Paul Greenberg
What's to be done with the strange story, tabloid saga, curious case and general embarrassment that is The Honorable -- how ludicrous that title now sounds -- Anthony Weiner, congressman from New York's Ninth District and national object of derision?

Here's my suggestion: Exactly nothing. Rise above this whole one-day story that now threatens to go on for a week and seems as if it's gone on forever. Somebody find the hook and get this guy off the stage.

Here is just one more pitiable male who's made a beyond-absolute fool of himself. Except for his political position, he could be just another creep lost in well-deserved obscurity. Instead, it is his merciless fate to be the subject of glaring headlines and bad jokes.

Now that the congressman has betrayed friends, family, constituents and anybody who ever trusted him, how about just leaving the poor shnook alone for the rest of his life? And beyond. Because you just know the first line of his obituary -- and may he live a long, happy, healthy and much better life -- will refer to the kind of virtual sex scandal he confessed to this week.

I say virtual because his scandalous goings-on seem to have been confined to Twitter. Or maybe YouTube, Facebook, iPod, or some other constant interruption; I get them all confused. All I know is they get in the way of actually living.

In its own sad way, the congressman's story is the story of our Internetted times. Never before in the history of communication have so many sent so many messages of so little serious import so often.

Only his political prominence and solely chronological maturity distinguishes The Hon. Mr. Weiner from your typical adolescent devoid of impulse control. Here is just another pol drawn from the overflowing ranks of the incorrigibly immature. They seem everywhere.

Back in the Insipid Seventies, an English spoof entitled, "No Sex Please, We're British" played to packed houses in London for most of the decade.

Now an American congressman has found a way to have even a sex scandal without sex. He just sends naughty messages. It's enough to make the good old-fashioned, seamy-steamy, back-street affair seem almost wholesome by comparison. Or at least quaint in these cyberspaced-out times.

The gentleman from New York -- well, the U.S. representative from New York -- is already a national laughingstock and bound to go through the rest of his years the subject of snickers and pity (which is worse, do you think?) whenever he dares appear in public, or even if he doesn't. At least he could have the decency at this point to go away. Far away.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.