Weiner Agrees to Seek Treatment

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

The New York Times is reporting that Rep. Anthony Weiner is going to go into rehab for his alleged Twitter/Facebook/texting compulsion.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Weiner said he would request a leave of absence from the House and seek treatment, but provided no further details.

“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” said the spokeswoman, Risa Heller. “In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.

“Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents.”

I’m sure Weiner could use some therapy, but I still don’t get why he is being singled out for this kind of public outrage when David Vitter wasn’t. As far as we know Weiner didn’t act out any of his fantasies with these women. I would think that hiring prostitutes to spank you when you’re wearing diapers would elicit more calls for “treatment” than Twitter and Facebook flirtations. But what do I know? Maybe a lot of Congressman like to wear diapers and have sex with prostitutes.

Apparently, the final straw for Democrats was the revelation that Weiner tweeted a 17-year-old Delaware girl, even though the girl’s mother said Weiner had not said anything inappropriate in these Twitter messages.

Delaware police said Friday they were investigating the reported communications, had interviewed the teen, and that “she has made no disclosure of criminal activity nor inappropriate contact by the Congressman.”

Neverthless Weiner’s colleagues in Congress are horrified and outraged. Here is what DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to say:

“It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement issued by the Democratic National Committee, which she has led since the beginning of May. She’s President Barack Obama’s representative as DNC chairwoman.

“The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable.

“This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House – and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important: his and his family’s well-being.”

According to Fox News, the police in Delaware are still investigating. The girls parents have turned her laptop over for inspection, but their attorney says there’s nothing to find.

“The Tweets in question between the student in question and the congressman were not salacious or in any manner inappropriate, said Daniel McElhatton, the attorney representing the girl’s family. “No photographs were ever sent to her or from her.”

Weiner spokeswoman Risa Heller also said that Weiner’s interactions with the girl “were neither explicit nor indecent.”

The police are trying to verify that, McElhatton said.

Fox News claims to have been told by “sources” that much of the interchange between the girl and Weiner had been deleted from her computer. Fox is obviously hoping the police can find something salacious on the girl’s hard drive. I sure hope Weiner didn’t send anything sexual or suggestive to her.

The girl’s high school posted on her now defunct Tumblr blog a quote that appears to be from her direct messages with Weiner.

“I came back strong. Large. In charge. Tights and cape s—… My favorite congressman,” she wrote, adding a heart emoticon after “congressman.”

Seven days earlier, she posted a YouTube video of Weiner giving a speech and wrote, “My true love.”

Poor kid. It’s a shame she had to get dragged into this.

As an antidote to having to watch politicians call for their smelling salts and fainting couches, I recommend this story from NPR’s Weekend Edition: Zombies Walk the Halls of Congress.

NPR can now confirm that there are zombies in the U.S. Capitol.

OK, not the kind that pop out of graves and eat brains, but a different kind of undead — the undead political career. This week New York Rep. Anthony Weiner said he is staying put, even though some top Democrats have publicly called for him to resign.

He’s not the first one to stay in politics after serious ethics violations, trying to revive a seemingly lifeless career.

In this contrived scenario, there are three categories of Congressional Zombies:

— those who survived a scandal to live again,
— those who are wounded by scandal but stay in Congress (the real zombies),
— and those who hung on for a while but eventually got buried.

According to NPR, both Charlie Rangel and David Vitter are real zombies.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who was a client of a Washington prostitution ring. He was never charged because the news came out after the statute of limitations had expired. Two of Vitter’s calls to the madam were made during votes on the floor.

He apologized in 2007 — “I want to again offer my deep sincere apologies to all those who I’ve let down and disappointed with these actions from my past” — and neatly won a second term in the Senate.

Good grief! Vitter called the DC Madam from the Senate floor? Did he get a sudden urge for punishment? Please explain to me why he didn’t need to enter a treatment facility after his colleagues learned about his illegal behavior?

I’m pretty disgusted by Weiner’s behavior at this point, but I still wish I never had had to find out about it. I still don’t see any reason why it needed to be revealed either. Sure the guy acted like a silly adolescent, but how many of us would look dignified if our sexual fantasies were spread all over the internet and the media? I think this kind of scandal-mongering has gone way too far, and I’d like to see a lot more approbation about Andrew Breitbart’s repulsive behavior. I’d also like to see similar outrage against Congresspeople who take money from lobbyists and vote accordingly.

This scandal appears to be setting a whole new precedent for the kinds of activities that can get a politician in trouble. As far as we know, Weiner’s activities were all in cyberspace. Now if it turns out he behaved inappropriately with an underage girl, I’ll have to revise my opinion.

48 Comments on “Weiner Agrees to Seek Treatment”

  1. boogieman7167 says:

    i agree boston what wiener did was not the brightest thing in the world to do but its not even close to something that shold call for his resignation.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m still nervous that the other shoe is going to drop. This guy doesn’t seem to have any impulse control to speak of.

    • boogieman7167 says:

      i agree boston what wiener did was not the brightest thing in the world to do but its not even close to something that shold call for his resignation.

    • okasha says:

      What Weiner did was incredibly stupid.

      If “incredibly stupid” were cause for resignation from Congress, however, at least half of the members would be gone by tomorrow, with Inhofe and Bachmann and their ilk leading the parade.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Joseph Cannon catalogued the right wing attacks on Huma and Hillary in the wake of the Weiner scandal.


  3. Seriously says:

    Here’s the thing. Genette Cordova says Weiner hit her up with his crotch photo out of the blue. They didn’t have an inappropriate relationship and she’d given no indication that she’d welcome that. What are the chances that the 6 women who willingly joined in with this were the only ones he ever did this to? He was pretty reckless. Look at the transcripts, he started being unprofessional and inappropriate really, really fast. He also seems to have spent a lot of time online trolling for female supporters. It seems really really unlikely that he didn’t hit up a lot of other women with unsolicited inappropriate comments and photos, and chances are they, being a self selected population of politically interested/active liberals, were probably upset but decided to let it go, like Ms. Cordova. David Vitter should resign, but at least he wasn’t waiting for women to ask policy questions or make political statements on his website to then shoot back “Show me your [redacted] baby” or send his own “photos.” It’s not okay for Congressmen to treat female voters that way. I’ve joked in the past about how we’ll have to run a gauntlet to participate in Democratic activities since O took over, “This way to the wet t-shirt contest, baby!” But I don’t find it so funny anymore.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The statement I read by Cordova said she never saw the photo.

    • Seriously says:

      From the New York Times:

      Gennette Cordova said she did not even think the photo was real.
      It was nearly 9 p.m. on a Friday when Ms. Cordova, who was preparing to head out for the night with a friend, logged onto Twitter and discovered that Representative Anthony D. Weiner had sent her a suggestive photo of himself in gray boxer briefs.
      “It didn’t make any sense,” Ms. Cordova, a 21-year-old college student in northwestern Washington State, said in her first extensive interview since Mr. Weiner confessed in a news conference Monday to sending her the photo. “I figured it must have been a fake.”
      Ms. Cordova’s experience with Mr. Weiner appears to fit a pattern: in rapid and reckless fashion, he sought to transform informal online conversations about politics and partisanship into sexually charged exchanges, at times laced with racy language and explicit images.
      Ms. Cordova, who had traded messages with Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, about their shared concern over his conservative critics, said she had never sent him anything provocative. Asked if she was taken aback by his decision to send the photo, she responded, “Oh gosh, yes.”

      • bostonboomer says:

        She’s changed her story from the first day after it happened. She originally claimed that someone else had been stalking her on-line and that she never saw the picture because it had been deleted before she could see it. In fact no one on twitter saw it until Breitbart and his two friends started spreading it around.

        But I’m not defending what Weiner did anyway. I think it was childish and disgusting. I just think there is real double standard being used with Weiner vs. all the Republicans who have been involved in much worse scandals. Frankly, I don’t care if he stays in Congress or not. He’ll probably be replaced with a Dem, considering his district.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Here is Cordova’s first statement:

        Friday evening I logged onto Twitter to find that I had about a dozen new mentions in less than an hour, which is a rare occurrence. When I checked one of the posts that I had been tagged in I saw that it was a picture that had supposedly been tweeted to me by Congressman Anthony Weiner.

        The account that these tweets were sent from was familiar to me; this person had harassed me many times after the Congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago. Since I had dealt with this person and his cohorts before I assumed that the tweet and the picture were their latest attempts at defaming the Congressman and harassing his supporters.

      • Seriously says:

        She didn’t change her story, she’s referring there to tweets about Weiner sending her the photo. THOSE tweets were coming from conservatives who’d been harassing her since Weiner started following her. She thought the photo she received might also have been coming from them because she believed Weiner’s lies about the hacking.

        I don’t think Weiner will ever resign, but I do think the party has every right to be furious at him for making them look horrible when he’s using his official page to engage in sending unsolicited inappropriate crap to women who are just trying to get involved in the process. If he’d set up an anonymous page to do this, fhe’s just another online creep. Even if he’d gone into some random chatroom and been like “Hey, I’m Rep. Anthony Weiner, I’m not here to canvass your political opinions, I’m here to sext, anybody interested?” well, all right. But I get why they’re upset. It’s online so it’s not quite as bad as if he held an event and ignored the women’s words and questions to leer at them and hit on them and stuff, but nor good.

    • bostonboomer says:

      One thing I don’t understand–it’s very easy to block anyone on Twitter. In fact, you can report the person for spam. I get porn-type spam regularly and I always report the sender. Weiner sending the picture to Cordova was disgusting and childish. The other women who were exchanging the sex talk with Weiner seem to have been willing participants and at least two of them actually initiated the silly game.

      I’m not defending Weiner at all–he’s obviously an asshole–but I do get tired of the attitude that adult women can’t handle this kind of thing and need to be treated as if they are weak and helpless.

      • Seriously says:

        It’s not that they’re weak and helpless and can’t handle this type of thing. It’s that, why should they have to? They should be able to get in contact with their Congressman or a prominent spokesperson for their party without having to look at pictures of his penis . No, they’re not gonna die, but that doesn ‘t make it okay. And I mean, say a 20 year old college student poli sci major, sees him, sends in some deep thoughts, gets sexed, it doesn’t so much scream “The Democratic Party wants you to feel valued and comfortable, you’re one of us” as “Matt Tabbini says you pass muster as a Dem because your p—– ain’t all dried up! Get on the pole!” lol Unlesss he’s psychic and considering how reckless he is, and considering he already did this to one woman we know of, I have a really hard time thinking he didn’t go through a lot of trial and error before hitting on the 6.

      • paper doll says:

        They should be able to get in contact with their Congressman or a prominent spokesperson for their party without having to look at pictures of his penis

        seems a reasonable expectation to me

      • dakinikat says:

        What surprises me is that people don’t know how common this behavior is on social network sites. I left myspace when my kids moved to Facebook. The middle age sex trollers got to me. I made my presence not public it got so bad. I was only there to monitor their pages. The number of men contacting me with nothing but women in their friends list who looked like hookers amazed me.

      • bostonboomer says:


        I share your disgust and concern. I’m expecting another shoe to drop at this point and dreading it. Of course the Dems have reason to be upset.

        On the other hand, I’ve read messages sent to Weiner by the other women involved, and they don’t seem to be upset, but were enjoying the shared fantasies. At least two of the women initiated the sexual talk. I’m not saying that makes it right, and I also suspect Weiner did this more than we know.

        My main worry though is that this case has set a new precedent for what can lead to a person being metaphorically stripped naked and pilloried. It also furthers the precedent that Republicans can be involved in whatever sexual misbehavior they want and survive, even if they are utter hypocrites; but if you’re a Democrat and you act out sexually it’s a capital crime.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Anti-abortion efforts in states hit obstacle of own making

    In a strange twist of fate, the Hyde Amendment — whose purpose was to deny federal funding for abortions — has become a stumbling block in efforts to stop abortions altogether, said Keith Mason, founder and president of the anti-abortion group Personhood USA.

    “A compromise in legislation that was part of the pro-life movement is the very hurdle that we have to overcome,” he told Reuters.

    This week lawmakers in Louisiana’s state House effectively killed a bill that would have banned abortion outright. The author of that failed bill said lawmakers were put off by a state fiscal analysis that showed that $4.5 billion in federal funds could be at risk if the state criminalizes rape- and incest-related abortion, putting state law out of compliance with Hyde.

    “The Hyde Amendment, or rather the exception to the amendment, is our primary obstacle right now,” Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo, who sponsored the bill, told Reuters.

  5. william wallace says:

    We have a situation where religious organizations are brainwashing
    children young as 3yrs 4yrs 5yrs./ by 12yrs damage to an developing
    brain is severe the chld unable in forming an independent viewpoint.

    The main branches of christianity have yearly turnovers into $billions
    in other breakaway christian branches it’s millions in yearly turnovers.

    All based on a promise of entry to a paradise that somwhere beyond
    the clouds. One follows the “Yelow Brick Road” untill reach the land
    of Oz / then take a sharp left turn where it forward / onward to heaven.

    It ridiculas that so many fraudsters / wrongdoers / in the USA continue
    in freely carrying out appalling criminal acts /as guilt of / massive fraud
    where continue unchecked, while others for the very minimum / acts of
    wrongdoing / or no criminal act / are charged in their breaking the laws.

    Such the situation with / Anthony / those whom be guilty of great wrongs
    applying upon Anthony unjust pressure / as the means where turn such
    spotlight from their own dire behaviour. Religious brainwashing / deceit.

    Via such appalling behaviour having grown grow rich / powerfull/ treating
    American people’s as sheep to fleece / their children/ lamb for slaughter.

  6. joanelle says:

    I’m tired of wienergate – “leave of absence” God the man lacks character – he is a highschool sophmore – the shoulc step down.

  7. Dee says:

    To me Weiner seems a compulsive exhibitionist and will have a long road to rehabilitation.

    • Dario says:

      I think an exhibitionist flashes or shows to shock. It seems to me that Weiner didn’t do it to shock, but to impress. Maddow asked Weiner if the photo was of him, he said “I wish” . Weiner understands he’s above average. Btw, that may be another reason he gets no break from other men who perhaps measure, but don’t measure up.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Frankly, I’ve seen a lot bigger ones. The behavior Weiner was involved in demonstrates a sense of inadequacy, IMO.

  8. Dario says:

    I still don’t get why he is being singled out for this kind of public outrage when David Vitter wasn’t.

    Vitter handled the affair differently than Weiner. That’s why he did not get, to borrow from Tom In Paine blog, the political stoning.

    I see the standard parochial views coming from every quarter. There are differences between Rep. Mark Foley and Weiner, but not much, imo. Mark Foley committed no crime (the pages were considered adults in DC), and neither did Bill Clinton, but both got their political stoning.

    • bostonboomer says:

      How did Vitter handle things differently? He didn’t have an “affair,” he solicited prostitutes, which is illegal.

      • Dario says:

        When confronted with the fact that his vice was public, he did say that he didn’t do it while making a circus to avoid taking responsibility. That’s how Vitter handled it differently.

      • dakinikat says:

        He also trotted his wife out to beg the press to leave them alone which was awful to watch.

    • Dario says:

      Yes, Vitter used his wife, and it was awful. Nevertheless he did not make the circus Weiner has made. I agree with Joanelle that Weiner has exhibited an immature response, like a high school sophomore. I think this is the first time he’s been caught with a lie. Most of us are caught early enough in our lives that we understand that the best approach from the beginning is to admit and accept whatever.

  9. mjames says:

    If there is substantial evidence (not just Fox crapola) that Weiner committed a real crime (like soliciting a 17-year-old), he should resign. Otherwise, he should stay put and let the voters decide. That’s only fair. However, color me very skeptical about his “treatment;” if he were serious, he would have entered some treatment facility immediately. I suspect he (along with many of our more educated, allegedly adult males) has of today no idea how sick his behavior was or its addictive quality or its dehumanizing effect.

    Nevertheless, we have now all seen his uncovered, erect wee wee, and the issue should rather rapidly fade. I’ve lost all interest (which I knew I would – I mean the main interest when you get right down to it is seeing a Congressman’s naked erect dick – oh, and don’t forget the balls) – and I am only writing this to say I’m not interested anymore. I’ve seen it. It’s imprinted on my memory banks for all time. Now I’m bored.

    The more important issue really is Breitbart. He is obsessed with sex. He is obsessed with male sex. He is obsessed with manipulating (that is, falsifying) info to whatever end he wants. This is one sick man. He was running around showing off the dick pic on his cellphone. Say what? I would like some serious analyses done of him, as his own slimebag self and as representative of the right-wing, incredibly emotionally stunted nut jobs, like Ann Coulter who giggles at the excruciating pain about to be inflicted on another human being.

    But Weiner? He was extraordinarily reckless in pursuit of adulation, a pathetic ugly loser. He’ll never change. It’s up to the voters if they want this creep – or another creep – representing them.

  10. Jadzia says:

    Regardless of which guy’s double standard is worse than the other’s, am I be alone in my weariness of seeing rehab trotted out as the new default response to men behaving badly? Jeez.

  11. jawbone says:

    All the news reports I heard of the 17 year-old were that she attended some speech Weiner made, he replied to a tweet from her, the topics were all political and age appropriate. Period.

    But, the reports all began rather breathlessly that Weiner had “contacted” a 17 year-old girl. Then, after some mention of D leadership asking him to resign, the details that the conversations were just as one would expect between a political figure and an avid high school student fan.

    Actually, it'[s pretty neat that high schoolers can contact a member of Congress this way. I was on my high school debate team, long before any computers for individual use, (Oh, what I would have given for a laptop to tote around all those reference materials!! All the note taking, organization, lugging boxes of notecards, armloads of news magazines!), long before any email.

    I found myself hoping that interaction between pols and young people would not be made some kind of de facto stalking or evidence of inappropriate contact. Sheesh.

    • Dario says:

      I think politicians are not going to be doing much interaction with Twitter from now on.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I totally disagree. A lot of them are already Twitter addicts. Maybe they should just avoid public displays of their adolescent sexual fantasies. But I seriously doubt they’ll quit tweeting.

    • Valhalla says:

      My reaction was initially the same as yours — that the media was REALLY trolling the bottom and hard by making a big deal out of a congressperson replying to someone who happened to be under 18, but then I read that some of Weiner’s communications were private FB replies (or tweets, can you have private tweets? now I can’t find the article I read), not just public responses.

      That does sort of bother me. Yes, it probably bothers me more in light of what has come out about Weiner otherwise, but a Congressman privately texting a 17-year old a bunch of times? Yes, the content was all nonsexual, but — bad judgment, at least.

  12. Dario says:

    I was thinking about why Vitter did not pay the high price that Weiner is paying. There are few men who at some point in their lives have not been a john. Even if it’s once, most men have paid for the services of a prostitute. I think most men identified with Vitter, in a way that they don’t with Weiner.

    Also my comment above that Weiner made a circus of the affair did not help. I enjoyed Jon Stewart’s hilarious comedy. That’s what Weiner got for his theatrics.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Most men have been a john?? I’d like to see the scientific studies of that. I don’t believe a majority of men have done that. I also don’t believe the majority of men identify with wearing diapers and being spanked by a woman. Let’s see the studies on that one too.

      • Dario says:

        I don’t mean to say that it’s a practice, but that they have at least once paid for a service which may include a “massage”. I think it’s a downward trend for men to use prostitutes, but among older men, those who were drafted before 1973, the use of prostitutes while in the armed forces was not uncommon. It’s a difficult statistic to gather because it’s not something that men want to admit. Wikipedia says that 30 percent of single men over 30 admit to having used a prostitute. That stat leaves out the married men.

      • Thursday's Child says:

        Also leaves out those who did but aren’t admitting to it. I read once that the pr0n industry is billions per year. That means that it’s more than just 3 men in Outer Mongolia.

  13. paper doll says:

    apparently he himself feels the need to stop congrssing for awhile. Congrssing is hard!

  14. Sleepless in NJ says:

    “I’d also like to see similar outrage against Congresspeople who take money from lobbyists and vote accordingly.”

    I’m a bit behind (as usual) on account of a deadline next week, so the Clarence Thomas issue may have been raised already. The point being that Weiner was spearheading a demand that Thomas recuse himself from ruling on the health care law because his wife is a lobbyist involved in overturning the very same law. There’s also some irony in that Thomas was accused by Anita Hill of being an avid fan of porn. He’s probably enjoying Weiner’s difficulty even more than Jon Stewart is!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good point. That could definitely have been a motive for the right wing nuts that Breitbart hangs with.

  15. Sophie says:

    I’d also like to see similar outrage against Congresspeople who take money from lobbyists and vote accordingly.

    For real! I don’t care if the call a Ho or fantasize about a Ho. I care if they ARE a Ho.

  16. Fannie says:

    Well I hope that Weiner’s treatment include anti-women’s counseling.

  17. Woman Voter says:

    nprnews NPR News
    Weiner Won’t Go; New Photos Surface On Internet