Anthony Weiner's Lewd Photo and Four Reasons Why He Should Resign
Four Reasons Why Anthony Weiner Should Resign.
Boy, what makes politicians in New York magnets for sex scandals?
Democratic Rep. Eric Massa resigned his upstate seat last year amid allegations he had sexually harassed male staffers. Massa denied the allegations but acknowledged having "tickle fights" with men in his office.
Following a drunken driving arrest in 2008, Republican Rep. Vito Fossella, a married father of three, was forced to acknowledge he had fathered a daughter with a mistress. Fossella, who represented the New York City borough of Staten Island, declined to run for re-election that year.
One of New York's most infamous political sex scandals involved former Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in 2008 after 14 months in office after being identified as "Client 9" in a prostitution bust. Before becoming governor in 2006, Spitzer, the state's former attorney general, had earned a national reputation in part for prosecuting prostitution rings. Ironic, huh.
Now, New Yorkers can add Representative Anthony Weiner to their list of the “Hall of Shame”. Weiner admitted Monday that he sent a lewd photo to a woman over Twitter after initially claiming he was hacked. Saying he is "deeply ashamed," he also said he has conducted explicit online conversations with other women over the last three years. To make matters worse, it was revealed that his wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant with their first child. Perfect timing.
Weiner said what he did "was a mistake," but insists he will not resign and that voters ultimately will decide his fate.
I say he shouldn’t wait that long; he should resign. Here are four reasons why.
1. America Hates A Liar
When I first heard Weiner’s flimsy explanation that his twitter account was hacked and the photos were part of an elaborate hoax, I almost laughed.
I thought,” This is just like when you get an e-mail and you accidently hit the “reply all” feature”. Basically, that is what happened—Weiner made his photos public to all of his Twitter followers.
Had Weiner used this simple explanation, this scandal would be over. Dead. Instead, Weiner provided a cryptic array of explanations over the last couple of days—
Asked by NBC’s Luke Russert whether the photograph was of his own genitals, Weiner replied: "You know, I can't say with certitude."
Had he just admitted what he had done, he would have looked foolish, immature, and perhaps even somewhat predatory and creepy. But the story would have ended in hours, and remained as nothing more than a political punch line. The national media would happily have turned their attention elsewhere, with any further disclosures disarmed by a full admission.
But no....Instead, Weiner lied. He lied all week. He allowed his associates to attack the media, especially conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, for asking questions about a story that clearly did not add up. Weiner even allowed his staff to call the police on a well-known TV reporter from his city simply for wanting to ask Weiner more questions. In the end, Weiner still looks immature, foolish, creepy – and now he looks like a liar as well.
2. Although Anthony Weiner (thanks to his name) Was the Butt of Jokes Before This Scandal, He Has Now Become a True Laughingstock.
Rep. Anthony Weiner's admission to tweeting lewd pictures of himself has turned him into a late-night laughingstock. Here's a roundup of the best Weiner jokes:
"It turns out that one of the women Congressman Anthony Weiner was communicating with was a porn star. When asked how it was possible to get involved with someone in such a sleazy business, the porn star said, 'I don't know.'" —Conan O'Brien
"Congressman Weiner is in a lot of trouble since he tweeted those pictures. But good news for him, he just found out he'll be allowed to keep his porn name ... Anthony Weiner." —Conan O'Brien
"I don't know if laws were broken or not, but Weiner was sending around pictures of him in his underpants and I thought, Well, now, wait a minute, what is the big deal? Don't men and women in Congress get to mail their packages for free?!" —David Letterman
The Battle of the Bulge. Weiner is Shrinking. Hide the Weiner. Sexts Show He's the Kink of Queens.
"The jokes are almost too easy,'' says Los Angeles-based standup comic Gary Cannon.
This list goes on and on. Here’s the Point: It’s hard to lead when everybody is laughing at you.
3. His Fellow Democrats in Congress Are Not Coming to His Defense.
The combative passion and sharp sarcasm that made him a favorite of the left has also earned him the reputation as a media hound and showboat. In spite of having some degree of seniority (he is serving his seventh term in the House), he holds no leadership position in the party. Maybe Weiner has not always been a team player. And his team is deserting him now.
No Democrats have publicly supported the embattled Congressman and Leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethics investigation.
“They are really mad at him. You can just see former speaker Pelosi is furious,” Democratic strategist James Carville said.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), the head of recruiting for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said Weiner’s “offensive behavior” makes him unfit to remain in office.
“Having the respect of your constituents is fundamental for a member of Congress,” Schwartz said Wednesday in a statement. “In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign.”
The Weiner scandal is an enormous distraction for Democratic leaders, who are hoping to focus the summer’s debate on issues like soaring gas prices, the lingering jobs crisis and the Republican plan to change Medicare.
Instead, the Weiner’s behavior has dominated the headlines of the last two weeks, forcing Democratic leaders to distance themselves from one of the party’s most effective messengers. And the story doesn’t appear to be fading. Just wait until more raunchy details are revealed.
4. Even If He Doesn’t Resign, He May Not Have a Job Thanks to Redistricting.
Thanks to the 2010 Census, New York will lose two of its 29 seats in Congress — one Democratic, the other Republican. If Weiner does not resign, Democrats could consider using redistricting to force him out.
The notion of making Weiner what one well-placed Democrat called "a sacrificial lamb" had been floated by party strategists in Washington even before Monday's bombshell revelation.
It would be one thing for him to win reelection in the district that has elected him seven times before; it would be quite another for him to pull off a feat like that when he's before a newly formed constituency, starting from scratch, and appealing to voters who never paid attention to him before his recent Twitter mishap.
Some Final Advice
Look, I realize some politicians have weathered the storms of sex scandals and survived—most notably Bill Clinton. But Antony Weiner lacks the political skills, charisma, and the power of the bully pulpit that Clinton had.
Weiner should realize that he is becoming an embarrassment to his party, his constituents, and his pregnant wife. His very presence in Congress is a media distraction. He continues to fuel America’s cynicism about their elected leaders.
If he would have came clean from day one this story would have never turned into the circus we’ve witnessed. It was the threat of more pictures that scared Weiner into telling the truth, not his desire to do the right thing for his district, his family or his wife.
No, all Weiner could think about was himself. Now he should for once, put his power lust aside and do the right thing. He should resign immediately.
Here is one last appropriate punch line-- Time to go; this Weiner is cooked.
Contact Erik Uliasz at email@example.com
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