Amidst new revelations that he contacted a teenager online, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D - N.Y.) is apparently headed to a "treatment center," leading Democratic leaders to openly call for the congressman to resign.
The New York Times, citing "two senior Democratic officials," reports that Weiner is "planning to check himself into a treatment center" (perhaps The Pathways Clinic for Being a Dumbshit) and will request a leave of absence from the House of Representatives. (Weiner's spokesman says he's "seek[ing] professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person.")
After Weiner informed Democrats that he was getting professional help, "a coordinated effort was kicked off" to demand his resignation, a "senior Democratic official" told NBC. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz all released statements (within minutes of each other) exhorting Weiner to resign.
"Anthony's inappropriate behavior," says Israel, "has become an insurmountable distraction to the House." Pelosi, meanwhile, urges Weiner to "seek... help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress."
According to CNN, he's going to wait to make a decision about resigning until after his pregnant wife, State Department aide Huma Abedin, returns to the country next week.
We initially speculated that Pelosi, Israel and Wasserman-Schultz had decided to call for Weiner's resignation because of a police probe into Weiner's online contact with a teenager (Weiner, the young woman's family, and her lawyer all insist that the communication was brief and appropriate, and the police have found no evidence of impropriety), but it seems as though the decision to enter treatment was at least as important. Though, obviously, it can't have made Democrats feel great to see the headlines this morning.
Either way, if there's one lesson we all could learn from Weinerdammerung, it's this: No politician should ever, ever talk to teenagers, about anything. Online, in person, whatever. On the phone. In fact, no one should talk to teenagers! Not even other teenagers. Teenagers are awful.