I just spent an hour looking at this site in order to see what liberals and leftists were saying about the twitter scandal of Rep. Anthony Weiner. This was basically a waste of time. (It would be like reading about the reasons why so many people in France think that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up.) The right’s argument that something scandalous happened comes down to two suspicious facts: Weiner was following a young college student on twitter (and less than 200 other people, even though he is followed by 45,000 people), and he claims he was hacked but he hasn’t yet reported it to the authorities and has instead hired a lawyer.
Almost no one on this site attempted to explain these suspicious facts. And let me say that I’m not saying that they can’t be explained adequately. Maybe they can, but then why not do so? One of the few to attempt to do so says that no one bothers to report that they’ve been hacked. I don’t know why not. If, as so many seem to assume, it’s a right-wing plot, then reporting it would be the first step one would take.
Then there’s this strange comment:
Friends, the next time you’re caught red-handed with the evidence of your own misdeeds, why worry? Just take a page out of the Rethuglican playbook and yell, “Why didn’t you call the police on me SOONER! This is highly suspicious!”
Life is too short to spend shooting this down, but if it weren’t for the word “Rethuglican,” I would have thought it was from someone on the right. (After all, the person does talk about being caught red-handed, which given the context implies that they think Weiner did it.)
Most of the comments from liberals and leftists raised their own suspicious points and so concluded that this must be part of a smear campaign. And maybe it was. However, one is still better off explaining the two suspicious facts above rather than raising one’s own suspicious facts. If the best you can do is to raise your own suspicious facts, that doesn’t do much for those who are undecided. Some of these suspicious facts are that, it’s easy to hack into twitter, that no one as savvy as Weiner would use twitter to do this, or else they wouldn’t be so stupid as to send it publicly instead of only to the person it was intended. Plus, they’ve pointed out that only one person received the photo in question and that it is a person who has been bothering Weiner for some time. Further afield are those who have simply noted that Weiner was recently going after Clarence Thomas, so therefore the whole business must be a right-wing smear campaign. As I said, none of this is convincing unless one actually explains the two facts above. (Likewise, the left’s embarrassing facts, unless answered by those on the right, don’t help the right, either. Right now, I think the right has the more embarrassing facts than the left does, though.)
A couple people tried to deflate the scandal, one by saying that it involves two consenting adults and the other by saying that Weiner didn’t run on a family-values campaign. Still, a recently married man sending such a photo to a young college student is going to get one in trouble with the feminists, one would think.
Then there’s this off-the-wall comment: “Weiner is outspoken and the New York media hates that.”
Let me assume that Weiner did actually send the photo to this young college student and by accident sent it publicly. As we know from Watergate, the cover-up often ends up being worse than the crime, and it’s better to come clean as fast as possible. Is it hard to do this? Yes, but then that is part of what being a self-critical leftist is about. Not only should he come clean, he should offer to resign as well. This actually isn’t as risky for him as it sounds since, given that he’s a New York Democrat, I’m sure that most in his district will forgive him and urge him to stay on.
I suspect we haven’t heard the last of this scandal.