House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling for an investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner's actions in the wake of his very dramatic press conference Monday--with an unexpected cartoonish intro from Andrew Breitbart--in which he came clean about sending women he met online sexually-charged messages and photos. Pelosi says she's "deeply disappointed and saddened" by the events, and wants the ethics committee to find out whether Weiner used any official resources in his digital flirting, or if any other House rules were broken. Rep. Steve Israel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seconded Pelosi's call, saying it would "remove all remaining doubt about this situation."
At the press conference, Weiner cried a little, especially when talking about his wife, apologized to everyone--including Breitbart, who first posted the pics--and admitted to being embarrassed, stupid, and a liar. Did he do enough to put the Weinergate scandal behind him? Pelosi's call makes it look more like the answer to that question is no. Still, pundits are divided on whether Weiner can survive.
Angry Allies The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza notes that "Democratic leaders privately fumed that Weiner's foibles were overshadowing the party's broader message on Medicare..." Some have speculated that when New York redraws its congressional districts, Weiner will lose his.
But Democrats Don't Punish These Infractions, Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary. Because Weiner says he won't resign, "it's up to the leaders of his party to determine whether he will be forced out in the same manner as Lee. Right now he may be thinking that just as Charlie Rangel and Barney Frank survived scandals and kept their seats, he may do the same.While the House Republican caucus has in recent years wielded the axe without mercy against their members who have been shown to misbehave, Democrats have taken a more lenient stance toward theirs."
Where's the Honor? National Review's Jonah Goldberg wonders. Goldberg says Weiner's critics should acknowledge that Weiner was "clearly humiliated and apologetic to his wife." Still, he should resign. "He has behaved dishonorably. ... Claiming 'I didn't break the law' is the last refuge of dishonorable men in situations like this." Still, he says, Weiner will get away with it thanks to the media being "absurdly sympathetic to the man."
Reporters Are Mad Slate's Dave Weigel, writes that Weiner lied in answers to specific questions, but "If he's lucky, that's the only scandal left to deal with. There's no reason to believe he'll be lucky. There are new questions about the precise ages of women he's sexted--he doesn't know--and whether he used any public resources to carry out lewd activities."
'Sad Man Likes to Flirt on Computer' was the headline from The Awl's Choire Sicha. Pretty perfect summary of the day's events.