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Advice To Weiner: Resign, Run Again


By FZ - Posted on 14 June 2011

-by Keith Olbermann

June 11, 2011- There is no rush to judgment like a political rush to judgment.

The airwaves, the talk shows, all of the homes of political puffery have been filled to the brim, for more than a week, with absolute certainty about what Anthony Weiner should do – no, must do.

Republicans like Eric Cantor, whose response to previous such scandals on his side of the aisle has been to say he was praying for the malefactor’s family and hoped we would let “the people decide,” isn’t praying, and isn’t letting anybody decide – he’s saying Weiner should quit.

Some Democrats have insisted that there wasn’t a reason in the world for Weiner to quit, that the saga was pathetic and distressing but was of little actual consequence relative to Weiner’s honesty and character – even though what he presented in his first several explanations, was not honesty - and what he showed in the photos was not character,

Several supposed Liberals have demanded that Weiner resign immediately because of the difficult position in which he has placed the minority leader, as if Weiner’s contributions to Progressive causes in this country were insignificant and irrelevant.

Even public opinion polls have, well – what else? – an opinion. Only 30% of New Yorkers in a Marist Poll said he should resign, while nearly two thirds of them said he apologized only because he got caught.

And, of course, odious blackmailers like Andrew Breitbart have said Weiner and other liberals are hypocrites. He in particular added he was holding back additional photographs out of decency. And then he showed those photographs the next day. But Weiner is the hypocrite. This is to be remembered when Breitbart’s fall finally comes – prediction: it will involve handcuffs, and not in the way he might enjoy them.

Now, Minority Leader Pelosi and other leading House Democrats have done what their Republican colleagues would never do: they too have urged Weiner to resign, for what appears to be about the 45th worst sex scandal among politicians in the last five or six years. Senators Jon Ensign and David Vitter make Weiner look like a celibate, and we have yet to hear a Republican demand either of them go.

The rush to issue an opinion about Anthony Weiner is so strong – so indicative of the unnecessary urgency of most aspects of our political theater – that a couple of times on Twitter I was harangued by followers, because I hadn’t come out and demanded Weiner quit. Or stay.

My silence owed to one important fact: I wasn’t sure.

Hell, to be honest, in Round One of the self-photography mania sweeping my home state’s Congressional Delegation, I wasn’t really sure why Republican Chris Lee resigned. The story, on the face of it, was sleazy and troubling. Which are two adjectives applicable to virtually every politician who ever lived. That there might have been more to the story, explains Lee’s departure.

But if there is nothing further to the Weiner story, if what we know is all there is, I have actually done what so many fear to do these days, and sat around and thought about something for a week. And now I think I know what I think -- not demand, not insist, not preach -- Anthony Weiner should do.

For it, I turn improbably back to the man who put the “cant” back in “Cantor,” the House Majority Leader: Let the people decide.

If Mr. Weiner resigns his seat, there will be, as there was in Mr. Lee’s district, a special election to decide who will serve the rest of his term. It appears the citizens of that district want it to be him, but many in Democratic leadership, do not. If Mr. Weiner wants to regain the moral high ground, he should resign, either immediately or effective a given date, and then seek re-nomination for, and re-election in, that special election.

A true version of 'letting the people decide.'

Angry Democratic kingpins might primary Weiner – all the better. Run as an Independent. Let the people really decide what has happened here, and if they want this man to continue to be their Congressman. Those who want him out can speak to their point, and those who want him to stay, can speak to theirs.

And how ever it turns out, the scandal will end there. Because Congressman Weiner will have to let the people decide.

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Mark Crispin Miller
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