Congressman Anthony Weiner is a liar, liar pants on fire and no matter what anyone says from here on out, that fact remains. Does he -- like so many politicians before him -- not get the most basic fact? The American public can forgive what you do in the bedroom (and on your Twitter), what we can't forgive is your lying. He has broken many more hearts than just his wife's today.
Maybe he was doomed from birth by his name, but then we all know that joke and it's obvious. But there is some irony (or is it simply fitting?) to the fact that Weiner's career is in shambles after he admitted to lying about sending sexual photos. And all of this begs an obvious question: Will politicians never learn?
It is one thing to cheat on your wife (and whether texting and engaging in online sexual innuendo is cheating is really between Weiner and his wife), but the much more pressing issue is the lying.
So you sexted, Weiner. With a name like yours, how could you help yourself? But whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, the lying is what matters. I tell my kids (and my husband) this all the time and yet somehow, we are here, having this conversation on the national stage. Lying is never the right way to go. It ALWAYS makes things worse.
When you are caught with your pants down (literally), you tell the truth. You don't make it worse by lying. Both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of this bad behavior. From Eliot Spitzer to Bill Clinton (who did not "have sex" with that woman) to Arnold Schwarzenegger, what they never seem to get is that it is the lying, not the act, that makes them a complete jerk.
But what breaks my heart is that Weiner was wonderful. He supported women and planned parenthood, he gave impassioned speeches about gay rights. For me, he was one of the good guys, a truly smart man who is going down in a truly dumb way. Unfortunately, it seems party affiliation has little to do with moral code and whether or not you are willing to lie to your constituents. And now all the issues he stood for are affected by his stupid lies.
And that, of course, is what it all comes down to. It is the lying, not the sexting that gets us. I don't care if he sexted 100 women. As long as they were willing and he admitted it, then he would have my respect. But, like John Edwards before him, you cannot lie to my face and still expect me to respect you in the morning.
As an uber liberal, Weiner had a lock on love from us morally ambiguous sorts who see life in shades of grey. I do not automatically think a man who cheats on his wife or sexts behind her back is a horrible human being. But I do think a liar is.
Was he hoping all this would go away? Be swept under the bridge? He has let so many people down, people who believed in him and what he stood for, people who saw him as one of the few good ones. And all he had to do last week to make it right was to own up to what he'd done in the first place.
What he should have said: "Yes, people, I sexted a consenting adult. Deal with it." Instead, he lied.
Had he said that, he would have my vote. Unfortunately, now, he has likely lost everyone's.
Do you find his lying worse than his sexting?
Image via YouTube