PAT LAMARCHE

Nancy Pelosi, not Weiner, should quit

Posted June 14, 2011, at 6:15 p.m.

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner is in treatment and the media’s abuzz about whether or not sex addiction is real. I say, who cares? Not about Weiner — it’s painfully obvious everyone cares about that story. Even me. I’m taking a break from the nut clusters running Augusta to comment on Twitter’s most notorious tweet.

No, I mean who cares if sexual addiction is real. That’s not the point. The point is depression is real and while I’m no psychiatrist I know one thing — exploding your career like he did is not a sign of a happy guy.

For example, I had one of those mornings. I’ve been gone from home most of the week and when I woke up the milk had gone bad and I couldn’t have the raisin nut bran that I love so much. I forgot to take the trash out before I left so there were fruit flies all over everything and I don’t know how a tree hugger like me is going to get rid of them without using poison sprays.

How did I handle these bumps in the first half hour of my day? Did I take a picture of some unmentionable part of my body and send it to a slug of people who would use it against me? No, I did not — because exhibitionism is not a natural consequence when things go wrong.

It’s also not a natural consequence when things go right.

So what made Weiner do this crazy thing? Well, clearly he’s got some issue that he needs help with, which is why it’s such good news that he’s getting help.

I’ve had my fingers crossed all week hoping that Weiner would not quit his job over this. You may ask “what’s the difference” between Weiner and let’s say Sen. Larry Craig who so notoriously tapped his foot under an airport men’s room stall, allegedly as a signal that he wanted a little something from the guy next door. There’s plenty of difference and it’s called hypocrisy. Weiner’s a live and let live, civil rights for all kind of guy. Craig was a gay bashing self loather who attacked the rights of people who were just like himself.

Craig stepping down was a natural consequence when it came to light that he’d persecuted — in Congress — people who are just like him.

And really what this country needs is a few more natural consequences and a few representatives with the guts to actually meter them out to the culprits. But we don’t have anyone like that in power. We have vacillators like Nancy Pelosi who would rather take a firm stand on Weiner — and yeah there’s no way to avoid a sentence like that in this mess — than actually do her job.

Pelosi commented on Weiner’s leave of absence to get a handle on his mental health issues, that he should do it “without the pressures of being a member of congress.”

Pelosi’s on the hit parade when it comes to presidential succession. And her opinions of appropriate exchanges of information should deal with what’s germane to her job as a protector of the people’s rights. She needn’t worry herself with Weiner’s tweets; she should focus on the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. The amendments that President George W. Bush violated when he spied on us. The natural consequence for this spying should be impeachment but the morally bankrupt Pelosi took it off the table.

Oh, and she took Dick Cheney’s impeachment off the table, too. You can read his list of impeachable offenses in HRes 333: The U.S. House of Representatives resolution to impeach him as a natural consequence of lying to us about Iraq.

Maybe Pelosi didn’t ask Weiner to leave because of his tweets. Maybe the speaker doesn’t like her Democratic representatives standing up to her. Maybe Weiner’s unwillingness to accept the health care bill when Pelosi dumped the public option is really why Weiner’s being kicked to the curb.

Millions of Americans wrestle with depression and other mental illnesses all the time. Weiner getting help should be revered by his colleagues. And Weiner did his job despite what was plaguing him personally. Pelosi does not. Pelosi’s the one who should quit.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.

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