When Democrats congregate, some lawmakers are going to argue “why are we cannibalizing ourselves,” said a senior Democratic aide. “Plus, he’s not going anywhere, so we just look like a bunch of idiots.” – Democrats worry Anthony Weiner will hurt agenda
A bunch of idiots gets it exactly right.
When a leader targets one of her own she needs to hit him; on Rep. Anthony Weiner, Democratic minority leader Pelosi (and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz) missed by a mile. It’s not Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s place to tell Mr. Weiner to focus on his “well being” or his family. Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz played female moralists instead of remembering their job is as political party leaders, something the men don’t forget.
As I wrote this weekend, if Democrats want a real disaster all they have to do is serve up an ethics investigation, with the results landing in the heat of the 2012 presidential race. Hoyer gets it, even as he clearly hopes Weiner will take one for the team who can’t force him to do anything.
Still, several House leaders ““ Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut and Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra of California ““ pointedly did not join the choreographed team push. None of them has directly called for Weiner to resign, though Hoyer did say Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he hopes “he would make that judgment.” – Politico
If Democratic leaders were smart, they are not, they would instead muster some discipline and a united front saying that Anthony Weiner’s personal challenges won’t keep seniors from losing Medicare. Weiner’s got a long journey to rehabilitate himself, but the Democrats job remains the same: We’re focused on the most important job we have and that’s standing up for protecting people from the Republican and Paul Ryan’s budget scheme, which threatens the safety net Americans have had since F.D.R.
It’s predictable Republicans will run ads using Weiner, but Democrats can answer those ads with the GOP’s greatest scandal hits, perhaps starting with Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani or maybe Tom Delay, even David Vitter or Mark Foley. There are innumerable options.
As for messaging, the Democratic message for 2010 under Tim Kaine was a historic disaster. Pres. Obama didn’t help, because all he could muster was compromise and capitulation on economic message that further blew out the budget and has his 2012 road looking rougher than it has before, though certainly not impossible to traverse.
Whatever problems Democrats have with messaging aren’t Anthony Weiner’s fault, however infuriating he is as a distraction, though he’s an easy scapegoat.
The Democratic problem is that in the Obama era they can’t figure out what’s worth fighting for and won’t make a case for the Democratic alternative for all things Republican.
Say what you will about Anthony Weiner he never had that problem. As one of the most prominent grandstanding politicians for Democratic ideals, though his Middle East stance is appalling, Weiner knew there was no mileage in parroting Republican economic talking points or selling out people on health care, both of which got Democrats in the ditch they’re in today long before Weiner went wild on Twitter.