Thursday, February 10, 2011


Three-Hour Scandal

Perhaps in the era of Twitter's 140 characters, it was bound to come to this: The days of the Clinton impeachment drama -- which stretched out over a year from revelation to Senate acquittal -- are long gone.  The quick evaporation of one Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) happened in all of three hours on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.

Gawker ran the story around 2:30 PM -- with a shirtless picture of the married Buffalo congressman; it was on Twitter moments later. By 5:30, Lee told Fox News that he  had to "work this out with my wife." Minutes later, he was gone: The recently-elected two-term Congressman had resigned his seat.

That a congressman would quit because of a sex scandal isn't such a shock. But that it turned out to be a sex scandal, where there is little evidence of any actual sex having taken place. Especially when there are members in the House and Senate who have survived real sex scandals.

Of course, it may well turn out that this wasn't the first time Lee was on Craigslist looking for some action. Indeed, the resignation probably stops cold any further questioning on that line. He's now a private citizen.  Of course, as a few people noted, the real surprise is that the first congressman to quit because of scandal wasn't this guy.

In one sense, it's a sad tale that a foolish act would end someone's career so quickly. However, there is the judgment question of -- why would Lee use his real name in an e-mail communication with a woman who wasn't his wife!?!?

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