Democratic Self-Loathing Puts Weiner Seat in Play **UPDATED**

WASHINGTON – Republicans don’t have the Democratic gene of self-loathing. They’re permanently self-righteous, which is why Sen. Vitter is still in the Senate.

In the hall of stupidity, former Rep. Anthony Weiner holds a special place. However, when you analyze his “crime” that’s what it comes down to, because there was no sex.

So, compliments of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Steve Israel, Pres. Obama and the rest of the Democratic pack whose self-loathing made them jettison Rep. Anthony Weiner over an embarrassing and reckless act, Democrats may lose the seat.

If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district. Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. It’s a given that Republicans don’t like him but more shocking are his 16% approval rating with independents and the fact that he’s below 50% even with Democrats at 46% approving and 38% disapproving. Obama trails Mitt Romney 46-42 in a hypothetical match up in the district and leads Rick Perry only 44-43. – Turner Poised for Big Upset

Anthony Weiner might have lost reelection all on his own, but maybe not, because rehabilitation and forgiveness is a powerful political weapon. He’s also a tenacious campaigner, once beloved by his constituents, but also a fierce friend of Israel.

Segue to foreshadowing of some problems Republicans hope to churn up against Pres. Obama in 2012. Democratic candidate David Weprin is an Orthodox Jew who keeps kosher, but with Pres. Obama’s Israeli policy part of the special election tomorrow, a rebuke is part of this mix. From the New York Times back in July:

On Monday, former Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Democrat, endorsed the Republican candidate in the race, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, at a press conference at which he stood next to an Israeli flag. Mr. Koch has acknowledged that Mr. Weprin is a strong supporter of Israel, but argued that the election of Mr. Turner would serve as a rebuke to Mr. Obama for saying that Israel’s pre-1967 border should be the basis for a peace agreement.

The Jewish vote, which Anthony Weiner strongly held, while not siding with Obama on Israeli policy, is expected to be a big factor in tomorrow’s outcome, which today looks like an upset for Republicans.

Pres. Obama’s approval ratings in New York represent the first time he’s been in negative territory in his presidency. A stunning development for a Democratic president.

UPDATE: Good post over at DK on this race:

It’s not necessarily over for Weprin, but if one-time Obama voters are now showing up to vote Republican, that’s a pretty brutal sign. Coming on top of Siena’s poll which also had Turner up by six, it’s hard to see much cause for optimism.

Taylor Marsh is a Washington based political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross-posted from her blog.