Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Aftermath of Weinergate

With Anthony Weiner's resignation, it may be thought Weinergate is finally over after three weeks. I beg to differ. The implications of what happened in that three weeks will have a lasting impact for a while yet. Here are a few examples.

Weinergate underscored a rift between the Left and the Democrats. Strip away the party affiliations for a minute and really take a look at who defended Weiner throughout the scandal without fail. It was the Left. They saw Weiner as a progressive voice within Congress, one that effectively took Republicans to task on any number of issues. When Democrats started turning on Weiner, the Leftists took it personally and started pleading with the Democrats to stand behind Weiner and to take on the Right. When that didn't happen, Leftists went ballistic. There has been a rift between Leftists and Democrats, and Weinergate not only exposed it, but widened it.

The party of women? Think again. Weinergate showed how little respect the Left has for women. When the first stories about Weiner texting a college student came out, the Left was already in "slime the woman" mode until the student came out and issued a statement that was beneficial to Weiner's defense at the time. Then, everything was fine and the "slime the woman" machine was shut down. Then, other women, including a porn star turned stripper, a single mother, and a 17 year old girl, started coming to light. In all of these cases, Leftists had to perform acrobatics to continue defending Weiner while Democrats got tired of playing Twister and tried to cut their losses. Yet, they both have to address how far they were willing to go to defend Weiner by using women. Until they do, women could have second thoughts about supporting Democrats.

A hard look at both parties. Neither major party has a clean record when it comes to sexual escapades. Whether it's David Vitter or Barney Frank, Democrats and Republicans need to clean house if for no other reason than for national security. (There are other reasons, but national security is a pretty big one in my book.) Whenever you inject sex into a political situation, there will be mistakes made. How easy would it be to have a spy seduce and then blackmail a politician? If Weiner's libido is any indication, it's not that hard at all. Therein lies the opportunity any spy would need to steal or blackmail for vital secrets. Granted, we're not going to have politicians going from super freaks to chaste overnight, but it has to be started sometime. From where I sit, that time started three weeks ago.

Cyber-Security? Yeah, right! No matter how much we lock down our computers, no matter how many firewalls and anti-virus programs we have, online information can be obtained, not if, but when. Weiner's inadvertent Tweet becoming public started Weinergate. When you consider something as small as a mistyped command can open up such scrutiny, it's safe to say we're not nearly as secure online as we think we are.

The media aren't doing their jobs. By and large, Weinergate was broken by the "new media." The mainstream media were left playing catch-up as Andrew Breitbart on the right and DailyKos on the left did the bulk of the investigative journalism on Weinergate. Even CNN, the self-professed top name in cable news, had pathetic coverage of the scandal, relying on official statements from Weiner's office instead of trying to unravel the inconsistencies that arose within hours of the story breaking. The journalism profession has taken a serious nosedive, and if their coverage of Weinergate is any indication of its future, it will hit the ground before it decides to try to ascend.

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