Our short national nightmare is over. It is, indeed, Anthony Weiner’s organ. And the world can rest safe at night knowing that it will remain ensconced in a pair of gray Fruit of the Looms for the foreseeable future. Now, in fact, Weiner is supposedly entering rehab; he is the media’s newfound “victim” of sex addiction – the same malady that afflicts every male on planet earth, but which somehow does not drive them to send photographs of their intimate parts to random people they meet on the internet.
While some top Democratic leaders are calling for Weiner to step down, many on the Left are not satisfied to see their erstwhile hero bite the political dust. They want to rehabilitate him, to excuse him, to relieve his moral culpability for tweeting his eponymous body part to women around the nation. And so ethical leader Alec Baldwin wrote at Huffington Post in defense of the Good Representative, explaining,
“The Internet, as I understand it, is best for sharing information, ideas and even feelings … Photos to find love. To find sex. My thought on Weiner is that he is a very busy man … He exists under a constant pressure cooker of self-analysis and public appraisal.”
Baldwin feels that this time pressure justifies Weiner’s odd email habits:
“For high functioning men like Weiner … that leaves one tried and true source of a reliable high. The affirmation when someone lets you know they want to sleep with you. Or even cyber-sleep with you.”
So to get this straight, if you’re a busy guy, you should be able to send photographs of your genitals to random women, to save time. Try that one on your wife and see if it works. But according to Baldwin, urgency justifies sexual urgency. After all, as Baldwin says, “Let he who is without sin …” Leave it to liberals to take the New Testament out of context in order to let a sexually perverted ally off the hook.
Baldwin isn’t even the worst of the leftists when it comes to the defense of Weiner. Chris Matthews explained his fear that Democrats would “never get the Speakership back because the people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian conservative culturally – you can say backward if you want – but they don’t like this kind of stuff at all.” In other words, only bigots care whether a married man decides to have a public Kodak moment with himself and distribute it via internet to horny women the country over – European liberals, by contrast, would write this off as a harmless indiscretion. At least Matthews was attacking the country at large this week – a few days ago, he actually attacked Weiner’s wife, then backed away when called on it.
The defense didn’t rest there. MSNBC host Cenk Uygur mouthed the most typical liberal line with regard to Weiner’s non-resignation: “Democrats never stick up for their own, and that’s why they get rolled by the Republicans on a consistent basis.” In this view, only gutless Democratic incompetence allowed the Weiner issue to become an issue – instead, Democrats presumably should have stood as one, standing and proclaiming “I am Spartacus!” in order to obscure the tweeter. Julian Zelizer of Princeton University said that it didn’t matter to the American people that a Congressman we pay with our tax dollars sees fit to spread his frank and beans across the fruited plains – after all, most Americans are concerned with “the causes behind the stunningly high unemployment rate.” And Charlie Rangel – he of the incessant real estate scandals – says he doesn’t get the focus at all: “I know one thing: He wasn’t going out with prostitutes, he wasn’t going out with little boys, he wasn’t going into men’s room with broad stances. All of those things I understand.” Of course, two of the three of Rangel referred to here resigned.
Even more hilarious than some of Weiner’s defenders are those on his side of the aisle abandoning him. Bill Clinton, the man who performed Weiner’s wedding – how could that go wrong? – is reportedly furious that Weiner isn’t resigning. After all, Weiner got caught with his pants down, and Clinton only got caught with his genetic material on someone else’s dress. World of difference there. Nancy Pelosi, who has famously used her self-proclaimed status as Grandmother To Us All to ram through her socialist political agenda and save corrupt bureaucrats like Charlie Rangel, thinks it’s bad policy for Weiner to stay in power since he used his self-proclaimed status as Weiner To Us All to ram through, ahem, his own peculiar agenda.
Overall, though, many liberals seem confused as to why Americans would care about Anthony Weiner’s sextcapades at all. What they don’t understand is that this isn’t about the sex. It’s all about the arrogance.
Just as with Bill Clinton, liberals like to boil everything down to the sexual act. “People lie about sex!” they shout. But public officials should not lie about sex. We’re paying their salaries. When Anthony Weiner tried to blame Andrew Breitbart for the leaked tweet, he violated a public trust – the same trust Richard Nixon violated with Watergate. Anthony Weiner’s “I was hacked” was the same as Nixon’s “I am not a crook,” only more pusillanimous.
That’s why Weiner should step down. It’s not because he violated our supposedly Puritan sensibilities about the propriety of penis pictures distributed around the web. It’s not because the members of his district want to get rid of him; according to the latest poll data, they don’t. It’s because Congressmen represent the entirety of the American people along with their district; they owe something to all of us, not just those who vote for them. They owe us their best efforts and their honesty. It means they shouldn’t target citizens like Breitbart who stumble on their mishaps. It means they shouldn’t use their position of power to prey on young women.
What ever happened to the honest left? What happened to liberals who prized honesty above all else? When did they sacrifice their own basic principles in favor of political convenience? When did they decide that a man like Weiner was worth defending?
Ben Shapiro is an attorney and writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and author of the upcoming book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV” from Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.