The Congressional Spectator

Time for Ethic Cleansing

By the way, what ever happened to Christopher Lee?

By 6.7.11

Anthony Weiner got it off his chest: He took the picture of his bulging undershorts and he sent it to the young woman in Seattle. "I have not been honest with myself," he said Monday -- but should have added "or anyone else."

For nearly a week he fed chuckle fodder to Washington and the world with his improbable denials. (Who but himself or someone leaning over his shoulder could have taken a picture at that angle?) Here is man who is used to being on the verbal attack, using one of the sharpest Democrat tongues in the House. He seemed to think that cutting off questions, calling the episode a "hacked prank" and a "distraction" from his very important duties, would suffice. When it didn't and the story continued in the "mainstream" media as well as with a zillion bloggers and Tweeters, he finally had to look in the mirror and see a man who had made a fool of himself.

In this latest news conference he confessed to having had sex-tinged online conversations with several women not his wife (most, he said, before they were married last year). He has brought shame on himself, the office and his constituents. Will he resign? Nope. You see, he still thinks he can run for mayor of New York next year and has amassed what is said to be a $3 million campaign chest.

Nancy Pelosi, with a straight face, called for an investigation by an Ethics Committee to see if any House rules have been broken and/or resources used (how about a subpoena of his office computer for starters?). Poor Nancy doesn't get it. As long as he's around and salivating over another campaign, all those suggestive plays on words over the pronunciation of his name will continue. (Most people with the name Weiner, by the way, pronounce it WY-NER; it's the name Wiener that is often pronounced WE-NER.) 

Ms. Pelosi and her Democratic caucus colleagues could take a leaf from the Republicans' book. In February, Rep. Christopher Lee, beginning his second term, confessed to having posted a photo of himself with unclad torso and had been posting messages to the effect that he was a 40-year-old divorced lobbyist instead of a married Member of Congress. From the moment the story broke until the moment Mr. Lee left town for good, no more than 72 hours had passed. He went pffft. Now he's invisible. No one asks, "What ever happened to...?" because they can't even remember his name.

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About the Author

Peter Hannaford, who died on September 5,  was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. His most recent book, Washington Merry-Go-Round: The Drew Pearson Diaries, 1960-69, of which he is editor, has just been published.