After days of pushing a lie about his Twitter account being the subject of a hacking incident — and then watching his story slowly, painfully unravel — Congressman Anthony Weiner ‘fessed up today. A watery-eyed Weiner admitted that he sent the Twitter picture of his groin to a Seattle college student, acknowledged that he has had inappropriate on-line conversations with other unknown women over the years, apologized for the pain he has caused to his family and friends — and of, course, said he won’t resign.
We have become so inured to this pathetic scenario that we now tend to just accept these incidents and move on. But, just this once, let’s pause for a moment to consider the breathtaking nature of Weiner’s conduct. Not only did he exercise the absurdly bad judgment of engaging in tawdry “e-relationships” where he has engaged in ribald e-conversations and sent shirtless photos of himself over the web (what is it with Congressmen and shirtless photos, anyway?), he thought it would be a clever “joke” to send a photo of his shorts area to a young woman. What does it tell you about this man, and his twisted views of women, that he would do such a thing? Then, when found out that he sent the photo in a way that made it publicly accessible, he says he “panicked” and lied that his Twitter account had been hacked. Guess he’s the kind of level-headed guy we want making decisions in a crisis, eh? And apparently his state of panic lasted for more than a week, because he continued to voice his lie through a media blitz. How trustworthy can this guy be when he can go before the media and lie, lie, and lie again? Only when his story became an embarrassment and an obvious fraud did he finally tell the truth — or, at least, what he wants us to believe is the truth.
I’m sure there are people who agree with Weiner’s politics who are willing to overlook this stuff and say this incident is a personal matter between Weiner and his wife that is none of our business. But let’s not kid ourselves about his true fitness to serve as a Member of Congress. This one incident exposes Weiner as dishonorable, easily flustered, a sleazebag, a cad, and a consistent, persistent liar. By not doing the right thing and resigning, he will leave it to his constituents to decide whether to return him to Washington in 2012. Let’s hope they do the right thing for the rest of the country and vote this jerk out of office.