That's the question of this week's column for Scripps. I say no:
If Washington were emptied of every politician who violated a marriage oath, paid for sex or otherwise engaged in unseemly conduct -- well, our nation's capital would probably be a ghost town.Ben, meanwhile, has a few things to say about Weiner's "enormous self-regard." (See what he did there?)
Rich, powerful men tend to seek out the company and favors of young, attractive people. That's often part of why they become rich, powerful men in the first place.
So sex isn't really the problem: After all, there's plenty of it going on, and yet our government still manages to function, more or less. The real problem is when a politician gets caught.
A worse problem is when a politician lies about it. But the only real reason a politician should resign over such behavior is if he broke the law or abused his office in committing or concealing hanky-panky. Otherwise, he should stay in office.
After all, would you quit your job if you were caught having an affair? Probably not. Your sexual choices probably don't have much bearing on how well you can perform your job as a paper salesman or accountant. Why should it be any different for elected officials? They were elected to pass laws and govern, not serve as priests.
Again, there are exceptions. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., recently relinquished his office when evidence emerged that he abused his office in order to keep an affair under wraps. He should have lost his job.
For remaining politicians, they still have voters to keep them accountable. And voters can be very forgiving. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., might be very embarrassed right now, but don't be surprised if he still achieves his dream of becoming New York mayor.