Ed Driscoll

Weaponizing Weiner

“Republicans Are Weaponizing Weiner Democrats Complain,” Debra Heine writes at the Breitbart.com Conversation group blog:

As Republicans fight to retake control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, the specter of Bill (BJ) Clinton looms as “a popular, vote-getting, fundraising-powerhouse threat to their aspirations.”

Enter Anthony Weiner, whose lewd and lascivious online buffoonery threatens to taint the Clintons and the Democrat party as a whole. Democrats say Republicans want to use Weiner as their secret weapon next year, and they’re hopping mad about it.

(See RS McCain’s piece, The Pervert Party at The American Spectator for the ultimate example of a Repub weaponizing Weiner..)

Olivier Knox of Yahoo News writes that “the GOP has seized on Weiner’s sexting scandal to argue that vulnerable (or potentially vulnerable) Democrats can’t condemn the former congressman’s habits without also distancing themselves from the former president.”

Meanwhile, the arch-leftist Talking Points Memo site writes that today “was an angry day in Weinerland:”

The campaign staff awoke to see their former intern, Olivia Nuzzi, on the front cover of the Daily News. Inside the paper was an article bylined by Nuzzi in which she told a rather unflattering tale of her experience working on Anthony Weiner’s mayoral bid.

Now, Team Weiner is firing back. TPM called Weiner’s communications director Barbara Morgan to discuss an unrelated story Tuesday and she went off on a curse-filled rant about Nuzzi, describing her as a fame hungry “bitch” who “sucked” at her job. Morgan also called Nuzzi a “slutbag,” “twat,” and “cunt” while threatening to sue her.

Ace responds, “Obviously, this is another major embarrassment for Weiner, putting him in a difficult spot — AllahPundit pointed out that Weiner can’t hardly fire the communications director for ‘inappropriate messaging,’ now can he?”

On the other hand, the woman says she thought she was off the record, and certainly, it seems she believed that. Who would speak this way on the record?

So here’s a Democratic woman calling a Democratic girl a “slutbag.” So apparently it’s not just conservative radio hosts who say such things after all.

Wow — we actually sometimes use spicy language. Who knew?

This War on Women business sure is full of nuances, textures, contradictions and complexities — I’m happy the media works so hard to keep The Narrative simple for us.

The Narrative is one of the themes explored yesterday by Glenn Reynolds in his latest USA Today column, on “The latest action in the war on women:”

Back during the 2012 election, Democrats were quick to seize on some Republican words — like Todd Akin’s remark about “legitimate rape” and late-term abortion, orRush Limbaugh‘s calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” for wanting free birth control — to build the notion of a “war on women.”

But if you look past words to actual deeds, most of the action in the war on women seems to be coming from the Democratic front lately. Just consider these cases:

First, Democratic San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. So far seven women have accused him of sexual harassment. According to one report, Filner said, “You’ll have to excuse me for what’s about to happen. It’s your fault,” before pinning a woman in a restaurant booth. Other allegations include kissing, grabbing and assorted other inappropriate behavior.

As is usually the case, this stuff was no secret within the world of San Diego Democratic politics, but even though there were complaints, the leadership supported Filner anyway until things went public. And even afterward, until the pressure became too great, Democrats supported him. As with Bill Clinton, and his alleged assaults on Paula Jones, Juanita Broddrick and Kathleen Willey, tribal loyalties to party kin outweighed any concern for women as a group — or for the accusers as individuals. The accusers were tossed over the side until the publicity became too strong to ignore. Democrats — like Hillary with Bill — stood by their man, Tammy Wynette-style.

Speaking of which, at the Washington Examiner, Byron York writes, “Weiner using Clinton playbook? No way:”

There were Republicans and Democrats who, early in the scandal, assumed Clinton would have to resign. But he survived through the sheer power of the presidency. He used (and in some cases invented) White House privileges to thwart Starr. After an initial panic, Democrats on Capitol Hill came to see the scandal as a life-or-death matter and rallied around the president. And then Clinton’s aides and associates went before Starr’s grand jury and suffered astonishing lapses of memory.

Clinton secretary Betty Currie told jurors her memory was “getting worse by the minute.” And Jordan, who cherished his closeness to the presidency, seemed to forget almost everything he and the president had ever said to each other. Clinton made it.

None of that applies to an undistinguished former member of the House who tried too soon to redeem himself from a sex scandal by running for mayor of New York, only to re-kindle the sex scandal during the campaign. There’s no power structure to defend Anthony Weiner, no powerful people willing to put their reputations on the line to save him. Weiner has no one except Abedin. And for all the reasons above, Abedin cannot play the role of Hillary Clinton in either Volume I or Volume II of that famous playbook.

Now the Clintons are reportedly angered by talk that Team Weiner is modeling its defense on their example. In anonymous quotes, Clinton associates are trashing Weiner and expressing horror that Abedin has been dragged into such a situation.

But the Clintons need not worry about competition. When it comes to doing whatever it takes to survive scandal, they are the masters. Weiner and Abedin are not even in the same league.

While we’re waxing nostalgic for the 1990s, I must say that I never thought I’d miss the class, the sophistication, the glamour that was the young, fresh-faced Monica Lewinsky.

Until now. The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce, indeed.

(And I’m note alone in my Nostalgie de la Lewinsky, either.)

Oh and by the way, “Weiner dodges when asked if he’s still sexting people.” But really, as his legendary not-quite-ready-for-wartime consigliere would retort, what difference does it make, when it’s “In the privacy of your home?”