Published June 08, 2011
Imagine you go to a restaurant and Anthony Weiner is your waiter. Do you have the stomach for dinner?
Imagine you call an electrician and Weiner shows up at your home. Do you let him in?
Imagine he is your child's teacher. Do you keep your kid in his class?
Of course you don't trust him with your food or let him in your home, and you sure as hell don't let him anywhere near your child. So unless we have a lower standard for government service than for those jobs, Weiner is not qualified to stay another minute in Congress.
Yet his blubbering confession and continuing revelations aside, Weinergate is now about his fitness to continue in office. It's a no-brainer that he fails the test -- and he must go in short order.
But his refusal to resign already illustrates the depths of his depravity. While his low-rent behavior reflects the character flaws that drove his perverted exhibitionism, his refusal to quit reflects the tight grip of corruption on government.
Any official who uses his political notoriety to send naked pictures of himself to strangers, then concocts a defense out of elaborate lies and false indignation, is too far off the beam to trust. The notion that we must pay taxes to pay his salary is outrageous.
But Weiner, his chutzpah intact, demands that his punishment be limited to public shame. He boasts he's taking "responsibility" as though that's a heroic act and he has another choice. He is so self-obsessed that he thinks he has suffered enough by admitting some of his lies.
Like fellow New York Dems Charlie Rangel and Eliot Spitzer, Weiner is so corrupted by power and privilege that he has lost all perspective. The only reality in their world is the one you can get away with. There is no objective truth. As he instructed a porn pal in how to lie, the aim is to keep repeating your talking points until the press gets bored or distracted.
This is the mindset of too many modern politicians, who see government as nothing more than one long battle against the other team. Weiner excelled at it and became a cable-TV star because he has no shame and more than one screw loose.
It is worth noting that a blog under his name still features rabid attacks on "Republican assaults on women." Even by Washington standards of hypocrisy, that's rich, given his predatory habits with women half his age.
To think he stood a decent chance of becoming New York's next mayor is to realize that, for all his flaws, Michael Bloomberg is at least a grown-up who respects his office.
Thankfully, we have been spared a Mayor Weiner. But this is no time to go wobbly -- the public must drop the hammer on him.
Giving Weiner the benefit of the doubt is to say that all values are negotiable and none is absolute. If he's good enough for government, then America is finished.
Indeed, we have so many Spitzers and Rangels and Weiners because we tolerate them. We always give them a second chance and a third. The more "compassionate" we are, the more of the bastards we get.
Whatever happens between Weiner and his wife is their business. His public career is ours, and it's time for a divorce.
Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist. To continue reading his column on other topics, including on Obama's economic team and Austan Goolsbee, click here.