Now that Anthony Weiner has seen the light and finally ended this embarrassing chapter in his life by resigning from Congress, I wanted to share some, hopefully, last thoughts on the matter.
And for those who thought he should’ve stayed and fought it out, I can only say the following: from what crack pipe are you smoking? Yes, I know the way his Party threw him under the bus was pitiful. But then political parties have been doing that ever since the days of Nixon. Once you become a malignancy, there is only one thing left to do: remove you. The fact was that Anthony Weiner had become the political equivalent of a leper. Whether he had resigned or not, whatever chance he had of being an effective legislator was gone the moment he finally admitted what he did. To hold out any hope he could survive this is the epitome of denial.
With all that was riding in 2012, Democrats could ill afford this albatross hanging around their necks. Anthony Weiner had become the story. Not Medicare, not the debt ceiling. There was simply too much at stake to allow this farce to continue. Give Weiner this much, he knew when to call it a night. Punch lines are essential for comedians; for politicians they are almost always fatal.
And, finally, for myself, what disappoints me most isn't the deed, or even the denial of the deed, but the political cost it extracted. Let's face it, on a scale of 1 to 10, what Weiner did constitutes maybe a 3, 4 at the most. But on the stupidity meter, it might as well have been the proverbial 11. The loss of Anthony Weiner will have profound consequences for the Democrats, not only in next year's election, but in the years to follow. Forget the New York mayoral race, which I always thought was a waste of his talent anyway, what he brought to the floor of the House was a rare commodity. A fearless proponent of progressive causes is almost a dying breed these days. For Anthony Weiner, it was a calling. That he has now deprived his Party of that calling is the thing which disappoints and angers me the most. He should've known better, and because of his poor judgment, millions may well pay the price.
And now, the tough part begins. Democrats must scramble to find another wolf among their flock of sheep. Good luck! In GOP land they are practically salivating over what has happened these last two weeks. The Weiner circus has allowed the focus to be shifted away from Paul Ryan and Medicare. It has allowed Republicans to exhale somewhat and get some wind back in their sails. And that is unforgivable. In politics, there is one rule: never let your opponents off the mat. Those who forget that rule, almost always rue the day. As George Patton would say, “Never pay for the same real estate twice.” But then, again, we are talking about the Democratic Party, aren't we? The Party that keeps paying over and over and over again for the same stupid mistakes.