Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lessons from Weinergate

Now, I'm a pretty traditional sort of guy, but I like to think that when I get drummed out of office for some sort of sex scandal, it better be completely worth it. I'm talking doing lines of cocaine while gambling using the bare backside of a Communist hooker while shooting shotgun pellets directly into an American flag. THAT'S the sort of thing you want to resign over. Not this "hey let me show chicks my crotch via Twitter" crap. Anthony Weiner has shown the world that Americans can no longer even do hard core sex scandals properly. He should resign for that reason alone! And apparently, he has.

What lessons have we learned from his mess?

1) If your last name is "Weiner", for hell's sake, make sure your scandal doesn't involve your weiner in any way. You just know the press isn't going to let that go.

2) Make sure your scandals aren't the sort that leave evidence. Twittering your photos around? You do know that those records can get out, right? Have you heard of this Internet thing? What an idiot. Don't call your paramour from your own phones, don't leave messages, don't buy them gifts. Much easier to deny if it's just their word against yours. The wing nuts in your own party will always believe you, cancelling out the wingnuts in the other party that will never believe you. But leave evidence, and you're out.

3) Make sure you're indispensible to your party. The Democrats rallied around Clinton when Lewinskygate broke, and I think they would have stuck around him even if it turned out he'd traded state secrets to her in exchange for desk quickies. The reason was that there was no way they'd bring down the guy who stood in the way of the GOP majority in Congress, and even then they knew Gore was too much of a flaky replacement to count on. David Vitter, the Louisiana Senator who admitted to using prostitutes, wasn't forced out by his party--they needed his seat in the Senate to remain in Republican hands. Spitzer was let out of the Governorship because no one thought New York would elect a GOP governor anytime soon. Weiner's problem was he was expendable--that seat will stay Democratic, and he's just distracting the party message right now.

4) When caught, immediately weigh the potential damage. Weiner didn't do anything illegal, and ultimately his wife knew more than anyone that he did it. Since these photos went out, and the media was biting, it was time to immediately come clean, admit what he did, and let things blow over. Instead, idiot-man decided to deny, blame unnamed others for hacking his account, and strangely promising to hire a private firm to investigate the hacking (rather than the police, which only makes sense when you consider that lying to the police during an investigation would have turned an indiscretion into an actual crime). Accordingly, this story dragged out for weeks, and the odd behavior and lying became the real scandal. Considering he couldn't kill the story, Weiner might have survived this if he'd come clean pronto.

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