Just as it was gaining traction, Obama's party is thrown off message by the misadventures of a New York congressman and its 2004 vice-presidential nominee
Whatever dredging equipment it was that House Democrats used to "drain the swamp" during their four years running the House evidently had a hole in it -- the size and shape of which have just become very public knowledge.
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The passage of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) into the pantheon of political sex-scandal wrongdoers represents more than just a punchline. Just as Democrats appeared to be getting some political traction -- with an unlikely victory in a New York special congressional election that was triggered by a Republican Internet sex scandal -- Weiner's admitted misjudgments and the threat of further revelations trip the party up and put it on the defensive.
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It is difficult to assert authority as the party of compassionate fiscal responsibility while fielding questions about fellow members sexting, well, members.
For Democrats, the good news is that such scandals often flare and then fade. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., won reelection with nearly 57 percent of the vote last year, widening his 2004 margin, after copping to a prostitution scandal. And Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) quickly moved to inoculate the party on Monday, calling for an ethics investigation into whether Weiner violated any House rules.