News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. June 13, 2011: Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner, after lying for several days, last week admitted sending lewd and sexually explicit photos of himself to several women via the Internet.
Although reprehensible, his admitted acts do not at this point appear to constitute a crime.
Yesterday, Democratic Party Chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic Leader in the Congress, Nancy Pelosi, used carefully crafted diplomacy to prod his resignation.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi posited that “Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help” …. “I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”
Democratic National Committee Chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) said “the behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable.”
It is inconceivable that Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz would make such devastating statements against a colleague; which in essence eclipsed his political career, without initially consulting President Barack Obama, the Leader of the party.
Therefore, their harmonious positions signify: (I). an emerging consensus in the Democratic party that Weiner’s conduct is potentially more abhorrent than the public record suggests and, (II)., there is unanimity amongst the Party’s leadership that he must go, in order to save the image of the party and end the spectacle that has become an unbearable distraction to the Party’s national agenda.
I know Congressman Weiner. He is genuinely a nice human being and an effective congressman. He has been a “Pit-bull” who has fearlessly fought against republican classism, class-warfare, xenophobia, extremism and hooliganism, and has been an energetic, forceful advocate for the progress agenda.
I believe his conduct was highly inappropriate and that his lies constitute an egregious breach of the public trust, for which some form of sanction, consistent with congressional rules and precedent, is warranted.
However, I do not concur that, provided all that he has done is what he has admitted to and what is currently in the public record, he should resign.
After all, the reputation of Republicans who are driving the campaign that is calling for his head stinks to the high heavens. They are unqualified and morally unfit to judge Anthony Weiner. Republican Majority leader of the House of Representatives, Congressman Eric Cantor as well as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, have opined that Weiner’s conduct was indefensible and that he must resign immediately. But their sanctimonious postulations are replete with pharisaism and duplicity. Some of the most immoral and criminal acts by Members of Congress have been committed by Republicans.
David Vitter, United States Senator from Louisiana, a Republican, who is not only a hypocrite but a pervert and an admitted criminal who falsely claimed to be a family values republican Senator until he got busted transacting business with a glorified whore, committed prostitution – a serious crime of moral turpitude which can carry jail time and for which an immigrant can be deported, but was allowed to remain in office.
Former Sen. John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, an extramarital affair with a staffer’s wife and his parents allegedly paid a bribe to her husband in exchange for his silence about the sordid affair, after he found out. He later resigned in disgrace for fear of criminal indictments and after polls show his prospect of reelection was impossible.
These incidents of criminal wrongdoing notwithstanding, the leadership of the Republican Party never called on the perpetrators to resign. They remained silent, and in so doing give complicity to their members’ criminal behavior. So who are they to tell us that Anthony Weiner should resign? The double standard in the Republican Party is breathtaking!
Anthony Weiner’s unpardonable sin is apparently his effective campaign against republican fascism, fanaticism and oligarchism. Hence, Republicans are exploiting this scandal for all its worth, and seem bent on drawing blood from Democrats. The distraction created by Republicans has been ruinous to Democrat’s agenda in Congress and pestilential to democratic leaders generally.
Consequently, the rug has been pulled from under Weiner’s feet. He is now under the bus and is about to be brutally run over.
The statements by Pelosi and Wasserman-Schultz have severely diminished his stature, completely shattered his integrity and infinitely stymied and crippled his effectiveness as a congressman. They constitute a Congressional “obituary.” Unless completely exonerated; which he cannot as he has admitted to inappropriate conduct, his continued occupancy of the office of Congressman is unendurable and indefensible.
No wonder he has since announced a leave of absence from the Congress. This portends his pursuit of a gradual strategy to demit office presently.
It is insufferable to watch this spectacle, as the distinguished career of another servant of the people goes down, in a crescendo of deceit, recklessness, hypocrisy and a false sense of moral rectitude, to defeat!
Mr. Burke is President of the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for democracy, (CGID).