Weiner's plea agreement brings a close to the latest chapter in his increasingly appalling conduct in the years since he was forced to resign from Congress in June 2011 after a series of sexually explicit texts with women not his wife -- at the time top Hillary Clinton official Huma Abedin -- were discovered.
Over the intervening six years, Weiner attempted a political comeback by seeking the Democratic nomination in the New York mayor's race in 2013 but was, again, brought low by his increasingly cavalier decisions to share explicit photos of himself with women he met via social media sites. In January 2016, Weiner began one such exchange with a 15-year-old girl. Which brings us to his plea deal Friday.
Those are the facts. Now, can we please agree to just stop talking about Weiner?
Here's the thing: We know that Weiner craves attention -- even the negative kind. What else would explain his decision to allow documentary cameras into his slow-motion trainwreck mayoral campaign? (The resulting film -- appropriately titled "Weiner"
-- is absolutely terrific, by the way.)
Or, even more fundamentally, his decision to run for mayor even as it had to be abundantly clear to him that he still had lots and lots of problems -- and that the best thing for his wife and, at the time, toddler son was not, in fact, to run a high-profile political campaign?
Dating all the way back to the days before his forced resignation from Congress, Weiner has been someone who desperately craves attention. Consider that he rose to prominence in 2010 when, on the House floor, he spent 120 seconds blasting Republicans
in deeply personal terms over their opposition to legislation compensating the families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The publicity derived from that speech made Weiner a hero among the liberal left; he was soon a regular guest on MSNBC's prime-time lineup and was seen as a potential leader in the House -- or a future mayor of New York City.
But, less than a year after his famous floor speech, Weiner accidentally tweeted out a lewd picture of his genitals. And it all went downhill from there.
Let's not get back on that ride. No matter what he says or how much remorse he expresses, it's clear that attention fuels Weiner. It's his lifeblood. So let's not give it to him.
The legal proceedings are now closed. Weiner is totally irrelevant politically. His wife, who remains a major player in Hillary Clinton's orbit, has filed for divorce, according to CNN's Dan Merica
. There's literally no reason to write or talk about Anthony Weiner anymore.
So, let's not. He's an example of a bad apple that makes politicians -- and, to be honest, people -- look bad. There' are plenty of other intriguing people, places and things happening in politics. Let's cover them instead.