Like all " modern human beings," Anthony Weiner's got issues. Unfortunately, he's also got a constituency.
With colleagues and fellow New Yorkers of both the Democratic and Republican variety raking him over the coals in the wake of his embarrassing twicpic scandal, the congressman has announced that he is taking a "leave of absence" to seek treatment.
Unsurprisingly, he did not make his announcement via Twitter.
"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person," spokeswoman Risa Heller said in a statement. "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. Congressman Weiner takes the views of his colleagues very seriously and has determined that he needs this time to get healthy and make the best decision possible for himself, his family and his constituents."
No word on the nature of the treatment, but we're getting a Tiger Woods-Jesse James vibe. We're hoping at the very least, however, that there's some sort of Twittervention.
The seven-term congressman's reputation quickly unraveled over the last two weeks after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart (tipped off by an online group called #bornfreecrew that discovered the link) broke the news that Weiner had tweeted a link to a picture of his privates to a 21-year-old woman in Washington state (and that there was more where that came from). Weiner at first claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked, causing the pic to go public, but ultimately admitted to his stupidity a few days later.
His downfall continued when, according to the New York Times, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, along with several other prominent Democrats, called on Weiner to resign and seek psychiatric counseling.
"Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help," Pelosi said in a statement. "I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a member of Congress."
"The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Rep. Weiner's continued service in Congress is untenable," added Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
Making matters far more untenable, Weiner and wife Huma Abedin will celebrate (or at least acknowledge) their first wedding anniversary on July 10.
(Originally published Jun. 11, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. PT)