Today’s Lesson From Congress

If you’re a married, Republican U.S. Representative, Craigslist’s personal ads are not for you.

Write that down, please.

And underline it.

(Mind you, Craigslist’s personal ads are probably not a good idea for any U.S. Representative. But especially married, Republican ones.)

Seriously, though. I looked at that story, and what I felt for the dude was not schadenfreude but pity. Literally, the first thought that popped into my head was, oh, you poor, dumb, horny bastard. You didn’t even know what you were getting into, did you.

My second thought was that he looked pretty good for a shirtless U.S. Representative. I’m trying to imagine, say, Henry Waxman shirtless in a cell phone mirror pic and my brain is all, dude, we are so not going there. Fair enough, brain. Fair enough.

And then I was back to you poor, dumb bastard. It’s a damn fool way to leave public service, it is.

Oh, and here’s some irony for you. Key quote here: “Private information and images can so easily be transmitted to friends and strangers alike.” Indeed, sir. Indeed.

85 thoughts on “Today’s Lesson From Congress

  1. One has to wonder, though, about the level of intelligence and judgment of those whom we elect to serve in our national legislature.

    Just sayin’

  2. I don’t know, I find it kind of refreshing, it’s been so long since a Republican politician was involved in a heterosexual sex scandal.

    *Not that there’s anything wrong with being involved in a homosexual sex scandal**
    **Unless of course you’re a closeted, homophobic douchebag like Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Richard Curtis, Roy Ashburn, Ted Haggard et al.

  3. Was I alone in being surprised that this turned out to be a Sex “Scandal” involving a married male Republican politician and a woman?

    Really, after all this time, a Republican cheating, or in this case trying to cheat, on his wife with another woman is almost…quirky.

    Worth noting, this gentleman was in on the recent attacks on reproductive rights that the current congress is using to create jobs and supported DADT. So the sex lives of others are clearly of interest to him on a political level.

  4. I don’t know if it’s lack of intelligence, of an abundance of hubris. Our elected representatives always seem so shocked when they learn that the expected standards of behavior, as well as actual laws, do indeed apply to them too.

  5. And that’s…. rather that WAS my representative! And somehow, despite the apparent lack of brains, he managed to make himself into a multimillionaire.

    When are the members of Congress and other public figures going to learn that in the day of teh Intarwebs, nothing ever, EVER get’s lost in “the tubes.” No more easy lies without a link to a Youtube video of you contradicting yourself within minutes. No more skeletons in the closet. And for FSM’s sake, why the hell would you troll for an affair on Craigslist and use your real name! She’s going to realize pretty quickly you’re not Saruman, and that you must be the other guy!

    It will be interesting to see what will happen when “iGeneration” reaches the age of influence. With the omnipresence of camera phones and instantaneous impulsive uploading, we as a society will have to adapt to leaders with tons of embarrassing pics splashed all over the ‘net. There will come a day where we look at pics like this, shrug, and say, “Well, at least there’s no donkey.”

  6. He’d have an easier time of it if he were from the Other Team, if only because the Republican Big Lie includes “family values”, so a Democrat doing it wouldn’t necessarily be seen as hypocritical.

  7. I could go for a slice of Schadenfreude Pie, probably shared with our friend Mr. Lake, over the “do as I legislate, not as I perpetrate” hypocrisy of Representative Studmuffin, and won’t miss him.

    But, yeah, he’s in decent shape for a dude our age.

  8. Well to be fair he doesn’t espouse family values as a plank of his political stance. I don’t know. Any person running for office is going to have an alpha-male attitude and a desire for fame. I mean who would want that job otherwise? Why is it so surprising that these guys are sowing seeds? I’d rather it not be an issue at all. As a democrat he actually seems like the kind of Republican I’d rather keep in office. Now the right will elect some hardcore family values bozo.

  9. John – Point taken (along with the humor)… I wasn’t necessarily trying to blame the voters in this case (or in most others, really)… I just wonder if we should extend the maxim I first encountered in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which I think was stated elsewhere earlier, to wit:

    Anyone who is willing to do what it takes to be elected President should on no account be allowed to take the job.

    I often wonder if picking the entire Congress (Senate and House) along with the President and Vice President by random drawing from eligible citizens for those offices would provide worse results than what we get now.

    I do try not to be cynical, honest!!!!

  10. As someone who mostly votes Republican, I have to say that I’m ok with the rule as proposed. But I do wonder what the corresponding rule is for Democratic politicians. I would say it’s ‘make sure they’re not underage’, except, well, Gerry Studds. Any ideas?

  11. The amazing thing is how good he looks when all the makeup is off. And who would have thought that an octogenarian British Actor could have had a second career as an American Freshman Republican? Truly, this is the land of opportunity.

  12. So the interesting thing about this is that he managed not merely to have a scandal but to have it gone through the full cycle and wrapped up with a resignation bow before I, a ridiculously well wired internet news junkie, _had even managed to hear his name_.

    This is a new and disturbing development.

    Hell, it seems like most of the people going to press with this barely had time to figure out which party he was.

  13. Yup, John, and I’m perfectly ok with running him off too. But I’m still curious what behavior Democrats should avoid – nonpayment of taxes just gets you an Obama cabinet position.

  14. I have to agree there’s something pitiful about this particular scandal. It was so dumb, and despite his impressive physique he looks pretty vulnerable standing there half naked with one fist closed to pump up his muscles. For the first time ever I actually felt more sorry for the guy than disgusted by the inevitable political sex scandal. Besides, compared to what Italy is reading about in its news today, this seems tame – the things us puritanical Americans get all riled up about!

  15. I dunno… I looked at this and thought “why should he resign?” I mean, I don’t care if he’s shtupping women aside from his wife – that’s between them. Mind you, I find it wrong on a moral level and dumb… but we really need to get over the idea that sex scandals somehow disqualify one for public office more so that other kinds of scandals. As long as we’re not talking laws being broken I rather wish we’d just let this stuff go.

  16. Obviously this guy has no internet class, mirror-self-pics are so emo fifteen-year-old girl cliche. It’s just a little creepy that a congressman is doing it.

  17. Man, Skip. Your naked desperation to get some kind of dig in against “the other side” is as hysterical as it is pathetic. Gerry Studds? Do you even realize that was in 1983? 28 years ago? If you have to go back that far for a Congressional Democrat sex scandal, why not namecheck John Jenrette, too? Oh, wait — that was for sex with his own wife. Well, how about Wilbur Mills in ’74? That one involved a stripper!

  18. Isn’t “financially and emotionally secure” personals-ad-ese for “sugar daddy”?

    If you have a high Gawker tolerance, the original article breaking the story says that after Gawker contacted him about the e-mails,

    After first telling us that he couldn’t comment until we forwarded every single email in question, a request we refused—shouldn’t Lee know if he’s corresponded with women on Craigslist?—Lee’s spokesman eventually announced that the Congressman believed he’d been hacked, and provided an email he claims Lee sent to his staff about the security breach on January 21.

    The dumb, it has no bottom!

  19. I don’t have much of anything for Mr. Lee. A man with the power to legislate about the net, or anything else, bloody well should know how things work before touching them.

    But I’m quite sure his wife and family are getting a dip in ugly. They deserve, and have, my sympathy.

  20. John Ensign of Nevada. There’s a heterosexual scandal where he got his parents to pay off the woman and her husband. I’d like to know who actually discovered the Craigslist ad. Was it a reporter? A constituent? I bet there are so many reporters out there now searching on Craigslist for any person in Congress right now, just in case. What was he thinking? The guy’s wife. I do feel sorry for her.

    Thanks for that Waxman image. Just argh.

  21. Lol, the internet keeps on giving. Next I want ot see a US senater quit because of something they posted on 4chan.

  22. I had the same reaction as you did, John. However, I thought the absolute best part of the whole thing was him describing himself as a “fit, fun, classy guy.” Guy, if you’re trolling on Craiglist, classy does not describe you. Fit, I’ll grant him. Geez!

  23. Rick @23 Some people think if you lie and break promises to someone you supposedly love and live with, you’ll have no problem doing the same to strangers. Or the people who voted you into office. Do you believe the, “Oh, sure I lied to HER, but I won’t lie to YOU!” line?

  24. @32 yeah I know… the character issue. But 1) I don’t buy the equivalence of ” if you lie and break promises to someone you supposedly love and live with, you’ll have no problem doing the same to strangers” and 2) if one does, then the logical conclusion is to only elect perfect, saintly types who never do anything wrong.

  25. Years. Fucking years of work. A lifetime of work. Straight down the shitter.

    You’re more likely to be eaten by a shark while being struck by lightning than you are to win a Congressional seat, and this guy pissed it away on Craigslist.

    You know his family is crushed, but Jesus Christ, think of his campaign manager. Are you kidding me? Craigslist? Really?

    Shit.

  26. Rick @33 you’re missing all the space that fills the area between numbers 1 and 2.
    There’s a lot of space there. Think of all the decimals! The fractions!

    And why oh why did I click the Henry Waxman link? My memory was all warm and fuzzy until I clicked it. Is this where I’m supposed to insert a unicorn picture?

  27. I’m trying to understand why so many of these people think they have some kind of “shield” – that it can’t happen to them. For heaven’s sake – you put it on the INTERNET!!

    Agree with above – if you are doing this kind of thing on Craigslist, you have plenty of class – it’s just that it’s low class.

  28. @ 24 Just Good Sense; to be fair, Gerry Studds and Barney Franks’s constituents blithely ignored the fact that their representatives were a) engaged in extracurricular activities with someone much younger and who used to work for Congress (in Studd’s case) and b) dated a sex worker who ran a sex worker operation out of the apartment he and Franks lived in. Makes you wonder why and in what circumstances voters will close their eyes to moral/ethical transgressions in their representatives’ private lives. Then there is the whole Clinton/Lewinsky fiasco.

  29. Kevin Williams @ 9

    so a Democrat doing it wouldn’t necessarily be seen as hypocritical.

    That’s just sad.

    Scalzi @20

    Well, as noted, I think they should all avoid Craigslist personals. It’s good advice for everyone.

    I’m thinking that better advice is; Don’t cheat on your wife. There was that “vow” thing. I know, I know, call me Pollyanna.

    Just Good Sense @26

    If you have to go back that far for a Congressional Democrat sex scandal,

    You don’t want to go there….

  30. @2: It hasn’t been that long since a Republican politician was involved in a hetero sex scandal. My former US Representative, Mark Souder, resigned just last year as the result of one.

  31. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. (Oh, well, Louisiana… where Governor Edwin Edwards once said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy”.)

  32. This might be hard to believe, but back when I was in college in the early 1990s, I met a girl who had been a congressional paige. This was a program for either high school students over the summer or college age kids. She said that she and alot of girls had big crushes on Al Gore. Note, Al Gore did not act on those crushes. However, she said that a lot of the girls were very obvious about it.

    Note, this was a younger, pre-VP Al Gore. Not the 60 year old guy we see today.

    I guess he is no Al Gore and needed to resort to Craigslist.

  33. “…especially married, Republican ones.”

    The GOP really made a deal with the Devil when they first started courting the “Christian” Right / Family Values-types during the Reagan years (irony alert ;) As long as they continue to pander to that crowd for votes, they’ll continue to get slapped around much harder for transgressions of this sort.

    Oh well, off for a cup-o-coffee and a slice of schadenfreude pie…

  34. Frank@38 (and Chris@37):

    Go where? The Big Dog? Doesn’t count. That wasn’t a scandal, it was an epic Shakespearean farce. Not to mention what it added to the economy in the number of cable news gasbags and tabloid hacks it employed. (I hope your side is gracious enough to be sending Bubba bouquets and boxes of cigars every Feb. 28. He earned ‘em.)

    The OP subject is Congressional sex scandals. The Lewinsky thing is a foul ball. Ahem.

  35. Just for the record, as a few people seem to be making this common mistake, not everyone’s marriage vows include monogamy. Yes, the odds are pretty good that ex-Rep. Chris Lee’s vows do, but it’s not a given.

    Which wouldn’t affect his bonehead score by much, I admit.

    As far as the most famous of similar Dem scandals, the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal did show a rather impressive gap in Clinton’s intelligence. That said, it’s worth noting that some of the leaders of the carefully-orchestrated and oh-so-outraged response to it were evidently engaged in their own extramarital games at the time.

  36. Oh, man, that shirtless picture pumping his bicep, that’s something he should have gotten out of his system back in middle school. And the affair? That’s something he should have gotten out of his system before getting married.

  37. Apparently he was chasitised by Boehner last year for too much public partying with female lobbyists. Taking his mid-life crisis to the electronic personals isn’t exactly a good way of getting out of the public eye …

  38. Chris Shaeffer @ 37:

    Interesting that you bring up Gerry Studds and Barney Frank as examples of (D) sex scandals, rather than the much more recent example of, say, Eliott Spitzer, and mention Bill Clinton only as an afterthought. Hmmm… what is different about the former two than the latter?

  39. to all those whining that we are unfairly picking on Republicans (I’m looking at you Skip)
    We (the voting public) should hold all of our representatives to SOME standard – it is not realistic to expect them to be saintly, but it shouldn’t be unrealistic to expect them to live up to the standards that thier parties allegedly espouse – it’s not the “sex scandal” that’s so juicy–it’s the HYPOCRICY – it would be like if Al Gore was going out of his way to cut down rain forests and burn them or something (and yes if he was caught doing that I’d be among the 1st to be all riled up about it)

    so the message to the GOP leadership should be – either use whatever it is you use to get everyone in the GOP to be so “loyal” and “tow the party line” to follow the social “family values” you crow about – or stop crowing

  40. – it’s not the “sex scandal” that’s so juicy–it’s the HYPOCRICY

    Hypocrisy!? You want to make hypocrisy a firing (or resigning) offense?

    I’m sorry, but we would have few, if any, members of Congress if that were the standard.

    Perhaps I need to point out that Congressman Lee resigned. He was unlikely to be kicked out. Not even Rangle got kicked out.

  41. you know, I see the irony of a Republican being in a sex scandal, where there’s less irony in a Democrat being in a sex scandal.

    However, aside from the humor of the situation, I don’t see there really being a difference between if an R did it or a D. I mean, the problem for me isn’t even the lying thing. I mean, they’re politicians. If you expect them to not lie, then you’re hopelessly naive.

    So, no, I don’t expect my politicians to be pure. I don’t expect them to be honest. What I do expect, and I understand that this is NOT something that most Americans seem to want in their politicians, but what *I* want is for my politician to NOT BE A MORON.

    In a lot of ways, to me not getting caught is more important than not doing the crime. Now, since with the media the way it is these days, you’re GOING to get caught, so that’s part of it. But its still the stupidity of doing something that you’ll get caught at, not the actual morality of the act that bothers me.

  42. Frank at 49: Hypocrisy isn’t a firing or resigning offense. It *IS* however a ridicule offense, and really that’s all that’s going on. No one would have called for his firing. I’m not even sure there would have been a huge outcry for his resignation, given that he admitted it up front, and didn’t continue to lie about it for too long.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not juicy, and we can’t enjoy making fun of him for it.

  43. @Frank – I don’t really have a problem with cleaning out Congresspeople whose attitude is “it’s okay when I do it”. Do you?

    @rick: it’s not simply character; it’s the entitlement. Ignoring for the minute the sincerity of his apologies, Clinton said one very honest thing: that he had sex with Lewinsky because he could. Anyone who believes they’re entitled to a special set of rules that don’t apply to the little people, and/or that it doesn’t count if you don’t get caught, does not belong in public office.

  44. Frank – you are putting words in my mouth – nowhere did I call for him to be fired/resign (personally I believe what goes on in the bedrrom between consenting adults isn’t anyone else’s business) – I ampointing out that

    1) The GOP markets itself as the “Family Values” party and “Defenders of Marriage”
    2) the irony of this is lost on those that say “yea but democrats have been in “sex scandals” too
    3) maybe #1 isn’t a wise posistion

  45. Wow, reading these commentaries has really shocked me.

    Hypocrisy should be a firing or resigning offense depending, of course, on the degree. Maybe if we forced congressmen out when they were such blatant hypocrites we might start having reasonable debates about issues instead of people screaming about non-existent Obama death panels and ignoring a real one in Arizona.

    The firing or resigning offense in this case isn’t hypocrisy, it’s stupidity. I definitely think stupidity is a firing offense in just about any job. The guy was a total idiot.

    Let’s not do the name tossing thing: “I’ll see your Larry Craig and raise you one Elliot Spitzer”. Yes, both parties have had sex scandals. If you cite cases you can argue all day and convince no one. If someone wants to claim the Democrats are as bad as the Republicans, provide some statistics. Have there been more scandals by one party than another?

    Some meaningful statistics: in divorce statistics, of the top ten states, 9 are red states. Of the bottom 10, 8 are blue states. How’s that preserving the sanctity of marriage thing working out for ya?

    The Daily Beast did a detailed comparison. Republicans had more scandals (34 to 27) than Democrats, though the Dems has most of the bigger ones. The Democrats clearly have nothing to crow about, but at least they are not screaming “Family Values” at the top of their lungs everywhere they go while winning the Prostitution scandal race 6 to 1. And, they sure do feel a need to tell me how I should be living my life. Seems like they should be cleaning up their own house first…

  46. Being late to this party my impression is that this fellow was pushed to resign by the party leadership; no distractions must get in the way of the great work of trying to make concepts that failed in the 19th century work in the 21st.

    Never mind the little things like the betrayal of his wife.

  47. Brian @51

    That doesn’t mean it’s not juicy, and we can’t enjoy making fun of him for it.

    Good point. And really, he’ll never live this down. I mean if I saw him today I wouldn’t be able to suppress a laugh.

    Jasonmitchell @52

    nowhere did I call for him to be fired/resign

    Yeah, you’re right.

    1) The GOP markets itself as the “Family Values” party and “Defenders of Marriage”
    2) the irony of this is lost on those that say “yea but democrats have been in “sex scandals” too
    3) maybe #1 isn’t a wise posistion

    But that’s just absurd.

    You’re saying that just because someone doesn’t expound on “Family Values” that people won’t judge them on these anyway?

    I don’t even believe it’s true. Politicians get judged on such behavior whether or not they profess to be a Family Values candidate.

    Just ask John Edwards.

    If such a thing was revealed about Obama during the campaign, he very likely would not have won the election. This is why some in the media tried so hard (and successfully) to cover up Edwards “problem” during the primary. The story only really came out after he gave up.

    It’s not the family values thing that got Lee, it’s the sheer incompetence and stupidity of his actions.

    I have to agree with Brian in 50

    what *I* want is for my politician to NOT BE A MORON.

    Yeah. That.

  48. As someone noted earlier in the thread, the speed that this whole thing happened is what boggles my mind. It’s like some comedy where the guy sends off the email in question and three seconds later there’s a reporter from 60 Minutes knocking on his door. It must seem very surreal to the people who work in his office.

    And I really don’t understand this whole conversation about which “side” is worse. To be honest, I don’t think most politicians put their marriage and family first, or they wouldn’t be doing the job they’re doing. I mean, if you want to look at the top 5 worst jobs for getting to see your spouse and kids, “Public Office” would probably be up there with “Corporate CEO” and “Overseas Military”. None of us knows whether the guy’s marriage was already on the rocks before all of this happened. So it could be anything from an act of petty stupid hubris to one of bone-headed desperation.

    What we do know is: This was a dumb, dumb move; He picked the wrong party to be in as far as shooting their wounded goes; and That picture will live on long past his future in public office would have lasted.

  49. #7 Judge: There will come a day where we look at pics like this, shrug, and say, “Well, at least there’s no donkey.”

    I think that day is already here, don’t you? I mean, the donkey is probably coming sometime soon.

    #23 Rick: but we really need to get over the idea that sex scandals somehow disqualify one for public office more so that other kinds of scandals. As long as we’re not talking laws being broken I rather wish we’d just let this stuff go.

    People have the right to pick what sort of person they want to represent them. (That’s how we end up with crazy people in Congress.) Infidelity used to be illegal, especially for women, and even though now it’s not, (and rightly so,) for many voters, it indicates that the person lies, has no integrity or commitment, has no sense of responsibility, self-control and appropriate behavior, is willing to hurt his or her family and probably others, and puts his own needs ahead of those he’s supposed to serve. All of which might certainly give voters pause about having that person represent them when they know these details about their personality. It would certainly be nice if financial scandals in the U.S. also disqualified people for public office as much as sex scandals do, but apparently, a lot of people see financial crime and shady dealings as signs of cunning and cleverness.

  50. Wow. As much as the shirtless/cheesy picture of this politician makes me feel embarrassed for him, its the members of the “Republican Defender League” that are trying to either downplay this or misdirect away from it with “Dems do it too!” nonsense that is really embarrassing to watch. And its about as transparent as the four-year old trying to justify how they ended up on a chair, on the counter top, with their hand in teh cookie jar on top of the refrigerator.

  51. Mythago @ 52 –

    Anyone who believes they’re entitled to a special set of rules that don’t apply to the little people, and/or that it doesn’t count if you don’t get caught, does not belong in public office.

    So in your view people would have a First Amendment guarantee of free assembly to peaceably protest on the steps of the Supreme Court? And if SCOTUS feels otherwise, the Justices should resign?

    (Sorry I couldn’t resist.)

  52. Frank (57) again you are putting words in my mouth:
    “You’re saying that just because someone doesn’t expound on “Family Values” that people won’t judge them on these anyway”

    no, I am saying if you are a politician and your party DOES expound on “family values” or the “sanctity or marriage” and you get cought with your pants down/ in an affair/ soliciting BJ’s in a Minnesota airport bathroom etc. expect to be judged MORE harshly because the lapse in judgement is compounded by the hypocricy.

  53. JasonMitchell @62: Actually, probably not that much. I mean some people care about “family values” and some don’t. Those who do are likely unlikely to view hypocrisy as a major issue, certainly not nearly as bad as the pants being down. Those that don’t, will just point and laugh.

    Whereas if the candidate isn’t big on “family values” then the people do care about them will judge more harshly saying “See what not caring about family values brings?” while those that don’t will either not care about the whole thing, or be annoyed by the stupidity.

    I guess I’m assuming that no single person cares both about the “family values” angle AND the hypocrisy angle, but that’s just been my experience. Also, since some people consider lack of family values to be a firing offense, but no one considers hypocrisy to be one… I don’t really think that they add up in any interesting way.

  54. As Scalzi noted, don’t be too quick to call him a hypocrite for cheating on his wife, they might have an open marriage. Call him a moron for taking a route that pretty much guaranteed that he’d get caught. If you’re a name you don’t hook up with randoms and you definitely don’t send them your picture.

    And as others have noted, it will be interesting to see if there’s more to this story given how quickly he resigned in light of what by current standards is a fairly innocuous scandal, considering the politicians of whatever party that have refused to resign in similar or far worse revelations.

  55. Jack @14 wrote:
    I often wonder if picking the entire Congress (Senate and House) along with the President and Vice President by random drawing from eligible citizens for those offices would provide worse results than what we get now.”

    If my memory is correct, the government of ancient Athens was selected by periodic lotteries among the eligible citizens. I believe that the results varied from quite good to absolutely horrible during the life of the Athenian city-state. (FWIW, their definition of “eligible citizens” was somewhat different than we might use today, but I doubt that this would make a difference.)

  56. #68 by Rev Matt: “As Scalzi noted, don’t be too quick to call him a hypocrite for cheating on his wife, they might have an open marriage.”

    I noted the same thing, but that would only lessen the hypocrisy rather than dodge it entirely. For one thing, he claimed to be divorced. I may not be monogamous, but that doesn’t give me a pass on lying in relationships, either current or potential.

  57. Kat @60 “People have the right to pick what sort of person they want to represent them.”

    Well yes. I didn’t say anything to the contrary. However, we’re not talking about why he lost an election, but that he resigned because of this. The will of the people wasn’t an issue in this one as there wasn’t a vote.

  58. MyName #59: **And I really don’t understand this whole conversation about which “side” is worse.**

    True Believer partisans (either side, any side) have a pathological need to hate The Other, which requires that The Other must be continually demonized as truly despicable to the point of evil, even subhuman. Hate sells. The Other must be so evil that using evil to defeat them becomes acceptable.

    Apparently Boehner chastised Lee last year for too much pubic partying with female lobbyists. Guess Lee decided to shift the gaming grounds of his mid-life crisis — in a truly techno-clueless fashion.

  59. Ahh, I miss the old congress, where over 2/3 of them went through the S&M sex clubs in the district every year and nobody ever wrote up anyone because everyone (including the reporters in DC) did it.

    This new sacred-marriage kick they’re on? Scary.

    The religious right / “family values” nuts hijacked more than the GOP core, they also hijacked the public discourse, and that pisses me off.

    Not that this guy isn’t a moron, but just sayin’.

  60. Hey George William Herbert at #74, right on! Those “family values” fuckers who think that lying to your wife and kids to find a hooker on Craigslist is somehow wrong are just plain stupid. Sacred Marriage? Are you kidding me? What kind of “family values” nazi bullshit is that?

  61. I don’t really see that there’s much of a story here other than the fact that John Boehner means to run the House with a much tighter grip on the till than Denny Hastert ever did. Hastert — *former* Speaker Hastert — let Mark Foley’s nonsense linger for months. I know it’s a tall order, but I would like to see Members of Congress behave like adults for once — if I’m old fashioned in thinking folks ought not cheat on their wives, so be it. If Speaker Boehner tells a guy he is going to resign because he embarrassed himself, the party, and the House, huzzah for him.

  62. From ex-Congressman Lee’s web page

    Through the Internet, with a few keystrokes and the click of a button, a young person can call up information for a research project, make new friends or discover new hobbies.

    At the same time, responding to what may seem like a friendly e-mail or an appealing marketing offer can have serious consequences. Private information and images can so easily be transmitted to friends and strangers alike.[snip]That’s why I recently helped pass the Student Internet Safety Act (H.R. 780), critical legislation that gives schools the tools they need to educate students on the dangers of the Internet.

    Way to educate the kiddos, Mr. Lee.

  63. Billy @76: No one’s saying it isn’t “wrong” but many things are “wrong”. No one gets kicked out of congress for taking up two parking spaces with their SUV. No one gets kicked out of congress for speeding. No one gets kicked out of congress for shoplifting (Well, It’s possible that no one has been caught with this, but idoubt they would get more than a reprimand.) No one gets kicked out of congress for telling their wife they are going into the office, when they’re actually going to a bar. Heck, no one gets kicked out of congress for telling t heir constituents that they will stand up to big business and then taking tons of big business money, and doing exactly what big business wants…

    All in all, expecting our representatives to be moral is a lost cause.

  64. #71: Rick: “Well yes. I didn’t say anything to the contrary.”

    You said that people should get over sex scandals and not care that the politicians they elected are involved in them because it wasn’t illegal or involved with politics. I was pointing out that people, voters, have reasons for viewing sex scandals as important in how they regard politicians in office.

    “However, we’re not talking about why he lost an election, but that he resigned because of this. The will of the people wasn’t an issue in this one as there wasn’t a vote.”

    He resigned because he figures it will be an issue with the people who will vote on his next election. We’re talking about why sex scandals are important to people and effect politicians’ careers. The will of the people is the issue, or rather, the will of the people in his very Republican district. :)

    Someone suggested that maybe the guy had an open marriage, but if so, he wasn’t very open about it and if he did, I strongly suspect his wife would have told him not to be an idiot and troll for his women on Craigslist. So open marriage seems unlikely. It’s just the standard lets bash the young unmarried girls who have babies while I cheat on my wife routine. A donkey would have been more interesting.

  65. Who did he think he was? A Democrat? Ted Kennedy? Barney Frank?

    To be fair those two did far, far worse than this guy. But the GOP needs to learn (again and again it seems) that you can’t pass wind if you’re a Republican and not make it a Headline News scandal of the month.

  66. FWIW, their definition of “eligible citizens” was somewhat different than we might use today, but I doubt that this would make a difference.)

    I suspect that Aristophanes might have diasagreed, Not to mention his wife
    Lysistrata

  67. @Scorpius: Are you implying that Frank’s homosexuality is somehow akin to cheating on your wife off of craigslist or are you going for something else?

  68. It must be said once again:

    Do not put anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want your boss, your mother, or your worst enemy to see.

    That includes email or any other “private” messages. There is no such thing as private on the Internet.

  69. B.Durbin@84: The funniest part is that HE HIMSELF made a speech to kids saying basically the same thing…

    The man’s an idiot.

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