At Long Last: an Accounting? Clinton and Weiner Deserve Each Other

Written by Steve Pauwels on August 7, 2013

I’ll even mention besmirched televangelist Jim Bakker. His operatic,  late-1980’s “fall from grace” landed him a five-year stint in federal prison. He returned to life on the outside by releasing a book unflinchingly titled, I Was Wrong. Bakker never drizzled out excuses for his wretched failings and, before eventually returning to Christian television in 2003, spent several years reaching out to inner-city Los Angeles’ drug addicts and homeless. Eleven years ago, he and wife Lori adopted five needy siblings.

The Dallas Morning News‘ Bruce Tomaso has written, “Anyone who’s seen his new show sees a different Jim Bakker today than the guy who preached ‘the gospel of prosperity’ 20 and 30 years ago,” (May 2007).

These three opted, in short, for the precise kinds of responses Clinton — and now, apparently, Weiner — have declined. To borrow the phrasings of National Review‘s David French, this debauched duo harp on our need for their uninterrupted “public service”  — but what’s transparent is they actually prize “their quest for power”.  In the process, Clinton/Weiner tossed away opportunities, despite epic personal downfalls, to model for a monitoring world something rare, refreshing, quite wonderful: redemptive brokenness and humility.

And Hillary/Huma have thrown in to convince us that shouldn’t be a game-changer.

For the moment, Weiner’s future remains murky. But what about his preferred, walking template for scandal-survival, Bill Clinton? The goofily-grinning, sixty-six year old remains the Rock Star/Statesman of the Demon-crats. Degrading — and not just figuratively —  the highest office in the land, he transmogrified the “presidency” into the butt of global jests, mainstreaming colorful sexual terms, once reserved for bar and locker room conversations, for an entire generation of nightly-news watchers — kids included. Adultery, sexual harassment, thuggish cover-ups, perjury? — Bill Clinton dived headfirst into all of it, yet remains broadly unaccountable to his party, the media,  the American people or himself.

That is, possibly, until Weiner’s latest prurient pile-up, wife Huma running smilingly cynical interference at his side. Suddenly, the air is brimming once more with icky reminders of how sordidly ignominious was the Clintons’ two-decades-removed conduct.

These four deserve each other.

Perhaps folks will reconsider the heretofore whitewashed legacy of the “Man from Hope” and his spouse? Perhaps they’ll re-evaluate Bill/Hill’s long-term, putrefying impact on the national conversation and spirit?

Hillary in the Oval Office, “Slick Willy” just down the hall from her? Perhaps, post-Weiner, voters are a bit more queasy over that prospect?

If so, we can be grateful that Anthony Weiner — and the Clintons — have confirmed yet another maxim, one that also happens to be a Biblical truism: “Your sin will find you out.”

Image: Bill Clinton; courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/14409740/in/set-72157594360767224/; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license; and Anthony Weiner; courtesy of http://www.gpoaccess.gov/pictorial/ 109th/ny.html; public domain

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Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.