OK, I wondered how long it would be before the media just couldn’t resist the temptation to encourage the unthinking tranche of the Left (which I’m increasingly calling the lowest common denominator of that demographic) to find a reason to blame the President for Anthony Weiner’s hubristic misdemeanor.
That finally happened yesterday when NBC’s Ann Curry asked the President what, exactly, he would do, were he in Weiner’s predicament. The President replied, rather ungrammatically, “If it was me, I’d resign.”
Cue panic! Cue indignation! Cue foot-stomping! Cue hissyfitting! Cue gnashing of teeth and wailing and swearing and Rachel Maddow having kittens!
Breakng News on MSNBC/Fox/CNN! President Says Weiner Must Resign.
Only that’s not what he said at all, and if people would just learn to appreciate and comprehend the language they purport to speak, they’d see that the President isn’t interposing himself into this situation at all.
It’s an innocent enough question, asked daily in normal conversations: What would YOU do in a particular situation? What would you do if you won the lottery? What would you do if Prince Harry asked you to marry him?
Since you haven’t won the lottery and Prince Harry hasn’t asked you to marry him, you can only surmise what you’d do, hypothetically, which means using the word “if”. It’s actually delving into the realms of fantasy. There’s an implied situation, understood, in the hypothetical situation, which necessitates the use of the good old subjunctive mode:
If I were you (but I’m not), I wouldn’t eat that fourth piece of chocolate cake (but I’m not you, so you’ll do what you want.)
Breaking News on MSNBC/CNN/Fox! President Tells Weiner to Resign.
No, and that wasn’t said either. Anything reiterated in the subjunctive mode is not a direct command or order; it’s not even an implied suggestion. If anything, it’s pure supposition conveyed from one person’s perspective. In fact, let’s look at what the President actually said in its full context:-
Well, obviously what he did was highly inappropriate. I think he’s embarrassed himself, he’s acknowledged that, he’s embarrassed his wife and his family. Ultimately there’s going to be a decision for him and his constituents. I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign. Because public service is exactly that, it’s a service to the public. And when you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can’t serve as effectively as you need to at the time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back.
First, he states the bleeding obvious: What Weiner did was highly inappropriate and embarrassing, not only to him, but to his family and his constituents. The Congressman, himself, has acknowledged as much. Then, quite rightly, the President states another obvious truth: that, ultimately, whether Weiner stays or goes is a decision to be made by the Congressman and the people whom he represents.
Now, we come to the sentence everyone’s taken out of context and spun: I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign.
That’s not sending out a coded message to Anthony Weiner with a nudge and a wink. That’s a simple statement of supposition, reckoning what the President, himself, would do, were he caught in such a situation. And he reiterates why in remarkably clear language – not that anyone, at this point, is bothering to take note.
Public service is, or should be, the ultimate reason a person seeks election to a legislative body. In a perfect world, our private lives shouldn’t matter to our public performance, as long as what we do in private isn’t illegal in anyway or harmful to others in anyway; but once, for whatever reason, that private life is placed in the public domain in such a way that it distracts from someone doing his or her job, then something has to be done to achieve a workable balance. Congressman Weiner is a professional politician, charged by his constituents with representing their interests to the best of his ability.
Until this occurrence, there was probably no one who served the public better than Anthony Weiner, and Anthony Weiner, in my opinion, would probably continue to serve the public’s interest just as well post all this kerfuffle. It’s just that the President thinks that if he (the President, for those who don”t understand) were in that situation, he thinks the whole thing would be detrimental to his doing his job.
But this isn’t what the media wants you to understand. For two weeks now, the media’s focused on Weiner and his weiner problems. There’s been nary a mention of the President at all; in fact, there’s been nothing over which anyone on the Firebaggin’ Progressive Left can froth at the mouth in perceived outrage. Until now.
The media must have been missing those performances of angst and disillusionment, and they probably reckoned the perpetrators needed their fix for their Obama Delusional Syndrome. So they cherry-picked their crack statement, courtesy of Ann Curry’s question, and dangled it tantalizingly before the usual suspects.
Now, within the space of a spun sentence, the Anthony Weiner situation becomes another Obama problem. if Weiner decides to resign, it will ultimately be spun by the Obama-haters on the Left as the President’s fault; if he stays, then the Right will pick up the banner of blame and run with it in the President’s direction.
And in the midst of all this, Herman Cain declares, once again, that the President was raised in Kenya.
What a nation of political addicts we are – addicted to viscerally picking apart, from Right and Left, probably the only President in recent years who truly strives to work for the people who elected him, as well as those who didn’t. Compared to this, Anthony Weiner’s cybersex addiction is no real problem at all – certainly not as big as America’s command and understanding of the English language and its nuances.