EDITOR'S NOTE: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is beginning a new blog called Food For Thought. It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.
It's been said that you can't legislate morality. I'll take that a step further; you can't even expect it from your legislators.
Well I've stayed silent about this little situation for as long as I can stand it. There are just so many jokes wrapped up in the Weiner mess that I really thought addressing it at all might be overkill. But I can't get away from it; it's on the morning, afternoon and evening news. It's all over the Internet. It's on Facebook, and as we all know by now, it's on Twitter. And all this on the heels of the double-secret Terminator Jr., scandal out on the west coast.
I hear that Nancy Pelosi is screeching for an ethics investigation. That's the last straw. We have watched this same train wreck over and over in this country, and nobody seems to be learning any lessons from it. No wonder other countries don't take us seriously any longer; the people at the top are too busy philandering and trying to cover it up to do much else.
Now we have our latest scandal, and the star player has the last name "Weiner." I couldn't have made that up even if I tried. Mr. Weiner thought it would be a grand idea to send questionable and even explicit photos of himself to young women all over the country -- a married man holding a public office, with the last name "Weiner."
Bill Clinton, of all people, officiated at the Weiners' lovely wedding. I am guessing he also provided the premarital counseling. You can say whatever you want about the man's leadership of this country; he made a mockery of the office of president, of the people and of the truth, not to mention his wife and daughter. And then he looked straight at the American people (and his wife and daughter) and lied about it. That, my friends, is a whopper of an ethics violation in case you're wondering.
I am happy to save taxpayers a boatload of money and give the former speaker three answers for free, no ethics investigation required. Ms. Pelosi, any time someone shoots inappropriate photos of himself (or herself), then sends them out on the World Wide Web, he is guilty of being incredibly stupid. So that's one violation.
Then, when that person is an elected official who purports to be a steward of the people's faith, trust and money, that person has committed an egregious ethics violation. If he didn't want to live under a microscope, he should have chosen a different career path. That's two.
When that same person is busted for said stupid act, then lies and indignantly points fingers at anyone he can to deflect attention from the truth, that person should be swiftly and finally removed from his public position. That's three. Period.
Has an ethics violation been committed? Please. We don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and precious time that our fearless leaders should be spending on silly things like the economy and gas prices to answer that one.
Now I vowed not to make this column today about political parties or about what makes men tick. Fiascos like Weiner-gate happen across party lines, and women can be just as clueless as men when it comes to poor decision-making regarding the opposite sex.
I have to wonder, though, what happens on the way up the political ladder? Exactly when do politicians begin to think that they are above reproach, that they can do as they please and simply lie to cover it up? When do they begin to believe that they do not have to answer to the very people who elected them?
I hope Mr. Weiner spares the country and, more specifically, the people of the 9th Congressional District of New York further embarrassment and wasting of resources by refusing like a spoiled child to vacate his office. In fact, if he does it soon, maybe former Illinois governor Blagojevich could sell the vacant seat to the highest bidder. Maybe the proceeds could be socked away in a "cover-up" fund for the likes of John Edwards to use to hide mistresses and secret children. The possibilities, really, are endless.
As constituents, as citizens of a great nation, how do we stop this abuse of power? How do we hold our elected leaders accountable for their actions? Do you think Weiner's actions are cause for his removal from office?
Carole Townsend is a freelance writer and a 25-year resident of Gwinnett County. As a mom, a wife, a former corporate executive, stay-at-home mom and correspondent for the Daily Post, she brings a unique perspective to life and living it in Gwinnett. "Food for Thought" gives Gwinnettians a forum where they can share perspectives, opinions, advice and solutions, as well as enjoy a few chuckles.