Calls for Weiner to resign are weak, but countable, and Joshua Green of The Atlantic is one of those voices. Green sums up the scandal in a post titled “Anthony Weiner Should Resign,” and states his opinion out of the gate- and to be fair, hits on all the main points of the fiasco:
“I appreciate his candor, have great sympathy for his wife, and think Andrew Breitbart is odious. But Weiner’s refusal to resign seems like a spasm from the guy he was until a week ago: the chesty liberal loudmouth who tore up conservatives on Fox News and never backed down. Weiner may not realize it, but he’s not that guy anymore. He’s not the cartoon scourge of the right wing. He’s a joke, his behavior was egregious, and he ought to do the decent thing and resign.”
Green even makes a somewhat salient- though woefully, hideously wrong- case for Weiner’s resignation:
Weiner had so little regard for his office, his constituents, and his duty as a member of Congress that he apparently thought nothing of tweeting pictures of his genitals to random women. Does the analysis really need to go any further than that?
Yes, yes it does, Joshua. As a former constituent and relative neighbor of Weiner, I would be quick to say maybe the congressman’s fitness to serve should be a matter between the man himself, his staff and his constituency- people who may think that Weiner’s sole possession of a spine among fellow Dems would qualify him to bang five fangirls on the steps of City Hall.
But let’s go further here- is what Weiner did even resignation worthy? Not too long ago, a Republican congressman from upstate New York was swept up in a somewhat similar scandal– I say somewhat similar because former Rep. Chris Lee was actually ostensibly looking for sex. In comparison, Weiner’s “crimes” were far less weighty- he engaged in a bit of cyberflirting. It’s uncomfortable to watch- but why the hell are we watching? And when did it become standard operating procedure to delve so deeply into individuals’ sex lives? (I’m guessing somewhere before 1996, but it doesn’t get any easier each time we’re forced to witness it.)
Weiner’s transgressions were extremely common activities, and as with most scandals of this nature, should be a matter between him and his wife. Even Chris Lee, who trolled Craigslist for babes- should not have resigned solely for that circumstance. Conservablogger Andrew Sullivan makes some commendable points in his post that centers on the very last- very telling- question shouted loudly as Weiner left the stage during his tearful press conference yesterday.
As Weiner finally walked away from the frenzy of press, an unidentified man shouted, “were you fully erect?” Sullivan opines:
To be exposed in this way is humiliating. Watching Weiner today was painful; this is the result of raw culture war with no scruples or principles, designed purely to destroy. I don’t view this as a partisan matter – I find it impossible to condemn Larry Craig out of hand and feel for Ted Haggard. And they were clearly acting hypocritically. There was also a shred of public reason for their humiliation. I don’t see any broader argument being invoked here, except partisan revenge.
Should Weiner have done this? For an elected public official, it was unwise, inappropriate, stupid. For a human being, it remains well within the bounds of, well, human.
Indeed, as Sullivan points out, Weiner’s actions were ill-advised- perhaps even compulsive. But this is a man with two decades of public service- should we put him out to pasture solely because he liked to take mildly lewd pictures of his dangle? There’s no conceivable leap of logic that suggests the man’s minor sexual appetites in any way negate the excellent work he does every day in Washington.
Do you think Weiner should resign? For what reason?