Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, who used Twitter to transmit a lewd photo to a young woman in Seattle and then denied it, says he didn't do anything that violates his oath to his constituents. Does that mean they should expect him to be a liar?
It's hard to see why Weiner shouldn't mimic former Republican New York Congressman Christopher Lee, who resigned in February after admitting he used Craigslist to send a suggestive photo of himself to a Maryland woman. Lee, like Weiner, is married. (And, yes, The Inquirer called on Bill Clinton to resign, too, when he lied.)
The latest episode of congressmen behaving badly began May 27, when a sexually suggestive photo was sent from Weiner's Twitter account to a young woman. A Twitter user who discovered the photo before it was removed alerted conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who published it on his website.
For days, Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been hacked. But his house of cards began to fall when he admitted to MSNBC that he couldn't "say with certitude" that he wasn't the man in the photo.
Finally, on Monday, after Breitbart began publishing additional suggestive photos and e-mails sent to a woman, Weiner admitted he had been lying all along. He said that over the past three years he has sent photos, some of him nude, and has had sexy telephone conversations with at least six women other than his wife.
Weiner's freakiness is between him and his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Weiner says Abedin had some knowledge of his proclivities before they were married in July. The fact that she wasn't standing by her man when he finally confessed may be an indication of how that will work out.
In any regard, no explanation can excuse Weiner's lying to the people he represents. He has betrayed their trust and revealed his true character. They shouldn't forget that when he's up for reelection next year, since Weiner says he won't resign.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for an investigation of Weiner's conduct. It would be a travesty for him to escape any sanction. There seems to be little doubt that he has violated ethics rules against behavior that reflects badly on the House.
If Weiner wants to salvage his ambitions of one day becoming mayor of New York, he should acknowledge the gravity of his lying to the public by resigning so he can put his life in order.