DON'T YOU THINK THIS WOULD WORK IF HIS COUNSELOR WERE NAMED REVEREND BILLYBOB?
Well, don't listen to me -- I spend a week telling you Anthony Weiner was in trouble and might have to resign, to much scorn and derision, then it turned out he really was in trouble, but when the story got really bad I stupidly told you he might ride it out. So, really, you don't want to turn to me for a sharp assessment of each detail in a story like this, even if from the start I was a pretty good judge of Weiner's character (though just using that David Brooks word in this context makes my stomach turn -- if character were dynamite, there wouldn't be enough in D.C. to blow the dust off the founding documents).
In any case, this doesn't look good:
Representative Anthony D. Weiner planned to check himself into a treatment center on Saturday after House Democratic leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, called on him to resign and suggested he needed psychiatric counseling.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Weiner said he would request a leave of absence from the House and seek treatment, but provided no further details.
"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person," said the spokeswoman, Risa Heller. "In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well...."
I imagine now he'll be shown the door one way or another, but really -- if there were an (R) next to his name and, instead of going to some, y'know, secular humanist for treatment, he were to seek the sage counsel of some oleaginous preacher with a drawl and a megachurch (especially one where gay-conversion "therapy" is regularly on offer), everyone in the Beltway would agree to step back and allow the Healing Power of Faith to take its course, or risk being deemed a religious bigot. The GOP would lay a liberal guilt trip on the media, no criticism would be uttered in the mainstream print press or anywhere on TV apart from MSNBC, and in fact the story would just die -- and then, a month later, when the chastened (R) returned to the fold, clutching a Bible and praising Jesus, everyone would agree that the matter was settled. He'd be welcomed back to his caucus with a standing ovation, a la David Vitter in 2007. He once was lost, but now he's found! Praise the Lord!
This doesn't work if you're Republican and have sex with men (or if, like Chris Lee, you're about to exposed as a guy trolling for transsexuals and cross-dressers). But if only females are involved, it applies.
And no, I don't think Weiner can substitute a rabbi (although Eric Cantor could). And Weiner certainly can't turn to an imam.