Democratic leaders in the House are calling for an ethics investigation of Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.), following reports that he had an "unwanted sexual encounter" with a donor's teenage daughter. Wu has grown increasingly unpopular in his district, following reports of erratic behavior, including an incident in which he sent staff members a photo of himself in a tiger costume. The embattled Democrat says he won't seek re-election in 2012, but is resisting calls from both parties to resign immediately. Should Wu step down, or stick around to clear his name? (Watch a report about the allegations.)
Democratic leaders should insist he quit: Calling for an ethics investigation is a start, says Janet Shan at The Hinterland Gazette, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should really be calling for Wu's resignation. Anthony Weiner got pushed off Capitol Hill for texting adult women pictures of his package. "Wu's case is far more serious and borders on criminal behavior."
"Embattled Rep. David Wu won't run for reelection in 2012, but won't resign for 'unwanted sexual encounter' with teen"
It is unfair to even be discussing this: The Oregonian broke this so-called scandal based on a "distraught" message the young woman reportedly left at Wu's Portland office, says Ann Althouse at her blog. Nothing was ever reported to the police, and, while Wu acknowledges an encounter, he says it was consensual. "It's not fair" that the newspaper reported this story without more evidence that Wu really did something wrong.
"Democratic congressman David Wu is accused of 'aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior'..."
Wu will help Democrats if he sticks around: "Democrats are probably better off having Wu remain in the seat," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, "as long as Democrats keep him at arm's length." By insisting on an ethics investigation, instead of Wu's resignation, they'll get 15 months to "find a more reliable (translation: less embarrassing) candidate for 2012." That might give them a better chance at holding onto Wu's seat.
"Wu refuses to resign"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Will the Higgs Boson destroy the universe in a cosmic death bubble?
- America is doomed! (And other thoughts on our gloomy historical moment.)
- Your 2-year-old doesn't need to go to school
Subscribe to the Week