After yesterday's disastrous press conference, I have changed my mind on Rep. Anthony Weiner. Despite liking the Congressman, and appreciating his willingness to fight the Republican fire with actual fire, I am afraid to say that I think he needs to step down. Immediately.
Even though he didn't take any money from defense contractors in exchange for contracts, try to pick up random men in a public airport bathroom, send sexual messages to underage boys in the Congressional page program, engage the services of prostitutes in multiple states, have an affair with his chief of staff's wife and then have his parents pay hush money, or have any dealings with Ralph Reed or Jack Abramoff, this "scandal" needs to be put down, and the only way to do that is to get Weiner out of Congress...and out of the line of fire.
Like I said, I like Rep. Weiner (we've never met, but I always enjoy his TV appearances). It is not about that. It's not even about the non-crime he committed. I mean, sending explicit pictures to adult women is hardly a crime. It's incredibly stupid and juvenile - especially for someone in the public eye - but it is not illegal. However, his week long lie fest, and the continued rolling disclosure about more photos (not to mention the one that lying scumbag Andrew Breitbart has in waiting) make this situation too much of a distraction for him to continue as a member of Congress.
The Democrats have to win in 2012. Have to. The consequences of our entire government in the hands of teabaggers is such a horrifying prospect to contemplate, that I'm willing to sacrifice Weiner in order to (possibly) take back the House, and keep the Senate and White House. Weiner was an effective spokesman for liberal causes and beliefs. But he won't be any more, unfortunately. With explicit pictures in Breitbart's back pocket, and the likelihood of more women emerging with additional damaging pictures, texts, etc, the only way he survives is either by hiding out and avoiding the media, or going on an endless apology tour. Either way, his usefulness is gone.
Weiner's district covers parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York. It is a safe Democratic seat. If he resigned now, a Dem would win a special election, and nothing in the House would change. The story would evaporate from the media, and it could not be used by the right to tar other Democrats in next year's election. We can't have any fuck-ups if we're going to win in 2012. No distractions, no nothing unusual. Just because Republicans are allowed to stay in their posts after a scandal (since the GOP is notorious for having double standards on issues of personal behavior), is no reason to advocate for Weiner to stay and "tough it out." He is just one man, and one man in a safe seat.
Next year's election is bigger than one man and one Congressional seat. It is about the future of our country. Either you want someone as president who thinks Paul Revere warned the British, or you want someone with a brain. We cannot be talking about Anthony Weiner and his...wiener at this time next year. Sorry, Rep. Weiner. You need to go. Take this one for the team.