Reporter's Note: I’m pretty sure President Obama has not said anything about the whole business of Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner tweeting risqué pictures. Still, it seems like something I ought to address in my daily letter to the White House today.
Dear Mr. President,
As I write this, the sharks are swirling all around Rep. Anthony Weiner. After that gaping, horrifying, still water silence that followed his admission of “le singe brille,” your fellow Democrats are rising from the political depths with their teeth laid bare.
They are calling for him to resign; pack up his Twitter account; and paddle up the Eastern seaboard back to New York, or better still, just keep going to Nova Scotia. They want investigations. They want evidence collected. But they mostly want the embarrassment and political liability to go away. That’s all there is to it.
D.C. players on both sides of the aisle like to talk about principles, ideals, and taking a stand. But when something like this comes along for either party, most times the pattern is the same. They briefly see if they can ride out the storm, without holding one of their own accountable. If that doesn’t cut it, they call for an investigation. And if they still sense danger, then they proclaim their outrage and demand swift action.
Maybe I’m just way too cynical, but I don’t think anyone here was outraged in the least. Oh sure, they thought what he did was bad, reckless, selfish, stupid, and all that. But this kind of thing happens, in part, because D.C. - Democratic and Republican - is filled with clubby folks who are more than happy to turn a blind eye to all sorts of questionable behavior if it involves an ally.
No, the real outrage here is over the fact that he got caught, and made his party look bad.
And that attitude is what makes D.C. look terrible to so many Americans. A lot of voters really want to believe in their leadership. They want to have faith that decisions are being made because they are right. But that’s hard to trust when each time something like this comes along each party seems to so carefully calculate the political fallout first.
Oh well. Did you catch the hockey game last night? Wild series.
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