The House voted unanimously on Monday night to give Rep. Anthony Weiner a two-week paid leave of absence. Rep. Mike Capuano, Massachusetts Democrat, sponsored the request from the New York Democrat. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who usually sponsors requests for absence from votes for Democrats, had already asked Mr. Weiner to resign from Congress before he left for an undisclosed treatment center.
To get a leave of absence from Congress, even for the day, requires a vote on the floor. Almost always, a member requests time off through their party leader - Majority Leader Eric Cantor or Mrs. Pelosi- who then puts it to a floor vote. These votes are not usually controversial and pass by unanimous consent. Not one Member voted against Mr. Weiner’s two-week absence. Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire Republican, was in the Speaker’s chair during the vote.
By law, the House’s Chief Administration Office can deduct a Member of Congress salary “for each day that he has been absent from the House” unless he or she “assigns as the reason for such absence the sickness of himself or of some member of his family.” So for Mr. Weiner to stay on the government dole while hiding out from the consequences of his actions, he needs to say he has some type of illness. Being a pervert and a sexual predator isn’t a diagnosed illness in Grey’s Anatomy.
On Saturday, Mr. Weiner’s spokeswoman said that the congressman was requesting a “short leave of absence” from Congress for professional treatment in order to “get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well” and to “focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person.”
Mr. Weiner did not specifically what illness or addiction he has that requires treatment because he has never admitted to having any problems. The once-leading New York mayoral candidate has no known history of alcohol or drug abuse and is not entering a psychiatric hospital.
Reading between the lines of the statement, most believe he is going to get professional treatment for “sex addiction”, which somehow led him to send nude photos and sexually-charged messages to women on Facebook, Twitter and email. The psychological community does not agree if sex addiction is a real diagnosis. But poll married women, and almost all would say that sex addiction is a coward’s route out of dealing with getting caught in an extra-martial sexual relationship.
So-called sex rehab is merely a PR stunt by rich and powerful men to gain sympathy and buy time in order to salvage their tarnished careers. Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, Jesse James and Halle Berry’s ex Eric Benet are some of the famous and married men who have taken this treatment route. CNN host, former New York Governor and Client No. 9 Eliot Spitzer went to therapy to see if he was addicted to sex, but never ended up going to a sex rehab center.
Mr. Weiner has not been back to Washington since he admitted a week ago that he’d repeatedly lied about the Twitter photo of his bulging crotch sent to a college student. He also confessed to sending lewd photos and exchanged sexual messages to six other women.
When asked at the press conference if he had engaged with any children, Mr. Weiner’s odd response was “I never had any intention of having an interaction with underage women, and no information that I have now shows that I did.” Days later, the police uncovered messages between the congressman and a 17-year-old. The messages were not sexual, but with his penchant for slow seduction before pornographic sexual conversations, it is unclear what would have happened if Mr. Weiner hadn’t been forced offline.
Over the weekend, the latest batch of Mr Weiner’s self-portraits show him standing in the Members-only House gym. In one photo, he is totally naked in the locker room, while holding a small white towel over his private area.
A career politician, Mr. Weiner is making a last-ditch effort to hold onto his congressional seat by hiding out in “sex rehab”, seemingly with the hopes that the sex scandal will blow over in two weeks. The tainted Democrats has ignored calls resignation from his own party leaders. President Obama has said that he would resign under the same circumstances. Mrs. Pelosi, DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel have all called him on the phone and told him to leave Congress.
Mr. Weiner has refused to abide by the top Democrats requests, which shows both his arrogance and his real addiction: himself.