I consider myself to be a lite social conservative. While I believe in a lot of the social conservative causes, I also recognize that "moral" issues are not easily controlled by public policy. Nevertheless, I see a disturbing trend taking place after Anthony Weiner's "sexting" fiasco.
While much has been written about Weiner, I want to point out a few illuminating examples. First, Andrew Sullivan, a usually fair-minded centrist, has been awfully mild in his criticism of Weiner. He mainly is upset with Weiner over the lying and little more. If I were advising Sullivan, I would warn him about the implications that many of us would draw from a gay activist not condemning a heterosexual man for sexual immorality. And yes, Weiner is a married man who sent several women he doesn't know a picture of his, well, you know what. That, in and of itself, is immoral. There is presently an on-going effort to not label it as such.
Then there was my friend John Guardiano from FrumForum who has encouraged us to not make a big deal about Weinergate. First, he argues that Weiner did not break the law like Vitter, Clinton, and Edwards. Second, he states that Weiner is unlikely to be blackmailed over the incident. Lastly, he writes that this should be a matter between Weiner and his wife. While Guardiano calls Weiner's unfaithfulness a "sexual transgression," he doesn't deem that enough for Weiner to resign in disgrace. Basically, personal failures, as long as they don't affect other people, are off limits.
Now, I have consistently criticized conservatives over the past couple of years, so when I take on Weiner, I am not playing partisan politics. I would said the same thing about David Vitter or any other Republican (I see you Newt) that commits adultery (my one inconsistency is my vote for John McCain, which I am still grappling with). I am not saying that Republicans should spend an inordinate amount of time on this. Even if we don't call for his resignation, let's not cheapen what he did. Weiner deserves condemnation not just because he lied, but because of his sexual transgression.