Can rehab save Anthony Weiner's career?

The disgraced congressman is seeking professional help, even as Democratic leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, call on the serial sexter to resign. Can he really ride this out?

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) entered a psychiatric facility Saturday, amid calls from top Democrats that he resign immediately.
(Image credit: Ramin Talaie/Corbis)

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) must have misplaced his "Scandal Management Handbook," says E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post: When caught, "fess up immediately" then "go into treatment and disappear for a while." Weiner eventually took the latter piece of advice — though he waited more than two weeks after his sexting scandal broke — checking into a psychiatric facility for undisclosed treatment on Saturday. But that didn't stop a swarm of top Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, from urging Weiner to resign. Will the rehab "'Hail Mary' pass" allow Weiner to hold onto his job?

Weiner can hang on if he wants to: Weiner apparently "thinks he can ride this out," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. And he's probably right. Seeking help for "sex addiction" will buy him some time, and it might just win him public sympathy, too. Even if it doesn't, the bottom line is that "Weiner is a congressman until he resigns, retires, or loses an election."

"Report: Weiner checking himself in for 'treatment'"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Rehab can't cure his political problems: It would be excruciatingly uncomfortable for Weiner to return to the House now that Pelosi and other top Democrats have told him to scram, says David Weigel at Slate. The final straw was the (since-dropped) police inquiry into private messages Weiner exchanged with a Delaware 17-year-old. Even if the contacts were "not indecent," as both sides say, that looks "totally unsurvivable."

"Weiner gets 'professional treatment' as Democrats squeeze him out"

Give Weiner a break: Oh, for crying out loud, says Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast. Weiner should resign because "he's hurting the Democratic Party"? Nonsense. As far as we know, he didn't break any laws or harass anybody, and this "public flogging" for his "crude, dorky, and easily traceable" sins seems only about kicking a man when he's down. It has to stop. I hope rehab helps Weiner figure out "his private life; but even more, I hope he survives in public life."

"Why Anthony Weiner shouldn't quit"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.