Congressional Democrats spell "distraction" a lot differently than most everyone else these days. They spell it w-e-i-n-e-r.
Rep. Anthony Weiner may want to tough it out through the current scandal. But his crisis is taking a predictable trajectory in the wake of his Monday admission that he sent lewd photos and engaged in explicit online conversations with several women.
Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus continued to pummel Democratic leaders with the Weiner issue Wednesday. He was merely doing exactly what any good party chair would do, taking advantage of a scandal that had hit the opposition party by keeping it on the defensive. He was Weinerizing House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz, his counterpart at the Democratic National Committee.
On NBC's Today Show, Priebus said:
"...Sending pictures of his private parts around the world is not fitting of a U.S. congressman. I think leaders of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Schulz should ask him to resign. It seems the only job these guys are willing to fight for is Anthony Weiner's job. Why are they defending this guy?
... Here's what's going to happen. This is going to be a slow, drip, drip type of story. And within a couple of weeks m guess is he's going to have to resign because it's going to be such a distraction to the folks here and especially, even the leaders of the Democratic Party, that he's going to have to resign. They should do the right thing, speak up and say 'Look, this guy should resign. He should leave. We have a lot of important work to do...
What Priebus didn't say, and didn't need to, was he would be one of numerous Republicans making sure the distracting drip, drip, drip of the story continued as long as Weiner remained in office.
So this is what Weiner, Pelosi and Schulz will be contending with for the foreseeable future. There are obviously many people who believe that Weiner shouldn't resign, based on a Marist College poll. The poll found that 51 percent of New York City voters don't think Weiner should step down.
This poll underscores something of Pelosi's problem. She arguably could antagonize many of those voters who want Weiner to stay if she publicly called on him to resign. Better if he seems to make the decision on his own.
A poll of Congressional Democrats would probably find a different result since those Democratic lawmakers are the ones whose agenda runs the risk of being eclipsed by this latest congressional sex scandal.
That explains why Capitol Hill Democrats have been mostly quiet or downright unsupportive of Weiner. Like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada who said Tuesday that if Weiner called him for advice, he would tell him "call someone else."