Thursday, June 09, 2011

Is this a fight, or are we just playing?

Okay, let's see a show of hands. Who takes politics seriously?

Really. Who thinks that the decisions made in Congress, and the balance of power in the Congress, are important?

Apparently not the Congressional Democrats, and you know how we can tell? Just look at what they're doing to Anthony Weiner.

Sure, he's got himself in a bit of trouble by his ridiculous and outrageous behavior, but the question is what should he, and what should the Congress, do about it?

The answer is clear: he should refuse to resign, stay in office, and keep fighting.

Matt Yglesias pointed out almost a month ago, before the Weiner story broke (I know, how do you ignore the punning potential?), that the way to win these sex scandals is to refuse to resign. If you don't resign, barring some significant illegality, you have a good chance of surviving. If you do resign, obviously, you're all done.

Look at admitted criminal David Vitter. When he was caught up in a prostitution ring he admitted that he had patronized prostitutes. He didn't admit what later came out, which was that apparently his kink had to do with prostitutes forcing him to wear diapers.

Where is he sitting now? In the United States Senate.

Did you hear any of his Republican colleagues calling on him to reisgn? Of course not, because they know that they'd rather have a criminal who consorts with prostitutes in their caucus than risk the chance of losing his seat to a Democrat.

In Weiner's case, while his activities may have been distasteful, creepy, or somewhat irresponsible, he did nothing against the law. His sexting interlocutors were adults, and apparently consenting. What's more, his constituents, who you would think have a legitimate interest in who represents them, want him to stay.

Elections have consequences, what is going on in Congress is a fight for the future of the country, and Anthony is an effective fighter for progressive causes. We can't afford to lose him.

Why isn't this obvious to Congressional Democrats?

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