Anthony Weiner — quitter

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) resigned from his Congressional seat today because of his sexual scandal and, to be sure, because of the politicking that the scandal triggered. It is worth pointing out that Weiner committed not one crime in this matter. But that did not matter. He was forced from Congress by leading Congressional Democrats and by a Democratic President for reasons of political expediency.

I believe a better path for Weiner the professional politician would have had the Congressman resign his seat while stating that he intended to run for his vacated seat in the special election that would follow his resignation. In the absence of any criminal act by Weiner, it is only his constituents with whom the Congressman needed to consult about his political future.


Greg Sargent takes issue with the pack journalism which Twitter enables which helped to bring down Anthony Weiner:

So Anthony Weiner is resigning, after discussions with his wife persuaded him he could no longer serve. He was facing the prospect of an ethics investigation, and House leaders were set to strip him of a key committee slot, both of which would have compounded his humiliation.

Weiner can be described, I think, as Twitter’s first major political casualty, in several ways. For one thing, no other equally high profile elected official has had to resign because of a scandal set in motion by a single Tweet. For another, it was the lack of experience with Twitter-sparked scandals that led him to botch his initial response to the unfolding story. He claimed the underwear bulge picture had been Tweeted from his account by his hacker. He was navigating the largely uncharted technological waters of Twitter-based scandals, and as a result, he badly screwed up. In the future, politicans [sic] who get in trouble over a wayward Tweet wiill [sic] look back on Weiner’s travails as a guide on what not to do. Weiner, alas, had no such playbook at his disposal, and he compounded his problems at the outset.

Weiner was Twitter’s first major political casualty in a darker way, too. This eposide [sic] demonstrated in a unique way that Twitter can encourage pack political journalism at its worst. I’m not defending Weiner. He lied to his colleagues, and what he did was unspeakably foolish, given that his outspoken liberalism guaranteed that he’d be a tempting target for the right. I’m agnostic on whether he should have resigned; other public officials who have committed far worse acts, sexual and otherwise, haven’t faced a fraction of the pressure he faced to step down. But ultimately, all you can say about his departure is that Democrats have now lost a very effective spokesman for the liberal cause….