Supposing for the sake of argument that Weiner didn’t sext to an underage girl (an allegation that’s unproven at this point), so far Anthony Weiner’s lies don’t rise to the level of Bill Cllinton’s Lewinsky lies. But many of the same Democrats who are calling on Weiner to go defended or worked for Clinton during Lewinsky. Some of them even worked in his administration. Kirsten Powers, for instance. She wrote a devastating column calling on Weiner to resign. And later, she appeared on Fox to explain herself.
She’s the former Weiner girlfriend, current columnist and Fox News contributor who at first defended Weiner but has since called for him to resign. Here’s her reasoning, as laid out in the clip above. I don’t mean to pick on Kirsten here; her thinking is probably representative of many Democrats who are calling for Weiner to go. She just articulated it more clearly than they have.
“I do not think he should resign because he lied to me. That has nothing to do with it…After I took a look at the sort of sociopathic lying that he did to the media, and blaming other people for things that he knew he did, telling people there was a right wing conspiracy against him. You know, that takes it to a whole new level.”
Bill Clinton did all of that, and more. Did he lie like a sociopath when Drudge first broke the story in January 1998? Uh, yeah. Remember this?
He went full sociopath on the media right after the story broke, and for a year afterward he continued to lie or offer such lawyerly answers (“sexual relations” carrying a legal definition that doesn’t mean what most Americans thought it meant when he said it) that he corrupted the English language while dragging the nation through a nasty controversy that lasted entirely too long. He even ordered Dick Morris to conduct a poll on whether the American people would accept having a president who had done what he knew he had done, and when the poll showed that the American people wouldn’t accept it, he replied “Well, we just have to win then.” And so began the nastiest political year since Watergate, culminating in Clinton’s impeachment.
Clinton was eventually disbarred from practicing before the Supreme Court for perjury — lying under oath. And perhaps worse than his own lies, he trotted out James Carville, Paul Begala et al to not only lie on his behalf,but also to pin the entire scandal on the independent prosecutor, Ken Starr. Ken Starr was Clinton’s version of the #Hacked! defense. Clinton and his posse made it all about Ken Starr, not the president who used his intern for a humidor and many other things beyond Weiner’s confessed activities, and then lied through his teeth about it. As for “right wing conspiracy,” where do we even get that phrase? From then First Lady Hillary Clinton’s pathetic defense of her husband, on the Today Show. She blamed the entire scandal on a “right wing conspiracy” that was out to get Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton’s year-long campaign of lies dwarfs Anthony Weiner’s 10 day campaign of lies. But Clinton’s a big hero to the Democrats, while Weiner’s a goat. What’s the difference?
I’d like to think that Democrats like Powers learned from the Clinton episode and are applying its lessons to Weinergate. I’d like to think that. But I don’t.