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Weiner’s Meltdown

Two years ago he topped the list of candidates hoping to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He dropped out of the race when the City Council allowed Bloomberg to run for a third term. Today, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is the early frontrunner in the 2013 mayoral race.

But Weiner’s performance two weeks ago on the floor of the House raises questions about his ability to control his emotions.

Weiner was furious at the failure of the House to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It would have set aside $7.4 billion in additional aid to Sept. 11 first responders suffering from health complications as a result of being exposed to the toxins at Ground Zero. It failed to pass by a vote of 255-159.

Weiner condemned the Republican Party for failing to support the measure. In particular, he focused his wrath on Rep. Pete King. When King rose against the blistering personal attack, Weiner screamed at him and ordered him to sit down.

The Long Island congressman was a co-author of the bipartisan bill. Since the tragedy at the World Trade Center, no one has worked harder to get the first responders the support they deserve. King is the son of a city police officer and enjoys tremendous support among the city’s police officers and firefighters.

Weiner oversimplified the politics surrounding this vote. The act would have passed easily had it been treated like a normal bill. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided instead to place the bill on the suspension calendar. This meant it needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

Surely Pelosi understood the bill did not have a chance of winning two-thirds of the vote. A cynic might conclude that with some tough races coming up this fall, she set the bill up to fail in order to embarrass the GOP.

There is plenty of blame to go around. First responders will face long delays in getting care. Eventually, this bill will pass, but some of those first responders will already be dead.

Weiner has attempted to defend his conduct by saying that it is a good thing for politicians to be honest about their feelings. But it is also a good thing for people who want to be mayor of our city to show self-control.

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