I'm sure you've heard about it all by now - ad nauseam - about the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D - New York) from the House of Representatives. Well, here's me piling on. It's a total shame - and not just for Weiner.
Let's start with what we know: he's sent questionable pictures of himself to a number of women who are not his wife, as well as various sexually-oriented messages. He was outed by a right-wing hacker who broke into his Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the data... somehow found its way to right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart, who then proceeded to beat that proverbial horse to death until the sheep of the mainstream media began to pay attention. Oddly enough, Congressional Republicans were fairly quiet on the matter - perhaps because they'd just weathered a far worse scandal involving now-retired Senator John Ensign of Nevada, who'd had an affair with a campaign staffer, then bought her silence and that of her husband with money and jobs with lobbying firms, a scandal that looks to be revisited because of fellow Senator Tom Coburn's (R - Nebraska) apparent role in facilitating to cover up the initial scandal.
But Democrats throughout DC - including the President himself - were quick to condemn Weiner for his transgressions and demand his resignation. Why? Let's look again at what he's done that we know of so far - sending dirty pictures of himself and equally dirty messages to women who were not his wife, who just so happens to be pregnant. So far, nobody has stepped forward saying that they slept with Weiner, and as far as I've read nobody involved with the 'scandal' has even met with him face-to-face. Really? He was forced to resign over a 'sex scandal' when it seems that a sex act has yet to take place?
What really irks me about this is the phony, fraudulent, FAKE morality at work here. This isn't Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky back in the 90's, while Newt Gingrich had an affair (and not his first, either) while trying to run Clinton out of office over his affair. It wasn't John Edwards and his mistress in 2008, nor Gary Hart and his mistress (Donna Rice?) in 1984. What it is, is simple - it's almost election time, and in the build-up to a presidential election a little less than seventeen months away, both parties are tyring to beat their chests about how moral and upright they are, and god forbid anyone stray from the path of righteousness.
Weiner has been a firebrand, a liberal-and-damn-proud-of-it who was more than willing to take on the stupidity of the right-wing echo chamber, and also not afraid to kick his fellow Democrats in the ass when they were too worried about Republican posturing and threats instead of actually doing their jobs - y'know, that whole helping-the-people thing? It seems clear to me that Weiner had become too much of an irritant to his own party, and the echo-chamber was only one part of what looks more and more to me to be a plot to get rid of him one way or another. The 'other' way it seems, was the threat of the House of Representatives actually putting Weiner on trial for ethics-code violations. Maybe they just got tired of the jokes from late-night TV. Face it, folks: a sex scandal involving a guy named Weiner? Pure comic gold.
There has been some speculation that when the State of New York calls the special election needed to fill his seat, Weiner may run for it either as a Democrat or as an Independent, on the presumption that while his own party may have drummed him out of office, the people may put him right back in. It's been dismissed by most, but I for one would like to see it. While he should be ashamed of himself for straying from his marriage, the outcry against him over his own personal transgression - one that has not cost taxpayers a single dime, or claimed lives, damaged property or started wars - is shameful to the entire nation, and especially shameful to Weiner's fellow Democrats for their cowardice in choosing to oust their colleague rather than help him recover from a terrible error in personal judgement and behavior. I for one would like to see Weiner stick it to the man.