Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thoughts on Congressman Anthony Weiner

Some people have been asking me why I haven’t written anything yet about the scandal surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner. It’s quite simple, I really didn’t know how to respond to it at first and I was tired of the relentless coverage of a person’s personal life. But to keep the readers happy, here are my thoughts. While I don’t condone the actions of Congressman Weiner, I don’t think he should have resigned. Political scandals are nothing new, but they seem to become more noticeable in our information driven society where news is available instantly through 24 hour news channels (or ones that say news when they really aren’t) and the internet. Because of that, if a fly were to break wind halfway around the world, we could find out about it just seconds later. And because of the technology aspect, Weiner relied on that for his affair, which is a fatal error on his part. Once something is posted on the internet, it stays there forever.

But scandals are nothing new in politics; it’s just how they’re handled is what changed. We can look to the past for some great examples; President Kennedy supposedly had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, yet his short time in office was very effective. Another one from the Kennedy family left a bigger black mark, the incident at Chappaquiddick involving Senator Ted Kennedy. That was the worst scandal to ever hit a member of Congress and haunted Sen. Kennedy for the rest of his career. But rather than resigning, Ted pushed forward with his work and had a very productive last half of his career. It was in fact that incident that caused him to hit rock bottom and forced to reevaluate his life and get it back on track. President Clinton refused to resign after the affair and scandal with his intern Monica Lewinsky. On the other hand, Clinton is still a force to be reckoned with today, wielding power and getting attention wherever he goes. For those reasons, I don’t think Congressman Weiner should have resigned. I think he should be given a second chance to prove himself.

Has the media exacerbated the problem? Oh hell yes they have. This is a personal problem of Weiner’s and it should never have been blown out of proportion like it was. The unfortunate problem of being a politician is that nothing is private anymore, and that’s not right. The liberal media tried to play this off at first, but thanks to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Andrew Breitbart, it all blew way out of proportion. That’s part of the reason I never responded to this, because I felt it wasn’t my place to scrutinize someone else’s personal life.

There are various reasons why I don’t think Weiner should resign. One is the above, that he should be given a second chance just like others did. Another is that he should let the people he represents in Brooklyn decide and based on polls done there, they want him to stay. The leadership of Congress can express their displeasure with the whole situation, but they don’t have the authority to force him out. Lastly there seems to be a double standard with how these scandals are handled. The second the story broke, Fox News was calling for Weiner to leave office, yet they didn’t do they same when it broke that Senator Vitter (R) of Louisiana was involved in a couple prostitution rings or that Governor Sanford (R) of South Carolina disappeared to be with his mistress in South America. Both of those men are still in office and refuse to leave. Tell me there isn’t something wrong with that.

Now after reading all that, you might still be confused on my stance on all of this. Let me be clear, I don’t condone what Weiner did, but I don’t think he should have left office. But I’ll let you the readers decide what his fate should have been. Let me know in the comment section.

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