Well, he did it.
After days of denials, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner stood up at a Monday afternoon press conference to admit the whole story with blunt honesty: the accidental tweet, the panic and embarrassment, the lie. He recognized his stupidity and apologized to his wife and others affected—including conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, who posted the private photos of Weiner on the website biggovernment.com, and who had been accused of a right-wing hacker conspiracy.
Though most everyone knows by now that anything emailed or posted online (even with privacy settings) can always surface later to cause mayhem—especially for public office holders—Weiner apparently thought he’d get away with it. He was dumb to conduct sexy Internet relationships, and he knows it. He admitted as much in what came across as a supremely sincere apology.
Though Weiner is sorry, does his offense mean he should resign?
“We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Tuesday morning in a statement. “We need a resignation.”
But in Weiner’s Monday press conference, he made it clear he had no plans to step down. “I didn’t violate the Constitution,” he said. “Did I violate my oath? I don’t think so. But people are entitled to their viewpoint.” Weiner said he believes he always used his personal Blackberry and computer to conduct the relationships, rather than government property. He also said he would work hard to win back the trust of his constituents, who will have the chance to decide his future in 2012.
U.S. News blogger Peter Roff, a conservative, thinks Weiner’s sincere apology should be the end of the scandal. “His candor, in my judgment, while overdue, is nonetheless refreshing,” he writes, doling out unusual grace to a Democrat. “Weiner’s statement is a model of contrition, and he should, in a sense, be applauded for it.”
But left-leaning U.S. News blogger Jamie Stiehm thinks Weiner should have been more embarrassed than he was. “A married Democratic congressman from New York shamed himself by sending out sexually suggestive photos to women he met on the Internet but never in person. But he's not ashamed enough to resign,” she writes. “Very nice.”
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