Is it possible to be saddened by the downfall of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner without in any way excusing his conduct? Is it possible a person could engage in unsavory conduct while in other ways serving his constituents well in Congress? We think so and admit we were not happy to watch Weiner’s resignation, even though we agree it was the right thing to do.
As everyone in America knows, the man who might have been the next mayor of New York City resigned in shame last week following revelations that he had sent lewd photographs over the Internet and engaged in sexual conversations with a number of women using his Twitter account. The scandal grew by the day and in the end fellow Democrats — even the president — believed he should step down. It will be a long time before Weiner is taken seriously on any subject.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks spoke the truth when he said Weiner “will be sorely missed by me and his constituents.”
But the scandal is not all there is to Weiner. As a congressman, he fought hard for the city of New York and especially for the victims of 9/11. He was a feisty, energetic legislator who reflected the fighting spirit of the people he represented.
We question Weiner’s decision to hold a press conference at a Brooklyn senior center to announce his resignation. A simple letter made available to the press could have done the job better. The press conference turned into a circus with a couple jerks calling him a pervert while the cameras were on.
The whole episode should serve as a warning to elected officials that the public expects them to act with moral integrity in all of their affairs. And it should serve as a warning to all adults that sexting and other foolish behavior on places like Twitter can have serious consequences.
Finally, we hope the members of the media who have been enjoying this scandal will leave the Weiner family alone. Do not camp outside the Weiner home with video equipment all the while pretending you are sorry for the pain Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, is going through.