Anthony Wiener Should Stay, but Why?
Representative Anthony Wiener has been accused of sending explicit pictures of himself to several women over the internet. This is not a crime if the women are adults, he is not harassing them and they welcomed the pictures. It has not been alleged that his attentions were unwelcomed by the female recipients of his exposition. In fact, it appears that several of the women encouraged this level of interaction. So, thus far, Representative Wiener’s actions have given no legal reason to compel his departure.
We have been told that his wife is aware of and unconcerned with his proclivities. In fact, she was aware of his expositionist ways before they were married and she still went through with it. Though she is currently out of the country she is traveling with the former First Lady and current Secretary of State and her boss, Hillary Clinton. Television, radio and newspaper reporters can’t be far away. If they were at all curious about their relationship or she wanted to clear things up regarding his peccadilloes then we can safely assume it would be all over the news by now.
The relationship between Wiener and his bride are their concern. The morality of that relationship and what it will and will not endure is not anyone else’s business. The intimate and personal nature of a married relationship is private and cannot be fully understood nor should it be judged from the out side. So, Representative Wiener hasn’t violated his marital relationship because the rules of that relationship are known only to its two members and are private. If she accepts his actions as not violating of their marital commitment then he has given no reason to demand his resignation.
When first confronted with his poor judgment he was not truthful. It was an effort by the representative to keep his personal life just that, personal. People do not tell the truth about their non-sexual relationships let alone their sexual ones. People stray from the straight and narrow all the time. He is a member of Congress not a saint. The standards of conduct one might apply to the Pope certainly don’t apply here; he didn’t take a vow of celibacy.
Men engaged in challenging jobs often seek extreme conduct as a means of dealing with the stresses the electorate have heaped upon them. Representative Wiener is an intelligent and bold man seeking to become the mayor of the world’s greatest city. He has been a stalwart in the battle to protect the rights of working men and women. He has been a champion of a woman’s right to choose. A minor slip should not diminish so distinguished a man.
After all, what President Bill Clinton did was much worse and he kept his office. In fact, the news media, liberal flacks and Democrat lawmakers rushed to his defense. The same people who have turned their backs on Wiener were warriors for Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton’s offenses eclipse Wiener’s in all ways. The moral degradation of the presidency far out strips Wiener’s silliness. Wiener is like a drunken dirty phone call. Clinton is like a drugged post date assault.
Even the lies are bigger. No one but Wiener has lied on his behalf. Everyone lied on Clinton’s behalf. The marital relationship is different. We were treated to a contrite Clinton and a supportive Hillary talking frankly about his straying and rehabilitation, a rehabilitation that lasted until they left the 60 minutes studios. Wiener’s juvenile internet creeper cyber-faux-sexual relations were tame compared to Clinton’s full on sexual trysts with Monica. Wiener, thus far, hasn’t lied to a Grand Jury. Clinton did.
Wiener exposed himself, by photograph, to seemingly cooperative women. Bill Clinton forced himself on multiple women. Paula Jones, Juanita Broderick, Kathleen Willy, Dolly Kyle Browning all were roughly handled by the former President. Some were assaulted while he was in the pay of Arkansas citizens and some while he was in all our employ – in our house. And Monica Lewinsky was his subordinate. If a college professor or even a lowly shift manager had fooled around on the job he would have been fired. At least all of Wiener’s women didn’t work for him.
The outrage being heaped on Anthony Wiener was absent from the Clinton scandals. The press has even covered the Wiener scandal with a little more honesty than the Clinton scandal. The press coverage is still minor compared to the coverage provided Chris Lee. Why the difference? Why is Wiener reprehensible? Why is Wiener worthy of castigation by people like James Carville, chief Clinton defender? If Wiener’s ethical violation – using the resources of Congress for his personal pleasures – makes him worthy of punishment then why didn’t Clinton’s using the White House as an actual sexual play ground merit punishment?
The answer is very simple and speaks plainly about the difference between the everyday life of the average American and the distance, both physical and spiritual, of government from the people. Anthony Wiener is one of thousands who have been congressmen. Bill Clinton is still only one of fewer than fifty who have been President. The influence a President of the United States can wield, the appointments he can make, the long range, long term power and prestige dwarf anything available to a mere Representative.
The sole reason why Bill Clinton was not held to the standard to which Democrats wish to hold Anthony Wiener, and regularly do hold teachers, businessmen, doctors, men in general, is POWER. To hold Bill Clinton to account for his offenses would be to risk the loss of power. If Clinton had been impeached for perjury, a real crime, and Al Gore finished his term the Democrats might have lost a shot at the next eight years. They remembered all too well how the destruction of Richard Nixon damaged the Republicans. Unlike the honorable Republicans who carried the message to Nixon that it was time to go, the Democrats have left a nasty stain all over politics.