Posted by Michael AlanSunday, June 5, 2011 at 8:45am | 6/5/2011 - 8:45am
(By Michael Alan)
Earlier this week, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told CNN that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is dealing with “a personal matter.” That “personal matter” includes not knowing “with certitude” whether or not the, er, picture that was tweeted to a 21 year old college student belongs to the Congressman.
Well, that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz should really get acquainted with this Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:
This goes beyond Rep. Foley, it goes to the values of the Congressional leadership. These are not family values, these are not American values.
What was Wasserman-Schultz referring to in that 2006 quote? The behavior of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL . . . are you watching those party labels?), who made advances towards 18 and 21 year old young men.
In fact, she went as far as to demand the resignation of then Speaker Denny Hastert for not addressing the Foley matter quickly enough:
What I’ve called for is an investigation to be completed within 10 days. And quite honestly, yes, I do think that Denny Hastert should resign . . . I‘d like to see the Republican caucus call upon their leadership, Speaker Hastert, Majority Leader Boehner, to get this resolved quickly. Do it before the election. And I haven‘t heard them say that. They‘re saying have the FBI investigate, have the House Ethics Committee investigate. They need to push their leadership to get this resolved so that they can move on, and we can make sure that we can restore the trust that they have shaken the public in Congress.
Now there are obviously some major differences between the two cases, but a big part of Wasserman-Schultz’s complaint in 2006 was that Foley had not been previously sanctioned, despite evidence of a proclivity for hitting on much younger men.
But TNR‘s Jonathan Chait, who is one of the few lefty bloggers honestly covering this story, points out aVanity Fair piece that suggests similar evidence of Weiner’s issues as far back as 2001:
The [interns in their early twenties] are heckled as they enter. “Tell us your name and where you are from,” says one of the men . . . The evening glides along in a gently tipsy manner. “You are very beautiful girls,” one man keeps repeating . . . Their real names and states are as follows: the auto-parts salesman is Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.); the lean Mike is Michael Capuano (D-Mass.); the jolly guy who imitated Brando is John Larson (D-Conn.); the man who was worried about interns is Robert Brady (D-Pa.) . . . The next day, New York’s Anthony Weiner finds the time to hunt down Diana’s E-mail address. He writes that he hopes they might meet again. Diana is overwhelmed that he’s managed to think of her on a day that must be heavy with import and emotional intensity. Last night he mentioned that he’d be going to Manhattan to inspect the World Trade Center wreckage with the president. They’d be traveling together on Air Force One . . . She has left Anthony Weiner dangling, after he E-mailed her that she should come and visit his office “in person.”
You may have also heard from Wasserman-Schultz (if you’ve turned on a TV in the last two weeks) about her party’s “historic victory” in the NY-26 special election. Maybe she doesn’t remember that the special election wouldn’t have even been called if Republican leadership didn’t have the Craigslist congressman, Chris Lee, resign over his shirtless personal ad.
The two cases are eerily similar, even down to the lame “I got hacked” excuse Lee and Weiner both used at the outset of their fifteen minutes of infamy. The only real difference is that Weiner gets to hide from the American public in the comfort of his Congressional office and with cover from his party’s leadership.