My Take on NY-9

Special elections are nothing but risk and pain for the incumbent party. The office holder usually resigned for some ugly reason that splatters onto the incumbent party’s candidate, the incumbent party is often a sclerotic and shortsighted enough to nominate a weak machine favorite who hasn’t ever participated in a contested election, tons of money is spent stupidly in a short period of time, and the national media makes the election into a referendum on some national issue that may have no bearing on the district’s politics. The campaign calendar is compressed, so a candidate who’s slow getting on his feet is doomed. In short, they’re a shitstorm that should be avoided whenever possible.

The media loves a resignation, and DC party leaders just want the noise to go away so they’ll short-sightedly push for resignation, but unless the guy’s been indicted, I don’t see the point. Are Democrats better off without Anthony Weiner in that seat? I doubt we’ll think so tomorrow morning.

The next time some fool sends a picture of his penis somewhere and you think that resignation is the best alternative, I hope you’ll remember the disaster in NY-9, the fact that Larry Craig didn’t resign, David Vitter’s easy re-election, and Charlie Rangel’s apparently successful quest to die in office.






138 replies
  1. 1
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    The next time some fool sends a picture of his penis somewhere and you think that resignation is the best alternative

    Oh, for fuck’s sake.

    Weiner was sexually harassing women by sending them unsolicited sexual material. This has been pointed out, time and again, and people keep dodging it by saying crap like “the women had all the power”, as if it’s supposed to be a normal part of adult interactions to get penis pics. That’s bullshit, and you know it. Hell, John Stewart is an old pal of Weiner’s, and HE knows it’s bullshit.

    If the only way to win is to not call out fools and assholes like Weiner, then we need to be taking a sharp look at our ethics as progressive activists.

  2. 2

    And that goes double when the incumbent party rep broadcasts his pecker to the world. That is a hard problem to overcome.

  3. 3
    Steve says:

    Remember Charles Djou? I didn’t think so. Ownership of a single House seat for the next 16 months is unlikely to change anything at all. I’m glad Weiner is no longer around to serve as a punchline and distraction.

  4. 4
    Cacti says:

    And when said nitwit texts his junk to someone, don’t tell your Congressional leader and POTUS privately that it wasn’t you if you’d like their support in public.

  5. 5
    cargo says:

    Democratic scandal = resignation
    Republican sex scandal, war crimes, corruption, etc. etc. = “Fuck you, make me leave.”

    Each party learned opposite-lessons from Nixon and Clinton.

  6. 6
    lol says:

    If he didn’t resign, Weiner could have beat this off. I really have to blame his staff for not giving him good advice.

  7. 7
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @lol:

    If he didn’t resign, Weiner could have beat this off.

    I saw what you did there.

  8. 8
    soonergrunt says:

    @lol:

    If he didn’t resign, Weiner could have beat this off.

    Unfortunate turn of phrase there.

  9. 9
    jeffreyw says:

    @lol: You win the thread.

  10. 10
    jeffreyw says:

    He let his staff do the thinking for him. Classic.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    weener

    there, i said it

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    Are Democrats better off without Anthony Weiner in that seat?

    Are Democrats worse off without Anthony Weiner in that seat?

    If NY-9 wants their bigot, let them have him.

  14. 14
    cleek says:

    this would’ve blown over, if he would’ve stood firm, head held high. dick.

  15. 15
    Zagloba says:

    The Democratic Party: eating its own since 1963.

  16. 16
    Helen says:

    I agree with everything in this post. Which is why I wrote in Weiner’s name on my ballot this morning. And before anyone starts yelling at me for “wasting my vote” as far as I’m concerned the leaders of the Democratic party are the ones who wasted my vote. They wasted the vote I cast for Weiner in 2010. Clearly they believe that it is they, not I, who gets to decide who my congressional representative is.

  17. 17
    Lee says:

    @lol:

    People are really missing the even more subtle lol

    I really have to blame his staff for not giving him good advice.

    Mine has NEVER given me any good advice :)

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    @Helen:

    They wasted the vote I cast for Weiner in 2010. Clearly they believe that it is they, not I, who gets to decide who my congressional representative is.

    Tissue?

  19. 19
    Earl Butz says:

    We wouldn’t need House or Senate majorities if Obama would just use the bully pulpit.

  20. 20
    Ben Cisco says:

    @cleek: Pounding the podium while declaring his intent to stay engaged with the people.

  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    If Anthony and his Weiner were still in office, he’d have never been out-bigoted on the “ground zero mosque”.

    Cause that’s the kind of “progressive” that he is.

  22. 22
    Dave says:

    @lol:

    If he didn’t resign, Weiner could have beat this off.

    Instead, the party gave Weiner the shaft.

  23. 23
    Cacti says:

    @Dave:

    Instead, the party gave Weiner the shaft.

    His support had gone soft.

  24. 24
    Hal says:

    The Republican is running on Islamophobia, Homophobia, and that grand old trope that Obama just doesn’t like Jews. The republican wants to do away with SS as we know it for all the pending seniors running out to vote for him. If people don’t want to vote in their best interests, so be it.

    Weiner is easily as much to blame as anyone, if not more. He’s a fucking idiot for twittering his cock all over the internet. Double standard or not, people make a huge differential between alleged affairs behind closed doors, and open flirting with those not your spouse via virtual dick pics.

  25. 25
    Sam Houston says:

    @lol: If only Weiner was more circumcised he wouldn’t have gone into that dark place.

  26. 26
    cmorenc says:

    @lol:

    If he didn’t resign, Weiner could have beat this off.

    Um…the mental image of Weiner “beating off” is what our media circus would have been indefinitely distracted with, to the delight of the GOP egging them on. Was your choice of descriptive words above accidental or deliberate snark?

  27. 27
    OzoneR says:

    @Helen: You do know it was his wife that asked him to resign that ultimately caused him to resign, right?

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    Unfortunately for Weiner, things came to a head.

  29. 29
    Sam Houston says:

    @OzoneR: Wife Wrangled Wayward Weiner?

  30. 30
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    What Weiner did counts as sexual harassment, which is a different category from Craig’s and Vitter’s sins.

    Reserve your ire for Weiner himself; it’s his goddamned fault that this whole circus is happening.

  31. 31
    Steve says:

    @cargo: Liberals will continue to believe in this narrative no matter how many counterexamples emerge (Chris Lee, Mark Souder, Mark Foley, etc.) No matter how many Republicans resign in the face of scandal, someone will always be there to say “Republicans always ride it out!”

  32. 32
    ebgill says:

    If sexual propriety was a criteria for political life then Benjamin Franklin would have been retired long before the Declaration of Independence. Weiner was an idiot to resign and the Democrats were wrong to press him into doing so. No Republican would have resigned for what Weiner did, and many are still around for far worse. It’s like they want to lose.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Everything in politics is over-determined. There are way more potential causes than there are actual effects. The S/N ratio is awful. And it’s never more true than in special elections.

    I remember when Harris Wofford’s surprise win, over a former US Attorney General, in the 1991 special PA Senate election to replace John Heinz represented a breakthrough for Democrats, the beginning of a new, liberal post-Reagan era, and a harbinger of the imminent passage of HCR, which was his signature issue.

    Wofford was swept out of office by Rick Santorum, and health care reform never even made it to the floor that time.

  34. 34
    ant says:

    @Helen:

    I wrote in Weiner’s name on my ballot this morning. And before anyone starts yelling at me for “wasting my vote”

    lol

  35. 35
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    As a resident of NY-26, this analysis couldn’t be more correct. While Kathy Hochul was helped by the whole Mediscare discussion, what was left out is that this GOP seat suffered from two scandals (Tom Reynolds cover up of Mark Foley and Chris Lee’s craigslist trolling). The Republicans were looking pretty bad to begin with then the local machine shoved out the candidate that they had promised the seat to (a tea party, war criminal, wing nut) and crowned Jane Corwin queen. It didn’t work out too well for them.

  36. 36
    sixers says:

    Yes lets all continue to pretend Weiners main reason for resigning was a few innocent text messages and not that he lied to anyone and everyone for a week. I miss the days here where everyone was a photoshop expert and the cries of “Breitbart!” and “There will be a federal investigation into this!” rang out from the true believers.

  37. 37
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    If Weiner had stayed in, I’m not sure he could have cleaned up properly.

  38. 38
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Our media has the real story

    New York’s Special Election: Looming Upset Would Be a Rebuke to Obama
    By ALEX ALTMAN
    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/#ixzz1XqEyQPL2

  39. 39
    Zagloba says:

    @sixers: Yes lets all continue to pretend Weiners main reason for resigning was a few innocent text messages and not that he lied to anyone and everyone for a week.

    Or we could pretend that Weiner’s main reason for resigning was that he lied for a week, and not that the Democratic leadership in the House, going all the way up the President, made it clear to him that he was going to be losing all his swing in the party (committee assignments, funds, etc.) if he didn’t resign.

    Does anyone still think that Obama doesn’t know how to play the political game when it comes to getting his own people into line on the matters that he thinks actually matter?

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @sixers: I agree with you, but that wasn’t mistermix’s point. mistermix believes he should have fought it, because it seems that Democrats resign when their sex scandals occurr, yet Republicans stay in. I would say the evidence is mixed, but this thread is more about puns now anyway.

  41. 41
    jsfox says:

    @Helen: Sya f’ing what? Weiner decided to resign. Yes leadership pushed, but he certainly could have said screw you. He had many times before.

    So I am sorry your write in was similar to a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of a toy store because Mommy won’t buy him or her what he or she wants and thinks they need.

    And as far as the NY 9th goes thank Ed Koch for turning this into a vote on Israel and Obama’s policies toward it.

  42. 42
    MBunge says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill: Weiner was sexually harassing women by sending them unsolicited sexual material.

    So, sexual harassment now means any stupid male sex-related behavior?

    Mike

  43. 43
    OzoneR says:

    @cargo:

    Democratic scandal = resignation

    Bill Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, Gerry Studds all beg to disagree.

  44. 44
    lacp says:

    @MBunge: Well…yeah, pretty much.

  45. 45
    sixers says:

    @Zagloba:

    Why did Pelosi and the Whitehouse insist he resign again? Oh thats right he lied to them, his wife, his constituents etc. What a bunch of dicks Omama and Pelosi are. They surely caused this problem!

    All you assholes who complain about the “rethuglican” party and their Vitters not resigning have the same morals and values as those you despise.

  46. 46
    kindness says:

    He had to resign.

    Look, are you seriously suggesting that having an incumbent serve out their term after they have done some terrible thing is superior to them resigning? And your reasoning is that you think having a festering wounded incumbent on hand is better than potentially losing a voting seat?

    You seem to think that festering wound would not tarnish others. Are you forgetting that only Republicans can get away with misdeeds and not have it form the basis of what the rest of the party represents in our current landscape? Senator Vitter can get away with it. Had Weiner tried to continue to serve, every single newscast, every single statement by the MSM & opposition party would begin with lumping all Democrats into that festering wounded mess. And you don’t see that as true or you think that wouldn’t be so bad?

    I agree it isn’t right that Democrats have to have a different set of ethical rules in order to stay in an elected body, but honestly, I’m kinda proud of that. Even if it means Democrats lose an occasional seat because some moran goes around e-mailing pictures of his dick to everyone & their underage sister.

    Losing one is better than losing ten. We shouldn’t really be losing one but I can’t explain why the morons in Queens are acting like Pammy Geller is a truthsayer. I can’t explain why anyone from Queens would think that a mosque built 2 blocks from the old World Trade Center is a mosque built ON the World Trade Center (or whatever they call it now) property and that the terrorists have won.

    Have some principle people. Have some integrity. Just because the other side has none doesn’t mean we should ape them.

    @Helen: Congradulations on helping to elect the next Republican.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill:

    If the only way to win is to not call out fools and assholes like Weiner, then we need to be taking a sharp look at our ethics as progressive activists.

    What you mean “we,” kemosabe? Some of us actually understand that outcomes matter. Or has it somehow escaped your notice that we have a two-party system, that two-party systems are by definition zero-sum games, and the worst Democrat is always better than the best Republican?

    @ sixers:

    All you assholes who complain about the “rethuglican” party and their Vitters not resigning have the same morals and values as those you despise.

    Get away from the keyboard, and don’t touch it again until you are capable of typing something coherent.

  48. 48
    EconWatcher says:

    Our side gets held to a different standard. Weiner was a distraction. Pelosi did the right thing.

  49. 49
    CarolDuhart says:

    @ebgill: Back then there were no pictures, and the news traveled so slowly that by the time anybody outside of the neighborhood heard about it, the affair was over. Ben would have had problems in the age of photography and news cameras.

  50. 50
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @MBunge: Yeah. Harassment of any kind is how it’s interpreted by the recipient, assuming the recipient is acting as an average person in that category. This caveat is meant to take care of people who interpret everything as harassment.

    (Got to do lots of training in my job.)

  51. 51
    Sam Houston says:

    I’m trying to be a realist but I keep falling back to the position that 1) I expect a higher standard of behavior from elected officials, and 2) politicians should be 24/7 doing the people’s business.

    Now if Weiner stood up and didn’t lie AND every woman he sent a penis picture to said, “this is exactly what I wanted!” then I would have no issue with it.

  52. 52
    Earl Butz says:

    We should insist on fewer, better, purer Democrats. That way lies victory.

  53. 53
    handsmile says:

    @Helen: (#16)

    As a fellow New Yorker (with the good fortune to be represented by Carolyn Maloney), I respect and share your disgust with certain decisions of the national leadership of the Democratic Party. But I do wish you could have seen your way through your disillusion to cast a vote for the Democrat on the ballot.

    The decision taken by Democratic leaders to insist upon Weiner’s resignation was effectively forced upon them by a national media firestorm that would not have abated. As you know, the corporate media employs a different playbook on scandals, sexual or financial, depending on the individual’s party affiliation. Always and forever, IOKIYAR.

    In New York alone, think of the relentless pursuit of Spitzer, Paterson and Rangel. Moreover, it cannot be overemphasized that a man who sent emails of a women being fu*ked by a horse (Carl Paladino) was treated as a legitimate candidate for New York State Governor by the very same news organizations that howled at Weiner’s online transgressions.

    Sadly but all too predictably, should teabagger Turner defeat David Welprin today, the narrative of the Decline, Debacle, and Defeat of the Democratic Party will be played over and over on the media Wurlitzer. (Jim, Foolish Literalist #37 has caught its first verses.)

    To those who may wish to type that I am exonerating or diminishing Weiner’s actions or am promulgating the “liberal” myth that “Republicans always ride it out,” please comprehend that I am addressing here solely the corporate media’s response to these incidents, not the behavior or decisions of the individuals themselves.

  54. 54
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @Cacti: Not sure he had the balls, but he should have hung in there just to piss off his detractors. It’s what any real man wood do…

  55. 55
    OzoneR says:

    @kindness:

    I can’t explain why the morons in Queens are acting like Pammy Geller is a truthsayer. I can’t explain why anyone from Queens would think that a mosque built 2 blocks from the old World Trade Center is a mosque built ON the World Trade Center (or whatever they call it now) property and that the terrorists have won.

    I can, they’re bigots. Why is it so hard to believe our fellow Americans are real assholes?

  56. 56
    Earl Butz says:

    So, sexual harassment now means any stupid male sex-related behavior?

    @MBunge: Where do you live, a cave?

    Seriously, this is the kind of comment that could only come from someone who has been out of the workplace for a while. Even the lowest of low-grade jobs has sexual harassment training, and “stupid male sex-related behavior” has been the accepted definition of sexual harassment for at least the last twenty years or so.

    It’s 2011, not 1965, Mike. Take a look around. Things have changed.

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @kindness:

    I agree with you.

    And enjoyed the snarkfest on this thread.

    It’s Archie Bunker’s district.

    I don’t miss Weiner one iota, and he would have been a terrible distraction.

  58. 58
    sixers says:

    “Our side gets held to a different standard”. Yea you dumb fucks and that’s a good thing! Would you want to be apart of the modern republican party where you have to swallow your feelings of whats right and wrong just to back scumball politicians who disgraced themselves and the party?

  59. 59
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    It would be nice if 1) they wouldn’t do it in the first place, 2) people would recognize that they have a problem if they are doing this kind of thing that needs to be taken care of, like a drinking problem (assuming it’s the first time, not the 15th) and allow them to get treatment. We don’t live in that world, and so, yes, innocent people get splattered. Until 2 becomes more of a reality, we’re gonna have to insist on one.

  60. 60
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @burnspbesq:

    the worst Democrat is always better than the best Republican

    Having had two Republican Senators named Chafee and a Democratic Rep named Fernand St. Germain, I beg to differ.

  61. 61
    bonkers says:

    Weiner’s staff needs to get in a circle, hold a caucus, and figure out how to beat those jerks next time.

  62. 62
    OzoneR says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Having had two Republican Senators named Chafee and a Democratic Rep named Fernand St. Germain, I beg to differ.

    The rule doesn’t really apply before about 1995.

    See: Lieberman/Weicker.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    This district most likely goes poof next year. Forgive me for not caring all that much about the outcome.

  64. 64
    boss bitch says:

    Don’t miss Weiner and I don’t care if we lose his seat. Let that district have the leadership it deserves.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Fernand St. Germain
    Wow. Sounds like a name Sgt Bilko made up to run a con on the townies.

    The worst Democrats are still pretty fucking bad, even some of the mediocre Democrats are pretty fucking bad, but those good Republican have been driven off (Chaffee), run away (John Warner), or just revealed themselves to be pretty damn useless (Lugar, Snowe).

  66. 66
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @sixers: Yes, but do you see the problem? 35 unadulterated Democrats in the Senate means being unable to do anything. And the Republicans aren’t going to vote someone out because of bad sexual behavior, not if it means they get to keep the seat.

    This sounds an awful lot like negotiations where one side is the side that cares about the consequences.

  67. 67
    Sockie the Sock Puppet says:

    If you want to know why Weprin is going to lose, consider this:

    1) Special elections are usually nationalized due to their special nature; they are a chance to “send a message” rather than elect a representative.

    2) Weiner’s district takes in parts of Brooklyn and Queens that have always been hostile to Obama; there are precincts in Midwood, for instance, that went more than 80 percent for McCain.

    3) Thanks to more than two solid years of propaganda, the New York Post-reading “white ethnics” in this district are more radicalized than ever about imaginary threats to Israel and from Islam; I live nearby, and I’d say these guys hate Obama with a burning passion.

    4) Here’s a risk-free chance to stick it to Obama for his, um, Obamatude, and I’d say most of these guys are going to take it.

    It really has nothing to do with Weiner or Social Security or anything “real.” This is pure single-issue politics played by a large, single-interest constituency.

  68. 68
    Zifnab says:

    @kindness:

    Look, are you seriously suggesting that having an incumbent serve out their term after they have done some terrible thing is superior to them resigning? And your reasoning is that you think having a festering wounded incumbent on hand is better than potentially losing a voting seat?

    I think that’s exactly what he’s proposing. Yes.

    And I think if you look at Weiner’s voting record, he’s going to be a damn sight better than his replacement. Congressmen aren’t traditionally elected because of the amount of penis they show to their mistresses. And those that don’t resign – Craig, Vitter, Rangel – have a remarkably high reelection rate even in the face of scandal.

    Because, at the end of the day, voters really don’t give a shit about who you showed your penis to. So stop pretending like the media chatterheads really matter and start looking at the actual poll numbers.

  69. 69
    Zifnab says:

    @kindness:

    Look, are you seriously suggesting that having an incumbent serve out their term after they have done some terrible thing is superior to them resigning? And your reasoning is that you think having a festering wounded incumbent on hand is better than potentially losing a voting seat?

    I think that’s exactly what he’s proposing. Yes.

    And I think if you look at Weiner’s voting record, he’s going to be a damn sight better than his replacement. Congressmen aren’t traditionally elected because of the amount of wee-wee they show to their mistresses. And those that don’t resign – Craig, Vitter, Rangel – have a remarkably high reelection rate even in the face of scandal.

    Because, at the end of the day, voters really don’t give a shit about who you showed your wee-wee to. So stop pretending like the media chatterheads really matter and start looking at the actual poll numbers.

  70. 70
    Countervail says:

    I voted today. Seemed a VERY low turnout compared to regular elections. Was there at about 9:00 AM and maybe 2-3 people trickled in every 5-10 minutes. No election signs in the neighborhood at all but I was FLOODED with mailers in the past two weeks, very annoying. And got a robocall this past weekend. The DNC has the nerve to send me emails from Wasserman Schultz asking “for my support” and all I can think is how they threw Weiner under the bus in the first place. They didn’t support him, and he was one of their strongest advocates in the House. If they lose the district, they only have themselves to blame.

  71. 71
    Steve M. says:

    I guess I don’t understand why the solution isn’t to have some actual professional political operatives in our godforsaken party who understand precisely what you’ve said about special elections, and prepare accordingly.

  72. 72
    lol says:

    @Countervail:

    Maybe Weiner shouldn’t have lied to their faces if he wanted their support?

    Always someone else’s fault…

  73. 73
    OzoneR says:

    @Countervail:

    all I can think is how they threw Weiner under the bus in the first place. They didn’t support him, and he was one of their strongest advocates in the House. If they lose the district, they only have themselves to blame.

    Good God man, the Democrats were backing Weiner until he admitted he lied. You people are sick fucks

  74. 74
    Steve says:

    I find it truly amazing that the “Ground Zero Mosque” continues to have any political salience. Forget the fact that it’s not a mosque and it’s not at Ground Zero – more importantly, nothing whatsoever has been done in the last two years towards actually building the thing, and most likely it will never be built no matter what. But if people still think issues like this are important, with everything that’s wrong in the world and in this country, then I guess we get the government we deserve.

    Probably more salient in this district is the narrative that Obama is anti-Israel. The Republicans have successfully sold it as a chance to send a message to Obama and there are a lot of ultra-Orthodox voters in this district. For that reason, though, there’s hardly a lesson to be drawn for the rest of America no matter what the media says.

  75. 75
    askew says:

    I am so damn sick of so-called progressives excusing away Weiner’s sexual harassment of women because he gave great speeches on the House floor.

  76. 76
    OzoneR says:

    @Steve:

    But if people still think issues like this are important, with everything that’s wrong in the world and in this country, then I guess we get the government we deserve.

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along. This is a 3-1 Democratic district where the Ground Zero mosque is an important issue, and progressives wonder why Democrats don’t act progressive?

    Probably more salient in this district is the narrative that Obama is anti-Israel.

    If you really want to know why so many Jews in this district think Obama is anti-Israel, google “Crown Heights Riots”

  77. 77
    OzoneR says:

    @askew:

    I am so damn sick of so-called progressives excusing away Weiner’s sexual harassment of women because he gave great speeches on the House floor.

    I especially love the “mean old Nancy Pelosi forced him out” crap. Guess he really wasn’t so courageous and such a fighter after all, huh?

  78. 78
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steve:

    Probably more salient in this district is the narrative that Obama is anti-Israel.

    I don’t think that issue is unrelated to the mosque-that-isn’t, and it’s a narrative the Our Most Effective Voice in Congress helped to spread. I had as much fun as anybody watching Wiener mock the various FoxBots, but that was about as effective as he got.

  79. 79
    MBunge says:

    @Earl Butz: Seriously, this is the kind of comment that could only come from someone who has been out of the workplace for a while.

    Uh, none of what Wiener did occured in the workplace or even, as far as I can recall, in the course of any sort of working relationship with the women. That’s kind of my point.

    Mike

  80. 80
    Steve says:

    @OzoneR:

    If you really want to know why so many Jews in this district think Obama is anti-Israel, google “Crown Heights Riots”

    If you want to say they’re racist then just say it.

  81. 81
    Zifnab says:

    @askew:

    I am so damn sick of so-called progressives excusing away Weiner’s sexual harassment of women because he gave great speeches on the House floor.

    No one is excusing away Weiner’s sexual harassment. By all means, let the women sue him and have their day in court and all that. However, we’ve got a fair number of perverts on the right side of the aisle who are more than happy to cast votes for their corporate overlords. Weiner was one of our guys, and while his dick-pics might have been offensive, his voting record was not.

    In an ideal world, we’d have angels float down from heaven and cast ballots in our stead. But in the real one, I’ll take a perv who votes in my interests over a corporate shill who votes against my interests, pretty much any day of the week.

  82. 82
    someguy says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    Jack Davis is a war criminal? Why didn’t this come out during the election?

  83. 83
    OzoneR says:

    @Steve:

    If you want to say they’re racist then just say it.

    I don’t think they’re racist, in that they don’t HATE black people, they just have a hard time trusting a black leader after that because the black leaders in the city sided with the black community in the riots.

    During the ’08 campaign, a gay rights supporter told me he believed Obama was anti-gay simply because “the African-American community is anti-gay. Are you telling me he’s one of the few who isn’t?”

    I don’t think he was racist.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    @OzoneR: That sounds like a pretty racist thing to say. I guess “pretty much all blacks are anti-gay” or “pretty much all blacks are anti-semitic” aren’t exactly the same as “pretty much all blacks are lazy” or “pretty much all blacks are unintelligent” but I’d consider them in the same vein.

    I think some of the initial distrust of Obama was grounded in race (and he has an Arabic-sounding name, which doesn’t help!) but more recently I think these voters are just taking their cues from people they trust like Netanyahu, Ed Koch, etc., who say that Obama has been too pro-Palestinian and thus anti-Israel.

  85. 85
    dww44 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That just makes me so very angry.

    Here’s the headline on my newspaper’s front page today:

    “Obama would increase taxes for jobs bill”

    The first sentence of the article states that the president would pay for his jobs package by “closing tax loopholes and wiping out deductions for wealthier families and specific industries.”

    Seriously, I wonder how we Democrats ever win any elections. My paper is supposed to be a reasonable one. However, they’ve begun to frame everything to appeal to the mostly Republican voters in the area, albeit that there is a huge African American community. Unfortunately they don’t have the clout that the WASP Republican one does.

  86. 86
    Countervail says:

    Wow, yes Weiner lied about posting naughty pictures to some girls. Oh my God. The free world obviously is coming to an end. End Times.

    I will happily take a fierce advocate of my political values, who engages in personal affairs that have nothing to do with me or anyone else, over some milquetoast political flunkie like either of the current candidates.

    I never thought I’d see Democrats and liberals over-moralizing on issues that have nothing to do with public policy especially when it benefits the opposition. Did you learn nothing from the Clinton years? “BUT HE LIED” – to that I say BFD.

  87. 87
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Our media has the real story

    Wild Wenis w’uins w’iberal WH plans for economic w’ecovery.

    [you have to read it like Pontius Pilate speaking in Life of Brian]

  88. 88
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    @someguy: No, a douche bag named David Bellavia. He was promised Chris Lee’s seat by the Republican establishment and was disappointed they really were not that into him. And to be clear, serving your country in Iraq does not make you a war criminal. Coming home and bragging what fun it was to break down doors in the middle of the night and terrorize sleeping families does.

  89. 89
    CarolDuhart says:

    @CarolDuhart:# And that’s Weiner’s problem as well. If he’d had a discreet affair, there wouldn’t have been a special election today. Even if folks found out about it, he’d be given a pass. No pics, people have space to push it out of their minds. Sending his junk to all sorts of women he didn’t know means that sooner or later he was bound to get into some kind of trouble.

  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: don’t fowget Biggus Dickus sending bas-relief carvings of Priapus to the Vestal Virgins

  91. 91
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The tragedy is, even though Weiner’s poll numbers were sagging, he could have upheld the Democratic tradition of being a big-tent party.

  92. 92
    lol says:

    @Countervail:

    If Weiner wanted to enjoy institutional support through the scandal, then he probably shouldn’t have treated them as over-trusting chumps by lying to them in private.

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    Fuck, man. It blows my mind that people are equating sending pictures of your dick-unsolicited, to whomever you thought was cute on the internet-is no big deal. At least diaper dave had a hooker getting paid to deal with him. This was about the same as flashing on the subway. And Weiner was the biggest supporter of Democratic policies? Hyperbole much? He was the biggest supporter of himself and don’t think he didn’t know that his disappointed face act and passive aggressive attitude towards Obama wasn’t moving him up in party ranks. He was in Congress for quite a while before he discovered his passionate progressive voice. Add to that how he got started in politics, playing the Crown Heights tensions, he gets no love from me. He showed absolutely terrible judgement and impulse control, and you think he was a great ‘leader’? He also could not stand up like a man say he was stupid and tell the leadership to stuff it, he was staying until the district kicked him out. Way to fight. You’re being ridiculous with just a hint of misogynist to ignore the depths of what he did. And people in NY-9 are going to get the representation they deserve. You don’t vote for a party or a person, you vote for yourself. Voting to interfere with another persons rights, or over support for a country you don’t live in, mind-numbingly stupid.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @Countervail: This.

    I read somewhere that the great insult of Yasser Arafat lying to Clinton was inexcusable. I also read that the standard for Arafat was that you can lie in private but you cannot lie to the (your own) people. I like that way better.

  95. 95
    Keith G says:

    @ruemara: Ah…someone standing on principal. That won’t win you many friends in some corners.

  96. 96
    MBunge says:

    @lol: “If Weiner wanted to enjoy institutional support through the scandal, then he probably shouldn’t have treated them as over-trusting chumps by lying to them in private.”

    When are Democrats going to learn you only get to lie about sex AFTER you get elected President?

    Mike

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    What killed Weiner was not only his initial act, but his pathetic attempt at a cover up that included lying about the entire mess to Nancy Smash which led to his loss of any support from the Dem leadership.

    Besides the utter stupidity of sending pictures of your dick out over the Internet, solicited, unsolicited, or indifferent (because once you send it out, you have no control over it) Weiner compounded his dumbfuckery by denying it and “assuring” the Dem leadership that it was all some mistake. Well, yeah, it was, it was a mistake in judgement on someone’s part, and that someone was named Anthony Weiner.

  98. 98
    kindness says:

    I liked the snark on this thread more than the serious. Yea, I posted serious and I meant what I said.

    But snark is more fun. Some times, one needs to get away from serious.

    Sucks to be the people from NY-9 today. My only hope is they are horrified by what they voted for and don’t do it again in 2012.

  99. 99
    Morzer says:

    Weiner’s problem was not just that he behaved poorly to the women he sent junk pics to, but that he betrayed his wife and had done so on a rather long-term basis. Once he began lying and compounding his lies, he made it impossible for the Democratic elders to do anything to support him. Maybe in a different world we could all separate Weiner the person from Weiner the politician, but we don’t live there now. I think his sordid sexual escapades are his business and that of the various women he embarrassed and hurt – but the repeated lies in public to his constituents and his party are a different matter.

  100. 100
    Elizabelle says:

    @CarolDuhart:

    That’s the issue for me (someone who lives 2,000 miles from Weiner’s district, yeah well).

    A discreet affair with an adult is one thing, even with a pregnant new wife involved. (Makes forgiveness iffier.)

    Sending unsolicited photos of your wee wee to young women? Over the internet?

    Makes one wish he’d had a discreet in person sexual affair. And hadn’t lied to his colleagues about it.

    I agree with having a higher standard.

    Wish we had a higher standard for financial sympathies too. Like Democratic congresscritters who cared about the vanishing middle class as much as wealthy donors and FIRE executives.

  101. 101
    AxelFoley says:

    @Zagloba:

    Does anyone still think that Obama doesn’t know how to play the political game when it comes to getting his own people into line on the matters that he thinks actually matter?

    So it’s Obama’s job to clean up after grown-ass people and make sure they behave?

    Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit.

  102. 102
    Lawnguylander says:

    No matter how many Republicans resign in the face of scandal, someone will always be there to say “Republicans always ride it out!”

    You’re right. It’s impossible to get some people to believe that some things that happened really did happen when their ability to type “IOKIYAR” is dependent on not believing. Hell, Larry Craig was pushed out by Republican leadership and agreed to resign. He just changed his mind when he figured out there was nothing they could do to him if he just rode out his term. And he’s cited as an example in the post here, fer chrissakes.

  103. 103
    Dennis SGMM says:

    It’s odd to me that Blue Dogs who consistently make terrible votes are excused with “He’s the best Democrat that we can elect,” yet someone who’s stupid enough to send out dic pics is drummed out of the party.

    Progressives/professional liberals/whatever catch a lot of shit here. They had nothing to do with NY-9, the Democratic party and “Nancy SMASH” had everything to do with it.

    I’m not saying that we should relax our standards for Democratic pols. I am saying that we should apply them uniformly.

  104. 104
    OzoneR says:

    @Steve:

    That sounds like a pretty racist thing to say. I guess “pretty much all blacks are anti-gay” or “pretty much all blacks are anti-semitic” aren’t exactly the same as “pretty much all blacks are lazy” or “pretty much all blacks are unintelligent” but I’d consider them in the same vein.

    Well not really, because it is actually based on some sort of fact. LGBT rights isn’t- or haven’t been- popular in the AA Community.

  105. 105
    AxelFoley says:

    @OzoneR:

    During the ‘08 campaign, a gay rights supporter told me he believed Obama was anti-gay simply because “the African-American community is anti-gay. Are you telling me he’s one of the few who isn’t?”
    I don’t think he was racist.

    If you lump all black people together like that, you pretty much are a racist.

  106. 106
    lol says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    If, when this story broke, Weiner had gone to leadership and said “I fucked up and I need help getting out of it”, he would’ve been fine.

    He’d have confessed to sending the boner pic, gotten out ahead of the other pics and then taken a couple months off to repair his family. By the time he came back, the story would be older than old and he’d still be in office.

    Instead, he thought he could bullshit everyone and get through scot-free.

  107. 107
    lol says:

    @OzoneR:

    There’s a difference between saying GLBT rights aren’t popular in the Af Am community and automatically assuming a particular someone is homophobic because of their race.

  108. 108
    Morzer says:

    One important thing: once Weiner had been exposed not simply as a creep who betrayed his wife and sent out cock-shots, but as a serial (and incompetent) liar, his value as any sort of spokesman was effectively zero. Sooner or later, we would have had to replace him, both as a Congressman and as an advocate for progressive causes. Let’s not forget that by making this all about a sexual escapade.

  109. 109
    AxelFoley says:

    @OzoneR:

    Well not really, because it is actually based on some sort of fact. LGBT rights isn’t- or haven’t been- popular in the AA Community.

    About as popular as any other community.

    But black folks are the only ones who are homophobes, right?

    You’ve pushed this bullshit meme before Ozone on another thread a while back.

  110. 110
    Steve says:

    @OzoneR: LGBT rights ain’t so popular in the white community either, I hate to tell you. Anyway, if I conduct a study that shows empirically that black people are 12% lazier than whites or whatever, would it then be okay for me to go around assuming that any given black person is probably lazy? I sorta think people would still call that racist.

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    It’s odd to me that Blue Dogs who consistently make terrible votes are excused with “He’s the best Democrat that we can elect,” yet someone who’s stupid enough to send out dic pics is drummed out of the party.

    That doesn’t seem very odd to me. You’d think that Democrats in New York would have enough viable candidates that it would cost nothing to replace the guy who voted decently (except for on Israel and Islam) but sent pictures of his cock far and wide [wink] with another guy who votes decently and _doesn’t_ send pictures of his cock. It should be easy to do better than Weiner in this district. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s playing out.

    BTW, didn’t Max Baucus admit to having an affair with a staffer? I don’t remember _any_ followup on that.

  112. 112
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    @Steve:

    Because a district that went 55% for Obama has now suddenly discovered their inner racism. Huh.

  113. 113
    The Spy Who Loved Me says:

    @Steve:

    Because a district that went 55% for Obama has now suddenly discovered their inner racism. Huh.

  114. 114
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I suspect no-one believed Baucus capable of such a human activity.

  115. 115
    CarolDuhart says:

    @Lawnguylander: But that’s the point. Larry Craig could remain a reliable Republican vote because he agreed not to run again, and because he’s a Senator. Weiner could have done the same thing, agreed not to run again and to vote reliably Democratic. But he’s more easily replaced as a Congressperson in a District than in a state-wide race like Senator that takes some time to get ready.

  116. 116
    someguy says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:

    Okay, right. I read his wikipedia page. Sounds like a murderous bastard who’d fit right in with the Republicans in Congress. Except for the fact that he served, unlike most of those chickenhawks.

  117. 117
    Kola Noscopy says:

    Why are most of you pretending Weiner either had to stay, unpunished, or he had to resign? Lots of room in between those two extremes.

    There are all sorts of ways in which the leadership could have made him pay a public price for his fuck up without forcing him to resign. They could have used this as an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the republicans without losing a seat.

    Lots of black/white thinking going on here.

  118. 118
    Lawnguylander says:

    @CarolDuhart:

    I’m not sure how or if that’s a reply to my point that it’s not true that Republicans always hang tough and never force out their embarrassing members. Larry Craig’s Republican Senate colleagues publicly called for his resignation. Pelosi was just more effective at getting her way than they were.

  119. 119
    OzoneR says:

    @The Spy Who Loved Me:

    Because a district that went 55% for Obama has now suddenly discovered their inner racism. Huh.

    you know, it’s different once there’s been a coordinated campaign based on racism. That didn’t exist in 2008.

    Obama won’t win this district again, ever.

  120. 120
    OzoneR says:

    @Kola Noscopy:

    There are all sorts of ways in which the leadership could have made him pay a public price for his fuck up without forcing him to resign. They could have used this as an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the republicans without losing a seat.

    They DID NOT FORCE HIM TO RESIGN

  121. 121
    OzoneR says:

    @Steve:

    LGBT rights ain’t so popular in the white community either, I hate to tell you.

    Whites have been far more supportive.

  122. 122
    eemom says:

    @Morzer:

    this is why I’m so glad you came back.

    Because the parade of idiots who routinely grace threads like this with their pious idiocy about how people’s sex lives are nobody’s business are incapable of grasping the rather glaringly obvious fact that it is EVERYBODY’s business when public servants reveal themselves to be irresponsible, lying assholes.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @OzoneR:

    Obama won’t win this district again, ever.

    Since the odds of this district vanishing within a year are pretty good, you’re right. You’re still wrong, but you’re right.

  124. 124
    Morzer says:

    One final point, which ought to be glaringly obvious: if David Weprin were winning this race, we wouldn’t be having this debate at all. Rather than re-litigating the unrewarding events that led to his candidacy, it is probably more beneficial to ask why Weprin isn’t winning this district. Is it his own blunders? Is it just that the economy is slumping? Are the GOP just lucking into the right combination of lies and bigotry for the district?
    .
    Whatever the merits of Weiner’s resignation (and hindsight is always 20/20), it isn’t particularly useful to fight over what coulda/shoulda happened.

  125. 125
    Morzer says:

    @eemom:

    Hello, your EEness. How’s life? Glad to see you are still working the BJ room with your usual love of your fellow beings.

  126. 126
    MBunge says:

    @eemom: “it is EVERYBODY’s business when public servants reveal themselves to be irresponsible, lying assholes.”

    I’m sure Ken Starr appreciates your support.

    Mike

  127. 127
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @lol: @FlipYrWhig:

    You are both correct. Weiner screwed up by not going to the Dem leadership when the story broke. “Honesty is the best policy,” seems to be lost on the pols. That’s understandable in Republicans. We hold our politicians to a higher standard and it strikes me that in this case we set the standard too high. The NY Dems choice of a lackluster machine politician to campaign for the NY-9 seat just feeds into my notion that my party’s leadership fails badly on the the district level.

    I live in the (hopefully) soon to be changed CA-26. Despite massive demographic changes the ridiculous David Dreier continues as our rep. His Democratic opponents have have gone unfunded, unnoticed, and un-voted-for. One or two ads over cable TV could have made the difference and the DCCC sat on their fat asses and gave up even the pretense of a fight in this district.

  128. 128
    Morzer says:

    @MBunge:

    You feel we would benefit from more lying irresponsible ass-holes in public office?

    I am sure Eric Cantor appreciates your support.

  129. 129
    MBunge says:

    @Morzer: “You feel we would benefit from more lying irresponsible ass-holes in public office?”

    You know how you avoid becoming something like the Tea Party? By nipping irrational, self-congratulatory bullshit in the bud.

    If you want to make a cold, pragmatic argument for why Bill Clinton had to be defended at all costs but Weiner could be thrown under the bus, knock yourself out. Just leave the moral and ethical indignation out of it, because Clinton’s behavior was far worse in every way than Weiner’s by any standard.

    Mike

  130. 130
    Morzer says:

    @MBunge:

    How, exactly, was Clinton’s behavior so much worse? It looks pretty much on the same moral continuum as Weiner’s frankly. The same sordid sort of sexual misconduct, the same lies in public.

    nipping irrational, self-congratulatory bullshit in the bud.

    Excellent idea. I suggest you try it. Much more constructive than throwing elbows at eemom for saying something sensible.

  131. 131
    kindness says:

    @MBunge:says:

    because Clinton’s behavior was far worse in every way than Weiner’s by any standard.

    I have no need to understand you MBunge. Obviously you are either an asshole or a troll, or both. President Clinton engaged in a consentual private affair. If you don’t know the difference between consentual and just sending pictures of your dick to women you’ve never met…well sounds like troll to me. Sucks to be you either way.

  132. 132
    Jenny says:

    Weiner was the congressional version of Tiger Woods.

    The women and stories and photos were never gonna stop. Like Tiger, Weiner had very low quality control and he picked too many picked women who had an interest in cashing in.

    And really, why the big hub-bub about a district that will be extinct in 14 months.

  133. 133
    Tony J says:

    There’s also the non-negligible fact that, by lying for a week and letting people think he’d been the target of a typical Breitbartian smear, Weiner did a lot to rehabilitate Breitbart’s brand with the MSM.

    Next time that creepy little cockbotherer releases one of his carefully-edited hatchet-jobs the MSM are going to ignore all the evidence to the contrary and treat him as a credible source. After all, he was right about Weiner, wasn’t he?

  134. 134
    Steve says:

    @The Spy Who Loved Me: Racism is a lot more complex than just skinheads who hate all black people. It’s actually not hard to notice this from observing the real world.

    Plenty of people voted for Obama who laugh at racist jokes, who think black people are a little on the lazy side, etc. You could make the case that everyone harbors racist predispositions of one type or another. It’s certainly not exclusive to Republicans.

  135. 135

    clowns. thanks for reminding me I gotta call the dccc.

  136. 136
    mds says:

    @Yutsano:

    This district most likely goes poof next year.

    Er, Yutsano, you’re overlooking that this district was to go poof next year if it stayed Democratic. Given the split in party control in the two chambers of the NY legislature, the two seats to be eliminated will have to be one D and one R. After the Weiner thing blew up, NY-9 was going to get snipped in exchange for an upstate Republican seat (where there are more Republican-friendly districts to reshuffle). If a Republican wins NY-9, NY senate Republicans are less likely to agree to dismantle a district that’s demonstrated such promising racism, homophobia, and Muslim hatred.

    (Yeshua ben Yosef on crossed popsicle sticks. A bunch of ultra-conservative Jews are mobilizing against an Orthodox Jew in order to elect a teabagger who almost certainly considers them a bunch of hellbound Christ-killers. All because David “Jewish Rambo” Weprin is supposedly too close to a Muslim-coddling blackety-black President, thinks gay people are humans with equal rights under the law, and supports freedom of worship for minority faiths. Tierra del Fuego is looking mighty attractive right now.)

  137. 137
    nellcote says:

    The Emergency Committee for Israel has been ramping up its criticism of the Obama administration, launching ad campaigns in the run-up to today’s NY-9 election and the Palestinian unilateral statehood declaration at the UN.

    The group’s latest billboard ads, which went up today, feature a giant photo of President Obama and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas sharing a jovial handshake in front of a Palestinian flag. ‘Attacking Israel at the United Nations: Not Pro-Israel,’ blares one of the billboards.

    ‘Calling for a divided Jerusalem: Not Pro-Israel,’ reads another.

    via

  138. 138
    pattonbt says:

    @Countervail: Bullshit. The only one who is to blame is Weiner himself. If it weren’t for his own idiotic actions, none of this would have happened. Everything else is secondary to that.

    Trying to say otherwise is to just polish some hobby horse pet peeve you have with other people.

    Thrown under the bus? My ass. Weiner jumped under it.

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