It does matter that Anthony Weiner is resigning 

Here's an alternative view to my colleague Tim Carney's post regarding the Anthony Weiner story, although I sympathize with his weariness over the issue. 

Does it matter? Yes. The Democratic Party lost all momentum with its Medi-scare campaign due to a self-inflicted wound that festers at least as long as Weiner remains in office, and cannot heal until he disappears. By refusing at first to tell the truth, and then by refusing to resign, he dragged his party, his friends, and his wife through a frustrating, bizarre scandal that shouldn't have lasted even one week.

Had he resigned the day of his fateful Breitbart hijacked news conference, the news cameras would have gone away by the end of the week. Instead, weeks later, the cameras were parked outside his home to film his wife's return home yesterday, and hovering over porn star Ginger Lee's silly 'news conference.'

 
When Republicans were faced with Congressman Chris Lee's online and offline dalliances, they were quick to throw him under the bus so the party could move on. The party did, the media did, and Americans did, after pausing for a quick chuckle. 

Here's why it refused to go away:


1) His behavior was weird.

Most Americans do not send pictures of their junk to random women. (Possible exception: Brett Favre.) Weiner's bizarre antics demonstrated that he was a weak man who was desperate for attention and self-fulfillment. Americans had no choice but to raise their eyebrows over the situation.


2) His behavior was stupid

In this 'crazy new world of new media,' most Americans couldn't believe that a Congressman was using Facebook and Twitter to tantalize his female followers with his physique. How could someone so foolish be one of our national leaders? If he had a bright political career ahead of him, how did he not think of the multiple opportunities for blackmail?

3) He lied and joked about it before coming clean.

What could possibly make a minor scandal grow out of proportion as much as this did? Weiner's transgression was not nearly as serious as David Vitter's adultery, for example, but the latter fessed up and asked forgiveness from the public, indicating that he had already asked forgiveness from his wife much earlier.


4) The developments kept coming
With Congress gridlocked on the budget and the debt ceiling, the politics that 'mattered' were at a standstill. The only story featuring new developments was the Anthony Weiner story. Summer media gets hungry, and the Weiner story kept feeding it: Now he sent x-rated photos; now his wife is pregnant; now he communicated privately with a teenage girl; now he asked a porn star to lie for him; now he took pictures in the congressional gym with his congressional blackberry; and now, at its peak, porn star Ginger Lee held a news conference suggesting that he resign.


4) Weiner became the face (or some anatomical feature) of the Democratic party.

When photos were released last weekend of a brave Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., recovering from a gunshot to the head, they were largely ignored as more photos of Anthony Weiner posing in front of the Congressional mirror came out at the same time. Three weeks later, Weiner was still the number one Democrat in the news. Pelosi had to be furious.

If the Democratic party wanted Americans to focus on something or someone else -- like, say, Paul Ryan -- party leaders needed to dump Weiner. That's why his departure really does matter.

About The Author

Charlie Spiering

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Charlie Spiering is the Washington Examiner's Online Community Manager.
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