Here’s a great catch by Morgen at Verum Serum in which the Democratic embarrassment du jour opines on not one or two but three Democrats mired in scandal just 15 months ago. Anthony Weiner got chatty with Don Imus about then-Governor David Paterson, then-Rep. Eric Massa, and unfortunately still-Rep. Charlie Rangel … and he hardly offered unconditional support for any of them. On March 10, 2010, Weiner wanted Paterson to resign after the New York Times wrote that Paterson was being investigated for intervening with law enforcement on behalf of a staffer accused of domestic violence — for which he was never charged. He calls Massa “one taco short of a Happy Meal,” but the more ironic quip comes immediately afterward as Weiner mocks Massa:
I don’t know why these accusations of impropriety are always coming down on the guys that are having tickle fights with their staffers. It just seems so unfair, these stereotypes.
On Paterson, Weiner said that the state’s problems required a Governor who is “firing on all cylinders,” and that Paterson should get out of the way so that New York could find a new executive. He did qualify it with “If these charges are true,” which at least so far turned out not to be the case with Paterson — but is self-admittedly true in Weiner’s case. On Rangel, Weiner takes exception more with the Ethics Committee, complaining that Congress has gotten “drips and drips and drips” rather than just the whole truth at once so that Congress can act. Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?
For a man so eager to push his colleagues under the bus, Weiner seems awfully reluctant to apply the same standards to himself. No wonder his colleagues are so eager to get him to quit.
The most amusing part of the clip might be the beginning, where Weiner and Imus discuss the now-embattled Congressman’s favorite songs. Number one? “Excitable Boy” by Warren Zevon, with Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” coming in at #5.
Update (AP): On the slim chance that you haven’t already seen the new photos from the House gym on eight thousand other websites today, here you go. Think of Weiner’s resignation calculus as a scale: How many public indignities have to pile up on one side to move the weight of his ego in being a congressman on the other side? If you believe KP, the number is basically infinite, so presumably there are still many, many more indignities to come.
A procedural question via Greta Van Susteren: Can his attempt to get out of dodge for awhile by requesting a leave of absence be blocked?
A leave of absence must be requested on the floor. This is usually a perfunctory, moot exercise, with no one objecting.
It is conceviable that if someone does object…the leave is not granted. And, it’s possible a debate and even a vote could ensue on the merits or demerits of granting leave.
If Weiner asks for leave, it would not surprise me if someone were to object on the floor. Then we’re into uncharted territory.
Don’t assume that it’d be a Republican who objects, either. Blocking his leave might be the last weapon Democrats have to try to force him out quickly.
Back home, some of his constituents are organizing a protest to demand that he resign. (“It’s not going to blow over, the only thing that’s going to blow over is him.”) Exit quotation from the local president of NOW:
“I wasn’t happy to discover that my congressman is a 14-year-old boy,” said Julie Kirshner, president of the NOW chapter.
“But he happens to be one of the best politicians out there, so we’re in a bad position. We’re trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.”