An article in ABC News points out the hypocrisy of how our political system deals with scandals. Representative Anthony Weiner has resigned, but what was strange about this whole episode was that both Democratic and Republican leaders immediately called for Weiner to resign. Nancy Pelosi has never called for a fellow Democrat to resign, until Weiner. Even President Obama said he should resign, which is pretty much unprecedented.
According to political historian Julian Zelizer “I can’t remember a comparable scandal when a president did that. … The irony of the Weiner situation is that there have been scandals when the leadership has been much more quiet in both parties.”
And Weiner didn’t even do anything illegal. In 2007, Representative William Jefferson of Louisiana was indicted on 16 federal counts, not to mention numerous ethics violations, but served out his term (he was later found guilty and sent to prison). But the Democratic leadership, including Pelosi, never told him to step down. And Representative Charles Rangel of New York was found guilty of violating eleven House ethics rules; the House censured him, but didn’t force him to resign.
And Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on Weiner to resign, even though they hypocritically didn’t do the same thing for Senator David Vitter (who solicited a prostitute, which is a crime) or for Senator John Ensign (who lied to the Federal Election Commission in order to cover up an affair with a former top aide).
So why did everyone jump on Weiner to resign? Maybe it had nothing to do with his sex scandal (even though there was no actual sex). Maybe it has more to do with his crusades against wrongdoing corporations.