Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, Facebook and Twitter, seems destined to spend another day fending off calls his resignation.
One of those calls has come from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. "I don't condone his activity," Mr. Cantor told reporters. "I think he should resign." But after Republicans Mark Sanford (governor of South Carolina) and John Ensign (senator from Nevada) announced -- just days apart -- in 2009 that they'd cheated on their wives, Mr. Cantor said they could stay in office. Regarding Governor Sanford, Mr. Cantor said:
"As far as his remaining governor ... it's up to the people of South Carolina and that will play out. But, listen, Governor Sanford apologized yesterday. We ought to be, you know, really dedicating our thoughts and prayers to his family right now going through a difficult time."
The biggest single difference between what Congressman Weiner did and what Governor Sanford and Senator Ensign did is that Mr. Weiner committed his wrongs as a Democrat. As you watch the Weiner scandal play out, remember this basic idea: It's OK If You're a Republican -- IOKIYAR. As Rachel noted on the show, Congressman Weiner went outside his marriage and then lied to her and to the world about it:
If you are so outraged by that lie or by anything else that [Anthony Weiner] did that you are demanding that he must resign and that other people be shamed by any association with him that is not repudiated, you ought to at least try to fake that same concern about other politicians who have done the
same thing and worse but happen to be in a different party.
I know that "It's OK if you're a Republican" is actually what the rule is, that's actually how things operate in the Beltway. But for the sake of national shame, at least try to fake it.
If Anthony Weiner does end up stepping down, it may be because his own party stops supporting him, not because Republicans apply the IOKIYAR standard to his case. Losing the trust and respect of his own party would be the cost of his lie.
Bonus: Former Republican Party chair Michael Steele on his own side's hypocrisy.