Is Rep. Anthony Weiner Guilty Or Just Very, Very Stupid?

It's just about time to schedule the piteous press conference.

Anthony Weiner’s already sputtering jalopy of excuses is about to throw a rod:

As things stand now, the main suspected hacker is saying, in effect, “come investigate me” and Rep. Weiner is clamming up with the traditional ‘I can’t answer even the simplest question because it would distract from my vital role in our great national debate’ defense. The MSM does not seem to be buying Weiner’s line. See outright criticism in New York magazine and thinly-veiled skepticism on CNN.

The allegedly media savvy Weiner seems to be taking lessons from the Newt Gingrich School of Media Relations:

Note that those notorious right-wing water carriers at New York magazine make precisely the same point I made in the penultimate update to the previous thread. Having a several minute long meltdown on camera rather than answer an easy question screams “Guilty!” So, if he is a victim here, he’s the dumbest victim in the Western Hemisphere.

It isn’t the crime; it’s the cover-up. When Rep. Weiner finally makes the Sorrowful Apology With Wife Standing Steadfastly But Grimly At His Side everyone not dosed to the gills on Kos Kool Aid must now consider almost inevitable, he’ll do so in the full knowledge that he could have done it on Saturday night of a three-day weekend and mostly put this behind him by the time the news cycle was back to full speed Tuesday. Sure, he might have to resign either way, but a mere sex scandal didn’t stop Elliot Spitzer. Or, for that matter, keep Jeffrey Toobin from being invited to offer up some Weiner legal analysisdefense on national TV.

As for the estimable Mr. Kaus’ last question, I suspect hubris is the answer.

UPDATE (6/1/11): Weiner: It’s Possible Lewd Photo Is of Him. And now we know why he wouldn’t just say, “No.”

FILED UNDER: Politicians, Politics 101, US Politics,
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    I’m leaning towards guilty myself, but it’s just a hunch. Other hunches: his media strategy is being dictated by his lawyers. You’re reveling in this story because it embarrasses a Democrat.

    This is not the most egregious sex scandal of the year, nor the most interesting.




    0



    0
  2. André Kenji says:

    What I find amazing is how a annoying and shorty guy with big ears manages to get such surrounded by such beautiful women.




    0



    0
  3. Dodd says:

    You’re reveling in this story because it embarrasses a Democrat.




    0



    0
  4. What I find amazing is how a annoying and shorty guy with big ears manages to get such surrounded by such beautiful women.

    If the pictures are any indication, it’s because he’s hung like a horse.




    0



    0
  5. ponce says:

    If Christian right Republican Dave Vitter cam screw hookers while wearing pampers and retain his seat, I doubt this will be a problem for Weiner whether the story is true or not.

    Pity Palin’s bus trip is getting all the attention.




    0



    0
  6. Scott O. says:

    Kos envy?




    0



    0
  7. Murray says:

    He’s not guilty (what’s the crime) and he’s not stupid. He knows this story will just go away with the next news cycle.

    Unlike most of his Republican colleagues, Weiner never payed any lip service to social conservatives and his electorate doesn’t give a damn about his sex life.




    0



    0
  8. Jay Tea says:

    To paraphrase Murray, Democrats never promise to not be scumbags, so it’s not as big a deal when they get caught being scumbags.

    It also helps that the greatest sin in the universe to the left is “hypocrisy.” If they can make that charge stick, even if it’s completely bogus and/or dwarfed by the actual behavior, then the subject is the most vile human being on the face of the earth.

    “Well, yes, he was a cannibal, but what is even worse because he said he was a VEGETARIAN!!!!”

    J.




    0



    0
  9. Murray says:

    @Jay Tea
    Nice piece of nonsense. Nowhere do I endorse criminal behavior.




    0



    0
  10. Southern Hoosier says:

    Dodd says: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 01:02

    You’re reveling in this story because it embarrasses a Democrat.

    I think he is reveling in the story, because it embarrasses another stupid politician, that thinks they are above the law.




    0



    0
  11. Andyman says:

    I’m leaning toward “guilty” in the sense that he did it, not the sense that he did anything terribly wrong or newsworthy. But it’s at least plausible that he didn’t.

    First, that the conserva-tweeter wants to be investigated just means that he’s pretty sure it can’t be traced to him. IOW he was smart enough to use an internet cafe or public library.

    Second, and this would explain why he’s not foaming at the mouth with outrage like everyone demands, maybe it was a staffer. One with access to both accounts, who accidentally thought he was logged in to his own, etc. Weiner seems like a loyal guy and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was willing to let this blow over rather than throw a staffer under the bus. You’ll never work in this town again and all that.

    @SH,

    You give him too much credit for fairness. If Weiner were a Republican, Dodd would be out with spectral analyses and satellite flyover histories to show that the picture must have been sent from Mars.




    0



    0
  12. Pete says:

    Andyman and Herb; Conservatives get pretty tired of the hypocrisy exhibited by lefties when they (lefties) get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. That’s all. No big deal.




    0



    0
  13. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Is Rep. Anthony Weiner Guilty Or Just Very, Very Stupid?

    Yes.




    0



    0
  14. Jay Tea says:

    Murray, I didn’t say anything about criminal behavior — unless you count cannibalism in my little exercise in hyperbole. And I dunno about you, but when I hear the term “cannibalism,” my first thought is NOT “that’s against the law!”

    J.




    0



    0
  15. matt says:

    Pete : I must of missed all the talk from Weiner about family values and abstinence. Care to provide me with some links? Otherwise your inability to see the difference between hypocrisy and simple lewd behavior. I personally wouldn’t give a crap about Republican sex scandals if they weren’t so busy calling gays sexual deviants while preaching the greatness of sexual abstinence and the moral superiority of their marriages…




    0



    0
  16. matt says:

    “Otherwise your problem is the inability”…. ugh




    0



    0
  17. HelloWorld! says:

    Guilty?? Seriously…is that word even appropriate here. Yes, he accidently sent a stupid looking photo of his junk to the wrong person. Is he married? No. Is he chasing 15 year old page girls? No. What a tabloit rag OTB has become.




    0



    0
  18. Guilty?? Seriously…is that word even appropriate here.

    One cannot be “guilty” in any meaningful sense of the word if no crime has been committed.

    Weiner is married, HelloWorld, but that just tells me that this is a matter, if it is even a “matter”, between him and his wife.

    What amuses me are some of the conservative bloggers out there who somehow think this is going to lead to Weiner being forced to resign.




    0



    0
  19. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi says:

    Anthony Weiner believes every word of the September 11 story.
    Anthony Weiner has no questions about the September 11 story.




    0



    0
  20. wr says:

    I love the certainty from Dodd. He’s every bit as certain of this as he was that the judge in Wisconsin would have to find that the Republicans hadn’t violated the open meetings law. And for the same reasons — he’s quoting from some right wing hack and taking those words as gospel.




    0



    0
  21. Herb says:

    “I think he is reveling in the story, because it embarrasses another stupid politician, that thinks they are above the law.”

    Yeah….that’s why he was all over it when a Republican governor revealed he hid a secret kid for a decade. Remember when a Republican Senator tried to buy off the guy who cuckholded him with a job? Yeah, Dodd was all over that too.

    Like I said before, this isn’t the worst or most interesting political sex scandal. It does happen to feature a particularly obnoxious Democrat, though….

    I’m just weighting the commentary accordingly.




    0



    0
  22. CB says:

    not to play the ‘i know i am but what are you’ card, but if john ensign can cling to his seat for as long as he did, with a relatively minute outcry, weiner is fine. hes a douchebag, but hes safe.




    0



    0
  23. Dodd says:

    Yeah….that’s why he was all over it when a Republican governor revealed he hid a secret kid for a decade. Remember when a Republican Senator tried to buy off the guy who cuckholded him with a job? Yeah, Dodd was all over that too.

    Apropos of bothof those, I’ve also only posted once about the John Edwards lovechild story in 3 years. And that piece isn’t about Edwards; his troubles are merely the context of the journalistic hypocrisy of the LA Times.

    Do you infer from that fact that I am a shill for Edwards? Or do you infer nothing from it because it doesn’t lend itself usefully to your tired old cliché?

    Perhaps I just post about whatever happens to catch my attention when I have time to post. I know… crazy idea. And in this case, as with Edwards, it’s plainly been the stuff for which Weiner’s alleged impropriety is the context rather than the alleged impropriety itself that’s caught my eye. Make of that what you will; it matters little to me what you think when you can’t even say you pretty much agree with me without including multiple partisan snipes (about my partisanship, no less).




    0



    0
  24. Andre Kenji says:

    Maybe it´s because I REALLY don´t like Weiner, but if he´s doing political travels to Seattle just to see his mistress that´s a potential problem.




    0



    0
  25. MarkedMan says:

    Re: the above comments about Ensign and Schwarzenegger.

    Schwarzenegger may be a personal douche, and I don’t like what he did to California (“Get rid of Davis! Let me save the budget! Lower taxes! Job creation! Eliminate the debt! Never use gimmicks! … Uh, scratch all that). But he never went around campaigning on family values or attacking people gays or un-marrieds. So my personal preference is to leave the love-child thing behind closed doors. I would rather not hear about it.

    Ensign. God, Ensign is a mess. Hypocrite and possibly criminal. Seems to have lied so badly to his fellow Senators they turned him over to the Justice Department.

    And although I don’t think personal hypocrisy is a disqualifier, someone who builds a career on attacking people who “lack family values”, and then show they are no better than the worst of what they villified, yeah, that’s a story. Especially since the people they attack are usually just different – gays, evolutionists, atheists, etc. and not any more or less moral than anyone else.




    0



    0
  26. Herb says:

    “you can’t even say you pretty much agree with me without including multiple partisan snipes”

    Partisan snipes? Where? I’m actually giving you credit here.

    As you yourself admit, it’s the “cover-up” not the crime that drew your interest in the first place. You’re no dummy, so I’m assuming –big mistake with you, I admit– that you’re able to determine levels of severity, as in, say….covering up a dick tweet versus covering up a love child or sleeping with your aide’s wife.

    So even if it was all about the cover-up, I have to ask…why this one? The only answer I can come up with is the Democrat thing.

    Pointing to a post you did about Edwards a few years ago doesn’t dissuade me from that notion.

    As for my unwillingness to say I agree with you, check this out:

    “I’m leaning towards guilty myself, but it’s just a hunch. “

    Having a bad “reading comprehension” day or what?




    0



    0
  27. Muffler says:

    I think a quick review of the tests documented in this link are in order. Now you may not agree with some of the “politics”, but the tests and the facts are there. It is possible to post a photo to a yfrog account without even hacking or owning the account. It also has similar traits and results as the effect so documented in the weiner event. The yfrog system has a security hole.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2011/06/weiner-affair-close-to-solution-but-i.html
    \




    0



    0
  28. ptfe says:

    “When Rep. Weiner finally makes the Sorrowful Apology With Wife Standing Steadfastly But Grimly At His Side…” — Dodd Harris

    Duly noted that Dodd has affirmed that Weiner is guilty. And since Dodd loves to attach pictures to his posts, if Weiner is exonerated, Dodd should provide his Sorrowful Apology (to all of us, for being such a stain on the OTB writers) With Wife Standing Steadfastly But Grimly At His Side.




    0



    0
  29. Wayne says:

    Matt are you saying Democrats have no standard of decency? Or they don’t pretend to have high moral values and decency?




    0



    0
  30. Dodd says:

    As you yourself admit, it’s the “cover-up” not the crime that drew your interest in the first place. You’re no dummy, so I’m assuming –big mistake with you, I admit– that you’re able to determine levels of severity, as in, say….covering up a dick tweet versus covering up a love child or sleeping with your aide’s wife.

    So even if it was all about the cover-up, I have to ask…why this one? The only answer I can come up with is the Democrat thing.

    Pointing to a post you did about Edwards a few years ago doesn’t dissuade me from that notion.

    As for my unwillingness to say I agree with you, check this out:

    “I’m leaning towards guilty myself, but it’s just a hunch. “

    Having a bad “reading comprehension” day or what?

    You said you were leaning towards guilty but the only reason that you think I care is that he’s a Democrat. I acknowledged that you said you agreed but added that I found it annoying that you couldn’t manage to do so without including the partisan swipe at the end (that even though you agree I must only care because he’s a Dem). Any reading comprehension difficulties in that exchange are on your end.

    As for the rest, you are correct. I don’t really give a damn if Weiner sent penis pics to a coed. As Powerful Man Does Something Stupid When Thinking With The Wrong Head goes, it’s amazingly dumb but relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. I care about the stuff that arises out of the revelation that he seems to have done so. First it was the hilarious DKos post that contradicted itself six ways from Sunday while piling on the maximum amount of arrogant certainty. Now it’s Weiner’s ever-more-obvious BS. The man has promoted himself primarily by serving red meat to the left wing as an attack dog. Now he thinks he can just wave off his own peccadilloes as if they’re nothing. Uh-uh, no way, no how. It’s not like we’re talking about Pat Moynihan here.

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. Reap what you sow. Insert your own cliché about karma.

    Duly noted that Dodd has affirmed that Weiner is guilty.

    I didn’t affirm anything such thing. I quite plainly asserted that his guilt is now far more likely than not. There is actually a difference. Reading the while sentence you quoted only part of would have saved you some trouble. As for my being a strain, feel free not to read my posts.




    0



    0
  31. TG Chicago says:

    Herb points out that Dodd doesn’t post about Republican sex scandals.

    Dodd rebuts by noting that he bravely refrained from posting about the John Edwards affair… except for that one time. (while ignoring that he may have merely been beaten to the punch by Joyner and Mataconis, who posted about it many times)

    Can you see how that rebuttal isn’t actually a rebuttal? Put aside the fact that Vitter, Ensign, Craig, Sanford, etc., were actually sitting politicians as opposed to Edwards. We still have the fact that Dodd only posts about sex scandals when a Democrat is involved.

    Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Dodd is a partisan. It’s natural that he’d gravitate to stories that help out his team. Not sure why he feels a need to avoid this simple truth.




    0



    0
  32. Muffler says:

    Dodd:

    On what grounds do you pronounce that he is more likely than not? Because of hearsay and projection on how he “should” be handling the event or the hearsay and cobbled together time lines based on screen shots from people unknown? The event now has so many false assertions as to blur the actual facts. I think Weiner is keeping silent as he knows no matter what he says or does there is a contingent of people who “so want to believe” he is guilty of some act that they probably won’t pay attention to anything other than what suites their preconceived expected result.

    I think I’ll wait and see after the technical people have time to finish the experiments. There does exist a security hole in yfrog that allows for non-owner posting to an account which automatically triggers a tweet against the owner registered twitter accound. This was tested and documented today. It also has creates similar anomalies in the picture (no URL) which is not possible when posted by the owner. This is in Weiner’s favor, but not conclusive.

    I suppose in some kangeroo courts guilty by accusation still stands, but in a real court it does not. The reason we have courts is because accusations based on “gut” and “perception” is dangerous and not good enough to convict or ruin a man’s life and work.

    People here might not like Weiner or his goals, but his district elected him and support his work. That is how a republic and a civil society works.




    0



    0
  33. Rock says:

    All this is for Rep. Weiner is a resume enhancement for a run at the White House in 2016. He’s getting the Devil With the Blue Dress On problem out of the way now.




    0



    0
  34. Herb says:

    I don’t really give a damn if Weiner sent penis pics to a coed.

    You said it, not me.

    I don’t see how you can write something like this:

    The man has promoted himself primarily by serving red meat to the left wing as an attack dog. Now he thinks he can just wave off his own peccadilloes as if they’re nothing.

    And then claim your Weiner fixation has nothing to do with the fact tha he’s a Democrat.

    Let’s review: You don’t “give a damn” about what Weiner did. But since Weiner is a left wing attack dog, he’s just reaping what he’s sown. Right?

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    That’s all fine and dandy, but perhaps you shouldn’t think of yourself as the sword….




    0



    0
  35. Rock says:
  36. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    What amuses me are some of the conservative bloggers out there who somehow think this is going to lead to Weiner being forced to resign.

    Naw, that only happens to Republicans.




    0



    0
  37. ptfe says:

    Wow, Dodd, it’s a good thing hedging isn’t your day job because you apparently can’t keep your hedging straight. True, you only effectively stated his guilt in your prior comment — you apparently wanted to rely on the slim margin left when you start a sentence with “when…” and end it with “almost inevitable”; we may quibble over the 0.1% that remains in that “almost”, but for most people that rises to the level of a jury conviction. But then you rebut the claim that you’ve said he’s guilty with this line: “Now it’s Weiner’s ever-more-obvious BS… Now he thinks he can just wave off his own peccadilloes as if they’re nothing. Uh-uh, no way, no how.” So Weiner is producing “BS” and it’s his “peccadillo”, even though it may not belong to him at all. Right. I’m sure you didn’t mean that because then it would just be too obvious that you don’t actually give two shits about the context of the Weiner story and are parroting crap without critical evaluation.

    I’m just going to throw this out there, but you seem to be doing exactly what you think the Kos crowd did, which is make ridiculous connections without information. I have no idea if the guy snapped a photo of his underpantsed wang and sent it out for (apparently one person in) the country to see on Twitter. But I’m also pretty sure you have no idea as well. Your confidence with limited available information is just a sad commentary on your blatant partisanship and blind hypocrisy.




    0



    0
  38. Jay Tea says:

    Rep. Anthony Weiner ‘can’t say with certitude’ photo isn’t him.

    That means, logically, that there are photos of Mr. Weiner’s underwear-clad loins floating about, and he can’t say with certainty that the photo is not of his… er… wiener.

    As I said at Wizbang — I might not be able to pick my “area” out of a photo lineup, but I can say authoritatively that the picture from Weiner’s Yfrog account is NOT of mine — because no such photos exist.

    Similarly, there’s a line that’s floating around quoting Abraham Lincoln as saying “The trouble with internet quotations is that most are just made up.” One need not be a student of Lincoln to know immediately that the quote is bogus. Likewise, Weiner should be able to say authoritatively that the photo of the… er… um… “rampant manhood” is not his — unless such photos exist, and he has posted them somewhere online where The Phantom Hacker could get access to them.

    J.




    0



    0
  39. Dodd says:

    You;re wasting your time talking about facts and logic, J. Obviously, the real issues here are the precise degree to which I am convinced Weiner is guilty, my word choices in describing same, and my vicious partisanship, as displayed by the fact that I decided to post about this but not Ah-nuld’s love child.




    0



    0
  40. michael reynolds says:

    This isn’t comparable to John Ensign or John Edwards, both of whom may have committed actual crimes. Nor is it comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger who is in as much trouble as it is possible to be in with your wife.

    And no, Dodd isn’t even-handed or even a teensy bit bipartisan.

    But that said, clearly Wiener has handled himself badly. (Sorry.)

    I think it’s liar, liar, underpants on fire. (Even sorrier.)

    I think the more upright (and, again) way to handle this would have been for Wiener to come clean. (Okay, I’m stopping now.)

    But I don’t think this is at all a political issue, I think this is a matter best left to the two women and the wiener.




    0



    0
  41. André Kenji says:

    No, it can´t be compared to John Edwards because we are talking about a fresh marriage, without children(Sorry, since I live Southward of the Rio Grande I take these matters seriously. Anything related to motherhood is sacred in Latin America).

    But he MAY have committed a crime(Or at least he faulted with his ethics) if he did a political travel to Seattle just to see his mistress. Anyway, that´s not what grown-ups were supposed to do.




    0



    0
  42. Jay Tea says:

    michael, would you say it was comparable to the case of former New York Congressman Chris Lee, who posted a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craig’s List, saying he was a single lobbyist?

    And I think there is an aspect of this that is comparable to the John Edwards mess — the willingness of the mainstream media to ignore the story, if not actively assist in the coverup.

    J.




    0



    0
  43. TG Chicago says:

    the willingness of the mainstream media to ignore the story

    In what way is the mainstream media ignoring the story? Seems like it’s getting plenty of coverage to me — cable news, national network news broadcasts, major papers.




    0



    0
  44. matt says:

    TG Chicago : He means in the way that the mainstream media ignored Jeremiah Wright etc….

    Wayne : Democrats are not monolithic but Republicans certainly march to the same band and are much more rigid on sticking to talking points and voting the party line. So when you find Weiner talking about the sanctity of marriage being why we should deny gays the right or any other number of “family values” crap my opinion holds..




    0



    0
  45. matt says:

    So till you find Weiner talking about the sanctity of marriage being why we should deny gays the right or any other number of “family values” crap my opinion holds..




    0



    0
  46. TG Chicago says:

    I don’t check out dead-tree national newspapers that often, but to test Jay Tea’s theory, I looked at some today.

    The Weiner story is mentioned on the front page of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Funny way to ignore the story.




    0



    0
  47. An Interested Party says:

    Naw, that only happens to Republicans.

    Really? Who knew that David Vitter is a Democrat…




    0



    0
  48. Eric Florack says:

    Ive no question in my mind this guy is an idiot.
    But I can’t help wondering what would happen if we replaced his name with someone else… say, Mark Foley.




    0



    0
  49. matt says:

    OR say David Vitter or Mark Sanford?




    0



    0