Rep. Anthony Weiner faced mounting pressure to resign this week over his “sexting” scandal, as both President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down for the good of the Democratic Party. “I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign,” Obama said in a televised interview. Obama called the lewd photos and messages Weiner sent to at least a half dozen women “highly inappropriate,” and joined Pelosi in pressuring the congressman to quit so as to spare his family and the party further embarrassment. Democratic leaders were reported to be hopeful that Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, might persuade her husband to resign, despite his earlier insistence that he’d stay on after he completed treatment for sex addiction. Abedin returned Wednesday from a weeklong trip to Africa with her boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Why exactly should Anthony Weiner resign?” asked Peter Beinart in TheDailyBeast.com. Yes, he indulged in some “dorky and easily traceable” flirting, and then lied about it—like “married men usually do in such circumstances.” But he didn’t break any laws, and he’s still popular in his home district in Queens and Brooklyn, where a poll finds that 56 percent of voters don’t think he should quit. That’s not surprising, said Victor Kamber in Politico.com, because Weiner is a top-notch congressman. Republicans are gleeful because he’s been such an effective critic of their kooky policies on Medicare, health care, and taxes. I only wish some of the Democrats now urging him to resign would stand up “for their party’s ideals the way he does.”
Ideals? said Dennis Prager in National Review. Weiner has disgraced himself and his office, and he should quit for the good of “the country as a whole, especially young people.” Ask any teenager whether they’d be more humiliated to discover that their father had had an affair, or had “sent photos of his penis to young women he never met.” As long as Weiner “remains a congressman, he makes every one of his colleagues look bad.”