Alright, so Congressman Anthony Weiner is a dumbass...you'll get no argument from me. However, did [the aptly-named] Weiner really need to end his political career - or at least take a semi-forced sabbatical - because of this affair (no pun intended)? President Clinton got blow jobs in the freaking Oval Office, and was canoodling every woman (seemingly every unattractive woman) he could find loitering around the White House, and he survived an impeachment trial. Weiner was simply sending semi-lewd pictures of himself, which albeit not a very bright thing for a congressman, and especially a congressman hoping for a bid for Mayor of NYC, should do, but it still doesn't seem to be grievous enough to warrant the blow back that its since received.
I know that the liberal blogosphere is giving a lot of play to the story that David Vitter was throwing down dollars for street ladies, and the Republicans still stuck by him, but personally I don't find this to be a very compelling argument. I mean, saying that since one person did something wrong and stuck around means that everybody else can do something wrong and stick around doesn't really hold much water for me. That being said, I think what that situation shows, as opposed to this situation, is that Republicans are willing to compromise a lot more within their own party, and give in on some of their personal issues and crusades for the greater good of the party. Whereas Democrats run for the hills every time something comes along that they could possibly, at some point, in some circumstance be shown to be weak or waffling.
Nancy Pelosi, apparently the new queen of the moral brigade, basically threw Weiner directly under the bus. Of course the whole matter was politics, but I think what Pelosi failed to realize [due to the insular nature of Washington, DC politics] is that people in this country, and especially people in New York's 9th district that Weiner represented, have a very short term memory when it comes to issues like this, but a long term memory when it comes to the overall cohesiveness of the party. This move by Pelosi, and the president's passive support for Weiner's resignation, show's that this party has completely cow-towed to the Fox News/conservative moral majority claims that this country is "center-right".
It's a simple fact, the majority of the people in this country live in cities (75%), and that means that these people have city mentalities. That doesn't mean everyone who lives in cities is open about their sexuality, anti-religious, and basically accepts every doctrine of liberalism, but it does mean that they have more exposure to the nuance of culture, race/ethnicity, economic disparities, and sexuality. Therefore, people who live in cities are typically much more willing to accept a little more when it comes to moral indiscretions that are non-city people, and therefore don't really care that much if their congressman sends pictures of himself naked to some lady he chatted with on the internet.
Sorry for that demographic digression, back to the lecture at hand. What I'm saying here is that while Pelosi - and Obama with her - might think that they're playing it safe by supporting Weiner's ouster/resignation, they're really just hurting themselves in the eyes of party loyalists (who viewed Weiner as a strong young Democrat, with good principles), and giving themselves no benefit in the eyes of those who already dislike congressman Weiner and his politics, even before the pictures of his bare flex showed up on the net.
All in all, I think that this move by Democrats will hurt them in the long run. Not so much because Weiner was such a rising star in the party - although he was - but more because it shows that the leadership in the Democratic Party has no interest in supporting their members, and instead will do whatever it takes to "get things done", instead of LEADING their party and trying to get members to step in line like the Republicans do (why do you think we couldn't pass real, comprehensive health reform? It wasn't the Republicans that were holding the bag, they were just saying 'no' whenever they had the opportunity, but mostly they were ignored).
I apologize for the disjointed nature of this post; it was written over the course of a couple of days, and basically stream of consciousness.