…the way much of it has now turned on Weiner? That’s the question asked by a commenter at this post about The New Yorker’s new cover mocking Weiner.
My answer, in a nutshell, is no.
After all, there is no real cost to turning on Weiner. The election is not a national event. No one seemed to like Weiner all that much to begin with; perhaps the only people getting thrills up the leg about him might have been a few of his sext partners. Weiner’s misbehavior was sexual and simple to conceptualize, and most especially it was not political in nature (except for the over-arching issue of lying). Those who supported Weiner earlier and excused his personal failings—once—could rest easy in knowing that had shown them to be personally magnanimous. They had given him another chance, he blew it, and now by turning on him they’re showing they have morals and standards. Win/win.
And besides, his offenses had nothing to do with politics or policy. Abandoning Weiner now threatens no particular political or theoretical belief system of his previous supporters, and helps them look righteous and even-handed. And it doesn’t hurt that his activities lend themselves quite easily to mockery; the double-entendres just keep coming (oops!).
Nor is there any racial angle with Weiner; he’s Jewish, and therefore not of a protected group.
Obama is very different. For him, the press has compromised every ideal it professes to have. His sins are not personal, they are political abuses of power, and the abuses of power are for the most part in furtherance of the agenda of the left. For supporters and press to turn on him now would mean a re-organization of their much more basic belief system and perhaps even their politics. Even worse than that, it could mean saying the right was right about Obama all the time. That would be most threatening of all.
No, the only way the liberal press would ever really turn on Obama would be for not being leftist enough—for joining the conservative enemy, as it were. And although there were moments of that with Obama’s policies on Guantanamo, drones, and NSA spying (all of which involved him appearing, in the eyes of liberals and the left, to be too much like Bush in fighting Islamic terrorism—even though Obama refused to call it that), the Obama-dike of the MSM held.
It’s hard to imagine anything else that could ever threaten it.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]