Opinion: Anthony Weiner’s resignation now sought by a growing list of people who were not sexted by him
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There are at least three prominent Democrats out there who have not yet suggested that fellow Democrat Anthony Weiner should resign from the U.S. House of Representatives -- Barack Obama’s White House, ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.
They all have good reasons to steer clear of the Weiner mess. Why would a president, even one out of the Chicago machine, want to touch such a thing? Pelosi needs all the Democrats she can hold in her minority caucus -- and anyway she’s from California.
And as the notorious Client No. 9, Spitzer walked into his own public sex scandal for patronizing prostitutes after prosecuting them, moving from one political scandal in office to another of spouting DNC talking points on CNN with low ratings.
However, elsewhere, the $174,000 congressional salary of the New Yorker Weiner seems in distinct jeopardy since he suddenly became more famous for his underwear (briefs), for what they were covering or not, for what he was sexting while on duty and for lying and concocting a phony hacker plot when confronted with the distasteful news.
Tim Kaine, former chairman of the Democrat National Committee, Wednesday suggested Weiner’s public lying was ‘unforgivable and he should resign.’
Admittedly, Kaine is himself running for office again (albeit only the Senate). So he could hardly be expected to endorse or ignore behavior involving even consensual sexually explicit online messages.
Then, Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a senior official of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Weiner should go. This one is serious.
‘Having the respect of your constituents is fundamental for a member of Congress,’ Weiner’s House colleague suggested. ‘In light of Anthony Weiner’s offensive behavior online, he should resign.’
As his opening ploy to avoid joining the unemployment line after 10 days of lying, the seven-term Weiner this week appeared tearful at a news conference admitting his falsehoods and the allegations and sexting. He did claim that the half a dozen or so ongoing online and telephone relationships with women across the country were virtual affairs, not physically consummated.
While not suggesting Weiner resign, the often-speaking authority on pop stuff Dr. Drew confessed to his CNN audience that he had serious concerns for Weiner. ‘My fear,’ the doctor said, ‘is when all this really rushes in those moments that you see him looking so overwhelmed and so ashamed, that he could develop a severe mood disturbance.’
In previous pathetic political news, Republican Rep. Chris Lee, who also drinks New York water, immediately resigned merely for posting a shirtless bathroom photo of his amazing abs. Weiner, however, is from New York City, which makes him far more important than upstater Lee.
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, suggested that Pelosi’s response, a simple call for a House Ethics Committee investigation, was empty and silly. ‘Do we really need an investigation to determine if this guy’s a creep or not,’ Priebus said.
Priebus, whose party now controls the House and is in position to take over the Senate next year, may want to rethink this approach. If creepiness becomes a bipartisan disqualification for Congress, neither chamber would likely ever have a quorum.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who represents Nevada, home to one of Weiner’s more explicit virtual mistresses, candidly said he would like to defend Weiner.
But he could not.
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-- Andrew Malcolm
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Top photo: Anthony Weiner holds a sign to verify his identity in a photo sent to Meagan Broussard. Credit: ABC News. Bottom photo: Spitzer. Credit: Associated Press