Voters should decide Weiner’s fate
Published: Sunday, June 12, 2011
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2011 11:06
There are certain sound bites throughout America's history that will never be forgotten. Though there is an abundance of quotable moments, the most memorable ones are those of elected officials denying, and then confessing, their sexual escapades.
Former President Bill Clinton is a prime example of this; "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" quickly evolved into ‘Whoops — I actually did.' It's a quote that we instantly recognize when played and won't be forgetting anytime soon.
With that said, we now have a new sound bite — and image — stuck in our heads, and it's from someone totally unexpected.
The great Democratic Representative from New York's 9th District, Anthony Weiner.
I say "great" because for those individuals who are left-leaning, Weiner is our poster boy; the bulldog of the Democratic Party. His oratory skills are unmatched — no one can communicate passion quite like Weiner. He is known for speaking up for what is just and right and actually taking action when something is wrong.
Now our bulldog is showing up nearly naked on the cell phones of numerous women. Our poster boy has been completely exposed — and the image is not nice.
The question at hand is, should he resign, or not resign? If you ask Weiner, the answer is no. If you ask Tim Kaine, former Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, the answer is yes. And if you ask other Democrats in the House of Representatives, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), he should resign immediately.
No one can deny that Anthony Weiner's actions were both irrational and unethical. And yet, we have seen men in power constantly commit crude acts and get caught in the middle of them.
Most men seem to make it out alive — Eliot Spitzer, David Letterman and Tiger Woods are each examples of men within different fields of society that have moved past their sex scandals.
Can Weiner do the same?
In the process of writing this article, I have been surveying many of my liberal colleagues, asking them if they think Weiner should resign. The results have been mixed; and personally, I am finding myself extremely conflicted on multiple levels. As a Democrat, I know that he has always been a strong asset to our party — we need him. But as a woman and as a feminist, it is obvious that he has taken advantage of the power structure that exists in the patriarchal society we live in, and I definitely do not appreciate it.
So after juggling the question of resignation back and forth in my head, I've come to a conclusion: let the voters of his district make the decision. Because realistically, his constituents are the ones who voted him in, and they should be the ones who vote for him to leave.
Currently, the most recent NY1/Marist poll has reported that 56 percent of Weiner's constituents think he should not resign. That's a promising majority. And yet, when asked if Weiner should run in the 2013 mayoral race like he planned, 56 percent of those polled, including numerous Democrats, said that he shouldn't bother.
With that said, even for the people of New York's 9th district, ousting Anthony Weiner is a tough decision. But there may be an even easier solution — erase the district completely. New York state is slated to lose two congressional seats before the 2012 election; and by tradition one of those seats would come from a Republican stronghold, the other a Democratic one.
This could be the final conclusion to our bulldog's fight, but it is definitely not the end of sex escapades. For sure, Anthony Weiner's lewd text messages are just the beginning of a new era of political scandal. So be wary: technology is an increasingly public tool that can be used for good and bad. You don't want your tweet to be the next "text-bite" of American history.