Give Anthony Weiner another chance! Slate’s William Saletan fawned over the genius political rehab strategy deployed by former disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), as he’s mulling whether to run in New York’s mayoral election this year. Saletan’s April 10 piece, laughably headlined " I'll Be His Weiner Wife, " observed how the recent Weiner expose -- sorry, I mean feature -- in a recent New York Times Magazine “doesn’t look like a strategy. It’s so deeply embedded in the narrative that you can’t see it."
"Weiner has made this a story not about himself, but about his wife and their future together. You have to forgive him because she has forgiven him, and if you hold a grudge against him, she’s the one you’re really punishing," Saletan argued. Cut Weiner out of politics for life and you hurt Huma as well. Heck, you're probably hurting America too! Isn't that patronizing at best and misogynistic at worst?
But wait there's more. Saletan explains that the New York Times Magazine feature had:
the words “we” and “they” appear a combined 76 times. The piece quotes Jon Stewart telling Weiner privately, “You have your own responsibility in this, but it’s not to us.” Citizens can’t judge a politician’s sexual behavior. Only his wife can. And Abedin has rendered that judgment: “I understand and I forgive.” According to the article, the couple is spending more time together than ever. “If there’s anyone … able to sustain the onslaught that came from without, it’s these two,” says Weiner’s brother. The husband and wife are victims together. Call off the onslaught. Forgive and forget.
It’s hard to imagine this sort of malarkey from Saletan or any liberal journalist had Mark Sanford, who's trying to rise to prominence politically again, had his wife completely forgiven him and either stayed by his side or at least helped him run his campaign after divorcing him. Or go a few years back to Sen. David Vitter's embarrassing revelations about paying a hooker. I don't recall any journalist saying we have to forgive the Louisiana Republican because his wife did.
Like her politics or not, Huma Abedin was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s body woman and Deputy Chief of Staff. She's an educated, accomplished woman in her own right. As much as the liberal media insists that it is conservatives who wage a "war on women," there's something perversely degrading and sexist about this expectation by liberal pundits that we the voters should be completely cool with rehabilitating lecherous liberal politicians just because their wives are playing Tammy Wynette and standing by their man.