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Special Comment: Embarrassing Behavior over Weiner Roasting
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From the Countdown studio, I'm Keith Olbermann with a Special Comment on the future of Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Our politicians are tone deaf about a lot of things going on around them in the country but it is a tremendous irony that no single topic symbolizes their disconnect better than how they few one of their own as opposed as to how the real world does.
The House has reduced itself to investigating whether Weiner's name on Twitter is an ethics violation. Democratic leadership, including the President of the United States, has collectively and pompously insisted on his resignation without one of them emphasizing that while they have waffled on most of the key issues of our time for their self-protection, he has never hesitated to stick his neck out.
Meanwhile in the Congressional district in which Weiner was elected and still serves, despite ceaseless pounding by the dumber components of our media - which is pretty much al of them - polling indicates that, still, not more than a third of his constituents think Weiner should resign.
As I observed online last week, there is no rush to judgment like a political rush to judgment.
The Democrats have been embarrassing on this - I would rather be represented by 438 liberals not wearing pants provided that unlike this group, they didn't pre-fold on Health Care Reform or bargain with the Republicans over tax cuts for the rich and the selling out of unions and the middle class. The President sounded foolish in his "If I were him, I'd resign" moment - and lord help him if he ever gets into any trouble even remotely like this, because that remark certainly won't.
Republicans like Eric Cantor, whose response to previous - and worse - scandals on his side of the aisle has been to say he was praying for the malefactor's family and hoped we would let "the people decide," isn't praying, and isn't letting anybody decide. He has joined the chorus demanding resignation, while David Vitter still sits in the Senate. The double-standard is amazing.
And, of course, odious blackmailers like Andrew Breitbart have said Weiner and other liberals are hypocrites. It was Breitbart who originally claimed he was withholding additional photographs out of decency. And then he showed those photographs the next day. But Weiner is the hypocrite. This is to be remembered when Breitbart - who is shaping up as a fully-formed pathological liar - finally falls. Prediction: it will involve handcuffs, and not in the way he might enjoy them.
The most amazing aspect to the disconnect between The Beltway and The Belt-less is the instantaneous dismissal of the idea that Anthony Weiner might actually be suffering from some form of sexual addiction. If he was drunk and hit somebody with his car he would have gotten a fairer hearing from his colleagues. If he was eating painkillers like Peanut M & M's he might have a choice of staying on, or perhaps getting his own syndicated radio show or Apocalyptic Visions program on Fox News.
It may just be that Weiner has a sexual and/or psychological problem that a few weeks of rehab could help. And it wouldn't be the first time in politics. The only thing that would be new is that the sufferer actually sought the help.
I suppose this is the gist of it: the sexual ethics of American politicians is almost too low to be measurable. Somehow it must offend them in the deepest way to believe that they - Weiner included - might be sick, rather than just living La Vida Loca. Or maybe I'm giving them all too much credit. Maybe the opportunity to cast stones is just too joyously tempting if you live in a glass house, on a glass block, in a glass neighborhood, in a glass city.
I suggested last week that the best resolution to the Weiner saga is for him to combine, of all things, the words of Eric Cantor, with a familiar and gutsy technique of **British** politics. If Mr. Weiner gives in to the pressure and resigns his seat, there will be a special election to decide who will serve the rest of his term.
As I proposed last week, Mr. Weiner should simply - to use Cantor's cant - let the people decide. He should announce he is resigning **and** will seek to be returned to office in the special election. If the Democratic kingpins primary him, so much the better. If they defeat him, he can stand as an independent.
And how ever it turns out, the scandal will end there. Because Congressman Weiner will have truly let the people decide.
I suggested online last week that this would enable him to regain the moral high ground in this sorry mess. But I'm beginning to think that he may have nothing to regain. Because if you look at the finger-pointing and the holier-than-thou bullcrap on both sides of the aisle, from people who every day sell out a few more of their constituents for the sake of staying in power, you have to reassess what the big picture consists of.
In Weiner's big picture, he merely exposed his private parts. In theirs, those who are so gloriously and stridently insisting he resign, have exposed their private hypocrisy.
Keith Olbermann in the Countdown studio. See you Monday... on Current TV.
Another addition to Countdown Online's "Contra-Dictionary" - new words and phrases for a new political age.
We want you to submit your own below in the comments. Here's a beauty offered to us by Joshua:
The definition first: "Noun. Any air-head who promises, lives for, or campaigns on the eradication of the social safety net and the vilification of the lower-class for the gain of aggregated capital."
The Countdown Contra-dictionary brings you... Rand-idate!