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Should Weiner resign?

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.

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.
Ben, meanwhile, has a few things to say about Weiner's "enormous self-regard." (See what he did there?)

Comments

Notorious Ph.D. said…
I think what Weiner and his ilk have done was icky and juvenile at best, and abusive at worst (that is, if they're using their position to impress or sexually intimidate the recipients of their "affection").

The aspect of cases like this that get to me is when politicians caught in sex scandals are the same ones who run on values/morality/religious/ethical reform platforms. Most of those guys just slink away, but sadly there's always another one right behind them.

If politicians keep sexual behavior and politics separate, then so will I. Deal?
namefromthepast said…
I agree that Weiner should stay in office, but not for the same reasons.

I figure his district would elect another lib anyway. So if the choice is between a potentially powerful lib or Weiner-I'll take Weiner.

Plus the sizable mountain of adolescent humor because of the guy's name is going to assure that a normally forgetful public remembers.
emawkc said…
I agree with you on this one, Joel. From a "whether or not to resign" stand point, there's a huge difference between sending pics of your junk to random porn stars and, say, using your roll as president to get a barely legal intern to give you a blowie in the Oval Office and then lying to Congress about it.

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