Congressman Anthony Weiner is in a real pickle. One week ago, an image of a man’s underwear-covered crotch was sent to several women via Twitter, and the New York democrat’s account was proven to be the source. At first, he denied sending the picture — he blamed insensitive pranksters, the kind that had been tormenting “the Weiner kid” his whole life. However, he didn’t inspire much trust in his constituents, largely because he refused to deny that it was his penis being tweeted. Then, last weekend brought the day we had all long awaited — Weiner’s tearful admission and apology to the beloved family he had so deeply hurt.
Since Monday, his Democratic colleagues have been whispering amongst themselves. Everybody wants Weiner out of the party, but no one — not even Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid — want to step up and give him the boot themselves. Perhaps it has to do with the man’s gift for tenacity; his spirited, often loud admonishment of his political rivals has, in recent years, qualified him as something of a bulldog. It may also have to do with Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, and reports that she is now pregnant with his child. Whether fellow party members like Weiner or not, ousting an expectant father from his job may seem unjustly cold-hearted — 2012 is an election year, after all. One thing is for sure — this Weiner won’t go quietly. He has reiterated his intentions to remain in office several times in the last two days, and since he has technically broken no laws there may be no grounds to remove him from power.
Arguably the most astonishing aspect of this sordid saga is the fact that someone as stupid as Weiner could have gotten himself elected in the first place. How many politicians have to get busted before the rest of them learn not to act like perverts? Perhaps Weiner’s forgot to grab a paper on the days that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Gov. Elliot Spitzer (D-NY), Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) or Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) confessed to their own respective forms of inappropriate behavior (and these are just the ones in recent years). Or it could be that, once a certain level of authority has been attained, the illusion of invincibility begins to overtake these mens’ sensibilities. Politics is a funny thing — our votes enable these officials to hold sway over the legislative and judicial aspects of our government, yet we are shocked when those we elect find ways to circumvent the law. Well, we seem shocked, anyway.
Still though, Weiner surely remembers Rep. Chris Lee — he was a fellow Congressman from New York, for crying out loud. Lee got himself in a bit of trouble last February, after it was revealed that this family-values Republican had sent shirtless photos to an anonymous woman on Craigslist. As a result of his bare-chested misconduct, Lee’s career was derailed and he resigned shortly thereafter. Again, this happened four months ago, and it’s quite possible that Lee and Weiner – given the nature of politics — have attended literally hundreds of meetings together. Yet, Weiner was completely unfazed by the consequences faced by his colleague — in fact, the nature of his crotch-emblazoned Tweets almost seems like an attempt to upstage a rival. If New York voters thought they were offended by a man without his shirt, then they clearly underestimated the power of Weiner.
When will politicians, celebrities and other individuals in the public eye learn that their actions — even the insignificant ones — are constantly being recorded, documented and filed away for later? Perhaps the Washington of old was a tighter town, and a politician could involve himself in whatever affair he desired without serious repercussions — or even his wife finding out, for that matter. Well, the times have changed — and given these ubiquitous technological implements whose aim is to generate a sense of omnipresence in all of our lives, Weiner must have known he would be caught. Is it even a remote possibility that he didn’t know? Well, whether he’s fundamentally stupid or too sick to control his compulsory deviance — he’s probably unfit for office in either case. He should save himself the trouble of having to be dragged from his desk — and if he’s not thinking of himself, he should stop and consider his pregnant wife’s fragile state.
In the end, I’d like to hope that this is nothing more than the story-of-the-week. The unfortunately-named politician will step down, New Yorkers will steady themselves and the world will continue to spin and swirl, all in spite of Weinergate’s massive impact on our civilization. If anything, this young man’s misfortune can serve as a lesson for green politicians throughout our country — misbehave, and it will be your undoing. I know, it’s been said before, but it just has to stick one of these times. All valuable lessons do, eventually.