Weiner defenders, critics both err

Kevin Wilson

A few quick questions, and a few long boring answers:

Should Rep. Anthony Weiner resign after admitting sending lewd photographs to women? No. I agree mostly with Peter Beinart’s column on The Daily Beast.

“If pundits are really so upset that Weiner is distracting attention from the nation’s budgetary dilemmas,” Beinart wrote, “perhaps they should start discussing the nation’s budgetary dilemmas and return Weiner’s seduction strategies to the obscurity they so richly deserve.”

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama say Weiner should step down. But last I checked, none of them were registered New York voters.

As long as Rep. Weiner’s done nothing illegal, he should stay in his position. Republicans did nothing about Sen. David Vitter, who admitted soliciting prostitutes, and still got to let voters decide his fate.

But Weiner’s defenders aren’t without fault. Beinart’s well-versed argument had one simple distraction — a Weiner photo gallery, created by The Daily Beast and linked from his column.

“Someone needs to stand up to the media mobs that are making American politics both vicious and small,” Beinart closed. “If he has the courage to do so, maybe others will follow.”

Agreed, Mr. Beinart. If you have the courage to do so, start with your employers.

Who won the Republican debate Monday night? I would go with the crowd and say Mitt Romney was the top finisher. But it can’t be a good sign for Republicans that my second choice was Sarah Palin, who didn’t attend the debate and hasn’t announced her intentions.

Romney is the favorite in head-to-head polls against President Obama, but Romneycare looks a lot like Obamacare.

Tim Pawlenty failed to take Romney down a notch when moderator John King gave him a golden chance to say, “Obamneycare,” a term Pawlenty coined Sunday.

I think based on Herman Cain’s words last night, I infer that when he hears, “Muslim,” his first instinct is, “militant Muslim.”

Michele Bachmann, in the same sentence, touted that she supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage and that defining marriage should be left up to individual states.

Ron Paul will have a tough time winning Republican votes when he shows Republicans campaign as libertarians, but whip out big government when it comes to nation-building and defining marriage.

Things can change. A June 2003 Gallup poll told us Joe Lieberman was running for president, and John Edwards led the field in June 2007 polls.

But nothing I saw Monday dissuaded me from a simple conclusion. The Republicans’ core problem, just like 2004 Democrats, is a field full of candidates who can either draw independent voters or pass the party litmus test, but without a candidate who can do both.