Ed Driscoll

Pumping Irony

Mark Steyn asks us to “Consider this headline from Monday’s New York Post:”

“New Weiner Photos Taken In House Gym Could Be An Ethics Breach”

Mark responds:

These are the ones of Congressman Weiner in a towel grabbing his spambot penis in Michael Jackson fashion.

You follow the legal distinction? The Weiner Tweeter would be fine if he were photographing himself fondling his genitals in a San Francisco bathhouse, but it’s an ethics breach if he does it in the House gym because that’s a “taxpayer-funded facility”.

Why? Not “why is Anthony Weiber grabbing his crotch?” That’s just how he rolls. But why should Anthony Weiner be provided with a taxpayer-funded gym to crotch-grab in?

If the Board of Selectmen of my small town in New Hampshire were to propose a taxpayer-funded municipal gym, there would be an uproar at Town Meeting and they’d all be voted out of office. Same for every town in this state, I’d wager – and even over the river in Vermont, too. What then is it about being a national legislator that makes a taxpayer-funded gym apparently entirely non-risible?

Nothing. Except that it’s just another of a trillion-and-one public expenditures from federally-funded cowboy poetry to federally-funded experiments on the effects of meth and cocaine on menstruating monkeys. To modify Stalin, one waste of taxpayer money is a fiscal tragedy, a million of them is a rounding error.

I don’t think Congressman Weiner should have a federal bathhouse to auto-snap his towel in. In fact, I believe there’s a direct line between the existence of a House gym and the likes of Anthony Weiner. When the people accept that the political class has the right to send them the bill for an activity that every other American has to make private provision for, it’s telling you something about the relationship between the citizenry and their rulers.

Back in late 1994 and ’95, when Newt Gingrich was riding high in Congressional Speaker as Superstar and seemed to be exploding with ideas (space stations! laptops for all!) and namedropping Alvin Toffler and Marvin Olasky, he would mention from time to time the notion of prison reform, including his desire to see weight rooms removed from prisons. Can’t fault the idea there, but similarly, why should taxpayers foot the bill for another recidivist class whose housing we also fund?

Oh and speaking of Weiner, Gloria Allred, who’s never met a cable TV minicam she hasn’t wanted to spend hours in front of has glommed onto to the story:

Ginger Lee, flanked by her celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, told a news conference in New York, that Weiner “asked me to lie” about their interchanges which included about 100 emails as well as messages over Twitter.

Lee, a stripper, said her relationship began with the Democratic lawmaker from New York over political issues such as a woman’s right to choose abortion, and health care, but that Weiner kept trying to turn the conversation sexual.

She said she never reciprocated his lewd messages, which were often about “his package.”

“I think that Anthony Weiner should resign because he lied. He lied to the public and the press for more than a week,” she said. “If he lied about this, I can’t have much faith in him about anything else.”

Some Democrats are standing by their Weiner, however.