I’m glad Nicki put up a piece arguing that we have every right to care about Rep. Anthony Weiner’s transgressions, revealed yesterday after a bizarre week of flat-out lying. She quoted an excellent piece by Megan McArdle. Like Nicki and Ms. McArdle, I have a hard time being blasé and dismissing this as none of the public’s business.

McArdle pretty much hits the main points on why we have every right to concern ourselves with this matter. But here is another disturbing aspect of the sordid saga: Weiner seems to think that, no matter how creepy, exploitative, and disgraceful his behavior is, he doesn’t need to resign because–after all–he hasn’t broken the law (as far as we know). Whatever happened to doing the honorable thing?

Legal or not, Weiner’s sending lewd pictures to women over the internet is not honorable. You’d think there would be a clamor for Mr. Weiner to step down,especially among those who share his political views. But you would be wrong–there will be an ethics investigation, but how about nudging the guy into early retirement? One liberal commentator on Fox last night said she was torn-as a woman, she was offended by what Weiner had done, but as a Democrat, she appreciated his work. Well, now there’s a strong stand for probity in our nation’s leaders!

Actually, I predict what Weiner will be gone and quickly. But possibly not because it’s the honorable thing to do (after all, liberals like what he says!). The Democrats will simply realize he is a liability with a lot of us bumpkins who aren’t as comfortable with doublethink as the liberal commentator last night.  An informal Wall Street Journal poll had slightly more than 82 per cent favoring his resignation when I voted early this morning. In an editorial, the newspaper notes:   

It is inevitably the nature of media today that scandals like this pitch the perpetrator into a deep personal hell. The Weiner fiasco, however, raises issues that transcend one man’s personal indulgence.

The private citizens of Queens voted to make Anthony Weiner a public citizen and their Representative. They assumed he would show judgment not for himself alone but for them and their interests.

Instead, he has shattered his ability to serve their interests. In an age of aggressive computer hacking, he also put himself at risk of blackmail by criminals or adversaries. His week of fantastic lies proved how vulnerable he or any public figure is to selling out his integrity to save himself from humiliation.

Anthony Weiner now joins a disturbing list of elected officials in our time who’ve lost any sense of self-discipline. If there are others out there wandering in the confused ethers that trapped Anthony Weiner, we have a request: Get out now. Spare the rest of us.

My model of the disgraced politician is John Profumo, toppled in the so-called Profumo Affair. He left public life, quietly devoting himself to good works and never uttered another word about politics or government affairs. Why do I not see the loquacious Mr. Weiner taking this path?