Weiner should resign -- and then run for reelection

To the extent that Weiner has sinned against his wife and his marriage vows, that is a private matter. To the extent that his behavior has brought the House into disrepute, that is a public sin. But—barring the revelation of new and more disturbing facts—the sin in this case hardly warrants expulsion. Unlike, say, members who accept bribes, Weiner’s behavior causes eye-rolling, not an actual loss of faith in the institution’s ability to govern fairly. For bringing the House into (some) disrepute, Weiner may deserve a censure, but his behavior can hardly be said to warrant expulsion.

Weiner’s worst public sin is the lies he told. For those, he should do penance and seek the forgiveness of his constituents. And the best way for him to do that is to put his fate in their hands. He should offer his resignation. The House should accept it. And he should, if he still desires to be in Congress, run for his seat. He will have to humble himself; he will have to explain himself; and he will have to ask for the public’s trust to be placed in him anew. And if his constituents do re-elect him, it will be because they’ve decided, with all of the facts on the table, that he is worthy of their trust. It will be a moment of political redemption, a vote of confidence in him from his real bosses, the people of his district. And there the matter should be left to rest.

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