He left Congress in disgrace, but don’t blame his iPhone. The reason Anthony Weiner is not in Congress today is not that he was caught sexting an unknown number of women. No, the reason he was forced to resign is that he was such a despised member of Congress that his own party, including the president, jumped at the chance to get rid of the self-righteous, hectoring Chuck Schumer Mini-Me. Other more popular congressmen have survived real sex scandals far worse.
If you were writing a movie or television show about Congress and looking for a character the audience was sure to loathe, you’d start with Weiner. Here’s a guy who regularly condescended to every member of Congress but whose intellectual talents were such that he originally aspired to be a weatherman. In Congress, he was the political equivalent of a minor celebrity, famous mostly for being famous: in 12 years, he was the lead sponsor of one bill. He narrowly won his first race, for a seat on the New York City Council, after anonymously sending voters race-baiting fliers. That’s never a pretty sight, but considering he did it immediately after the Crown Heights riots, it puts him in the same slime bucket where anti-Semitic tax cheat Al Sharpton wallows.
On the City Council, he made a huge issue out of the millions of dollars of unpaid parking fines by U.N. diplomats and staff. As a former New York resident, I call that a noble cause, but then Weiner got to Washington and was busted for—you got it—thousands of unpaid parking tickets for his congressional car.
Right before he resigned from Congress, Weiner took time from his sexting hobby to go after Clarence Thomas and his wife. Writing on his blog, he ripped into Justice Thomas for failing to disclose that Virginia Thomas, a private citizen, worked at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. (Everyone in Washington knew Thomas’s wife worked at Heritage—that being part of the point of her being hired—and Thomas amended the financial disclosure forms.
More articles from The Daily Beast:
- Jack Lew and the Obama Administration’s Finance-Friendly Status Quo
- How Hope and Change Gave Way to Spying on the Press
- The Right’s Scandal Hypocrisy
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