Our blog buddy, Harrison, over at Capitol Commentary has some thoughts on the Weiner scandal and included in the post is a quote from former Washington Post editorial page editor Meg Greenfield from her book on Washington D.C.:
Political/governmental Washington is psychologically fenced off from the larger community within which it makes its home, free — like irresponsible youth — of all but the minimal obligations of citizenship to that community, and absorbed to the exclusion of all else in its own eccentric aims and competitions.(emphasis, ours)
We believe this describes what we like to call the West Potomac Virus which seems to afflict every pol we send to Washington. Or as Harrison put it: it's (Washington D.C.) like a big high school.
As for Weiner himself, we think this is brilliant career move. As an uber-liberal from a Brooklyn-Queens congressional district, his national brand probably wasn't going far beyond snarking at Megyn Kelley on Fox News but this... this?
He’ll take the obligatory time off, enter "rehab" and then perform the necessary mea culpas on the talk-show circuit as the deep well-spring of American graciousness and forgiveness will allow his image rehabilitation to take root. Following a speaking tour and/or some guest-hosting on MSNBC, he will be primed to re-enter the political arena with his cred burnished as an “experienced” politician who has suffered and survived the meat grinder that is D.C./New York political scene and his brand will be transformed into a “seasoned and learned elder” of the Democratic Party all by the age of 49!
You see, unseemly sex scandals just aren't what they used to be. Does anyone even remember Eliot Spitzer as Client #9 anymore? Or as the person Kathleen Parker couldn't stand when they shared the set together on CNN's ParkerSpitzer
and which she left just a couple of months ago. Talk about an endorsement.
And how about the grand poo-bah of sex scandals, Big Sexy himself, Bill Clinton? You're thinking Monica Lewinsky, right? Un-uh. He's become the administration's go-to guy for truly sticky international pickles. Got a problem out on the peninsula? Not a problem - send Billy Jeff. Lewinsky, not so much - try Laura Ling.
So don't feel too bad for Congresman Weiner. Getting caught behaving badly is almost a necessary rite of passage anymore for career advancement in politics. Yep, brilliant career move.