miss Ted Kennedy. The old master could shrug this right off.

  • marlok||

    it's like he could walk on water...

  • OO||

    or bourbon

  • Mary Jo Kopechne ||

    Too bad I couldn't!

  • ||

    I can see the turbines from my grassy knoll.

  • Some Call Me. . .Tim||

    It's time's like this when I miss Ted Kennedy. The old master could shrug this right off.

  • rather||

    Why I won't revel in anyone's misery

  • Ted S.||

    I figured it's because you do stuff that's even more depraved.

  • Wind Rider||

    Aw, you're just upset cause you ain't got any stories racy enough to be accepted by the Penthouse letters section. . .and ya know what? We don't give a flying fuzzy red rats butt about this worthless perv's 'pecadillos', or armadillos, or even what flavor smoothie he preferes, either. Which is the point you spectacularly miss as it flew over your head close enough to leave skid marks on your scalp - if the sonofabitch wasn't such a creepy, pervy, and dumb as a stump when it comes to his gee whiz cameraphone then this wouldn't be stuck in our fucking heads so hard it's gonna take truckloads of brain bleach to get rid of.

    So yea, we're gonna point, and we're gonna fucking laugh our asses off. We earned it. Now you go sit in the corner and fucking pout for being obtuse and self loathing. It seems to be your gig.

  • fish||

    Revel.....c'mon revel!

  • Fluffy||

    Right, we all have to worry about the women here.

    But you know what?

    If there wasn't conclusive technical evidence nailing this SOB, he would have GLADLY AND IN A HEARTBEAT destroyed the women who came forward as liars, tools of Breitbart, etc.

    It's what his type has always done before.

    I personally think these women are much better off with the truth generally known and with Weiner's credibility destroyed. Now they have much less to worry about. At least they can't get Paula Jonesed.

  • marlok||

    But you see, Fluffy, Weiner is a Democrat, and ....

  • rather||

    Really? How is Monica Lewenski's life working out?

  • Fluffy||

    Just fine, apparently.

    At least because of the blue dress she didn't turn into "that known liar and false accuser who tried to hurt a good and fair man who never did her any harm", which is damn sure what she would have been if the Clinton Administration had anything to say about it.

  • rather||

    Lewenski's life is forever changed and Clinton was given the 'man-pass' card.

    Weiner will bounce back with the help of professional media rehabbers but these girls have lost their privacy.

  • Fluffy||

    You'd have to convince me that she would have had an extensive television career, several personal product lines, and a Master's from the London School of Economics even if no one had ever heard her name on Drudge.

    I somehow doubt that this would be the case.

  • Fluffy||

    She's fine. There are lots of middle-aged women out there doing a lot worse than her.

  • Vince Foster||

    I'd trade places with her.

  • Realist||

    Yes, Weiner will rise again.

  • dan blather||

    Monica Lewinsky?

    Yeah, she's in the headlines all the time these days. And tragically impoverished.

  • Ted S.||

    I suppose I should post my usual rant that I wish we could finally see the end of the fucking -gate suffix.

    That, and the rant about there being only two short paragraphs on page two.

  • Wind Rider||

    Yeah. Probably should.

  • ||

    Abedin [his Mulsim wife] is an odd match for the Jewish Weiner.

    Seriously, this Weiner-gate is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Huma Weiner||

    If I would have lived up to my name, this never would have happened.

  • ||

  • ||

    Democrats get an initial pass on tawdry behavior because they tend not to be moralizing hypocrites beforehand. They're 'liberals' so there's a live-let-live attitude towards sexual mores ingrained in their constituency.

    Its the lying part that deep-sixes them.

  • ||

    Democrats not moralizing hypocrites ? ooo wee THAT's a good one.

  • Platypus||

    Can't wait to see how that plays out as a Weiner for Mayor ad.

  • Realist||

    You mean Oscar Mayor Weiner?

  • ||

    Jewish Weiner 10
    Oscar Mayor Weiner 100 to the nth...

  • Auntie Semitic||

    Oh, I wish I had a Lying Mayor Weiner...

  • ||

    The jet-setting tax-evading Democrats just hypocritically moralize about different stuff, like being rich, avoiding taxes, burning fossil fuels, etc.

  • Stretchy||

    I thought Dems were supposed to be all sensitive about empowering women and crap like that. I guess "empower" means something different when you get to washington.

  • Mike M.||

    Democrats get an initial pass on tawdry behavior because they tend not to be moralizing hypocrites beforehand.

    The other way to put it is that they're perfectly comfortable being degenerate reprobates.

    Personally, I'd rather live my life trying to have some standards of decency to live up to, and feeling a little bit of shame on those occasions where I fail.

  • ||

    Everything said above is true the moral vacuum of Democrats in general.

    But the double-standard remains when it comes to sex scandals. Look at a guy like Barney Frank, whose behavior - whether he's gay or not - with his paramours relative to his office and station has been breathtakingly stupid, venal, and corrupt over the years. But he gets a pass... there's almost a 'bigotry of low expectations' with Democrats, and gay ones particularly that way.

    But lying about it in as bald-faced and outspoken manner as Weiner has, knowing there's other pictures out there etc., that's positively Edwardian in stupidity.

    What hurts him here isn't the behavior, its the stupidity of the fellow in dealing with it. And fact he's taken his biggest liberal Believers - people like Rachel Maddow - the cleaners with his lies just burns the bridges up for him, and rightfully so.

    Its the same as Larry Craig not just denying his homo-airport problems, but going on The 700 Club and blaming it all on some pinko-homo conspiracy to take him down. And then three days later admitting his homo-airport problems.

    Man is Weiner stupid, but its very nice to see him go down. Amongst the H.O.R.s Weiner was in my top three Losers...the other two being Henry Waxman and Nancy Pelosi. The incredibly underclocked Maxine Waters brings up the rear at number four, but maybe she'll be number three before too long...tee-hee.

  • Anonymous ||

    Henry Waxman used to be my congressman, back when I lived in Santa Monica. I hope you're not longing too strongly for his eventual demise; I don't think most people in the district could have named any of his opponents.

    He just, in a way, was the representative of Western Los Angeles. Like that saying about Lenin.

    "Waxman represented, Waxman represents, Waxman will always represent the 30th District of California!"

  • DLM||

    ...there's almost a 'bigotry of low expectations' with Democrats, and gay ones particularly that way.

    Yes, but it's justified.

  • Richard ||

    I prefer my sex scandals to have more, you know, sex in them. Back in 1976, a particularly obnoxious Congress critter hired this chick to be his "secretary." She was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone." Now there's a sex scandal.

  • Fluffy||

    A rules determination, please.

    Which is less healthy?

    1. A Congressman chasing his faux-hire secretary around the desk.

    2. A Congressman saying to himself, "That college student I've never met in person sent me an email. I think I'll send her a picture of my dick!"

    I gotta go with #2.

  • Fluffy||

    That was what annoyed me about Maddow's show the other night. She tried to graph all the sex scandals out there with axes for "illegal" and "creepy" and to my mind she kept getting "creepy" dead wrong.

    She automatically elevated any scandal involving a relationship arising from the workplace as super-creepy, and that's just ridiculous.

    She's essentially defining a huge slice of the marriages that occurred (hell, that still occur) in this country as inherently creepy based on her asinine ideology - in favor of giving a pass to garden-variety exhibitionist perversion.

    New flash, Madcow: Doctor Smith marrying Nurse Jones is not creepier than sending a picture of your dick to a near-stranger as a pickup line. Sorry.

  • ||

    Maddow met her partner when she went to her house to do yardwork. But I guess a 15-year-older woman hitting on the help isn't creepy at all and totally not anything like workplace romance at all.

  • Fluffy||

    Right.

    Maddow was also no doubt try to defend her rankings by arguing that Nurse Jones suffers from a false consciousness that makes her THINK she is happily married, when really she is just a slave to the patriarchy, like all women in relationships involving unequal power, blah blah blah.

    And in her next segment, she would go berserk because there are people who think you can be "cured" of being a lesbian.

    Because that's the kind of asshole she is. Only other people's choices are diseases to be cured, not hers.

  • marlok||

    There was no penis privilege involved, so it's groovy.

  • marlok||

    Maddow was using a defense mechanism known as "intellectualization."

  • Realist||

    Maddow sends out pictures of her dick all the time.

  • ||

    Which is less healthy? Well, the chasing is clearly more exercise.

  • Richard||

    I don't think she was running very fast, unless it was a role-playing thing. Anyway, how fast do women with jugs that size typically run?

  • Stretchy||

    It depends on whether it was carried out by a Republican or a Democrat.

  • Butts Wagner||

    "That college student I've never met in person sent me an email. I think I'll send her a picture of my dick!"

    It's even creepier though because it's more like: *obsessively refreshing facebook* "That college chick who gave my campaign video a thumbs up just now is hot, I am going to 'friend' her and send dick pics if she talks to me."

  • ||

    She looked quite talented to me. Indeed, if I were a congressman, I would hire a dozen just like her...

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    The sheer volume of the schadenfreude and hypocrisy that displayed each and every time one of these scandals plays out leaves me conflicted. I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

  • Yet another Dave||

    There's been those who have tried to compare this to shirtless Congressman Chris Lee earlier this year and how the GOP drummed him out in a matter of hours while this jackass refuses to leave, but really, that's something the Republicans bring on themselves by marketing themselves as the party of Christianity, wholesome family values, blah blah blah - so when an elephant gets caught, there's the added taint of hypocrisy. Not so with the Dems, which begs the question why Weiner just didn't come clean from the get-go ... chances are that if he had, this would have blown over in a matter of minutes. I mean really, except for when it's the holier-than-thou types on the right who feel the need to tell the rest of us to do as they say not as they do, do we really give a crap how depraved the sex lives of these jackals really are?

    But Weiner lied. And not just a lie like breaking a campaign promise, which most voters have come to expect from both sides of the aisle so we're sort of used to it. These were actual, real-world lies. He should be forced to resign, because there's no way his constituents should be able to trust him any longer.

    In the world of politics, even if I don't agree with your conclusions, I'd at least like to think I can trust the facts you based them on. Weiner, hell he's apparently perfectly willing to make anything and everything up out of whole cloth. If that's not a violation of something, it should be.

  • ||

    I think "Career Politician" covers it. There is nothing lower. It immediately calls to mind someone who revels in writing laws while always feeling above them. Someone who has never earned an honest dollar but makes it his or her business to spend as much of your money as he/she can get away with - oh yeah, we can always borrow more. Have any of these scum ever discussed term limits? Easy question. No.

  • MrGuy||

    "...sniggered..." - Sister Mary Schmuck. She's clearly a racist.

  • Realist||

    "Politicians are less responsible and much dumber than those they seek to rule."
    This is just not true. The stupid dickwads in this country keep electing these slime balls!

  • ||

    Nailed it! The bar for a politician is set incredibly low.
    If I hear one more word about the "intellect" of Obama for instance. An incredibly average schmuck, in miles over his head, yet we are to believe he and Hawking are mere cerebral inches apart.

  • Realist||

    Those in the news media always feel compelled to preface their comments about these shit fer brains, with "he/she is very bright", "he/she is extremely intelligent they graduated from____ (fill in Ivy League School)".

  • ||

    Suck it, I'm not resigning. He'll be gone by Friday.

  • ||

    Has anyone checked to see how old the girls are Weiner harassed?

    He is a liar with a complicit press protecting him. It stands to reason there may be much, much more to this non-story.

    It's also disgusting that this USA Today top-of-the-fold story about Weiner was adjacent to one that tells us our household obligation now exceeds $500,000 each as the total US debt obligation exceeds $61 TRILLION.

    We can do better, we must do better. We're in deep trouble.

  • ||

    Can only imagine how Huma Weiner sees it.

    Occam's razor would say she married for the access to power, since most women seek to marry "up."

    Other ideas?

    There have been all those (nasty) rumors she is a lesbian and Hillary's secret "friend".

    On the other hand, since she is a practicing Muslim with Iranian and Pakistani parents, is it really too much of a stretch that she is a secret agent who married for access to the intel? Not implausible. Women have been using their special wiles to ply intel from horn-dogs for centuries.

    Let's be Frank: From her perspective, I just have a hard time seeing the rectitude in this Weiner.

  • Realist||

    "Let's be Frank: From her perspective, I just have a hard time seeing the rectitude in this Weiner."
    Great set of puns! Could have used corn/horn dogs.

  • ||

    It's not the actual action (sending SFW photos) that bothers me, it's the complete lack of maturity and judgement that is the problem here.

  • Realist||

    Weinergate is just another name for fly.

  • Realist||

    The Congressman is tweeting his own horn.

  • ||

    don't forget to tip your waiters and waitresses...

  • ||

  • ||

    i don't see 'the red team..root,root,root' when one of theirs is caught in a sex scandal. they immediately call for a resignation. as we've seen this week, 'the blue team' STILL can't let go of their excuses for weiner's behavior and want to blame every and anybody else for what one of their's was up to.
    but that said, yeah it's pretty scary that we elect these creeps and morons to make laws for us.

  • ||

    btw...politicians 'represent' us...they do not 'rule'.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I was kinda blue that the Representative is quitting (or taking a leave of absence so he can keep collecting $174,000 annually from the taxpayer); now we won't be able to play with Weiner on-line anymore -- we'll just have to go back to getting people to like our links.

    But then I realized -- we have 6 whole months to discuss baby names!

    Holden Weiner Barbie Q. Weiner
    Willy Weiner Relish N. Weiner
    Harry Weiner Petite Weiner
    Hugh Weiner Pickles N. Weiner

    And of course there is always Peter, Frank or Dick.

  • Pandora UK||

    as we've seen this week, 'the blue team' STILL can't let go of their excuses for weiner's behavior and want to blame every and anybody else for what one of their's was up to.

  • nike dunk||

    is good

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