None of the accusations against Weiner so far involve workplace harassment or sexual predation with members of his staff or other government employees. Clinton admitted to a protracted dalliance, including oral sex, with a White House intern. According to prevailing interpretations of the Civil Rights Act, his secret involvement with a very junior member of the federal bureaucracy almost certainly created a “hostile work environment.” Could anyone argue that Clinton’s successful predation against a recent college graduate amounted to a less serious violation of standards than the unsuccessful flirtatious remarks allegedly directed by Clarence Thomas at a self-assured graduate of Yale Law School? The pattern of behavior by the future Supreme Court justice, stoutly denied by Thomas, nearly cost him his confirmation while the admitted and far more loathsome misdeeds by the president of the United States never undermined the worshipful attitude of his supporters.
Weiner’s odd fixation on his own private parts certainly constitutes a bizarre obsession, but there’s no indication that any of the women with whom he corresponded in cyberspace ever gazed in person upon the splendorous center of the congressman’s universe, let alone made physical contact with him of any kind. In the case of William Jefferson Clinton, Monica most certainly did more than gaze.