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Rep. Weiner’s resignation best thing for the country



Published: Tue, June 21, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Democrat Anthony Weiner had to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives — but not because President Obama and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill believed he should, or hypocritical Republicans were calling for his head. Weiner deserved to lose his congressional seat because he lied to cover up a tawdry online relationship with six women over the past several years.

No, he didn’t have an affair with any of the women — the once well-known bachelor has been married for just over a year and he and his wife are expecting their first child — but he showed extremely poor judgment in sending sexually explicit photographs of himself via Twitter.

And judgment certainly is a singularly important aspect of any member of Congress’ tenure. Indeed, the fact that the 46-year-old congressman was sending the pictures to much younger women (one just 17 years old and another 22) suggests a flaw in his character that needs to be addressed. He could not do that and still adequately represent his constituents.

Some in Congress have been able to live two lives, but with public officials now under constant scrutiny, what with the 24/7 news cycles and the Internet, taxpayers are less inclined to give them a pass for their misdeeds.

In announcing his resignation last week, Weiner, one of the most liberal members of the House and a harsh critic of the Republicans, apologized for the “personal mistakes and the embarrassment I have caused.” He said the apology was meant for his neighbors, his constituents and “particularly for my wife, Huma.”

That’s all well and good, but the subtext of the resignation story is that he lied when confronted with one of the pictures he had sent via Twitter. While he dodged questions about whether the underwear-clad crotch was his, he insisted that someone had hacked into his account and sent the sexually suggestive photo.

He stuck to that story — but the more he talked about the situation, the more unbelievable his explanations got.

Then, on June 6, as more texts and suggestive photos of the congressman surfaced, he held a news conference to admit to everything, most especially lying.

Uncompromising

The reaction from Democratic leaders was quick and uncompromising — compared with the way the GOP has handled the numerous scandals involving its members — and left little doubt that Rep. Anthony Weiner had become toxic.

Republican hypocrisy was palpable against the backdrop of David Vitter, Larry Craig and even Newt Gingrich.

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for an Ethics Committee hearing, and then, when President Obama said he would resign if it were him, Weiner could no longer stem the tide of opposition. His attempt to appease his critics by taking a leave of absence to get treatment for an undisclosed condition did not impress anyone.

Reacting to his resignation, Minority Leader Pelosi summed up the scandal perfectly:

“Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reactions to the revelations. Today, he made the right judgment in resigning.”

But, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., offered what should be the defining principle of every elected official:

“Tell the truth. If you can’t tell the truth, leave immediately.”

With Weiner gone, the country can now get back to focusing on the serious issues of the day, such as the economy.


Comments

1Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I hated to see him go . Weiner exemplified everything that the Democratic Party stands for . He stands tall with other greats like Bill Clinton and Barney Franks who satisfied their urges on both sides of the spectrum.

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2Goggles_Pisano(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I see no "hypocrisy" regarding Vitter, Craig, or Gingrich. Conservatives have demanded the resignation of all three from the minute their scandals were made public. Gingrich eventually resigned, Craig was voted out by his disgusted constituents, and Vitter only got reelected in 2010 due to the sheer incompetence of his opponent. If there ware any true conservatives out there who were actually defending these guys I must have missed it.

On the other hand, there were plenty of liberals who sprang into action vociferously defending Weiner (and before him Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Sandy Berger, Bob Torricelli, Gary Condit, Eliot Spitzer, etc, etc.) the minute his obscene photos were posted to the internet. They claimed his Twitter account was somehow "hacked." The news media predictably fell into lock-step and even reported Weiner's multitudinous lies as if they were fact. If there's any hypocrisy in this whole sordid story it's on the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the news media.

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3LtMacGowan(668 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

This is utter crap I don't care if an elected representative is banging everything in sight and cheating on his wife or twittering nude pics. I only care if he is an effective legislator and nothing else.

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

LtMacGowan :

"This is utter crap I don't care if an elected representative is banging everything in sight and cheating on his wife or twittering nude pics. I only care if he is an effective legislator and nothing else."

Right on ! Democrats United for the liberal cause !

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5AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Come on Now.... Its goes on, both sides dems and Teapubs.

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6Ret(39 comments)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

LtMacGowan, I agree with you, I don't care about his personal behavior that is not illegal. If he wants his weird habits out there for everyone to see, so be it. It is up to the voters in his district to decide to keep him or not.
The problem I have with the guy is he lied, made up a story blaming others for his problem, and probably would have kept on lying if he thought he could get away with it. I think the only thing that brought out the truth was his fear of what would happen if this thing turned into a federal investigation and he lie to the feds. They’re not quite as forgiving as his constituents. He should have just told the media that it was none of their business. That’s something that the voters in his district would probably understand. But nobody wants to be lied to.

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