creators.com opinion web
Conservative Opinion General Opinion
Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop
18 Sep 2014
A Rough Month in America for Women

Mark Sanford's heralded engagement to Maria Belen Chapur is apparently over. The rep from South Carolina … Read More.

16 Sep 2014
How Not to Get Your Country Back

The tea party mantra, "I want my country back," resonates with many. The racial undertones can be ugly (as … Read More.

9 Sep 2014
Casinos Just Aren't the Answer

The video for the Bruce Springsteen song "Atlantic City" opens with a scene of the grand Marlborough-Blenheim … Read More.

Anthony Weiner, You're No Patrick Kennedy

Comment

Sunday's Tony Awards program reminds us that new media didn't invent the egotist who doesn't know when to exit. Live theater is millennia old, and one awardee hogged so much time offering "thanks" that his co-winner couldn't say a word. Other Broadway stars continued tearful emoting long after the orchestra started playing the time's-up theme.

As you read this, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner may have given up his congressional seat, or he may not have. When House Democrats talk of booting you out of their caucus, one thing is clear: Time's up. The curtain's coming down. The cold object you feel around your neck is a hook.

Sadly, Weiner hasn't shown the judgment to walk off the stage when doing so would be good for his country, his party, his constituents and even himself. Call sending lewd pictures to women narcissism, mental illness, stupidity or all the above. What marks Weiner's behavior — and that of other congressmen (and I can use the male term here) caught in similar sexual indiscretions — is this gigantic sense of entitlement. A big mouth often comes with the package. We see it in Washington. We see it in business and sports.

Even those of us who generally agreed with Weiner's worldview would wince at his bully-boy presentations and difficulty in playing with others. That's why his support among Democrats collapsed at the very beginning of the scandal. Back then, the evidence of bizarre behavior may have been containable. It could have been rationalized as a temporary loss of sanity.

So Weiner refuses to begin his redemption himself by resigning. His spokeswoman said he was planning to take "a short leave of absence" from Congress "to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person." Touching, but what's in it for the voters of Brooklyn and Queens? I'll buy that he's not well, that he needs psychiatric care.

In the meantime, the electorate deserves representation in Washington.

For guidance, Weiner's allies point to the example of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who took a temporary leave from Congress to seek treatment for his addiction to prescription drugs. But that was an example of why such actions are ill-advised. For nine months, Kennedy's Rhode Island constituents had no representative in Washington.

Here, too, was an oversized sense of entitlement, multiplied by the Kennedy factor. (Patrick is the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's son.) But from the get-go, Patrick was obviously unsuited for the job.

As in Weiner's case, inappropriate behavior was not confined to an isolated incident. Having long suffered alcohol and drug addictions plus bipolar mental disorder, Kennedy did one weird thing after another. In 2000, he angrily pushed a female security guard at Los Angeles International Airport. Also that year, the Coast Guard was called to stop an argument he was having with a woman on a yacht. In 2006, an obviously disoriented Kennedy drove a Ford Mustang into a security barrier on Capitol Hill in the wee hours. He subsequently checked into a drug-rehabilitation facility at the Mayo Clinic for a month.

Three years later, he checked into another facility, announcing, "I have decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery." He chose not to run again in 2010 and has since found a useful political afterlife working for health-care reform. He's now engaged to a New Jersey schoolteacher. Unlike Weiner, Kennedy usually came off as a nice kid, perhaps because his conduct was so obviously the product of mental imbalance.

Anthony Weiner, you're no Patrick Kennedy. Nor should you try to be.

To find out more about Froma Harrop, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL CO.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
Anthony Weiner hasn't done anything he needs "redemption" for. His personal sexual foibles are nobody's business, and he has nobody to apologize to except his wife. He's one of the better Democrats in the House; just stop gossiping like schoolgirls and let him do his job.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Steven Doyle
Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:46 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Froma Harrop
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 22 Sep 2014
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 20 Sep 2014
Ted Rall
Ted RallUpdated 19 Sep 2014

4 Oct 2012 At the House of Kennedy, Arnold Shrugs

1 Dec 2011 Hipsters Without Walls

11 Nov 2008 Unions' Creepy Push Against Secret Ballot