I'm guessing the big shame is that his masturbatory practices have been exposed. Morally, this can't be nearly as big a sin as Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) having sex with his close colleague's wife and trying to pay them off, or Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and former Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) paying for prostitutes in direct violation of the law, or former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) knocking up a Los Angeles climber while his wife was sick with cancer. Or even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich cheating on his wife and dumping her while she was sick with cancer. Or the closet homosexual liaisons of several Republicans in Federal government.
Whacking off to someone 3,000 miles away just does not rise to the same level of offense. Embarrassment, sure. Criminality, doubt it. And extra points to Rep. Weiner for not insisting that his wife stand next to him in shame and smouldering anger while he told the world of his humiliatingly flawed behavior.
And never, to my knowledge, has Rep. Weiner ever run on marital or sexual morality. Not abstinence, not homophobia, nothing like when GOoPers who have voted against gay marriage etc. have been caught in the act.
I'd like to see him bounce back, win re-election next year and eventually become Mayor of NYC. Maybe a little humility will be good for the Weiner. I hope he and his wife work it out, and if they don't I hope he finds someone who alleviates his need for Internet liaisons.
Most of all, and here's where I think he may have been particularly targeted by the rightwing Internet trollers who outed him, I hope he can continue to work on the potentially monstrous conflict of interest that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has with his wife accepting money from anti-healthcare reform organizations, if and when the Affordable Care Act comes up for judicial review.
That, or may someone of equal or greater effectiveness pick up the cause, ideally of disbarment.