Sunday, June 19, 2011

Made You Blink

So, you blinked, you let yourself be distracted by the antics of a brilliant but rather typical, self obsessed and seemingly insecure  Congressman who let himself be consumed and destroyed by his weakness. We watched Anthony Weiner waffle for 2 weeks as he dug himself in deeper and deeper denying the inevitable. Frankly, though, I did not agree with all of Weiners positions, I felt he could have been a powerful progressive voice and he was aggressively doing some pretty good work at the time he let himself be destroyed.
To be confused and blinded by the manipulative charges surrounding him in the media, hyped by Breitbart, makes it all too easy to just sweep Weiner under the rug and conveniently condemn him. But, for many,  the antics of Weiner, his very public media disgrace and the need for revenge continuers to create a diversion, the smokescreen that was originally intended.
So, what good does it do to keep this diversion alive by feeding into it by demanding the head of David Vitter? Let the Republicans obsess on it, because, they will and are doing it now. Rush Vigraboy Lardball and the self righteous Bill Felafel O'Reilly are already going trying to fuel the diversion. The truly progressive stance is best stated by a quote from Mahatma Ghandi, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
Why was Weiner destroyed when he was? He was carefully set up, his antics were monitored for quite a while. The NY Times has a very good investigative article detailing how the hacking was done, how he was set up with false user Twitter accounts to entrap him. A very important point is that his posting was in some cases obscene, his actual behaviour never really crossed any physical line. I won't go into the entire web of entrapment involving a fictitious California High School student using the name, "Nikki Reid", but the entire history is here in this June 18 NY Times piece.
Speaking of The NY Times, in todays edition, Sunday June 19, there is a piece detailing another ethical lapse by Supreme Court Clarence Thomas. Read it and weep, because if there was vengeance, if retribution that made any sense in the scheme of real justice, Thomas is the man to take the dive. The ethical conflicts of judicial propriety in fact is the real reason why Weiner was so methodically set up, why he was allowed to entrap himself in this pit of media hyped shame. In fact, as WeinerGate came to a head on Friday, one of the things the big bright spotlight didn't cover  was Clarence Thomas's re-amendment of his amendment of his financial disclosure forms.
All of a sudden, the news that Clarence Thomas was being forced to correct the lie that corrected the other lie (sorry, "impossible-to-believe double oversight") was overshadowed by the news that someone may have tweeted Anthony Weiner's ... something. Or somebody's something. (Think that was Breitbart's subaltern in those shorts?) 
What's the connection? Weiner is the reason that Thomas had to make that double correction. 

A timeline:

In January 2011, Common Cause reveals that Clarence Thomas has repeatedly failed to report his wife's Movement Conservative income (from the Heritage Foundation) on his financial disclosure forms. He checked the box marked "Not one dime" when he should have checked the one labeled "Between $1 and $686,589" in each of five years running. 

In February, Anthony Weiner gets 74 congresspeople to send a letter to Clarence Thomas asking him to explain himself, then launches a Conflicted Clarence Thomas campaign, attempting to shame him into a recusal on any health care case. From Weiner's petition (feel free to click and sign): 
The Thomas household has profited from opposition to health care reform. His wife has already taken nearly $700,000 from health care opponents and now openly advertises herself as a crack lobbyist with the “experience and connections” to overturn the law of the land.
Use the form on the right to stand with Anthony Weiner and his House colleagues, co-signing their letter and calling on Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any cases regarding the constitutionality of the health care reform law immediately in the interest of maintaining impartiality in nation's highest court.
Note that the "nearly $700,000" number will turn out to be wrong, significantly low.

Liberty Central is forced, presumably by Weiner's constant tweaking, to release its own IRS forms showing $150,000 in payments to Ginni Thomas, President and CEO, in 2010 (jump to page 12 using the pop-up toolbar at the bottom). 

Liberty Central is on record as opposing Obama's Affordable Care Act, perhaps the reason this income didn't make it to Clarence Thomas's first round of income-correction. The ACA may well come before the Court on which Thomas sits. 

On May 27 (a Friday), Thomas announces he will release his amended disclosures later that day, and starting at 9:14 am there's a lot of Twitter traffic from @RepWeiner about it, eleven straight tweets at one point, including this one. 

Note that the "nearly $700,000" number is now $800,000 (that we know about). 

Later that evening, Weiner tweets that his Facebook account has been hacked and the chicken-in-the-pants pic goes out (no link; this is why god made google, folks). 

Look, I'm as pissed off and disappointed with the seemingly human failings of Tony Weiner as anyone, but as a fellow human who readily admits to having failings and weaknesses, I have a lot of empathy. I think my the brunt of my anger towards whim is that he let himself be sucked into this pit blindfolded and willingly, just as his efforts to combat Clarence Thomas, whose Anita Hill problem continues to haunt him, seem to have been paying off.
If there is vengeance to be had, then let it fall upon the proper target. We don't need to become embroiled in a further media sideshow to take down another republican sex freak. They will do it to themselves.
We have to open our eyes, stop blinking dammit!

1 comment:

mud_rake said...

Weinermobile! Henry Ford Museum has the original. Quite the interesting advertisement.

The current Weiner nonsense is absolute idiocy and a planned distraction so that people won't look too deeply into the shenanigans of Congress.