A Tale of Two Transgressions

At first the Anthony Weiner story was funny; now it’s sad because of what it must be doing to his reportedly pregnant wife.

Rand Simberg makes an obvious but almost never mentioned point: If true that, as former Virginia governor and head of the Democratic National Committee Tim Kain says (among others), it is inexcusable for an office holder to lie to his constituents, why didn’t Democrats similarly call for Bill Clinton to leave office?:

…Am I the only person who thinks [the demand from many high profile Democrats that Weiner resign]… a little bizarre?

Can someone explain to me what Anthony Weiner did that was so much worse than what Bill Clinton did that he is being asked by his fellow Democrats to resign?

For those unfamiliar with the history, let us review the two men’s transgressions, in context.

Anthony Weiner allegedly and admittedly communicated with young women on social media and sent them photos of his unmentionables, and then lied about it for a week or so before coming clean.

Bill Clinton had actual sexual relations (and yes, folks, “oral sex” is sex — look at the second word) with a young woman in his pay, in the Oval Office, during working hours, sometimes while discussing troop movements with members of Congress on the phone. He sometimes held up meetings with government officials so that said young woman could have the proper time to service his needs, which included (to put it as delicately as possible) using her tongue to function as toilet paper.

Then, when threatened with this becoming public knowledge as a result of a civil lawsuit over his sexual intimidation of a state employee brought to him by his personal state-police detail in Arkansas, he obstructed justice by intimidating and bribing witnesses to suborn perjury both personally and via third parties. When put on the stand himself, he repeatedly perjured himself, despite having taken an oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the law of the land.

These were all federal felonies. In the midst of this, he went on the air and lied to the American people, pointing his finger at us to rebuke us for the crime of even imagining that he was being less than truthful. The only reason that he eventually came clean was because the young woman (on the advice of an older woman, who was the only person in the affair who told the truth, and had her family threatened if she wouldn’t perjure herself, and was vilified for it, including jokes in the Clinton-supporting media about her physical appearance) held on to the evidence in the form of a blue dress with remnants of his perverse passion on it.

Not only did he do all of these things, but he enlisted his friends and employees to trash the young woman’s reputation, as well as that of other women whom he had similarly mistreated.

With the sole exception of Senator Joe Lieberman, I don’t remember the outrage from his fellow Democrats then that we are hearing now about Anthony Weiner. Pat Leahy [My addition: who now calls for Weiner’s resignation] not only didn’t demand Clinton’s resignation, he (like all other Senate Democrats) voted to keep him in office, even though it would have been a boon to his party to remove Clinton, because it would have made Al Gore president, and almost certainly assure his election in 2000.

So I’m scratching my head. Why throw poor Tony under the bus, when the party went all-out to defend a much worse case, even against its own political interest? Can someone, anyone, explain it to me?

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