While I do not condone former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s irrational and immature conduct, I do recognize there was no physical contact involved or crime committed and that he was otherwise well-regarded and responsive to his constituents.
The larger issue was whether the ensuing developments fit the punishment for a “no crime” and who was instrumental in accomplishing it. Considering the history of politics in this country, the issue of resignation should never have been on the table because it was unwarranted. He should have been allowed to finish his term and, if he ran again, his constituents would make the judgment as to his ability to remain in office.
As the June 17 New York Times editorial pointed out, neither U.S. Sen. David Vetter (R-La.) or Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Astoria) were pushed to resign for conduct far worse than that of Weiner. To which one can add former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s divorcing his wife while she was ill to marry his mistress and former President Bill Clinton’s involvement with Monica Lewinsky — both of whom did not resign their offices.
The Republican push for Weiner’s resignation had nothing to do with his personal aberration, but his liberal voting record. I am a lifelong Democrat and I do not say this lightly. The heavy in this class-B drama is the Democratic leadership that did not have the gumption to stand up to the Republicans and sacrificed Weiner’s human frailty at the altar of misguided politics, for which they should be ashamed.
Benjamin M. Haber
©2011 Community News Group
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