To punish Anthony Weiner, Congressional Democratic leaders have decided to put their money where their mouth is — but it’s a mouth without teeth:
Prior to the Democrats’ meeting Tuesday, some members of the caucus had floated the suggestion that they vote to strip him of his committee assignments, or take a more severe step of voting to boot him from the caucus. Neither step was debated or considered at the meeting, lawmakers said.
So here’s where Nancy Pelosi et al stand:
We’ll call for Wiener to resign, but we can’t make him.
Would could strip him of his choice committee assignment, but we won’t.
The weeklong drumbeat of calls for Weiner to resign is just a smokescreen for the fact that the Democrats don’t really care, so long as they look good on TV. With their shirts on, one hopes.
Now, I’m OK with Weiner staying in Congress. He doesn’t seem to have broken any laws and he’s an absolutely lovely distraction. Let the Democrats stew in their own juices.
Comparisons with David Vitter seem a little stretched. Yes, Vitter broke actual laws — but GOP leaders offered forgiveness, rather than toothless complaints. In 2005, the GOP chose (wrongly, I think) to forgive and forget. That’s at least consistent. The Democrats have chosen to condemn without punishment.
Either choice is little more than political theater, but one reeks of hypocrisy.
UPDATE: Word is, Weiner’s out.