Don’t Punish Weiner for Showing His Weiner

Mark Laluan

Athony Weiner is the latest installment of America’s political sex scandals, and he probably won’t be the last. At The Pioneer, we believe that the public should cease holding politicians to a higher moral standard than the average citizen. We believe our priorities should be focused on balancing the budget instead of hunting immoral politicians.

Sex scandals are summer blockbusters of the American political experience.

From John Edward’s unfaithful behavior while his wife lay stricken by cancer to Elliot Spitzer’s taste for high class hookers, contemporary politics is replete is examples of self-proclaimed moralists brought low by their personal foibles.

The latest political sex scandal–Anthony Weiner’s “sexting” incident on Twitter–was exposed by Conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart’s dredging of Weiner’s Twitter statuses. This has created a veritable brouhaha of national attention over visual revelations regarding Weiner’s marketing of his ample bulge to women other than his wife.

“Weinergate” falls short of having the same relevance or even oomph as Spitzer’s and Edwards’ grand follies. After all, Weiner has not sold himself to the public as a holier than thou “white knight” to which the cynical public could take delight in toppling from his high horse.

Weiner is no moralist crusader in the vein of Spitzer playing the role of a real-life Harvey Dent or of Edwards playing the role of the genteel Southern gentlemen.

Weiner’s distinctly non-moralist interests in Congress range from criticism of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment–which places limits on taxpayer funded abortions– inclusion in 2009’s Affordable Health Care for America Act, attempting to turn the proposed 9/11 Health and Compensation Act into a Big Labor slush fund to—and most tellingly—increasing the amount of O-visas available to foreign models to benefit the New York fashion industry.

In a larger sense, it is dishonest to hold Weiner to a higher moral standard than the majority of the population is willing to hold to. As of this printing thousands of individuals around the nation are misappropriating use of their office computers, work phones and library provided internet for deviant purposes and are not put under the same microscope of scrutiny Weiner has been put under.

It should be made clear that we are not advocating use of any such equipment, privileges or access for illegal or morally reprehensible purposes but it is worth cautioning that the pot not call the kettle black; what Weiner has done, many in far less prestigious positions of authority and responsibility—but positions of authority and responsibility nonetheless—have done as well.

We strongly urge our representatives to focus on balancing the budget and the attending to the plethora of expectations the American people have of their elected officials. Congress does not need to involve itself in another political witch hunt with economic storm clouds brewing at home and abroad.

To those who support Weiner’s causes—preserving health care reform from social conservative tampering, the interests of New York State and organized labor—he has in all objective honesty represented them excellently and with great diligence. For many of those individuals to now abandon Weiner because of his sexual appetite is dishonorable.

To those who deride Weiner’s attempt to undermine the American system—socialized medicine and its associated multi-trillion dollar costs to the taxpayer, increased market regulation and favoritism of Big Labor—there are more substantive ways to combat him aside from using his sexual appetites to whip up the average American into a frenzy.

At the end of the day, Conservatives may want exempt Weiner from their vengeance. Weiner is–at least among Democrats–a foreign policy hawk who has supported both the War on Terror and Israeli interests consistently during his time in Congress.

In fact his hawkish stance on foreign affairs may be the real reason foreign policy doves among the Democrats have been unwilling to close ranks to protect him.

Republicans ought to forget taking revenge for the similarly ousted New York Congressman Christopher Lee and take up a golden opportunity to cultivate a rare foreign policy ally on the other side of the aisle.