Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Wiener Must Go, But Not Silently

OK, so Rep. Anthony Weiner has 'fessed up about his "online" fetish, after lying in the national spotlight for a week. He says he's not resigning, and I'm not sure whether to believe him. At best, he's lost his ability to be the TV "face" of the House Dems. At worst, his House ethics investigation will weigh down the national ticket next year, as Charlie Rangel's did in 2010. While Rangel won re-election with 80% in his Harlem district, Weiner's district went 39% GOP last year. In other words, his campaign for re-election will not weather this scandal as well as Rep. Rangel's.

He better forget about becoming Mayor Weiner, as well, with that photo of his weiner out there (Sorry, it was obligatory). As Chris Cuomo reports from ABC:

"On May 18, Broussard received an image from the RockOh77 account that shows a man's erect penis. Two days later, she received a shot of a bare-chested man sitting at an office desk. The man in the photo shares facial features with Weiner, and personal photographs in the background resemble his known aquaintances."

I felt sorry for him, briefly, at his press conference. I admired his straightforward admission of guilt, and eventual apologies to the people who were harmed by his lies. Unfortunately, I still don't know if he's telling the whole truth. I mean, c'mon, has anyone looked into whether he's actually met any of these women? Color me skeptical, recalling Lanny Davis' "limited, modified hangout" theory of scandal containment. Maybe Clinton called him and told him to "say there's only six." There's usually "more" there, in a story like this, and Rep. Wiener's demeanor at the press conference didn't change my opinion.

As a Republican, I hope his exit is noisy, and lasts as long as possible. As a person, I hope he resigns by the end of the week, for his family's sake. There is talk about eliminating his district, in the census-driven downsizing of NY's congressional delegation. Such a move would be a state decision, bringing Gov. Cuomo and the corrupt state legislature into the process. It could happen, but it seems too simple a resolution for NY's political bureaucracy. Having a congressional district on the B'klyn-Queens border become absorbed by the surrounding districts is a "big" thing, with alot of political "juice" at stake. Would Dems, controlling both the statehouse and the assembly, dissolve a long-time Dem held seat over a sex scandal? I don't know.

Sen. Schumer seems to be "circling the wagons" around Rep. Weiner, who is his protoge, first as a former staffer, then winning Schumer's former congressional seat. It also comes the day after NJ Sen. Frank "the lout" Lautenberg criticized Weiner for not showing up at the "Celebrate Israel" parade in NYC. Whatever happens now, expect lots of scrutiny. So far, ABC seems to have thorough reportage, though we'll have to see how far they follow it up, if the political barriers go up.

In any case, I see Rep. Weiner's political "shelf life" as severely limited, whether he chooses to fight or quit. Perhaps he can join Client # 9 on CNN, and call it "Weiner-Spitzer." I bet they'd beat O'Reilly, for a day or two. The unfortunate fact is that Anthony Weiner has been a loudmouth Democratic spokesman, and now he's been muzzled. What will the Dems do? What will the media do? Whatever happens, don't expect silence...from the "new media," if the MSM "clams up" on this story. The only way to end it is Weiner's leaving office, because neither the Dems nor the media are cutting him any slack. They don't want him hanging around their necks after the 2010 fiasco.

The countdown has begun...tick, tock....

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