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For Shame

Yesterday, Christopher Lee resigned from Congress. I have to admit, I was astonished. I thought that at the age of 88, he had better things to do. Then I remembered him from "Attack Of The Clones" and "Revenge Of The Sith," and decided that he really didn't have anything better to do. But I was still puzzled -- for one, I think I'd have heard if Count Dracula had been elected to Congress, and for another, Sir Christopher is a British subject -- which makes him ineligible to serve in Congress.

Then I found out that the "Christopher Lee" in question was American, barely half Sir Christopher's age, and a New York Republican.

Chris Lee is married, has a son, and was in the middle of his second term when he was caught looking for a little... er... "variety" through Craig's List under an assumed identity. Note I say "identity," not "name" -- because he sent out shirtless pictures of himself to prospective paramours under his real name, and one of them used this new-fangled doohickey called "Google" to recognize that he was not a single, former lobbyist, but a married Congressman.

At which point Lee set a new record for shortest time between "scandal breaks" and "resigns in disgrace."

I don't think I'd even heard of this doofus before, and I don't think I missed much. I'm glad he's gone. No, not for the "scandalousness" of his conduct -- yeah, he's a swine and needed to be smacked down -- but because he was so stupid about it. The idiot used his real name while trolling for trollops, and for that alone he should be gone. And he is.

But he brings up an interesting point about political scandals. When caught with their hands in the cookie jar, there is a difference in how Democrats and Republicans generally react.

When caught, the Republicans tend to resign. The Democrats tend to stick it out, saying "they will let the voters decide."

Yes, there are exceptions. David Vitter comes to mind. But on the other hand, there's Paul Jack Ryan, Mark Foley, Rick Renzi, Tom DeLay, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and a host of others who either resigned or didn't run for re-election -- they left office voluntarily.

On the other hand, there's Charlie Rangel, William Jefferson Clinton, Jim Traficant, Bill Clinton, Rod Blagojevich, Jack Murtha, Ted Kennedy... none of whom left office willingly, if at all.

The left rejoices in these sorts of scandals. When they hit Republicans, it's obviously because they're hypocrites -- the Republicans are the "family values" party, and it's fun when they get caught with their pants down. In fact, it's far more serious than when it's a Democrat.

But they never look at the converse argument. Of course it's less serious when it's a Democrat -- we pretty much ought to presume they're scumbags from the outset. We don't -- and shouldn't -- expect anything better from them. And before one can "resign in shame," one has to have some shame in the first place -- and Democrats are infamous for having no shame.

So, this nobody no one had ever really heard about got caught being an idiot. And he is gone. Good riddance.

But I'd take a dozen doofuses like Lee if that meant we could get rid of Charlie Rangel.

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Comments (18)

I agree with you about the ... (Below threshold)
Bunker:

I agree with you about the converse argument.

For Dems and Liberals it would be taxes. Anyone who advocates higher taxes and then tries to cheat on their taxes (Kerry and his yacht for example- or that MA congresscritter who voted to raise the booze tax in his home state and then drove his state issued Crown Vic up to NH and loaded up the trunk with tax free booze) should be forced to resign in shame by fellow Democrats.


"Paul" Ryan? Are you sure ... (Below threshold)
SER:

"Paul" Ryan? Are you sure you have that name right? I remember a "Jack" Ryan who would have run against President Obama for senator in Illinois if his sealed divorce decree had not been made public. I don't recall "Paul Ryan" in any scandal.

Everyone has forgotten or s... (Below threshold)
Stan:

Everyone has forgotten or seems to forget the Wilbur Mills scandal in the early 1970s. For those of you that are too young to remember, Congressman Wilbur Mills (D-AR) was the most powerful member of Congress in this time period He was the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Basically, the same position that censured Congressman Charles Rangel held in the 111th Congress. Well to make a long story short, Mills was caught with a hooker in a Washington DC park, (the same park that was featured in the movie "Murder At 1600") doing the Humpty Dumpty. At first the state controlled media tried to cover it up, as they always do; but he called them a bunch of bastards and that pissed them off. After a long drawn out play in the media, Mills finally resigned his seat in the Congress and has never been heard from since.

Oh, crap... thanks, SER. Du... (Below threshold)

Oh, crap... thanks, SER. Duly fixed.

J.

Actually I think the dems r... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Actually I think the dems really are being consistent. They hold the right to the right's own standard of behavior and they hold themselves to their own standard of behavior.

The problem is that for the left, right and wrong are all relativistic terms. For conservatives, who believe in an objective morality, adultery is always considered wrong. For the left it depends on the situation. Ask them under what conditions they think adultery is OK and they waffle, but catch them in it and I can guarantee you that their circumstances fit the conditions where it is OK.

Substitute adultery with tax evasion, bribery, corruption, espionage, treason, or murder and you will understand the democratic party quite well.

I recall hearing that Wilbu... (Below threshold)
stu:

I recall hearing that Wilbur Mills, after the "Troubles" went back to Arkansas, changed his name to Clinton, sired two or three kids, and lived an indolent life. One of the kids did quite well for himself, in porn films, as I recall. The other was a hopeless drunk who read a lot, fancied himself as some sort of philosopher, and made home made beer.

You forgot Barney Frank and... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

You forgot Barney Frank and the congressman from the cape(whose name eludes me) who got caught with an 18 year old page. Both reelected.

Re: adultery - I'm waiting ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Re: adultery - I'm waiting for one of them to try something along the lines of, "The lady in question has not yet achieved the age of majority... therefore this was not adultery."

For shame, Sharon. Of all t... (Below threshold)

For shame, Sharon. Of all the people to forget, Gerry STUDDS?

J.

<a href="http://en.wikipedi... (Below threshold)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Mills

Wilbur Daigh Mills (May 24, 1909 – May 2, 1992)

Mills stepped down from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, acknowledged his alcoholism, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and checked himself into Palm Beach Institute at West Palm Beach.[3][4] He did not seek re-election in 1976, devoted his time to counseling individual alcoholics,[citation needed] and raising funds for alcoholic treatment centers, including one founded in his honor at Searcy, Arkansas, the Wilbur D. Mills Treatment Center for Alcohol and Drugs. He also became affiliated as of counsel with Washington office of the New York political powerhouse law firm Shea & Gould. He was succeeded by Jim Guy Tucker.[citation needed]

Wilbur Mills died in Searcy. He is buried at Kensett Cemetery in Kensett.

Hasn't the family values la... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Hasn't the family values label long since been abandoned by the repubs?

As to Lee, if he's this dumb to send stupid pics the way he did, it's better he does resign. Any stupider and he'd have to switch parties.

Sorry, J. Live in central M... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

Sorry, J. Live in central Mass under the regime of Castro's favorite congressman, Jim McGovern.

It took me a couple of seco... (Below threshold)

It took me a couple of seconds, too, Sharon, but you gotta admit... a gay congressman who bangs an underage male page named STUDDS? You couldn't make that up.

J.

True,true. On the other han... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

True,true. On the other hand, so much corruption in Ma it is hard to keep track of it all. Why oh why do I live here? It is certainly not for the weather.

"Why oh why do I live here?... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Why oh why do I live here? It is certainly not for the weather."

I moved here from Chicago. Why?

* The economy is better (MA is not deliberately driving out jobs, at least not yet).
* Less crime (what Boston natives think is dangerous is merely average in Chicago).
* The government is not any more corrupt.
* The weather is better, not wonderful, but I will take it over Chicago's any day.

SPOT ON! Jay Tea......This ... (Below threshold)
DukeofDeLand:

SPOT ON! Jay Tea......This hypocrisy is something a REAL media would renounce immediately and have a field day following. However, we have the MSM of today, toddies to the DEMs and their position.....I am ashamed to admit I was a media person more than 35 years ago. However, in my time, we actually explored BOTH sides of a story and presented it for public consideration. That day is long-gone.

S-A-D!!!!!

I kind of shrugged my shoul... (Below threshold)
James H:

I kind of shrugged my shoulders at this when it came out. Meh. OTOH, I think Congressman Dooku resigned because there are likely more instances like this out there. A guy doesn't send shirtless pics to people on CL just once, y'know.

There's a cute oblique refe... (Below threshold)
Murgatroyd:

There's a cute oblique reference to the Wilbur Mills scandal in the "radio roulette" opening of WKRP in Cincinnati:

"... althouth the Senator denied he was intoxicated, he could not explain his nudity ..."




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