Just got this little email update from the WashPost:
Politics News Alert: White House calls Rep. Weiner’s actions a ‘distraction’
June 13, 2011 11:32:22 AM
The White House says President Obama believes Rep. Anthony Weiner’s actions have been “inappropriate” and a “distraction.”
But spokesman Jay Carney wouldn’t say whether the president thinks the New York Democrat should resign — something other Democratic leaders have called for.
I’ve been bemoaning for years the degradation of the presidency to the point where we expect the president to take a position on EVERYTHING that happens, whether it bears on his job responsibilities or not. I think the moment where it first hit me how bad it got was when I was watching a guy on a cable news station standing outside the White House with a microphone on the night of the Columbine shootings. This guy kept coming back on to assure us that the president would soon have a statement. And I’m like WTF? In what sense is a shooting at a high school in Colorado the responsibility of the president of the United States? Why on Earth would I expect him to say anything about it, or care what he said? I wrote a column about this at the time.
By comparison, though, Bill Clinton making sure to vibrate to the correct emotions over Columbine was the height of relevant leadership, compared to the White House being expected to have a position on some wanker who sends dirty pictures to women. We’ve really sunk low now.
If you have trouble seeing this, try for just a moment to look at the world the way I do, instead of the way the Beltway media does. To me, being the “leader of his party” is NOT a role I expect or want my president to play. To me, playing that role is actually inimical to the one that he is paid to perform.
So please, Mr. President: Don’t have an opinion on this. Ignore it. It’s beneath you personally, and certainly beneath the dignity of your office. Stick with the “inappropriate” and “distraction” thing, if you must say anything. Those characterizations are at least accurate.