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Who Should Decide?

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Should U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner resign in the wake of the Twitter scandal? Should the House of Representatives force him to step down? Whose decision should it be?

Unless there is proof Weiner broke a law or violated his oath, we do not see how the House can force him to resign. Weiner embarrassed himself, his colleagues and his party. He lied, but it was related to a personal indiscretion not related to any matter before Congress.

In the end, the people who should decide his future are the voters in Queens and Brooklyn who elected him to Congress. Weiner was first elected in 1998 to replace Charles Schumer in the 9th Congressional District. Since then he has been re-elected six more times, the last in 2010.

Two polls taken last week show that the majority of voters in his district do not believe he should step down. A NY1-Marist poll conducted June 8 in Weiner’s district, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens, found 56 percent of registered voters there saying that the embattled congressman should not quit. One-third said he should resign and another 12 percent were unsure. A citywide survey found voters did not believe he should quit and others said they were unsure.

The people responding to the survey were less certain whether they would vote for Weiner in 2012.

But these polls were taken before President Obama weighed in, saying he would give up his post if he were Weiner, as more explicit photos were circulated. On Sunday, there was a dust-up in front of Weiner’s Forest Hills office between the congressman’s detractors and supporters.

The drum beat calling for him to disappear is growing louder, but it is still the voters who count.

One conservative commentator suggested Weiner must have been sexting all the time because he did little or nothing as a congressman. That is a lie. The scandal was a shock because he had become a leader in his party.

What Weiner did cannot be justified or excused. He has hurt and embarrassed his pregnant wife. It is now up to Weiner to take stock in himself, listen to his constituents and decide whether he can continue as an effective representative for the people who placed their trust in him for 12 years.

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