February 10, 2011

Why did Congressman Christopher Lee give up so easily?

It's weird, isn't it?
Lee resigned less than four hours after Gawker posted the emails and photo.

His office first claimed his email account had been hacked - which didn't really explain the topless photo of himself flexing his biceps in a mirror.

About two hours later, Lee told Fox News he couldn't discuss the issue because "I have to work this out with my wife."

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Lee issued a brief statement saying he was resigning the seat he won in 2008. "I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents," he said. "I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. ... I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."
There must be a lot more below the surface, and the quick resignation was to get us to move on. I'd like to know what inspired the desperation. Or was it that he got no support from his GOP colleagues in Congress. Perhaps he was told, quite clearly, that they didn't want to burn any political capital defending him. If so, I think that was probably an excellent choice. They can't want him as the torso face of the party for the next month.

80 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

The story and picture are humiliating. I think that would be enough reason to resign.

PaulV said...

The leadership supposedly had come down on him before because of female lobbyists.

master cylinder said...

It's weird, must be more. Even the diapers didnt bring down Vitter.

1jpb said...

He was framed by the lamestream media.

phx said...

He did exactly the right thing. And unless he broke the law I don't want to know any more about this. I'm tired of representatives wasting our time and money because of this stuff. New Yorkers esp. need grownups representing them now - we have a real fiscal crisis on our hands.

Voters should have zero tolerance for these guys, regardless of their party. But that esp. applies to representatives who are abusing their power for personal gain at our expense - and in NY there's a lot of that. It shouldn't matter to us what party they're from.

Brent said...

Good for him.

MisterBuddwing said...

A recurring complaint in the conservative blogosphere is that whenever a Republican gets into trouble, MSM stories never fail to mention that it's a Republican, sometimes in the lead sentence, sometimes even in the headline, but that whenever a Democrat ends up in a similar position, his/her party affiliation is either buried, or ignored.

I note that few, if any, outlets have failed to mention that Rep. Lee is a Republican.

Would they have been just as anxious to mention his party had he been a Democrat? I guess we'll never know.

WV: booessu.

PaulV said...

At least he has a chance to reddem his marriage. Christopher was a greaat movie star.
.
WV: twism No twism in wind for Lee

Scott M said...

1) The wife's got a much stronger grip, with longer than usual fingernails, on his balls that normal.

2) GOP leadership wants zero impropriety in regards to lobbyists of any stripe.

3) His moon was rising in Libra, but with Venus opposed. Bad time of the month for shirtless hijinks.

Any of the above are plausible.

Fred4Pres said...

Because he needs to go home and fix his marriage or prepare for a very nasty divorce.

I suspect the GOP has a very low tollerance for this sort of stuff and gave him a push too.

commentor said...

Sleazy guy outed - resigns quickly. Not weird.

(Nobody cares about your "V.W.", people)

Original Mike said...

"He did exactly the right thing. And unless he broke the law I don't want to know any more about this. I'm tired of representatives wasting our time and money because of this stuff."

This.

1jpb said...

"prepare for a very nasty divorce. "

That could be problematic for folks who'd like to invite both of them to social functions.

Maybe the divorcees will send out a clarifying memo, so folks understand the preferred protocol.

holdfast said...

Let's be honest, if he did this, he probably did shit that was even more freaky. I am glad he did the right thing.

michaele said...

Glad to see him go so quickly. I hope GOP leadership gave a push if there was any hint he thought stonewalling would work. The federal gov't's fiscal mess is too important for any time and effort to be wasted on something like this.

Mark O said...

Has a Democrat ever gone quietly?

Ever?

Scott M said...

recurring complaint in the conservative blogosphere is that whenever a Republican gets into trouble, MSM stories never fail to mention that it's a Republican, sometimes in the lead sentence, sometimes even in the headline, but that whenever a Democrat ends up in a similar position, his/her party affiliation is either buried, or ignored.

With the legislative climate we find ourselves in these days, I think it's completely expected for the media to mention party affiliation.

phx said...

Watch him get a talk show.

One way or another, the media pimps these stories more than they report them.

Lincolntf said...

He did the exact right thing by stepping down immediately. I've long wished that every politician (esp. Republicans) would do exactly that when they embarrass/betray their Party and their constituents with personal scandals.
Anyway, in that shirtless pic he looks just like Dana Carvey doing an SNL skit.

traditionalguy said...

What is so hard about understanding that EVERY digital communication can be found forever. At least the horny Dems carefully meet out of town by the deniable coincidence of staying at the same hotel. the GOP horn dogs need to raise their game.

jerryofva said...

It never ceases to amaze me how dumb public figures are whether it's Charlie Sheen or the latest politician. When you are in the public eye you will be caught if you are seen in public or on the internet. So here is my advice to all those who are potential media targets: Don't E-mail barechested photos of yourself to someone on Craigslist and if you want to play with an escort use an independent provider an not an Escort Service (Are you listening Eliot?) Remember the more people know the more likely you will get caught.

Original Mike said...

"I've long wished that every politician (esp. Republicans) would do exactly that when they embarrass/betray their Party and their constituents with personal scandals."

When the Clinton scandal broke I was sure he would resign. It was the right thing to do.

kcom said...

"(Nobody cares about your "V.W.", people)"

I have a Jetta. How about you?

Scott M said...

When the Clinton scandal broke I was sure he would resign. It was the right thing to do.

Not. Gonna. Happen. Not after you've watched the flyover at the inauguration and thought, "those are my jets now".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What the Hell is wrong with these people?

Do they not have any type of internal filter? Moral compass? Sense of self preservation even?

You know that little voice inside your head that says...."Stop and think!.... Is this a really good idea? What can come of this action? What could possibly go wrong?"

Dooooh!!!

EnigmatiCore said...

More likely- this wasn't his first dalliance and he realizes his only prayer of not losing his entire family is to avoid a drip-drip-drip.

Kyle said...

I thought he had a right to bare arms?

PaulV said...

Never trust an attractive women even if you are client #9. How did gawker give her?

madAsHell said...

I hope this is the start of a trend.

Phil 3:14 said...

What is going on with these upstate New York Representatives. First Massa, now Lee.

1jpb said...

If it's true (as a Drudge link claims) that Boehner has previously lectured Lee to stop being inappropriate w/ female staff, I wonder:

--Did some of the lamestream media hear about this activity? If it get's to the point that the R leader is lecturing a congressman, it is likely that other folks know about it. Why didn't the evil lamestream media report anything about this? Is it possible that there is a lot of this stuff unreported, even re Rs?

--If this has been a longstanding problem, that R leadership has known about, is it possible that R pressure for Lee's resignation (assuming that such pressure was a major factor) was not so quick. That is as long as they can hide Lee's activity, there's no reason for him to leave. That's not exactly the height of morality--'We'll get whatever we can, until we're caught.'

--Is it even Boehner's business to be lecturing a congressman if they're only partying too hard w/ female staffers? Presumably "partying too hard w/ female staffers," is something of a euphemism (although not one for the bureaucratic ages: that's already been take, i.e. "hiking the Appalachian trail.")

MisterBuddwing said...

Massa was a Democrat suspected of impropriety with a male aide, was he not?

WV: sichnu

madAsHell said...

aaahhh....Why doesn't he have any hair on his chest?

Woah....he took that picture with a flip-phone?? That is sooooo 15 minutes ago!

edutcher said...

He was just beginning his second term and probably didn't have that many friends in the House with seniority, so there weren't many people all that willing to go to bat for him.

Original Mike said...

"I've long wished that every politician (esp. Republicans) would do exactly that when they embarrass/betray their Party and their constituents with personal scandals."

When the Clinton scandal broke I was sure he would resign. It was the right thing to do.


In addition to being an even bigger sociopath than The Zero, Willie is also delusional. As the lie passes his lips, he already believes it's the truth.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Is it even Boehner's business to be lecturing a congressman if they're only partying too hard w/ female staffers? Presumably "partying too hard w/ female staffers," is something of a euphemism (although not one for the bureaucratic ages: that's already been take, i.e. "hiking the Appalachian trail.")


No memory of Mark Foley, huh?

k*thy said...

You know that little voice inside your head that says...

Seems the voice in the little head was louder.

Original Mike said...

"Is it even Boehner's business to be lecturing a congressman if they're only partying too hard w/ female staffers?"

Anything that distracts from fixing the mess we are in is Boehner's business.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think the hidden message is that elected officials tend to be stupid people. What I mean is if John Q. Citizen did this, he may very well get away with it going unnoticed because unlike a Congressperson, the average John Q. Citizen is largely unknown outside his/her circle of acquaintances. For an elected Congressperson to think that a photo of himself looking for love on Craigslist would not draw unwanted attention speaks to an ignorance on a galactic level.

All is not lost though. He should try for a slot on Parker-Spitzer-and soon to be Lee.

Scott M said...

I think the hidden message is that elected officials tend to be stupid people.

I think it's rare that someone could navigate all of the issues and events that come with getting elected to national office without having something on the ball. That being said, I think the problem is that they are surrounded by people who's livelihood is tied to that elected official's success (or, contrarily, lack of failure...not exactly the same thing). Those people create a bubble in which the elected official's shit starts to smell like freshly baked bread and nobody tells them otherwise long enough for them to start thinking themselves bulletproof. I would suggest that, as with most thing involving humans, there's a bell curve of susceptibility to this group think. The weaker minds buy into it wholesale. This, probably combined with a demagnetized moral compass lead to the sort of things we see with Lee and Spitzer.

Susan said...

Jamie Dupree, a Washington correspondent who gives reports on my local talk radio station and on the Neal Boortz show said on his blog and on those shows this morning: "While there was no official statement from the office of Speaker John Boehner, I wondered whether Lee had been given the high sign to leave by the Speaker himself, who has made it clear in the past that he has almost zero tolerance for any GOP ethical misdeeds."

If so, it would be in contrast to Nancy Pelosi who talked about draining the swamp but actually did little to do so.

BTW, I love Dupree, a really knowledgable insider who reminds me of Tim Russert in his obvious love of politics and the Congress and who it seems to me is about as fair to both sides as anyone outside of C-Span.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why didn't the evil lamestream media report anything about this?

Laziness?

Leland said...

Assuming the evidence is true; then the guy was cheating on his wife and lying to strangers in order to get sex. All of this points to a dishonorable person that can't be entrusted with personal trust, much less the public's trust. For that reason, he should resign immediately.

If the evidence isn't true, then he should fight it to protect his honor and his marriage. Success would prove he well deserved the putlic trust.

I suspect the evidence is true. And I doubt, as been stated by others here, that anyone really cared about his personal sex life or his problems with his marriage. The issue is simply whether he can be trusted or not.

phx said...

Now that he's resigned, it would be great if we could all forget about his Craigslist girlfriend, who's already gotten more than her fair share of 15 minutes.

But the media p*mps will undoubtedl­y continue to parade her before us in every outlet they can, for as long as they can. Her wisdom on this matter is already seen virtually everywhere.

And IMO everyone should stop trying to make this another political football. We should expect more from our reps whatever party.

jerryofva said...

Scott:

I think by now that a rational and intelligent person can figure out that there are now rounds that have rendered their armor obsolete to mangle a metaphor. I think that the public figure has so many managers that he/she is not very tech savvy since everything is done by the staff. Just because you use a computer or Smartphone doesn't mean you understand the implications of public media. Certainly any Republican should know better because the MSM will target the tiniest social infraction.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That being said, I think the problem is that they are surrounded by people who's livelihood is tied to that elected official's success (or, contrarily, lack of failure...not exactly the same thing). Those people create a bubble in which the elected official's shit starts to smell like freshly baked bread and nobody tells them otherwise long enough for them to start thinking themselves bulletproof.

I think there is something to that but if you have navigated the wave of issues to get elected on a national level, you also have been privy to seeing bigger names than yourself being brought low by a sex scandal. Take Spitzer for example, heck, he was pretty circumspect with his dalliances and he still was caught. Lee plastered a dorky picture of himself on one one the most well websites in the country. Sorry that's not thinking you're bulletproof, that's plain stupdity.

Scott M said...

Agreed, but the further on the low side of that susceptibility curve the perp finds himself/herself on, the more apt I would expect them to say, "that can never happen to me".

On the other hand, it might not be any more complicated than the little head thinking for the big one, to coin a phrase. Nobody's used that one before, right?

Beta Rube said...

Having seen the picture, would Titus have a go with him?

G Joubert said...

"Why did Congressman Christopher Lee give up so easily?"

Superficially he broke no laws, and he didn't have to resign, nor could the Repub leadership force him to. He could have done the Mark Sanford thing and just stayed.

That's superficially. Seems likely there's more to come about him and his behavior.

lemondog said...

Dipwad.

Is it too much to hope this level of intellect is not typical of congress?

Apparently his district votes consistently Repub. Reason enuff for GOP having no concern about dumping him.

William said...

This is why I try to be supportive of Charley Sheen and Tiger Woods. Their scandals are titillating and enviable. The scandals of political figures, with the obvious exception of JFK, are all in the sad to sordid range.....I've noticed that a lot of salesmen tend to be philanderers. Seduction and salemanship are related skills, and people like to do what they're good at. Perhaps something similar is true with politicians.

Ralph L said...

If he hadn't lied about his age, she wouldn't have busted him.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think it's rare that someone could navigate all of the issues and events that come with getting elected to national office without having something on the ball.

I don't think that's true. Issues are often unimportant in elections and advisors are there to tell candidates what to say to get votes. You can get elected simply by being very self-interested and willing to say whatever you need to say to win.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hi. Nice to meet you. Hope you don't think I'm a frog. I'm not French! Hahahaha. Or did you say toad? Anyhoo, I'm using my real name here which lights up like Las Vegas when entered into search and you can see for yourself that I'm really me, so I'll go right ahead then and and fudge my age by a decade and mistate my marriage status because having discovered you on Craigslist you couldn't possibly have any interest in sites like Gawker or Huffington Post, to name only two fine sites with nothing but my best interests in mind. Hope to see you soon although I do enjoy these endless streams of introductory emails otherwise known as permenant records. But I gotta go now because I'm talking to a bunch of other birds right now too and they want to see my peepee. Chiao!

Lem said...

If you are a Republican you have to resign.. if you are not a Republican that's another question.

Drew said...

I liked Iowahawk's take:

“Congressional ethics: texting shirtless pictures = reason to resign in disgrace. Spending $1.5 trillion you don’t have = Wednesday.”

PaulV said...

I plan to write a book about a golfer and his Swedish wife:
"The Girl With the Billion Dollar Niblick" Any resemblance to ral life is purely to make $$$$.

WV; walpin.....an inspetor general

PaulV said...

Lem, I am grateful that WJC manned up & resigned so that AL Gore could off Osama and end threat of AQ.

Not said...

I suspect the GOP has a very low tollerance for this sort of stuff and gave him a push too.

When the Clinton scandal broke I was sure he would resign. It was the right thing to do.

If you are a Republican you have to resign.. if you are not a Republican that's another question.

"You know what I love about Republicans?" the former congressman and senior party leader remarked to one of his dinner companions. "They are so unbelievably stupid. I don't even have to lie to them. They'll make something up without me even having to ask them!"

"Don't you know it!" his companion, the senator from Louisiana answered. "You see, once they have faith, they'll never let the facts interfere."

With that, Newt Gingrich and David Vitter shared a few hearty laughs before ordering dessert for themselves and the women at the table, neither of whom had yet attained the ripe age of 30.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Why did Congressman Christopher Lee give up so easily?"

What part of "I have to work this out with my wife" is difficult to understand? Why does there have to be a larger issue - especially for a so-called feminist? Isn't his wife, family, etc., good enough?

Along with that "Good for her" (for Arianna's scam paying off) yesterday, Ann's revealing some bizarre goings-on in the head. Like reality doesn't exist and it's all reindeer games.

She's not as bizarre as this guy, but definitely seems as out-of-touch.

Geoff Matthews said...

Maybe there is a lower shame threshold in congress now?

dont tread 2012 said...

Chris Lee WAS our 26th district rep here in New York - he had been doing what was ostensibly a good job.

Really brings new meaning to the expression 'keep your shirt on'.

Bizarre. And Ridiculous.

It goes without saying that we deserve better representation than this.

Clyde said...

At least he didn't go Full Favre and only showed his pecs instead of his pecker!

Pogo said...

I had always wondered what Dirk Diggler did after his film career.

TosaGuy said...

NY has to give up a couple congressional seats--which will mostly likely be republican because the dems control everything. Lee makes it easier for the NY GOP to pick which district get scrapped.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Why did Congressman Christopher Lee give up so easily?"

The real question is why didn't he immediately throw himself off a bridge. Talk about humiliation...it's hard to believe even a politician has a thick enough skin to live through this.

The Crack Emcee said...

Good for him. We need some extraordinarily bad personalities for our time.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

He resigned before Peter Cushing could hunt him down and drive a stake through his flabby chest.

I do expect there was some pressure from the leadership; and I expect that somewhere along the way, someone said something like this: "Did you see our election returns in November? Did you see our margin? We don't need you. Either shape up, or ship out."

Scott M said...

He resigned before Peter Cushing could hunt him down and drive a stake through his flabby chest.

faden Gewinner

former law student said...

I sure heard about "embattled New York Democrat" Massa, so I don't think Dems get a free pass. But the GOP views itself as the party of family values. Cheating on your spouse is not one of them.

Still wondering why "Diapered Dave" Vitter is still in office. The GOPsters need all the Senators they can get, while they have a surplus of Congressmen?

Leland said...

If any of the allegations are true, Lee's a pathetic individual, who can't even be honest about himself to get a cheap lay. He deserves no business representing other people if he can't even represent himself.

FLS. what does that have to do with family values?

peter hoh said...

Maybe, unlike Senator Vitter, for instance, Lee actually has a sense of shame.

peter hoh said...

phx: Now that he's resigned, it would be great if we could all forget about his Craigslist girlfriend, who's already gotten more than her fair share of 15 minutes.

Has she been identified already? In the linked article, and in the other article I read about this today, she was not identified.

peter hoh said...

I think it's rare that someone could navigate all of the issues and events that come with getting elected to national office without having something on the ball.

See Kerry, John, and any other politicians who are in extraordinarily safe seats.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I bet Chris Mathews will accuse him of enjoying some sort of "homo erotica." Chris seems a bit obsessed with this. Wonder why?

PaulV said...

Republicans control NY state senate. Not sure how redistricting will go.

Belkys said...

Of course it said GOP lawmaker

davidpsummers said...

It is also possible that he was just very unhappy with his life and what he did was symptom of that unhappiness that gave him a reason to do what he wanted to.

peter hoh said...

Dan Savage offers a possibility I had not considered, in part because I did not know that these people exist. Apparently, there are creeps who like to troll for partners on sites like Craigslist, chat them up, exchange photos, arrange to meet, and never follow through.

Blair said...

I've always found it strange that politicians will resign for cheating on their wives, but have no problem voting for the most ridiculous uses of our tax money.

I don't care who Christopher Lee has sex with, I just want him to vote the right way on legislation. I wish others felt the same way.

former law student said...

I don't care who Christopher Lee has sex with, I just want him to vote the right way on legislation.

Good luck getting them to prioritize on that.

The GOP quickly abandoned their laserlike focus on jobs jobs jobs to make sure that the dirty whores who want to kill their babies will have to use their own post-tax dollars to do so.