Anthony Weiner is the Congressional Representative for New York’s 9th District in New York City. He’s an unabashed Democrat and has been gaining notoriety lately for his caustic wit, snarky jibes, and fiery tenacity that he throws at the Republicans on a regular basis. Underneath all the funny, though, he’s one of the few minority members of Congress actually calling out the majority for their broken promises and bad behavior.
No doubt about it, though, he is very funny. So for the uninitiated and the Weiner lovers like me, I give you a compilation of Anthony Weiner’s greatest hits.
1) This first video of Weiner’s remarks at the Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner has been making the rounds a lot lately, and with good reason. The whole thing is worth a watch, but my favorite part is the ribbing about his name. “By the way, I do the weiner jokes around here, guys. Who is Boehner fooling? What am I, Anthony WAY-ner? I’m serious, brother, just embrace it.”
2) In this one, Weiner uses his time on the floor of the House budget debate to hypothesize about the Republicans’ real reasons for opposing funding for National Public Radio.
3) An Anthony Weiner classic from the debate over whether to grant health benefits to 9/11 emergency workers, in which he loses it on the House floor while other members keep trying to interrupt him in his defense of the bill and challenge to the Republicans to stop hiding procedure and just vote yes or no. (“The gentleman will observe regular order and will SIT DOWN!”) I’m not sure which I love more, parliamentary procedure or Anthony Weiner.
4) During the health care debate, Weiner calls the Republican caucus of being a “wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.” When the minority tries to shut him up, his Democratic colleagues yield their time on the floor to him so he can continue (multiple times). “We are going to make sure that the American people aren’t gauged.”
5) Weiner has the audacity to demand a source for information presented as “fact” on the House floor during the health care debate.
6) Weiner doesn’t just reserve his vitriol for the House floor, either. He calls out journalists and talking heads for “making stuff up” and refuses to answer questions when they try to interrupt him while he’s answering. (“I heard your speech; now what’s the question?”) He knows his shit and shows up for interviews armed with hard numbers to back him up. I’m sure it’s frustrating for them, but I’m glad that he refuses to play by their rules. (I’d say his on-air treatment of Megyn Kelly is a troubling indication of a nasty attitude toward women, but his empassioned defense of women’s rights on the floor and the respect he gives toward Nancy Pelosi, his other female colleagues, and none other than Rachel Maddow says otherwise. I think he has more of a problem with ill-informed opinions, no matter who’s presenting them.)
7) I could go on all day, but I’ll leave you with this last one. The thing I like most about it is that it demonstrates that he’s aware of how the American public sees the whole national theater of politics. “You know, I want to just advise people watching at home playing that now popular drinking game of you take a shot whenever Republicans say something that is not true, please assign a designated driver, this is going to be a long afternoon!” With a dash of humor, he then goes on to debunk some myths in a way that the average person who is not a political wonk can follow. It’s great. This clip right here summarizes Anthony Weiner in a nutshell.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Weiner (and Eliot Spitzer, my two favorite steamrollers together at last) says, “The president should still fight for the things we believe in.”