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Double Standards

 
 
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 08:59 am
I saw a very interesting "Letter to the Editor" a few days ago. The person wrote about the different standards that are applied to different people.

The latest scandal in the news is that of Anthony Weiner, who posted a tasteless picture of himself on the internet, as well as sending the pictures to young women. He was obliged to step down. The same thing happened to Elliot Spitzer, who had the bad taste to flaunt his extramarital affair.

Although what these men did were admittedly distasteful, it paled in comparison with what happened years ago. Ted Kennedy, after a drunken party, dumped his car in a river, and left his female companion to die. He never called 911, but had the presence of mind to phone his attorney.

He remained in Congress for another 40 years.

Bill Clinton was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office. Although there was a lot of noise about it, he remained as president. At the time, I thought that what he did was serious, was not because of the sex, but because he could have been a target for blackmail. Also, who really knew who Monica Lewinsky was, and what were her motives? IMO, he was unconcerned that he could be possibly compromising national security.

What is it that certain people get a "pass", after doing things that are unethical, and even criminal, while other people's careers are destroyed over much more minor slips in behavior, when one considers the whole picture?

What do you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,098 • Replies: 11
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:09 am
@Phoenix32890,
I think the Media punished Anthony Weiner because he lied to them. Instead of just reporting the story, they used their power to destroy him as a warning to others NEVER LIE TO THE PRESS or we will get you! The Media/press are not supposed to be the judge and jury. They abuse their constitutional protection too often.

I find too much political bias power by some of the Media that is not earned to the detriment of the people.

BBB

engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:17 am
@Phoenix32890,
I think it comes down to how powerful your allies are and how much heat you can take. To say that Clinton got a pass is a stretch. The guy was formally charged and tried by Congress. Look at Kennedy and Vitter. Kennedy was pretty bad, Vitter was illegal, but both were surrounded by areas of intense support. No Republicans in Mass, no Democrats in Louisiana. That doesn't mean that both didn't pay a price, only that they were safe inside their home district. The other point with those two and say Craig from Idaho is that they were willing to look their critics in the eye and tell them where to go. Weiner left office because he caved to pressure. He didn't break the law. When the pictures came out, if he had said, "none of your business, I have no further comment" that's the end of it. Only by lying did he expose himself ( Very Happy ) to further attack. He still could have stayed in office and I thought he would, but he didn't have the allies.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:25 am
@engineer,
He didn't have the allies and also his specific role was really compromised by this. He was supposed to be one of the fresh new faces in the Democratic party, and also had taken on a conscience/ scold role -- the one who would floridly tell off Republicans and get attention for that. His ability to do that really specific thing was greatly impacted by this. He lost his credibility.

There's also the timeline. Kennedy spent quite a bit of time under a cloud, but eventually worked his way out of that. The Weiner saga is very very recent and we don't know where he will be in 10 years. (Spitzer is already pretty far into his rehabilitation.) (And I wouldn't call Spitzer's problem that he had the "bad taste to flaunt his extramarital affair," more that he went ahead and had sex with prostitutes while married.... kind of a different thing.)

Kennedy in particular is an unusual case because of the enormous wells of goodwill he had because he was the youngest Kennedy brother, and what that meant. Weiner, for example, doesn't have that kind of legacy going on.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:40 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
Kennedy in particular is an unusual case because of the enormous wells of goodwill he had because he was the youngest Kennedy brother, and what that meant. Weiner, for example, doesn't have that kind of legacy going on.


You exactly made my point about the double standard. If Kennedy had been just some senator from Massachusetts, without his family and connections, he probably would have been charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and possibly vehicular homicide.


sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:43 am
@Phoenix32890,
Quite possibly, I don't know.

That was your point? I was going to ask, I forgot. Usually "double standard" implies that there are two standards; one for women and one for men, one for Republicans and one for Democrats, that sort of thing. I couldn't figure out what your double standard was here. Each situation has its own elements.

For example, with some there was an ongoing pattern that was then uncovered, while in the Kennedy example it was a one-time incident.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:48 am
@Phoenix32890,
What about David Vitter, who admitted to being a John (and several salacious acts)? Or John Ensign? Neither of these guys have any real family history or legacy which sez they should get special treatment, but - in contrast to Weiner - nobody seems to give a damn about their loose morals. Especially not Republicans.

Hell, what Ensign did was 10x worse than Weiner, and does any Republican give a ****? Nope.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:52 am
I think the immediacy of the internet makes a big difference.

If a year from now some girl came forward and said that Weiner had sent her that photo people would be upset but they wouldn't be so outraged.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:54 am
@sozobe,
Soz- By "double standard", I was referring to the fact that different people (in this case politicians) are treated differently because of family, connections, popularity, etc.

You are right that each situation has its own elements, and no two situations are exactly alike. My point is that it is a fact of political life that powerful people can commit more serious infractions of behavior, and get away with it.

I think that the Letter to the Editor that I read comparing what happened to Kennedy and Weiner was what got me started on this tack. I was an adult when the Kennedy affair surfaced, and I believed that it was a miscarriage of justice that he was never prosecuted.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 09:57 am
i think you have to look at the times, ted kennedy, even with his connections and legacy, would never survive his scandal if it happened today, gary condit didn't even kill chandra levy (or so he says) and it cost him his job
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 10:03 am
@djjd62,
Yeah, I think the times are part of it. And Cycloptichorn makes an excellent point about people without any particular connections who did manage to shrug off scandal. I think the double standard thesis doesn't really hold up.

If this is just to debate the Kennedy situation and what should have been done, that's something else. I don't have a strong opinion about it.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 10:11 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

I think the Media punished Anthony Weiner because he lied to them.


That, and because he tried to blame Breitbart.

Keep in mind Tony the Bone had a hand in writing Obamacare... who knows how much this guy has lied
0 Replies
 
 

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