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Originally published Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM

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Rep. Anthony Weiner's career-killing tweets

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner lied about lewd tweets and faces a likely ethics investigation. He could resign or be redistricted out of office. Both good ideas.

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TAKING lewd pictures of oneself and sexting or tweeting them to anyone, friend or Internet pal, is one of the top 10 dumbest things a politician can do.

And in the case of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, it gets worse. Lying about such sophomoric activity, blaming a fictitious hacker — reveal him as a pol who lacks judgment and character.

The newly married Weiner was carrying on six online sexual relationships — virtual, yes, but still not the kind of behavior voters admire, elect or re-elect.

Weiner broke down Monday and admitted he took the famous man-in-gray-underpants picture of himself, tweeted it to a college student in Washington state, then pretended someone else had done something to set him up.

Politicians of all stripes can be narcissistic. Not news. And part of the hubris involves a sense that they will not get caught for any weird or kinky behavior, because they are so amazing.

Weiner's career is over, or almost over, not because he violated the law, although an investigation is expected to begin and may show otherwise, but because he is a dishonest fool. He could be redistricted out of office or he could resign to spare his party a lengthy, destructive investigation. Both good ideas.

There is no single rule to follow in such cases, though former Rep. Chris Lee resigned in a similar circumstance.

Still, it is incomprehensible that a member of Congress, representing a sophisticated city like New York, could cower in his home office and send risqué pictures of himself to a half dozen or more women he met on the Internet during the past three years.

Some photos were sent before Weiner married Huma Abedian last July and some afterward. The congressman said the couple will not split up because of this unfortunate event.

That's ducky but social networking technology requires everyone to be wary of doing foolish things with new toys. House ethics rules, appropriately, go further, saying members should comport themselves in a manner befitting the office.

This is where Weiner lands in deep cow pies. He conducted himself in a way that makes him both a disgrace to the institution and a punch line of an endless stream of jokes.

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