Weinergate: When Is It Cheating?

What Weiner did was gross, but it wasn't technically cheating, was it?

anthony weiner and huma abedin
(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/VF11)

My latest question about the whole Weinergate situation is this: Do you think Congressman Anthony Weiner is closer to moron or sleazeball than cheater? Like former Congressman Chris Lee — who resigned almost immediately after a somewhat similar scandal in February — Weiner is married, but he doesn't seem to have been soliciting sexual relationships with the women he was in communication with, the way Lee was. And unlike a lot of other politicians who have been engulfed by sexual scandals, Weiner does not seem to have had inappropriate physical contact with any of the women with whom he exchanged electronic communications. I could be reaching here — maybe because my impression is that Weiner, a Democrat from New York, was truly the kind of politician who wanted to do good for his constituents and the world (as opposed to a politician only interested in celebrity like, oh, I don't know, Sarah Palin) — but is it possible that he thought what he was doing was an "appropriate" way to vent his sexual energy?

I ask that in part because it seems he never crossed the line — never went all the way over into actually cheating on his wife — and because he is supposedly a very adoring husband. That's not to say I wouldn't be miserable if I were his wife. I would be. And I can imagine wanting a divorce after a situation like this. But plenty of women are cool with their husbands' taste for pornography, for example, and I wonder if Weiner's behavior falls into a similar kind of zone — or if, at least, he thought it did.