For the second time in three years, former congressman and aspiring New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has been busted for maintaining sexual relationships over the internet.
Cue the same round of predictable jokes, the same apology fraught with cliches, and the same important question: Does this even matter?
Weiner originally admitted to cybersexing with six women back in 2011, resulting in his resignation from Congress and his replacement at the hands of Republican Bob Turner. In a release, he vowed to work to become "a better man and a better husband."
So much for that: more lewd exchanges were brought to light Tuesday, and Weiner has acknowledged that sexting continued with other women after his resignation from Congress. Conversations released by TheDirty.com are strange to say the least.
It's a devastating blow to Weiner's public image. The resurgent Democrat led polls for a mayoral nomination, but after a second scandal his popularity could take a definite dive. Should it though?
Weiner said in his original release that "I don't see anything that I did that violates any rule of the House. I don't see anything I did that certainly violated my oath of office."
He's got a point, and while Weiner's credibility and political likability perhaps change, his political intentions do not. Weiner is still fiercely targeting reform for New York City public service and still has "64 ideas" to keep the middle class prospering. Regardless of what the man does behind a computer screen, his qualifications as a mayoral candidate are the same.
Perhaps this is a product of the Catfish era. Manti T'eo was drafted by the San Diego Chargers and could wind up being a solid starting NFL linebacker. Eliot Spitzer is running for New York City comptroller. Weiner himself was looking like a promising possible mayor with one massive sexting scandal already under his belt. Does two really make a world's difference?
Weiner's continued cybersex is without a doubt creepy, but it shouldn't have too much bearing on his comeback. Unless we expect our elected officials to act that much better than us; 7% to 9%of "older teens" sext, and that percentage rises in older demographics. Voting for Weiner as mayor should be no problem.
Nobody should be completely desensitized from cyber-scandal. But nobody should throw away a political career twice because of it.