Monday, June 13, 2011

Enough About Weiner & His...You Know

Should a United States Congressman be able to keep his seat while undergoing treatment for a cybersexual addiction he didn't seem to know he had until indecent photos of himself got into the hands of his political enemies?

How I wish I had created that storyline for my next book! Sounds like a best-seller if ever there was one.

Unfortunately for Anthony Weiner--and his wife, Huma Abedin, and his political mentor, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York--the storyline is fact, not fiction, and it will likely strip Weiner of his power.

As of today, the liberal Weiner still represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens in the U.S. House of Representatives. But that may not be true for long, nor should it be true.

Weiner has neither the grace nor gravitas of a statesman. Otherwise, he would not have sent sexually explicit photos of himself to at least a half-dozen women. Nor would he have lied about it so aggressively for 10 days before being forced to come clean because his political enemies had found even more embarrassing photos.

In the days since his June 6 news conference, when he said he would not resign, we have learned that Weiner's wife is pregnant with their first child. The New York Times broke that story, probably acting on a leak from Weiner himself. The pregnancy angle made headlines on the same day a photo of Weiner's weiner was posted by radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony.

Although Weiner succeeded in changing the narrative for a while, he looks like an even worse husband and a more reprehensible person for sending nude photos and sexually explicit texts to women while his wife is pregnant.

Now, we hear that Weiner is in treatment for his cybersexual addiction (and, I would hope, his habitual lying). But, apparently, he wants to keep his $175,000-a-year job. And his access to the congressional gym, where he reportedly shot some of his nude and semi-nude photos.

Clearly, Weiner has not lost the arrogance that got him in trouble in the first place.

This is not a private matter between Weiner and his wife. It is a betrayal of the trust we must have for our elected representatives. We should not expect our politicians to be perfect. But we should expect them to have better things to do with their time than send lewd photos and raunchy texts to women. We should expect politicians to make better use of our tax dollars.

Without trust in our elected officials, democracy withers and dies. As long as Weiner remains in Congress, the media will continue to ignore the important issues that truly impact on the quality of our lives and over-publicize the salicious tale of a congressman's political implosion.

"Weiner-gate" will not go away until Weiner himself goes away.

Weiner should resign from Congress, get the help he so desperately needs and make it a priority to become a better husband and citizen. Assuming therapy is successful, he could run for his old congressional seat in 2012 (if it isn't eliminated through redistricting). That way, Weiner's constituents would have the final say on whether he is fit to represent them in Washington, D.C.

The rest of us have had enough of Weiner and the body parts he just could not keep to himself.