For days everywhere from the steps of the Capitol to CCN’s Weiner vehemently denied sending out the pictures; blaming unnamed hackers and even slandering the messenger with the help of the media. Democratic flaks (Begala, etc.) came out of the woodwork to say there was no big deal in sight. (At least they got that right.)
The AP has now even found a covey of people in Weiner’s district who will vote for him after he lied. They will do so because he has been a good Congressman for them and they believe that although he has admitted lying and panicking under pressure, he has now un-lied, probably. Their only known behavioral standard for disqualifying a politician from serving seems to be being a Republican.
But politically, it makes no difference. Democratic response to their miscellaneous scandals is that these are private circumstances and the candidates have a right to their private lives. True enough.
The issue here is not the actions of people in the private lives. The issue is the judgment - or lack of it - that they exercise. If you want to send out pictures of yourself that are in bad taste, that is your business. However, it cannot be considered good judgment. We all giving our representative our proxy and count on their good judgment just as we have an expectation of honesty. Honesty is another failing of many but we should not confuse differences of opinion with lies. Weiner lied on the steps of the Capitol, in CNNs’s TV studio and took every other opportunity available to blame unknown hackers and pranksters, call it a joke and slander the reporter who broke the story. With every statement he made, he knew with absolute certitude that he was lying.
His press conference to un-lie admits to mistakes and admits to panic under pressure. Great just what you want in a high pressure job - a guy who panics. Fortunately for him, the Democratic party is a party of forgiveness. The party has allowed people to serve and forgiven: Klan membership, driving off a bridge and killing a campaign aide, tax evasion, your partner running a prostitution ring out of your apartment, favorable loans, lies under oath, and just regular non-felonious lies.
So let the Democrats do what they want. It is only to be hoped that the American public will see that some standards of judgment, honest and grace under pressure are appropriate. If that is not the majority there is no hope anyway.