At a circus of a press conference, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted tweeting a photo of his brief-covered crotch to a 21-year old college student, then panicking and lying to cover it up. What ethics rule did Weiner break?
The Golden Rule, for one. He hurt a lot of people, starting with his wife, his loyal Congressional staff, the people who believed in him, and apparently, even Andrew Breitbart, the scurrilous right wing defamer and doctorer of videos.
The nearly universal rule against lying, for another. If we lie to each other society crumbles.
The rule that says do what’s expected of you. The voters who sent Weiner to Congress expected –reasonably—different of him.
In addition to the ethics violations Weiner violated the First Law of Washington Scandal: the cover-up is worse than the crime. In this respect he is forcing his admirers (including me, as of last week) to question his sanity: What in the world was he thinking when he made up those pathetically lame, unbelievable lies. Nobody, no matter their politics, not even Chris Mathews, believed he was telling the truth.
To Weiner’s credit, and there’s not much in this to his credit, he set the standard for apologizing. No “I’m sorry if you thought…” or “I was under the influence of a new allergy prescription,” or (more…)