Does Weiner’s fall now raise Congress’ ethical rating?

Rep. Anthony Weiner has resigned. That sharpens the question we’ve been raising all week until we have to ask ourselves: Does the fall of this individual, now, raise the ethical standards of Congress—or our regard of other leaders?

The three-week ordeal is over.  Yesterday, Weiner announced his resignation from Congress. The pressure on him from his party’s leadership was enormous. The revelations of Weiner’s indiscretion came at a bad time, distracting attention away from the Democrats’ core messages. From all media accounts, Democratic leaders weighed in against him.Even the president said publically that Weiner should resign.

Weiner, a relative unknown from New York, attracted national attention. For a short period of time, he was even more popular in Google searches than Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is my cultural baseline, as you know from my earlier comparison between the pop star and concerns about jobs, unemployment, and the deficit.

Will Weiner’s resignation raise the ethical standards of Congress? This week on, we’ve discussed the low level of regard with which most Americans hold Congress when it comes to ethics. Most say that ethical standards have fallen, and almost half see a gulf between the governed and those who govern almost as wide as it was between England and the America colonies in the 18th century.

If ethical standards are that low, then Weiner’s exit can’t help but elevate the Congressional average. But even that will still remain low.

Are you glad Weiner decided to resign?

How concerned are YOU about the ethical standards of members of Congress from your district or the senators from your state?

Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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