I was one of Anthony Weiner’s constituents as well as the president of the Brooklyn-Queens chapter of the National Organization for Women, and I found myself in the uncomfortable position of defending Weiner and his juvenile, potentially career-killing, behavior.
I did not condone the behavior or the lies to cover it up, but I also could not ignore the kind of representative Weiner was.
Weiner spent many years as a champion for liberal causes and was an absolute bulldog in his defense of the people, particularly women. Yes, women. His sexual predilections, puzzling and disappointing as they are, are more the concern of his family than the public and do not negate his years of hard work and dedication. He was staunchly pro-Choice and consistently fought for our rights to healthcare and Social Security. Hopefully, he will now take the time now to correct his behavior, and to better understand how he ended up in such a predicament.
With politicians falling all over themselves to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, reduce access to Social Security, and restrict reproductive freedom for our citizens, it remains difficult for me to turn against Weiner and his sterling record.
Could Weiner have come back from this? Perhaps if his constituents had been given the final say. Even President Obama thought it was ultimately up to them. The polls showed that Weiner’s constituents were willing to let him continue to serve. I was one of them.
Julie Kirshner is president of the Brooklyn-Queens chapter of the National Organization for Women.