New York Rep. Anthony Weiner holds an emotional news conference....

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner holds an emotional news conference. (June 6, 2011) Credit: Craig Ruttle

Mobster Dutch Schultz was famously quoted as saying that he took his name because it fit headlines. Had Schultz stuck with his birth name, Arthur Simon Flegenheimer, "nobody would have ever heard of me," he said.

Rep. Anthony David Weiner might have the opposite problem. If he'd changed the handle to Joe Smith, the snickering headlines of the past week might have required a lot more work. Really -- this is just too much of a gimme for word jockeys.

But put aside for a moment the easy puns and the revolting images of the Weiner affair that led up to Monday's maudlin performance by the congressman. It has special novelty because of Twitter and Facebook and other new technology, which add a virtual dimension to the sexual. Of political relevance is this:

By his own words, his initial response to a silly, immature crisis of his own making was to panic and lie about it, insistently and repeatedly. Last week Weiner, married to an aide of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, might as well have been wagging his finger and saying, "I did not have electronic pornographic dalliances with that woman."

This will hurt him. Whether it forces him from the job -- he says right now he won't quit -- should be up to the voters of his district.

That 9th Congressional District runs from his old stomping grounds in southern Brooklyn, through the Rockaways and sections of Queens all the way out past the Clearview Expressway to the east. Weiner won the seat in a multi-way scrum in 1998 when fellow Brooklyn-based Democrat Charles Schumer left it to run for his Senate seat.

Does Weiner face danger next year -- if he indeed reaches the point where he can seek re-election? Well, Democrats outnumber Republicans in his district by better than three to one. That said, there are religiously observant people, culturally conservative people, and plainly serious people throughout the area who might constitute a viable "yecch" coalition against Weiner.

Sounds, at least in theory, like a Democrat of serious purpose could cash in with a primary -- or the GOP could act like a viable political party and try to make inroads, though its efforts have to be seen as a long shot.

One of the ironies to having alert conservative bloggers like Andrew Breitbart help catalyze Weiner's embarrassed dance is that candidates to Weiner's political left -- already jockeying in the 2013 New York City mayoral race -- could benefit.

The bigger irony is the idea of Weiner -- always putting himself in the media spotlight -- losing all control of its glare.