Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), you gotta go.
It pains me to say this because he is a loud and aggressive voice for those in his district and in the country who don’t have one. But the latest revelation — that he coached one of the women with whom he’d been sexting to lie — is a bridge too far. Yes, there’s a double standard for people in public life. And there are necessarily higher standards for people elected to positions of public trust. Weiner has violated that trust. He’s gotta go.
Everyone is telling him to go in one form or another. Leave aside the predictable rhetorical shoves from Republicans, such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Fellow Democrats are shoving Weiner toward the exit, too. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said yesterday that he would tell Weiner to “call someone else” if the humiliated and scheming pol called him for advice. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said it would be up to Weiner and his constituents to decide his future as a result of this “deep personal failure.” Meanwhile, Senate candidate and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tim Kaine (D-Va.) outright called on Weiner to resign.
These aren’t the only signs that Weiner’s electoral house of cards is crumbling all around him. The New York Times reports today that the six-term congressman didn’t ’fess up to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) until 15 minutes before his jaw-dropping news conference on Monday. Every Democrat knows you don’t mess with Pelosi. Ever. Everyone, no matter the party affiliation, knows you don’t lie to donors. Ever. That’s why I found this interesting nugget in the front-page Times story among the most damning of all.
His campaign donors said they were especially shocked and furious because a week ago the congressman attributed his online travails to a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” a contributor who spoke with him said. “Everything is going to be fine,” Mr. Weiner said, according to the contributor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the uncertainty surrounding the congressman’s future.
Weiner said Monday that he panicked after he posted the infamous turgid pic. That panic extended to telling a potential witness how to lie and then continually lying to his wife, family, friends, party leaders, rank-and-file members, staff, constituents and the donors who have helped keep him in public office all these years. With the reported exception of his wife, they are all against him now. Weiner is a man alone. For the good of his district and his party, he must go.