Weiner Will Rise Again
With apologies to my colleague, who made the case for Weiner's resignation here, New York Representative Anthony Weiner should not resign from office. Not now, not later, not ever. He will, without a doubt, come out ahead after everything blows over — and will likely rise again in liberal circles.
As sex scandals go, this one is pretty tame. Sending the occasional penis picture to a fellow admirer is hardly the stuff of legend, although his unfortunate name makes it difficult not to laugh like a fifth grader.
Consider some actual sex scandals. Senator David Vitter, Republican from Louisiana, known for visiting prostitutes, not only didn't resign — he got re-elected. Bill Clinton stayed on despite Monica Lewinsky. Newt Gingrich hung around the House despite a series of affairs, and only resigned after other ethics complaints became too much to ignore.
Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has his seat despite allegedly sexually harassing Anita Hill. Former Senator Bob Packwood (seriously, I did not make up that name) resigned after sexually harassing God knows how many assistants, and even then he only did so when facing a probable expulsion from the Senate by his fellow members.
The list of actual sex scandals typically involves, you know, actual sex or sexual harassment. Sending boxer-short-covered, semi-happy penis pictures hardly qualifies as a “sex scandal”. For some of my friends, that qualifies as “Saturday”.
The idea that this scandal is about lying and not sex is just laughable. Of course it is about sex. Prudish, repressed conservatives across the country, in particular that contemptible closet-case Andrew Breitbart, pushed this story because it is (tangentially) about sex. Or a penis. A clothed penis, sent electronically between consenting adults.
Would anyone care if Weiner were caught sending silly faces to women? Or exchanging heartfelt poetry via social media and then lying about it? Of course not. We can pretend this is about lying, but it isn't; it's about the sex.
The reality is that only the people in Anthony Weiner's district have the right and privilege to hire and fire their Congressman. Weiner has been a force for good in his district, representing their liberal viewpoint in Congress. We should afford those folks the opportunity to weigh the positives that Weiner brings with his mistakes.
In fact, I would wager that, if he survives this scandal — and I predict he will — Weiner will emerge even stronger than before. Vindicated by history, he may seek higher office again, including the Senior New York Senate seat if Chuck Schumer takes a position with the Obama Administration, or for mayor of New York City, a seat he has sought once before.
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