Don’t mean to get down on his ass, especially since he’s not doing too well at the moment, but the more that comes out about Mr. Weiner, the more I’m beginning to think that his resignation would not be a bad thing. Steve Kornacki at Salon.com wrote a story describing how Weiner broke into elected politics. It was messy.
Just weeks earlier, the Crown Heights riot — a deadly, days-long affair that brought to the surface long-standing tension between the area’s black and Jewish populations — had played out a few miles away from the 48th District. The episode had gripped all of New York and had been national news. It was just days after order had been restored that Weiner’s campaign distributed its anonymous leaflets, which linked Cohen — whose voters he was targeting in particular — to Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins, who was then New York’s mayor. It is hard to imagine two more-hated political figures in the 48th District at that moment. (Salon, June 7, 2011)
I only have the vaguest memory of the Crown Heights Riots, but it sounded ugly. It’s the sort of thing where an honorable person seeking public office would use the occasion as a teaching moment to put out a message of hope and peace and not exploit it for personal gains. Apparently, Weiner was not that person. Instead, he linked his chief opponent, Adele Cohen, to two politicians whom many in the district, in light of the riots, loathed, with the aim of turning white voters against her. And he did so anonymously. Some called it race-baiting. David Dinkins called it “hateful.” Weiner only admitted he put the leaflet out after winning. That’s cowardice.
It’s the same sort of cowardice we saw this last week. He refuse to admit that he tweeted and texted unsolicited photos of himself until a photo with his face on it came to light. And now, it’s come to light that he had a online communication with a 17 year old girl. He maintains that there was nothing indecent about the communication. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt (again) and think that he was only talking to her about politics or perhaps encouraging the girl to go to college, seek elective office, whatever. But let’s not be naive. The man has no credibility to speak of anymore. It’s shot to shit. And this whole thing has become a great distraction from the pressing issues of the day.
In light of this latest revelation, many leaders of the House Democratic caucus, including Nancy Pelosi, are calling for Weiner to step down. Weiner himself is asking for a leave of absence so that he can go into a treatment program.
Just go, dude. Just go. And let’s hope a real progressive, who has it together and works hard, and not just blows hard, takes his place.
© 2011, gar. All rights reserved.