On learning that I was going to write a blog about Congressman Weiner, Mrs. Brooks shot me that look of admonishment and disgust that only a wife can give a husband saying, “You’re not serious, not another blog about him!” Dutifully, I beat a hasty retreat to my office to write this blog in any event.
The moral implications of the Congressman’s behavior are really not the point, as there are likely few differing opinions regarding the salacious nature of his behavior. Furthermore, he still enjoys his constituent’s support, and poll’s show that most would vote for him again [NPR]. As Mrs. Pelosi said the other day when asked about Mr. Weiner’s status, “I believe that it’s up to an individual member and his constituency as to who represents him in Congress…”.
In point of fact, since Congressman Wayne Hays’ affair with his secretary in 1976 and the current behavior of Mr. Weiner, there have been 28 Democratic sex scandals in and out of Congress and 26 Republican peccadillos. No one Party owns this behavior. The reasons for this behavior are plentiful as suggested in a recent Newsweek blog, but what makes this different is the means, the subject and the method by which this, undoubtedly disturbed, behavior was carried out. Have we crossed the line as a society in what we now will accept from those who represent us, let alone those of us we call friends and family? Who amongst us would invite this man to our dinner table to break bread with our daughters and us?
What is really at issue here as a practical matter, is the efficacy of Congressman Weiner to carry out his duties in Congress. He himself has stated that what he has done will not affect his abilities in Congress [YouTube], “There isn’t anything about this I would say that changes my ability or record of getting bills passed, filling potholes, or filling community service.”
Really!? Is he serious?! Does he really believe that his Party and its leader in Congress will allow him to keep the positions that he has on committees or permit him to be involved in the authorship of any significant legislation? Does he really believe that he will be able to do anything further for the people in his Congressional District? Will he ever be able to be trusted with any position that involves any substantive responsibility? What narcissism, what sheer and unbridled arrogance, what chutzpah! Does this man really believe that he has replaced the sun in our solar system?
I don’t think it matters a whit what Mrs. Pelosi says in public. She is a politician and she is practical, and this man represents a distraction for her agenda and a liability for her Party. While she may very well believe that Mr. Weiner’s ultimate fate lies with his constituents, she knows his days as an effective representative of those constituents are gone. He has become an embarrassment and the millstone around the neck of her Caucus and he will go, one way or the other; by either being forced to resign, So I can attend to the devastation I have caused in my marriage, or if he stays, will be redistricted out in the next election. When his Caucus is done with him, filling potholes will be a gift!
If he stays he redefines the term lame duck and represents a new low for Congress at a time when most of the Nation has lost any shred of respect it has had for that Institution; at a time when we face serious difficulties and threats to the way we live our lives. It’s time for Congress not to defined by this narcissistic, ill man and his loathsome behavior.
The Bard said it best in summing up the future path for Weiner, “Away slight man!”