OK, I wondered how long it would be before the media just couldn’t resist the temptation to encourage the unthinking tranche of the Left (which I’m increasingly calling the lowest common denominator of that demographic) to find a reason to blame the President for Anthony Weiner’s hubristic misdemeanor.
That finally happened yesterday when NBC’s Ann Curry asked the President what, exactly, he would do, were he in Weiner’s predicament. The President replied, rather ungrammatically, “If it was me, I’d resign.”
Cue panic! Cue indignation! Cue foot-stomping! Cue hissyfitting! Cue gnashing of teeth and wailing and swearing and Rachel Maddow having kittens!
Breakng News on MSNBC/Fox/CNN! President Says Weiner Must Resign.
Only that’s not what he said at all, and if people would just learn to appreciate and comprehend the language they purport to speak, they’d see that the President isn’t interposing himself into this situation at all.
It’s an innocent enough question, asked daily in normal conversations: What would YOU do in a particular situation? What would you do if you won the lottery? What would you do if Prince Harry asked you to marry him?
Since you haven’t won the lottery and Prince Harry hasn’t asked you to marry him, you can only surmise what you’d do, hypothetically, which means using the word “if”. It’s actually delving into the realms of fantasy. There’s an implied situation, understood, in the hypothetical situation, which necessitates the use of the good old subjunctive mode:
If I were you (but I’m not), I wouldn’t eat that fourth piece of chocolate cake (but I’m not you, so you’ll do what you want.)
Breaking News on MSNBC/CNN/Fox! President Tells Weiner to Resign.
No, and that wasn’t said either. Anything reiterated in the subjunctive mode is not a direct command or order; it’s not even an implied suggestion. If anything, it’s pure supposition conveyed from one person’s perspective. In fact, let’s look at what the President actually said in its full context:-
Well, obviously what he did was highly inappropriate. I think he’s embarrassed himself, he’s acknowledged that, he’s embarrassed his wife and his family. Ultimately there’s going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign. Because public service is exactly that, it’s a service to the public. And when you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back.
First, he states the bleeding obvious: What Weiner did was highly inappropriate and embarrassing, not only to him, but to his family and his constituents. The Congressman, himself, has acknowledged as much. Then, quite rightly, the President states another obvious truth: that, ultimately, whether Weiner stays or goes is a decision to be made by the Congressman and the people whom he represents.
Now, we come to the sentence everyone’s taken out of context and spun: I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.
That’s not sending out a coded message to Anthony Weiner with a nudge and a wink. That’s a simple statement of supposition, reckoning what the President, himself, would do, were he caught in such a situation. And he reiterates why in remarkably clear language – not that anyone, at this point, is bothering to take note.
Public service is, or should be, the ultimate reason a person seeks election to a legislative body. In a perfect world, our private lives shouldn’t matter to our public performance, as long as what we do in private isn’t illegal in anyway or harmful to others in anyway; but once, for whatever reason, that private life is placed in the public domain in such a way that it distracts from someone doing his or her job, then something has to be done to achieve a workable balance. Congressman Weiner is a professional politician, charged by his constituents with representing their interests to the best of his ability.
Until this occurrence, there was probably no one who served the public better than Anthony Weiner, and Anthony Weiner, in my opinion, would probably continue to serve the public’s interest just as well post all this kerfuffle. It’s just that the President thinks that if he (the President, for those who don”t understand) were in that situation, he thinks the whole thing would be detrimental to his doing his job.
But this isn’t what the media wants you to understand. For two weeks now, the media’s focused on Weiner and his weiner problems. There’s been nary a mention of the President at all; in fact, there’s been nothing over which anyone on the Firebaggin’ Progressive Left can froth at the mouth in perceived outrage. Until now.
The media must have been missing those performances of angst and disillusionment, and they probably reckoned the perpetrators needed their fix for their Obama Delusional Syndrome. So they cherry-picked their crack statement, courtesy of Ann Curry’s question, and dangled it tantalizingly before the usual suspects.
Now, within the space of a spun sentence, the Anthony Weiner situation becomes another Obama problem. if Weiner decides to resign, it will ultimately be spun by the Obama-haters on the Left as the President’s fault; if he stays, then the Right will pick up the banner of blame and run with it in the President’s direction.
And in the midst of all this, Herman Cain declares, once again, that the President was raised in Kenya.
What a nation of political addicts we are – addicted to viscerally picking apart, from Right and Left, probably the only President in recent years who truly strives to work for the people who elected him, as well as those who didn’t. Compared to this, Anthony Weiner’s cybersex addiction is no real problem at all – certainly not as big as America’s command and understanding of the English language and its nuances.
Controversy on top of controversy! Is there no end?
Good article Marion. An enjoyable read. Once again, the inanity of our cable news media strikes again. No one should really be surprised, as you stated “I wondered how long before……”
As far as Americans learning to read and understand grammar, how nice that would be. But it seems as though we are going backwards instead of forward in that regard. And I have little doubt that the corporate controlled media is quite pleased by this fact. It just makes their job that much earlier.
The sad, the bad and the ugly have little to do with Weiner; he’s an idiot who should apologize profusely and his wife should come home and stand with him and “shame” the press, just as Vitter and his wife did. Vitter’s wife stopped them all. Weiner is another victim of the convoluted news media whose only goal seems to be “Let’s Make A Scene” or “Fool for the Day” or “Gottcha”. The power to CREATE news is their only way to assure ratings and revenues.
The transgression here is that the Democratic House and Senate do not stand up for the President, they do not stand up for democratic legislation and principles, they do not stand up for each other. Not enough of them do. To worry about snickering at Weiner in the House is an odd exercise in itself; the hypocrisy expressed in that chamber is already laughable.
The further offense is that by the very act of making outrageous statements, utter distortions and untruths, the GOP assures themselves ownership of the news cycle—unless a Weiner happens along.
We need more than English I think. We need guts.
We need a miracle!
Ain’t that the truth!
Isn’t Weiner the guy who said something about the President not being a “values” guy. It always seems that people who throw stones shouldn’t even pick them up.
If I were Weiner I would resign. Why? Because I wouldn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in hell of standing on the House floor and advocate for anything – without hearing the snickers.
Sabreen, Bill Maher said that if Weiner didn’t resign, the next time Weiner stood up on the House floor and gave one of his dramatic speeches, he was going to have a hard time watching without thinking, “Ah, but I saw your weiner.”
I kinda doubt that Bill Maher could look at Weiner at all and not think of a joke.
And, I am sure he won’t be the last. Although, Maher was a big fan of Weiner before this but where there is a joke, you got to take it if you make your living as a comedian. And, a lot have.
Maher is occasionally brilliant, but usually boring.
I’m not sure how he manages that, but he does.
But doesn’t that apply to anybody in Congress? Especially anyone on the other side of the isle? After we get rid of all the hypocrites, sleazeballs and money compromised pols, it’s gonna be a very quiet session.
Pictures. I really think that’s the problem. We know the Right is hypocritical. After all, Vitter the hooker guy is still in Congress. Ensign left just before the pitchforks. And sure they are others. The problem Weiner has are the pictures all over the internet. It’s so in your face. If people really don’t pay attention as closely as they should, then probably a lot of folks don’t know about Vitter. Of course the media did not talk about Vitter non-stop for weeks.
People just need a visual?
Maybe I should draw up a series of illustrations depicting Vitter engaging in his various activities…
Would that make a difference?
I wanna see a picture of a dead Nelson Rockefeller in that whore’s bed – dressed, but without his socks (the message twisters were a little slow on their media control that day).
They’ve gotten better at it since – there’s no mention of the socks incident in Google now. But there is this –
See even in your reporting you took liberties by calling the girl a “whore”. No where in the article do they refer to her as such. His mistress, yes, but not a whore. But, that does add drama to it. No need for anyone to argue the differences or similarities between mistress and whore.
So he should resign because EVERYONE ELSE will behave like children?
I don’t get that.
No not because others may act like children. But working with others in Congress is paramount. If he has lost the respect of those with whom he must work, how does advocate for his constituents?
First of all, who cares about losing the respect of John Boehner and Eric Cantor?
You think THIS is what will slow down Congress? No. Congress will slow down Congress.
And you advocate for your constituency by advocating for your constituency. You think personal feelings don’t come into votes every single day? He’ll get over it.
Speaking of his constituency, last I heard a majority of them wanted him to stay. I hope he does. Don’t give the wolves another meal.
AdLib, you many have to help me with this:
I don’t know if anyone cares and I don’t know if I will post it right but Keith Olbermann hadn’t said anything about Rep. Weiner but finally did with the following (if it works). Anyway, it is just suggestion from him on this matter.
The President should have just kept his mouth shut about the whole thing.
You would have quit Mr. President? Really? Even if you had almost nothing to fall back on, you’d walk away from that job?
Or would he have quit the Presidency? I highly doubt that.
How about you put yourself in Anthony Weiner’s position THEN tell me what “you would do”. Or, better yet, keep your fucking mouth shut.
Did the word “fucking” help your opinion I wonder, because the President was only asked for HIS opinion I believe. Maybe the whole problem in America is the loss of any real visible respect, that seems to be what over 4 years of blogging on American blog sites has taught me so far anyway.
I could care less if the word “fucking” helped my opinion. It’s just my opinion. This is how I talk. It’s just a word.
I “respect” other people’s opinions. This is mine. He should have kept his fucking mouth shut. And, like me, now that he ventured his opinion, it is open for discussion.
Your anger seems to be misdirected at a man who has tried his best to pull your country out of the gutter that Bush had left it in. Yes your opinion is worthy as much as anyone else’s, the “fucking” just made it that less memorable. Just my opinion.
Ah, but your opinion is colored by a false assumption. I am not angry. I understand that many people resort to profanity to express their anger with something. I use it all the time.
I love Obama. I respect the office of the President. I would have said the same thing if we were talking about my brother. It’s just a word.
Now, if it makes the comment less memorable in your eyes, I totally get that too and take no offense.
It was just an early morning suggestion, I’m in no position to preach, I can swear with the best of them when needed. I just don’t believe that your President deserves the language directed at him.
Kalima – I always take your suggestions to heart. And I will with this one too. 🙂
Nah, the word makes no difference – and now, the executive makes no difference. Said current WH Occupant is merely a cog in the machine, another representative for the Ruling Cabal – IMF, Bilderberg, Council of Foreign Relations, World Bank, Trilateral Commission, New World Order, whatever you want to call them this week – names are unimportant, they could go with “The Flower Club” and still do business.
The Occupant is Bush Senior in a new suit – smarter and more polished than the Idjit, but same team. And he’s got the US Army working for them – in Iraq, Af/Pak, Yemen, Libya, and a hundred other places we never hear about.
You can vote for him again, or you can vote for Romney (I assume he’ll be the designated chainsaw slasher for GOP), or you can skip voting altogether – NWO is going to do what it does anyway. And there’s nothing you or I have to say about it.
Have a nice day!
I’m always fascinated by the NWO belief.
What is their goal? Do they even have one? If it’s just to make money, they could go about it a lot easier. ‘Specially is they control governments.
Are members elected? Is it by birth? Seems to be a lot of secrets involved to. How can they keep it secret?
If I felt as negative as you obviously do about most things in your country, I’d pack my belongings and move.
Who in their right mind would suggest you move to either Pakistan or Afghanistan?
Very odd reply, and absolutely nothing to do with what I suggested above.
I’ve always been fascinated by people’s quaint, persistent belief in the “two party system”, also. But I suspect it has been overridden in the past 50 years or so by banking and military/industrial interests that dictate policy to anyone in office, regardless of party affiliation. If campaign contributions won’t buy your loyalty, perhaps a cute little sex sting will.
Or perhaps President Eisenhower was just crazy and paranoid about that Military Industrial Complex?
PS – move where? Somewhere the drone planes don’t go?
Kalima, but if Audadvnc truly believes in the NWO there is no where he can move to. I’m with Adonai, I am fascinated on how they think they can pull it off and what is it exactly they are trying to pull off? Is it the banks or the guys with the money behind the banks? Or are “they” something else altogether? I have read several things on NWO and it seems to cover the many angles but no certain one.
I really have to laugh now when I hear people claim that President Obama is no different to Bush and now Bush senior too. Did you leave out that he’s a “secret Muslim”, was born in Kenya or is a rabid socialist on purpose on your list?
To make outlandish statements like that, first you have to do some research and provide the accompanying links to prove the statements, otherwise it’s just like most things turn out to be, pure speculation, nasty rumours and a room full of hot, stinky air. Show us your proof.
Sally, I believe that the NWO is just another myth, but some people just can’t live without the bogeyman under the bed. That there are people out there who want to control the world is a fact. That it would ever be allowed to happen is not. The nearest thing you have to it in your country would be the Kochs and their favour with the SCOTUS and Wall Street.
Just because someone who believes in in them writes about their conspiracy theory endlessly, doesn’t make it true. Some people just can’t live without conspiracies I believe. Waking up without one would leave them hanging in limbo. Not my problem.
Kalima, I am facsiated in something else with people believing in conspiracies. Behind some there is a little truth. Oh, and there are many people that would do stupid things to make their conspiracy have truth. That is why I am interested on which path they are taking. People can be mislead with beliefs, just look at the Germany people and WWII. And, if that mad man had got the bomb first, well, thank goodness he didn’t. I don’t know if anyone could pull off anything with so much information available thru the net and other worlds reporting. However, there are many thinking about it. Is it possible, well, lets see: if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and with a frozen debt ceiling, the government would have to default, since any interest increase on a $14 trillion debt would be a major expenditure. Today the Treasury is paying a very low .25% on securities of 9 months or less, and interest on the whole debt is about 3% (a total of $414 billion on a debt of $14 trillion in 2010). Raising interest at 18% would add $2 trillion to our tax bill. That would mean paying three times what we’re paying now in personal income taxes (projected to be a total of $956 billion in 2011), just to cover the interest. Now add to that China and Russia dumping USA Treasury Bonds. We would be in a hell of a mess. Could someone get control? I don’t know but Rothschild was in the right place at the right time when Napoleon lost his Waterloo.
I just like to know what they might be thinking.
Sally I can’t go into details as I’m up to my neck in phone calls and emails here (I work from home) but will just say that your financial woes would be so much better if the the rich were taxed on their incomes. It is such a simple solution that even a child could figure it out using lego blocks and a scale.
As for conspiracy theories, they bore me. Life every day and survival is hard enough for most of us, why go insane to make it even harder. I almost pity these people, but then just can’t bring myself to actually feel it, they cause a lot of harm in my opinion, and some of them are worthy of polka-dotted straightjackets and padded cells, I really have no time to play along and be as silly as they appear to be, I’m just living my life to the full, and my glass is half full, not half empty.
Wow, Kalima, I was just telling why I like to hear their thinking not that I believe it. I don’t think I need a straightjacket for being interested in someone’s ideas even if they are silly. Sorry, you are so busy and didn’t mean to take away any time in giving an explanation. Yes, a lot could be solved if we taxed the rich and corporations paid taxes.
So what would you advise aud? Just lying down and giving up is surely not the answer.
I don’t think many people who are now living under Republican rule in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, etc. would agree with you that it makes no difference. I happened to have lived under Nixon, Ford, both Bushes and Reagan and IMO it makes a huge difference. I don’t recall any of those Republicans giving a rat’s arse about the middle class and the poor. Do you?
Sally, to your “Wow” comment down there, I wasn’t referring to you, just the people who constantly preach it without any links or facts on web sites. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Now I have to go again, so good night.
Kalima, no problem. I am sorry you are so busy. Right now I am dealing with something that has me bedridden, so, I have to much time on my hands. I guess that is why I like being here and keeping my fingers active. If I get in the way, just kick me aside.
Kalima, let’s be honest. It’s about this President, who’s been afforded less open respect to his FACE than any President in history, even the obvious crooks like Nixon and Bush Jnr. Even by the sainted Anthony Weiner. Why? BECAUSE HE’S BLACK.
The Right don’t like the idea of a black man being in the White House, and the Left don’t like the idea of a black man being in the White House who’s smarter than anyone else and who doesn’t do what THEY say. All around, it’s white privilege, and that’s a euphemism for racism.
Sorry, but it’s true. The racism of the Left is different to that of the Right; but it’s racism just the same.
Oh I agree about the racism, I saw it first hand at HP during the primaries, the disrespect for President Obama stems from it too, in waves. I mean the overall disrespect I’ve noticed much earlier on when I first joined HP in 07. It’s fine to be outspoken about issues, but the overall disrespect was something very different for me with my European upbringing, I don’t think that I ever got used to it, and I don’t believe that because of it, America is any more open or in fact better than Europe. I suppose it’s just part of my upbringing that I have never been able to shake off, and quite frankly am often thankful for.
Marion I am wondering who these non-thinking and lowest common denominators on the left are? I know you have referred to them several times in past articles. But who are they? Maybe I’m not as well informed as far as these people are concerned. Do you mean the news anchors at MSNBC? Left wing bloggers? Or the many right wing bloggers that pretend to be on the left?
You missed the entire point of my blog, which makes my point, really. It’s all about the English language and learning to understand the subjunctive mode and what it’s all about. Jesus, and I thought the Republicans had a reading comprehension problem.
Yeah, I read your article. Twice. I’m pretty confident I “got it”. Thanks.
I may be mistaken but I don’t think Ann Curry ever asked the question, “What would you do, Mr. President?” I heard the President volunteer what he would do in giving his opinion on Weiner and the situation. Of course the President is entitled to his opinion and I did not hear him say that anyone should follow it. But, in honesty, do we actual know how we would react in a situation someone else is experiencing? I mean, we are on the outside and not actually dealing with the pain or know the willingness of that person to handle it and face the obstacles. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves and handle something we never thought we could but when we have to, we find strength we never knew we had. And, sometimes when giving our answer to the person in that situation, we might give them an answer that we think would be the easiest for them to handle. I think the President gave the answer that he felt and also, he gave an answer that he thought might be easiest for the Party to handle. Nothing wrong with that. But, it is Mr. Weiner’s decision to make and what I’ve seen of him, he doesn’t walk away from a fight. However, he might find himself feeling a different way about himself with a wife pregnant with his first child. You just never know for sure.
We do have many Obama haters on the left………those whose pet projects were not in the forefront during this short presidency.
Those whould not vote ( as protest ?) in the mid terms who helped usher in the reign of stupid to the max and people hating evil intentions .
They did not do it alone and probably not on purpose but it is like lying by omission. By not supporting hope and change they joined the dumbed down .
Obama has actually done an amazing job. I have never seen so much organized obstruction and BS personal attacks as our President has ben subjected to.
I thank goodness that we have him and curse the media that the right names as left wing ( HAHA it ain’t true) I long for sanity to rule and to be recognized by the American public. I would love to see the GOPTP banished and shunned……..They are un American.
I hate how the media takes a snippet of a whole and presents it to point people into a particular path of thinking ( or not)
I agree with you that President Obama was clear in what he said about Representative Weiner. He only said what he himself would do in similar circumstances, and everyone should realize that.
But do you really think that we have “Obama-haters” on the Left?
Yes, I do. And racists as well. And anyone who doesn’t think so is in denial.
Just look no further than Dennis Kucinich. Seriously.
I never got the impression that Kucinich was a racist.
What I DO know about him is that he is anti-war, no matter who the president is, or what party that president belongs to.
Kucinich sticks with his principles. I don’t think that demonstrates a personal animosity toward Barack Obama.
Kucinich, with his pocket Constitution and his communications degree, never thought to sue Bush for anything, did he. Megalomaniac, and yes, racism is at the heart of it. White privilege, and Little Man Syndrome. I hope he can live with himself when his party loses big in 2012, with his undermining of it as one of the reasons.
Seven terms in the House and not one bill put through committee. Just like Anthony Weiner.
Kucinich introduced a resolution to impeach Bush, of course:
Your unfounded assumptions about his motivations of White Privilege and “Little Man Syndrome” are just that… unfounded assumptions. These are assumptions based on no factual evidence; they only seem to be based on your willingness to assert them.
Any objective reader of your commentary would wonder what Kucinich’s crime actually is from your point of view. Perhaps it is the crime of insufficient party loyalty?
Absolutely. Check out some of the diaries on DailyKos; read Alternet; Firelakedog; Cornell West; Tavis Smiley, etc. Many of these folks represent the fringe, IMO. Some of them sound as bad as the teabaggers. I’ve read comments calling the President racist names. House “n”; Uncle Tom, etc. They are as sickening to me as the Right.
They expect this President to ask how high when they say jump. They never did that to Clinton. They are ideologues and some, IMO are racist and I don’t use that term lightly.
One example of their “purity” requirement is that they would rather have people go without unemployment compensation; no repeal of DADT; no START Treaty; no middle class and small business tax cuts to make a political point.
BTW, Weiner wasn’t even “left” enough for Jane Hamsher of Firelakedog. I heard her said on Cenk’s show that she doesn’t “like Weiner’s politics”.
And here’s an article about Obama hater – Glenn Greenwald.