Filner, Weiner, and Spitzer Are All Gone, but the "Democrat War on Women" Continues

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 11 2013 12:24 PM

Filner, Weiner, and Spitzer Are All Gone, but the "Democrat War on Women" Continues

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Bob Filner's gone, but the attacks on him aren't.

Photo by Bill Wechter/Getty Images

A couple of months ago, Republicans found themselves tired of defending themselves on abortion/pay equity issues and eager to change the subject. The new subject: The "war on actual women." While Democrats were out calling any supporter of Texas' abortion law "anti-woman," they were insufficiently angry about the members of their party who couldn't take five steps without sexually harrassing someone or buying a prostitute. A sample, from a July NRSC press release:

[A]s Eliot Spitzer runs for Comptroller and Anthony Weiner for Mayor in New York City – [Sen. Kirsten] Gillibrand remains silent
Senator Jeanne Shaheen even proudly accepts campaign contributions from Bob Filner. Surely she must have something to say about his abuse? Nope. Silence.  
Alison Lundergan Grimes? One day the unprepared candidate is talking about empowering women, the next day her political team is empowering disgraced politician Anthony Weiner.
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Funny thing: All of those jerks are now out of politics, probably for good. Filner resigned in disgrace last month. New York voters retired Spitzer and Weiner. I checked with NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring to see whether the line would have to be retired.

"You still miss the point," he said. "It's not about Spitzer, Weiner or Filner – it's about the hypocrisy of a political party willing to accept them as they assault/harass/victimize/exploit women while at the same time claiming their political opponents are anti-women." As an example, he pointed me to the story of Lundergan Grimes failing to take a position on a sleazy state representative. Fair enough—you can use this attack in many forms—but this wasn't the story Republicans wanted this fall. They wanted to goad Democrats into rejecting-and-denouncing on the incredibly famous scandalized New York politicos. Seems like a wash for all sides, as there's absolutely no evidence that the attack was working.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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