The voters don’t need to be shielded by a paternalistic, pre-election consensus reached by the city’s elites. They can figure out whether or not to reject Weiner for themselves.
While the Weiner-must-withdraw consensus pitches itself as some sort of neutral, high-minded standard, it actually reflects a particular brand of political elitism. The establishment is declaring that sex comes first.
For New Yorkers outside of the political and media elites, a candidate’s position on a policy — affordable housing, public education or the NYPD’s expansive racial profiling — will have a far greater impact on their lives than a candidate’s private life. Given the choice, voters might even prioritize candidates based on public policy.
Yet for the sex-first crowd, the field must be narrowed based on candidates’ sexual behavior and Internet discipline. Voters would then be allowed to choose from the remainders.