Anthony Weiner and the Politics of Sexual Misbehavior
Let me begin with a broad observation. When Republican politicians are caught up in sexual scandals, the emphasis in the resulting commentary is typically on their hypocrisy. In contrast, when Democrats are caught up in such scandals, the emphasis is usually on the salaciousness of their behavior. This may seem like a distinction without a difference, but I think that it may help to explain why some Republicans and some Democrats survive sexual scandals while others are ruined by such scandals. Moreover, it may explain why the Republican efforts to conflate the sexual scandals involving Bob Filner, Eliot Spitzer, and Anthony Weiner are unlikely to gain any traction beyond the Far Right echosphere—why they are unlikely to gain the Republicans any traction with voters beyond those who would vote Republican if the party’s national ticket paired Dionysus and Priapus.
Of the three sexual scandals, Bob Filner’s is clearly the most…
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