Just to be clear: I'm not calling on Weiner to resign. I'm not joining the censorious, clueless, hypocritical chorus. Yes, more pictures are surfacing. Yes, innocent chats Weiner had with seventeen-year-old teenage "fans" are being held up as proof that he's a pedophile in the making. (Because we all know that straight men are incapable of distinguishing between porn stars and minors and adjusting their conversations/tweets accordingly.) No, it's the rehab thing that has me ready to the throw in the towel. As I said when the scandal first broke...
While I hope Weiner comes clean, I hope comes out swinging: He didn't do anything wrong, he didn't do anything millions of other Americans aren't also doing, he didn't break any laws. His privacy has been invaded. He's being attacked. He is the victim here. And if doing what Weiner has done disqualifies a person from public life, there won't be anyone qualified to be public life in ten years time save the Amish.
Now here's what I hope the legally married congressman doesn't do: confess to having a problem, blame "sex addiction," check into the Tiger Woods Memorial Sex/Career Rehabilitation Center, resurface a month later Dr. Drew's couch looking contrite, and apologize to the American people for being one of them.
By checking into rehab—by pretending that it's him, and not the culture, that has a problem with sex—Weiner is sharpening the blade on the guillotine to which he's been dragged.
And somehow "Vitter the Shitter" is still a senator.
(Psst... Anthony? If you're going to resign, why not kick some GOP ass on your way out the door? Do it for old time's sake: call a press conference and announce that you're prepared to resign so long as David Vitter resigns at the same time you do. That'll instantly shift the entire discussion to Vitter's behavior—he's the "family values" douche who actually broke the law along with his marital vows (and placed calls to an escort service from the floor of the House)—and it'll force the media to focus on the hypocrisy of rightwingers calling on you to resign while refusing to even discuss Vitter the Shitter.)
UPDATE: A few of the comments can be summed up like this: "But Weiner lied! He has to resign! Because he lied!"
Am I the only one who remembers this: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
Clinton lied to a grand jury, to his cabinet, to members of Congress, to every reporter on earth. He lied to the whole world. And we concluded—the American people, the same people who don't want Weiner to resign—that there are certain things a man has a right to lie about. When someone cruelly invades your privacy and asks you a question they have no business asking and answering honestly would inflict pain on your loved ones—greatly magnifying the pain your indiscretion would inflict by itself—and a "no comment" or an obfuscation or a non-denial denial would be taken as tantamount to an admission/confirmation, you have a right to lie.
Hell, you have a responsibility to lie—and, if you get away with it, to consider yourself fortunate and regard your near-political-death experience as a wakeup call and to knock that shit, whatever it was, the hell off. And even if you do ultimately get caught, Americans are willing to give you a pass on a lie like this. (Again, Weiner's constituents don't want him to resign, just like the American people didn't want Clinton to resign or be impeached.) Because it's the kind of lie that any person—any honest person—can picture himself/herself telling if he/she were in the same circumstances.
And does anyone believe that it wouldn't have been better for Mrs. Weiner and the little Weiner growing inside her—the same persons whose welfare the handwringers claim they're most concerned with—if Weiner had gotten away with his lie?