Opinion: A message for Weiner: Just go

July 31, 2013


Dear Anthony Weiner:

Just go.

Don’t bother to explain. We’ve already heard enough.

Just go.

Don’t write a book about it. No tree should die for that.

Just go.

Don’t do a sit down with Oprah. She just had that couch cleaned.

Just go.

You want to redeem your name through public service? You want to use your gifts to help those in need? Wonderful. Very commendable. And Somalia is lovely this time of year. Make sure you get your shots.

Now, can you just go? Please?

Does it surprise you to hear that? Well, I am equally surprised to say it. America, after all, is the land of redemption, second chances and comebacks. We love nothing so much as the guy who beats long odds, the underdog who achieves the improbable, the loser who wins. That’s who we are. It is woven into our DNA. Our national history begins with a ragtag group of farmers defeating the mightiest military on Earth.

The problem is, you remind us of something else that lately seems to be woven into our DNA: an incapacity for shame.

You won’t know that word. It came into use before the 12th century, but you don’t hear it much anymore. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” One sees little evidence of that consciousness in reality television, cable news, politics — or you. Taking care to pinch both nostrils shut, let us review the record:

After you tweeted an image of your sheathed but erect penis, after you lied and said you had done no such thing, after you finally copped to the truth, after your humiliated wife stood beside you, after you resigned from Congress in disgrace, after you went through therapy, after you posed with your wife and baby for People magazine last year and pronounced yourself committed to being a “better person,” we learn that you were still sending out explicit text messages and pictures all along..

One of your sexting partners, a woman less than half your 48 years, was last seen, according to TMZ, leaving the offices of a pornographic movie producer. How much you want to bet the call is already out for a beak-nosed man with curly hair to, ahem … “act” with her?

Meanwhile, you have the scrotal audacity to come before the voters of the nation’s largest city and ask for a second chance.

There are no words.

The stunning arrogance of you, the pathetic, ridiculous recklessness of you, are too breathtaking for words. Even in a nation where human houndogs in public office have become sadly routine, you stand alone.

It should tell you something that the Clintons — that includes Monica Lewinsky’s old boyfriend, Bill — are said to be disgusted by you. And that Eliot Spitzer — the New York governor whose career went boom because he patronized prostitutes — says he wouldn’t vote for you. That’s like a Kardashian calling you superficial.

It’s up to New York City, of course, to pass judgment on you. But forgive the rest of us for being gobsmacked at your behavior, suggesting as it does that we now live in a nation where shame is rarer than a vampire’s T-bone steak.

It gets a bad rap, but a little shame is a good thing now and again. It will keep you from making an ass of yourself. Or, if you already have, it’ll keep you from repeating the mistake.

You could use a little shame. Why not take this time to go find some? Don’t worry; we’ll handle everything on this end.

We’ll sweep up for you.

We’ll turn off the lights.

We’ll take out the trash.

You just need to do the one thing.

Please, for your sake and for ours:

Just go.

— Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.


Pheps 4 years, 10 months ago

Weiner has Huma, like Clinton has Hillary. These women have stayed by their men through thick and thin. They deserve compassion. Not, flippant, emotionless disregard, for all they have done for their men. How can Pitts discard Weiner like this? It is sad that these two ladies are treated like this. It is a phony response from a man that does not understand what women can go through.

Beth Ennis 4 years, 10 months ago

He's not talking about Huma. He's talking about her husband. Period. He doesn't belong in public service. Peroid. He is a narcissist who will probably never change unless he gets intense counseling, and it doesn't appear he has. Standing behind your man is admirable, but it is bound to happen again and again and again. Hopefully not for her sake. So far, it hasn't been long enough for voters to forget what he did. The NYC voters are apparently speaking as his numbers dropped like a lead balloon once this latest sexting scandal broke. He needs to go away and quit wasting people's time and money. He needs to find a real job to do.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

I think he was talking to Weiner, not Huma. It's her choice whether or not to stay with him, but voters are thinking twice about staying with him. Democrats expect good behavior from their people, even if they don't always get it. We feel ashamed when something like this happens. I suppose if we were evangelical Christians like many Republicans, we would say God forgives you, you are only human. They continue to forgive all of the transgressions of fellow Republicans; apparently Democrats aren't as forgivable. But for those of us who think deeds speak louder than words, we are not happy with his deeds. It may not be our job or business to forgive him, but why should we trust him? Sexting is kind of creepy, but the lies are hard to ignore.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

My point is, you see a lot of Republicans defending their people when they do stupid stuff. You see a lot of Democrats wanting Weiner out of the race, instead of defending him. This is pretty consistent. And as a Democrat, I was highly offended by Clinton's affair, and if he could have run again for president, I would have not voted for him. It doesn't mean I overlook things that were good about the man, but lying is a bad thing. I even give Nixon credit for opening diplomatic relations with China, so I can recognize the good and the bad in anyone. I do not worship or agree with anyone 100%. I could even criticize Obama, except I feel like I always have to defend him from birthers and racists. If Tea Party radicals would have an honest conversation about issues, we might have more in common than they think. But when they make their stupid little attacks, then I tune them out completely.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Do you expect good behavior from the mayoe of san diego? How about the former mayor of DC? How About Mr Jackson Jr? Do you expect good behavior from Gary Hart? How about Spitzer? How about Kilpatrick, or former vice president candidate Edwards? Bill Clinton? Gary Condit?

You may expect it, but they don't deliver. Now, in fairness, you should point out the sex scandals of libertarians.

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

Hillary Clinton held her own with leaders from other nations as Secretary of State, and her husband's reputation has been known for a long time. Not that it would make a difference. She could have married a saint and you'd still find a reason why you didn't like her.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

Huma is the real loser in all this. She comes from a country where women are treated like dogs, to a country where men respect women as equals and she gets saddled with a serial pervert.

Catalano 4 years, 10 months ago

Best takeaway: scrotal audacity. Hope I remember to use that sometime.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

the party that claims to speak for the 'rights' of womyn opened its convention in 2012 featuring Bill Clinton and Teddy Kennedy. 'nuf said.

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

I love how you put "rights" in quotes as if women don't have any. 'nuf said.

kochmoney 4 years, 10 months ago

I've gotten pretty bored of the train wreck. He's not going to get elected. He's not supported by the voters, nor is he representative of the democrats or any other political party. He's just some Internet perv that really should learn how to use SnapChat.

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