I have reserved comment on this through all the sordid details, and I’m not going to rehash the particulars now, either.
But it’s clear that Rep. Anthony Weiner has violated the trust voters placed in him since he first won election to Congress in 1998. And unlike his New York counterpart, former Rep. Christopher Lee, he didn’t immediately resign once he admitted those Twitter pictures were his. (Lee left office after sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met through Craigslist.) In the end, this cost the GOP a Congressional seat as a liberal Democrat won the special election to fill Lee’s 26th District seat.
In this case, it’s doubtful the Democrats would lose the Congressional seat since Weiner has won elections handily since his first one in 1998. While his closest brush was 2010, where he won 60.8% of the vote, no Republican has represented the area in decades.
So why is Weiner staying on? One can only speculate, of course, but perhaps it has something to do with that old adage, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And he’s going to stay in the news because it was learned his wife, who he married just last summer, is now pregnant with their first child. (He’s married to an aide to Hillary Clinton.)
Yet it’s a sad statement on American life that this sensationalized story became front page news. Otherwise Weiner’s a relatively obscure back-bencher from America’s largest city who is as liberal as the day is long. And perhaps that’s the biggest problem – many of the liberal persuasion can’t understand what all the fuss is about. They equate it with the saga of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
The issue in both cases, though, isn’t what these men did in the privacy of their own lives – the issue is that both men denied the facts at first before finally admitting the truth. In other words, they lied to save their hide but didn’t need to because their hide was saved anyway and their behavior excused.
No one, including me, is perfect. But when we place people in a position of public trust we should expect them to be leaders and set an example. The only example Weiner has set is what not to do on Twitter.