Weiner is testing something else: The limits of public acceptance of errant behavior and absent morality, the boundaries of just how far a man can go, and how many times, before he becomes unelectable.
The capacity of New York's voters for forgiveness is another question, and Weiner plans to test to the limits. He entered the race asking for forgiveness, and he rose to the front of the pack in opinion polling. Yet his mid-20′s standing in those polls in a crowded contest for the Democratic nomination is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's victories in the early presidential caucuses and primaries of 1976, when he prevailed over a crowded field with little more than 20 percent support — without any scandal hanging over him.
Joe Concha of Mediaite said that rather than turning voters away from Weiner, the new revelation actually endears him more to them:
So is this the end for Weiner's political ambitions? The media certainly doesn't hope so. Between Eliot Spitzer—the guy who paid obscene amounts of money for the professional services of a former Parker House regular named Ashley Dupre—running to become Comptroller of New York, and Weiner looking to be in charge of arguably the greatest city in the world, it certainly beats having to report on about pesky items such as budgets, taxes and security with those boring no-name candidates doing all the talking.
But can Weiner still win? You're kidding, right? The way it works these days, his poll numbers will jump 5-7 points as a result of this latest revelation. The thought process from Weiner supporters is the following: If his wife–who must really, really want to be First Lady of New York–can continually forgive him, why shouldn't they?
At last check, both Spitzer and Weiner were leading their respective races and showed no signs of relinquishing those leads. But now that today's news is out…Weiner might as well start measuring the drapes at Gracie Mansion right now.
Richard Kim of The Nation writes that Weiner's policy positions are far more offensive than anything he did in his private life:
Nothing Carlos Danger did was illegal or coercive, and, it should be pointed out, none of it actually involved physical contact. His behavior and his marriage are entirely unworthy of public concern.
Unless, of course, Carlos Danger has the bad luck to also be Anthony Weiner, politician and candidate, in which case his lies about sex are a sign of a more intrinsic untrustworthiness, his indiscretions a sign of fundamental bad judgment and his repeated transgressions the source of an irretrievably broken public trust. On one level, this is all true. And of course, Weiner himself courted this public condemnation—not by the original sin of sexting but by having the balls to trot out his bogus rehabilitation as something that qualifies him to be mayor of New York.
Yes, Anthony Weiner is a weasel, a liar, a moron and a ridiculous egomaniac. Yes, he is unfit to hold public office. It doesn't take a picture of his junk to prove that.