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Rep. Anthony Weiner Admits Tweeting Lewd Photo


Max

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After spending last week trying to suggest that somebody else (specifically conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart) hacked into his Twitter account, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York finally admitted today that he indeed sent a lewd picture (of his erected penis being "covered-up" by his underpants) to a college student in Seattle via Twitter. Apparently, what promted Weiner to stop lying was that there were several more X-rated photos of the Congressman that were made public today. Weiner, who is married to a top aid of Hillary Clinton, also admitted to having online relationships with six women over the past three years (some of which occurred after he got married).

This is obviously a major setback for Weiner, who like his mentor (Senator Charles Schumer) is an extremely ambitious politician. In addition to making frequent appearances on television (to defend/promote the Democratic agenda), Mr. Weiner is well know for (among those who follow New York politics) his long-time desire to be mayor of New York City. (He ran for the job in 2005, and has made no secret of his desire to run again in 2013. In 2009, he was set to make a second run for the job, but pulled out of the race once Michael Bloomberg decided to run for a third term; obviously, the reason for his withdrawl was because he was afraid to lose big against the seemingly "invincible" Bloomberg.)

Weiner insists that he will not resign his job as Congressman. This is in stark contrast to former Republican Congressman Chris Lee of New York, who resigned almost immediately after a shirtless photo that he sent via Craigslist became public. (Yet, to Lee's credit, he never lied about sending the photo the way Weiner did.) Although I believe that Weiner should re-sign ASAP, I actually have a sinking feeling that he'll make a complete political comeback. That's because there's basically a double standard when it involves sex scandals and politicians: as a general rule, Republicans who get caught in sex scandals are forced to resign, while such Democrats are able to continue serving the public (by claiming that these sex scandals are just a "personal matter"). The only exceptions to the above rule of thumb that I can think of are Elliot Spitzer, James McGreevey, and David Vitter: the first two are Democrats who resigned after sex scandals, while Republican Vitter is still in the Senate (and actually was re-elected in a landslide last year).

Before I conclude, I know that many Democrats will probably feel that this double standard is fair, given that it is the GOP (and not the Democrats) who profess to the public that they are the party of family values. Thus, I too can see why the Republicans should be held to a higher standard. However, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE HELD TO NO STANDARDS AT ALL. When you're an elected official, you are in a position of trust. The act of adultery in itself is a violation of trust, and casts doubt on one's entire character. However, if one still wants to claim that adultery is an entirely private matter, such a claim no longer holds water the moment a politican lies to the public about it (because they have now violated the public trust). Stated again, one a politican lies to the public about a sex scandal, he has abused the public trust: what was once purely a private matter has now become a public one. Thus, this is why Bill Clinton should have resigned, and why Anthony Weiner should resign. (The fact that Clinton and Weiner don't belong to a party that preaches about family values is irrelevant, because they have nevertheless violated the public trust.)

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I do see your point, and you're right, that it's not OK just because he isn't a "family values" type.

I just wish the media was as interested in actual problems facing the country as they are in Trump, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin and Paul Revere, and Anthony Weiner's penis.

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A guy who broke no laws, committed a crime where there was no victim (even his victim declines victimhood) and you want him to resign because he was silly and accidentally posted a photo of --gasp!--an erect penis?

How republican of you. Oh no, the guy has a penis! He should be run out of office!

What public trust? I live in NYC, and to be honest, the only thing I don't trust him on is his taste in underwear.

As far as adultery, well again this is a republican thing. "We can't have any adulterers in office!" Did anyone ever tell Eisenhower that while Mamie was at home and he was hanging out with Kay?

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I do see your point, and you're right, that it's not OK just because he isn't a "family values" type.

CarlD2, that's very refreshing of you to say that. The reason why I enjoy talking politics with Democrats like you and MichaelGL is because both of you have shown objectivity when evaluating other politicians (rather than just following the usual partisan talking points).

I think Anthony Weiner should stay right where he is. He's just manslut who doesn't know how to use his computer. He didn't misuse public funds or resources.

Marceline, you are certainly entitled to this opinion. However, what is your opinion regarding former Republican Congressman Chris Lee, who resigned immediately after a shirtless picture of himself (that was posted on Craigslist) became public? Should he have resigned, even though he certainly did not misue public funds or resources?

A guy who broke no laws, committed a crime where there was no victim (even his victim declines victimhood) and you want him to resign because he was silly and accidentally posted a photo of --gasp!--an erect penis?

How republican of you. Oh no, the guy has a penis! He should be run out of office!

What public trust? I live in NYC, and to be honest, the only thing I don't trust him on is his taste in underwear.

Quartermainefan, I think that all but the most zealous Weiner supporters would admit that a breach of public trust occurs when an elected official lies repeatedly to the media (and his constituents) for over a week. Coming from you, however, this hyper-partisan response is no surprise. You are wrong in concluding that this is not a breach of public trust, much like you were wrong when you stated (right after Gabrielle Giffords was shot) that "five gets you fifty the shooter is some deranged, right wing, the government wants to kill me nutjob who watches Glen Beck." (It turned out that Gifford's shooter was a clinically-insane man who was neither liberal nor conservative, but rather was obsessed over government conspiracies. The major reason why he hated Giffords was because she had earlier failed to provide a response to his non-sensical question: "What is government if words have no meaning.")

As far as adultery, well again this is a republican thing. "We can't have any adulterers in office!" Did anyone ever tell Eisenhower that while Mamie was at home and he was hanging out with Kay?

The subject of Ike's affairs is irrelevant for two reasons: First and most importantly, those affairs did not become public knowledge until many years after his presidency; hence, there is no way you claim that Republicans tolerated such behavior at the time. Secondly, the GOP did not bill itself as the party of moral values back in the 1950's; in fact, the Republcans did not even begin to court religious evangelicals until the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964. Once again, Quartermainefan, it seems that you never let the facts get in the way of one of your partisan rants.

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Marceline, you are certainly entitled to this opinion. However, what is your opinion regarding former Republican Congressman Chris Lee, who resigned immediately after a shirtless picture of himself (that was posted on Craigslist) became public? Should he have resigned, even though he certainly did not misue public funds or resources?

I can honestly say I know nothing about Chris Lee. Here's my question: did he ever hold himself up as a moral arbiter? Did he think he was better capable of deciding what I do with my body than I am? Did he present himself as a family man and campaign on the strength of the image? Did he think that only people who thought/looked/prayed like him were "real" Americans? Because I don't care what someone does with their genitals until they decided to judge and condemn me. Lee's cellphone pic was stupid but I don't recall thinking he should resign. I remember thinking he was a sad douche.

These men are pathetic but I don't put politicians on a moral pedestal. Weiner was stupid but I don't believe what he did was a breach of public trust. Now Eric Cantor trying to hold up disaster relief for Joplin until he can get spending cuts? That's a breach of public trust AND human decency. Weiner was stupid. Cantor is evil.

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In regards to Chris Lee, people don't post shirtless pictures of themselves on Craigslist for a simple chat online.

Michael, this is an excellent point. Regarding the Lee resignation, it was obvious that the Congressman resigned in order to prevent something far worse (that he did) from becoming public knowledge. Otherwise, it's completely illogical for a politician to immediately resign if his only sin was such a minor wrongdoing (like posting a topless picture of himself over the web). In all my years following politics, I've never seen an elected offical resign over so little.

Now Eric Cantor trying to hold up disaster relief for Joplin until he can get spending cuts? That's a breach of public trust AND human decency. Weiner was stupid. Cantor is evil.

Marceline, I could not agree with you more regarding Cantor. In addition to being evil, such action was completely tone-deaf (politically) as well. He should be replaced as the No. 2 Republican in the House. Thankfully, Speaker John Boehner has shown himself to be a mainstream conservative rather than a far-right ideologue like Cantor.

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I don't think most people consider it a breach of public trust if someone lies about whether or not he cheats on his wife, flirts with girls, or anything of the sort. I think most people have the policy of "well, why are you asking about this? who cares? I'd lie too if someone asked me if I was cheating on my wife. That's why it's called 'cheating'"

Breach of the public trust is something like lying to go to war, telling your Atty General to fire law enforcement officials who are good at their job strictly for partisan pettiness...it's not whether you lie about if you cheat on your wife or not. And we saw this with Bill Clinton. Everyone except the psycho right laughed.

This guy wants to post pics of his shlong online and flirt with girls? Ok. Is he good at his job though? Is he qualified to be Mayor if he runs?

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I can honestly say I know nothing about Chris Lee. Here's my question: did he ever hold himself up as a moral arbiter? Did he think he was better capable of deciding what I do with my body than I am?

Yes.

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I don't think most people consider it a breach of public trust if someone lies about whether or not he cheats on his wife, flirts with girls, or anything of the sort. I think most people have the policy of "well, why are you asking about this? who cares? I'd lie too if someone asked me if I was cheating on my wife. That's why it's called 'cheating'"

This guy wants to post pics of his shlong online and flirt with girls? Ok. Is he good at his job though? Is he qualified to be Mayor if he runs?

Quartermainefan, somehow I doubt you'd be brusing aside Rep. Weiner's conduct if he was a Republican. Instead, you'd be trashing him for being such a "family values" hypocrite and very likely be calling for his resignation.

Now, as I stated before, there should be a higher standard for GOP officials on matter like these, because they do claim to be the party of moral values. However, as I also pointed out earlier, that does not mean that Democratic officials should completely get away with such behavior. (Even CarlD2 agreed with me when he stated that "I do see your point, and you're right, that it's not OK just because he [Weiner] isn't a "family values" type.") And, in Weiner's case, it stopped being merely a matter between him and his wife the moment Weiner lied to his constituents about it.

Because the GOP should be held to a higher standard on moral/sexual matters, here is something fair that I propose: my own personal belief is that a Republican should resign public office the moment it is proven that he has engaged in a sex scandal; on the other hand, a Democrat should resign only if he lied to the public about his involvement in a sex scandal. This proposal holds Republicans to a higher standard (since a Democrat should not have to resign for being involved in a sex scandal, so long as he doesn't cover it up), yet still punishes Democrats for violating the public trust.

Quartermainefan, what is your position on how "punishment" regarding a sex scandal should be different for members of both political parties? Am I correct in assuming that you believe that a Democrat should get off scott-free (since you believe sex scandals are purely personal matters) while a Republican should resign immediately (since Republicans who commit adultery are hypocrites and terrible human beings)? If a Democrat repeatedly lies to those he represents regarding a sex scandal, am I correct in stating that you feel that his career still should not suffer one bit (simply because he belongs to a party that does not run on family values issues)?

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