Paul Jacob

The third worst thing one can say of him is that he’s given to tasteless sexual displays. The second worst thing that can be said of him is that he plays the game of seduction with young women, some legally underage. Arguendo, call that a technicality. But it does send up a flare, signaling the worst thing we may say against him: He’s in politics for all the wrong reasons.

How does an older man with a taste for younger women get those women to swarm around him? Weiner’s found one of the oldest methods in the book. He’s gotten himself famous, attained a level of power.

The trouble with power is that it can corrupt. I’m not saying Weiner would eventually careen down the road of sexual insatiability where he’d use his wealth and power (or, in his case, just power) to rape chamber maids. But he obviously lacked the pangs of prudence that might discourage him from doing what he has done in such an easily discoverable environment — using Twitter, of all things, to “narrowcast” for-private-consumption-only pics. (A task in which he failed, broadcasting the pic, instead.)

The whole affair is just so seedy, so stupid.

Yet this scandal shouldn’t be about sex — or even the lousy substitute known as sexting. It’s about the arrogance and abusiveness of power. Weiner’s use of his political position for his own advantage in this seamy manner ought to give us pause about the power folks such as Weiner wield. (No doubt Nancy Pelosi's call for his resignation recognizes just that: Weiner's behavior is emblematic of a Congress that remains arrogant even while behaving badly . . . if not self-depantsed on Twitter.)

And now he wants a leave of absence to seek help, help with his “problem.”

Well, I think we know what his problem is. It’s not that he has a sexual appetite. It’s that he aims to satisfy even his wilder impulses without constraint of morality or taste, and by parlaying his standing in Congress as part of his “package.”

Pun, well, sort of intended.

As I stated above, Congress isn’t a professional outfit with tenure rights, in terms of which one may ask for leave. Its mission is very different. It’s not there to give those who like the work a permanent job. It’s to serve the people.

Weiner proved he’s not really much interested in that.

But I’m all for servicing his latest need, to obtain “help.” Professional help.

Send him packing, out of office. No political power. That might cure him.


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.