Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thoughts on Weiner's resignation & its aftermath

Rep. Anthony Weiner has resigned and has sort of faced the media. A few thoughts about Weiner & his resignation. But first let me quote from Rob Kall on OpEdNews on why Rep. Weiner should stay:
The truth is, if Weiner resigns, as he is being pushed to do by his hypocritical, moral midget critics, then his replacement will be appointed by a moderate and will surely be a weak, compliant team player, unlike Weiner, who has stood out for his strong progressive positions.

He should not resign. He should get help, get counsel and stay in the role he was elected to serve. Sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocrite Republicans and immoral, sell-out Democrats have no right to tell him what to do. Let his constituents decide.
Basically I perceive two arguments against his resignation in Kall's comments. (1) The people calling for his resignation are hypocrites - both Republicans & Democrats; (2) His replacement will not be as progressive as Weiner & we will lose a spokesperson. My concerns are quite different. Just as when President Clinton was caught messing around with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office my main concern was and is: what kind of message does this send to young people, especially young men (Andrew was a young teenager at the time). When people take on the responsibilities of public office (as well as athletes & entertainers to a lesser extent) they take on the responsibility of being role models for young people. Whether they want to or not. It's simply part of the job. What kind of message does Weiner's behavior send to young men about how to treat women. Clearly even more so than Clinton who was engaged in a mutually initiated affair (although by no means an equal one), it seems that Weiner, in most instances, initiated a relationship with women who contacted him in a political not a sexual context. In other words, they said we really admire your work and he replied: "What about my penis?" So I think his resignation is the best thing he could have done, especially since he spent the first week of this mess lying to everybody. Real politics requires trust.

With regard to the second of Kall's points about losing a progressive voice the best thing we can do is put pressure on Cuomo to appoint a true progressive to fill the seat. Anyone have any ideas?

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