I watched Representative Anthony Weiner's mea culpa press conference.
Several oh-so-negative conclusions must be drawn.
When first confronted with the accusations, he looked everyone straight in the eye and, without blinking, claimed to have played no part in the sending of pictures and/or messages to more than one woman. Blamed it on the hackers. He is a major political figure and must now face the consequences. The members of his own party are disowning him in a highly charged political year. His wife must be devastated.
He came clean only because he was cornered. His was the lead story on major evening news. Branded a leper by acclamation. Demands for his resignation. Nothing in mitigation. A public crucifixion. Even his name does him in.
But, I feel sorry for him as a person. He was not faking his personal anguish. This was no act. He was whipped. His tears were legit.
The lynch mob would reply, "Feel sorry for what? He's an acknowledged liar!"
True. But when is enough, enough?
Undoubtedly, there is more to come. More photos, different versions from the women involved, and Lord knows what.
But, ask yourselves: is his conduct any worse then President Clinton's? Former Governor Eliot Spitzer's? I don't think so. It might be even less egregious. And those two men not only survived, but are, today, doing quite nicely, thank you. They were elected public officials who ventured down the avenue of denial, in shameful style. But, over time, their circumstances improved.
I'm not claiming that three wrongs make a right, but they each went through their personal hells.
Representative Weiner's actions were not illegal. His notoriety will continue. So will his shame. His fate should, and will, be decided by his constituency. But, as far as his being pilloried, do we ignore the concepts of atonement and redemption?
Who, among us, has never told a lie? Even without the elected official aspect, lying is a despicable act.
It often has, however, its own built-in apparatus for punishment. Representative Weiner is immersed in that, right now.
Thus, if any of you, out there, also feel sorry for him as a person, good for you and your moral compass.
You've resigned from the mob. The first stone throwers.