The Case Against Weiner: Why He Should Leave Office

Monday, June 06, 2011 - 10:50 PM

When a politician sex scandal hits, the only real question after the facts have been established, is "do I care?" If you don't care then it's best to be equal-opportunity about it. Don't care when it's someone in your party, and don't care when it's someone in the other party. This is, of course, hard for many people to do. It's easy to accept bad behavior from your own, much easier to judge those you would oppose anyway.

Personally, I care. I care when it's someone in the other party and when it's someone in mine. It matters to me that our elected officials have integrity in their family lives. They're public officials, they work for us, and they are supposed to act with decorum. They represent us and I expect them to behave accordingly.

Most exposed sex scandals divide people along these "I care" / "I don't care" lines. This Anthony Weiner scandal was different because it was so obvious to so many that he did what he was accused of doing but his protestations of innocence, and the fact that he seemed to cop to some embarrassing revelations and not others, brought out a whole host of defenders who savagely attacked the messengers. They made up reasons why he couldn't deny certain things and did so with vicious rage at those who didn't believe the Congressman:

"A lot of people here have gotten hung up on the fact that Rep. Weiner has been less than unequivocal about denying that it's him in the infamous photo. Several of the more annoying ones, having apparently taken leave of their senses, have even chosen to believe that this means Andrew Breitbart is right. These people are, of course, wrong, but if we would head off this nonsense, those of us with functioning brains must reluctantly give some consideration to understanding why the good Mr. Weiner might not be able to categorically deny that the photo is of him."

Weiner proclaimed himself a victim and his supporters treated him as such. In the comments on my own post on this blog I was accused of "smearing" the Congressman when in actuality I was pointing out that the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Lest you think I limit my assumptions to Democrats, I called that Mark Sanford was having an affair and not hiking any Appalachian Trail long before it became the common wisdom. And I had wanted Sanford for president!

We live in an age where it's very hard to keep secrets, except if you're Arnold Schwarzenegger for some reason, and because of this it's always better for a politician to come clean when caught between a rock and... the truth. As late as last night, some liberal bloggers were putting together elaborate theories on how a hacking might have occurred. Andrew Breitbart became a target because he challenged Weiner's statements. At least Weiner apologized to him by name but as Jonah Goldberg points out he didn't apologize for the right reasons:

It was also good for him to apologize to Andrew Breitbart and “anyone else he misled.” But that’s not what he did wrong to Andrew Breitbart and others. He encouraged people to make Breitbart et al into the villains in this story. The sin there is not misleading but a kind of bearing false witness, a variant of slander.

We live in a divided country, it's true that's not Anthony Weiner's fault, but Weiner let 10 days go by where his surrogates attacked anyone trying to establish the truth. This is not behavior befitting a Congressman. He should go because he sent lewd photos to young women. He must go because he lied about it and let our country's divisions worsen and deepen to protect himself.




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Comments [15]

Martha from Monterey, CA

He has lied, he has sent inappropriate photos to young girls, he's totally narcissistic; what more do you need? Is this a model citizen you want running our country? Is this the best we've got? Is this the best we've got to run our country?

Jun. 13 2011 12:42 AM

Thanks for telling it like so many see it. No, it's not about prudery or sexual hang-ups or whatever other nonsensical assumptions are given as reasons for why some people are calling for Weiner to resign. I want Weiner to resign because he has shown poor judgment, rank insensitivity, and dishonesty (perhaps, I should also include unbelievable stupidity and lack of understanding of how easily tools like Twitter can be tracked). These are not qualities of an effective representative, especially one leading the charge for issues I care about. It's absolutely the case that the man has a right to his private life. He's not, however, entitled to my support. He's a distraction. Let someone else take the reins.

Jun. 11 2011 02:17 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Weiner's constituency gets to decide if he should stay or go...Not us.

Sexting with strangers when you are in a committed relationship is pretty sleazy but not illegal. But as far as infidelity can go this is on the low, low end of the scale.

His party didn't need the distraction and the GOP will attempt to use the broadbush of sexual perversion to taint every race in 2012. What else are they going to do? They have no real achievements to run on.

IMO, Rep. Lee's didn't need to resign after his craigslist photo was released. He was pushed out. It appears to me that the GOP has the hang-up about private sexual matters.

Jun. 08 2011 10:37 AM
Dr. Clarity. from Manhattan

Character, shmaracter, hypocrite, shmypocrite. How stupid can a man in the public eye be? Weiner needs to step down because he's proved the smart young brash clear-thinker is really dumb as a stump.

Jun. 07 2011 10:39 PM
Dr. Clarity. from Manhattan

Character, shmaracter, hypocrite, shmypocrite. How stupid can a man in the public eye be? Weiner needs to step down because he's proved the smart young brash clear-thinker is really dumb as a stump.

Jun. 07 2011 10:37 PM
Ralph from Brooklyn, NY

he has to go because he showed a complete lack of judgement and our tax dollars shouldn't fund idiots with hard ons. He can be a pervert on the subways at no cost to us.

Jun. 07 2011 02:48 PM
Tex from NYC

@ CouchPolitico,
What do you mean "...resign over being a single man with a sex drive"?
Is he single or is he married?....

Jun. 07 2011 11:43 AM
Karol from NYC

"None of you have ever engaged in an attempt to have sex before/outside marriage? Oh, what saints you are!"

Nope, never. And the point, anyway, is that I'm not a public servant.

Jun. 07 2011 11:29 AM
Couch Politico dot Com from Staten Island

I'm appalled by the amazing hypocrisy of the some commenters here. None of you have ever engaged in an attempt to have sex before/outside marriage? Oh, what saints you are!

I see nothing inappropriate about a single man sending pictures of himself to women who wanted to receive them. Apparently Weiner was having a conversation with these women where they wanted to get the pictures and flirty messages.

When he became married, if he lied to his wife, that is between him and Huma. And since he lied to his constituents when he said he was hacked, it's up to them to forgive him or not.

But he should resign over being a single man with a sex drive? Puh-lease!

Jun. 07 2011 10:42 AM
Sue from NY

I've always liked Anthony Weiner, but I expect better judgement from anyone over the age of 15. Anyone who posts *anything* on social media sites that they wouldn't broadcast on TV is a fool.

Jun. 07 2011 09:08 AM

Really, are we going to be stuck with this nonnews dominating the airways for days? I really don't care if one politician sent a lewd photo, regardless of his party. Particularly when there are so many lewd photos on the subway and the bus -- that passes as advertising. There is so much more important stuff that should be investigated. For instance, why our health insurance company was allowed to increase our rates by 50%. Ask me if I really think that vouchers are really going to help do anything other than line the pockets of the top executives of the health insurance industry.

Jun. 07 2011 08:35 AM
SJohannesEckhart from San Francisco

Only the pure guys should throw stones, and they're too busy stoning themselves. So SHUT UP YOU CLINTON-WORSHIPPING HYPOCRITES.

Jun. 07 2011 07:25 AM
O.K. from Brooklyn

It is an issue he should be dealing with with his family and therapist or even law enforcement. He was elected to do his job and as long as he does it I dont see any problem.

Jun. 07 2011 12:25 AM
Brian from NYC

I didn't like his politics or his abrasiveness. Couple that with his lechery and the arrogance with which he challenged journalists and the public for the last ten days- and I'd be absolutely happy to see him go. But if he stays he'll be a weakened, humbled, morally and intellectually challenged jackass.

So it's a win-win.

Jun. 06 2011 11:40 PM
David Vohs

In the DoD, there's a term for this kind of behavior: "Conduct unbecoming". Fits pretty well here, wouldn't you agree?

If he was any kind of man at all, he should leave office...ASAP. Otherwise he could prove what kind of honorable fellow he is, ya know, like Jim Bakker.

And to think: If he's lied about this, what else has he been less than truthful about?

The long & short of it: GTFO WEINER!

Jun. 06 2011 11:25 PM

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