Monday, June 06, 2011

Step Aside, Anthony

Anthony Weiner finally came clean today and admitted that all those lewd photos are his, and further, that he's been carrying on "sexting" relationships with several women (?) of legal age (?). The amazing thing about the Anthony Weiner mess is that conventional wisdom dictates the coverup is always worse than the lewd behavior. (For one, we don't know he actually committed any crime at all.) But conventional wisdom is nonetheless right once again.

In this case, the embarassment Weiner has caused his family, his constituents, and his party was compounded by a couple of weeks of public lying. Politically, it's near-fatal, depending on whether there are further revelations, even if he's from the safest of safe Democratic districts.

As tough as it was, Weiner should have come clean immediately as soon as the story broke, instead of finally holding the perfunctory dirty laundry press conference today. As bad as this is —how can Weiner know the women he had internet or texting or phone sex, or whatever it is he was doing with those lewd photos, on Facebook, Twitter, etc., are (a) of legal age (this type of juvenile behavior is typically done by juveniles) or (b) that they are even women at all — it would have been a survivable tryst/embarassment/offense had Weiner come clean and taken his medicine immediately.

As bad as this is, the cliché is still true: the coverup is worse than any possible offense short of an actual crime, which is unlikely. If Anthony hangs on he will be a constant black eye to the Democratic Party and an ineffectual Congressman. "Dumb" doesn't even begin to explain this one.

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