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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nancy Pelosi's Role in the Fall of Anthony Weiner

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 3:45 PM

A force to be reckoned with ... still
  • A force to be reckoned with ... still

When Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House, she was fighting big battles like healthcare reform and bank bailouts. But since being demoted to the minority leader in Congress, her political agenda contains far less pressing items, like bringing down a fellow Democrat over a sexting scandal.

Today, Pelosi got her wish: Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York) resigned from Congress amid the embarrassingly lewd tweets he sent to women across the country.

Last week, we told you how Weiner had called on Pelosi for advice; he knew what he had done was wrong -- send dirty tweets and photos of his bulging briefs to women and then lie about it. But he apparently needed someone to tell him what to do -- someone other than his staff.

So he asked Pelosi, and she told him to be a man and tell the truth -- which he did. Within two hours of publicly confessing his sin, Pelosi turned on Weiner and called on the Ethics Committee to investigate him.


She wanted to make sure the New York Democrat wasn't using goverment time and resources to carry on his sordid sexting affairs. But by the weekend, Pelosi realized that an investigation wouldn't cut it -- she wanted him out of office.

So she publicly called on her fellow Democrat to step down. He promised to get treated at some sort of center (for what, we're not sure), but true to form, Pelosi wouldn't back down. She continued piling on the pressure, and rounded up other Democrats on Capitol Hill -- including President Obama -- to join her cause.

"Our caucus understands our concern for the rights of the individual member," Pelosi told reporters earlier this week. "But also our higher responsibility to our country to uphold a high ethical standard in the Congress of the United States."

She went on to say: "Congressman Weiner exercised poor judgment in his actions and poor judgment in his reaction to the revelations. Today, he made the right judgment in resigning."

It's worth mentioning that this is the first time Pelosi has gone on such a rampage. She never pressured Reps. William Jefferson, Jim Traficant, or Charles Rangel -- all Democrats --  to leave office, even when they were found guilty of charges related to their use of political power.

Don't think that has gone unnoticed. Political experts point out that far more egregious political scandals have been swept under the rug.

"The irony of the Weiner situation is that there have been scandals when the leadership has been much more quiet in both parties," Julian Zelizer, Princeton University political historian, told ABC News

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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