I'm not normally one to say, "See? I told you so," but ... Wait. Yes, I am. See? I told you so.
Last week in Technocracy, I explained why Rep. Anthony Weiner's absurd "hacker" claim was implausible and vague on its face. When an individual can do anything online, then assert he did not do it because unnamed miscreants co-opted his account through unspecified and vague means, we live in a world where anything is possible, nothing is credible, and no government official may be held accountable for his misconduct. From his first shrill denials and accusations, Weiner's protestations lacked sincerity. Following his public admission that, wait, there was no hacker and Wiener's a dirty old man with no "game," we seem collectively not to have noticed that Weiner doesn't really believe he's done anything wrong.
To say, with caustic glee, that this scandal couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow is an understatement. Weiner is frequently referred to by the left-leaning press as an "outspoken Democrat" – media code-language for a brickbat-tossing slanderer who sees "unholy alliances" between "conservative commentators" and various commercial industries. To see such a reprehensible would-be tyrant, a statist who delights in stripping American citizens of their civil rights, laid low is the height (the depth?) of schadenfreude. What everyone seems to be forgetting, however, is that Weiner didn't just lie. He, his people and their fellow travelers attempted to blame innocent people for Weiner's misconduct, including Andrew Breitbart and a Twitter user named Dan Wolfe.
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Doing his best impersonation of disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (who, like Weiner, seemed determine to hang on to office as long as he could despite the untenable ethical position created by Spitzer's prostitution scandal), Weiner has "apologized." Paul Stanley quoted him thusly:
"I came here to accept full responsibility for what I have done. I am not resigning, and people who judge me have a right to do so," said Weiner. "My primary sense of regret – my apology – goes to my wife. I should not have done this, especially since I was married. I love my wife very much. We have no intention of splitting up over this," Weiner went on to say.
When repeatedly asked about a reason for his actions, Weiner said, "If you're looking for some type of deep explanation, I have none. I am just deeply sorry. Almost as soon as I told one lie I knew I would have to cover it by telling others."
Missing from this insincere mea culpa to Weiner's constituents and family was any recognition or acknowledgment of how his accusations might have affected, however temporarily, the reputations of Andrew Breitbart and Dan Wolfe. Columnist Bob Lonsberry shrewdly pointed out, after the scandal broke, that Weiner is such a partisan bomb-thrower that his initial, "Aw, shucks, guess I was hacked" reaction could not possibly have been genuine. A venomous ideologue like Weiner, according to Lonsberry, would never dismiss the sending of possibly ruinous lewd photos through his account as anything but a Republican dirty trick. The throng of leftists jeering that this must surely have been the case have, subsequent to Weiner's admission, wandered off with naught but muttered and sullen comments to mark their passing. This pattern plays out every time a Democrat is implicated in a scandal.
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Sex scandals have been described as the most bipartisan and equal-opportunity of political peccadilloes. Invariably, however, Republicans quickly abandon their scandal-plagued brethren, kicking them off the back of the sleigh to the ravening wolves pursuing them. Contrast this to Democrats, who, likely as not, cling to power with the tenacity of oily ferrets, their teeth firmly lodged in their constituents' flesh no matter how brazen the offense or how irrefutable the evidence. Few Democrats resign in the face of such scandals – at least, that is not their initial reaction – and few exhibit anything like genuine shame or contrition when, finally caught, they are forced to admit what journalists like Joseph Farah and Andrew Breitbart have already told the world.
Taking his cues from famous liars like Bill Clinton, Weiner – directly or through surrogates – was only too happy to wag his metaphorical ... er, finger at us and tell us that, obviously, he was "hacked," and why, no, he was not going to keep talking about the issue. He tried several times to declare the scandal dead, to put it behind him and carry on with what was probably supposed to be the "work of the people," or some other garbage. Those denials, which rang so hollow when he was making them, now look every bit as bad as Clinton's defiant chiding of his critics. Why, how dare we think a Democrat politician could be guilty of such petty crimes? Well, we dare, probably, because he was and he is.
Media apologists and Democratic strategists are already debating whether Weiner can ride out his little sex scandal, even acknowledging the double standard in resignations among disgraced GOP elephants versus petulant Dem jackasses. What is truly astonishing, however, is that we've sunk to such low expectations of our public officials. There was a time when, if no less corrupt than they are now, those in power were expected at least to be better at hiding their malfeasance. It now seems the new rule is to do what you want unless you get caught ... and then to keep right on doing what you want.
To a government official who misuses his family, his office and countless young women – while declaring that he has no intention of truly accepting responsibility for his misdeeds – no abuse of power is unthinkable. This is today's Democratic Party, and this is the character of those who hold the boot of pervasive government on our necks. Unless and until we demand better, they will continue to inflict on us far worse.