Why Should Republicans Be Embarrassed about Chris Lee's resignation?

Yesterday Representative Chris Lee (R-NY) resigned suddenly after it was revealed that he had emailed a shirtless photos to a woman while simultaneously claiming to be divorced. He also claimed he was seven years younger than his actual age and a lobbyist rather than a Congressman.  For the record, former Congressman Lee is married.

Various media outlets and assorted pundits have opined that this situation will be an embarrassment for the newly elected Republican majority in the House.  They assume that Democrats will make references to Mr. Lee as a symptom of Republican dysfunction and highlight the affair as a "typical" example of the moral turpitude endemic to the Republican party.

If the Democrats point to Chris Lee and say, in politically correct phrases, that he is a jerk, it is doubtful that Speaker John Boehner will take to the House floor to defend Lee.  But a Democrat attempt to embarrass the entire Republican House membership?  It takes someone completely immersed within the Washington "bubble" to see that as a smart move by Democrats.  The old adage about people who live in glass houses and casting stones comes to mind.

In fact, I think that Mr. Boehner and the Republican leadership would welcome such an attack.  He and the other House leaders could quite proudly counter with the fact that within hours of the misbehavior of Mr. Lee becoming public he was encouraged to resign his congressional seat immediately.  To get a sitting Representative to immediately relinquish a position that he or she had run for and won, probably takes a lot in the way of encouragement.  But Boehner apparently was very, very encouraging...as he held the door open and offered to help Lee pack up his belongings.

The Democrats would then look rather weak and would also be tainted with guilt by association in terms of their own membership's follies.  The list of Democrat transgressors during the 111th Congress just ended, including the stellar example of Congressman Charlie Rangel, who continued in office for months, if not years, after being similarly exposed, appears to embody the very "culture of corruption" that the last Speaker railed against time and again.

Mr. Boehner can feel justifiably proud that he and his party removed the cancer within their midst before it infected not only other Republicans, but Democrats who might be tarred with the "no member of Congress has either a moral compass or a sense of decorum."  Mr. Boehner can quite rightly claim that he was not protecting only his fellow Republicans by his strong encouragement of Mr. Lee's resignation, but that he was protecting the entire House.  Mrs. Pelosi, you might want to take notes on how the Speaker of the House should act.


Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, Vietnam veteran and libertarian (small "l").  Jim blogs at
http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, or he can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com

 

 

 

Yesterday Representative Chris Lee (R-NY) resigned suddenly after it was revealed that he had emailed a shirtless photos to a woman while simultaneously claiming to be divorced. He also claimed he was seven years younger than his actual age and a lobbyist rather than a Congressman.  For the record, former Congressman Lee is married.

Various media outlets and assorted pundits have opined that this situation will be an embarrassment for the newly elected Republican majority in the House.  They assume that Democrats will make references to Mr. Lee as a symptom of Republican dysfunction and highlight the affair as a "typical" example of the moral turpitude endemic to the Republican party.

If the Democrats point to Chris Lee and say, in politically correct phrases, that he is a jerk, it is doubtful that Speaker John Boehner will take to the House floor to defend Lee.  But a Democrat attempt to embarrass the entire Republican House membership?  It takes someone completely immersed within the Washington "bubble" to see that as a smart move by Democrats.  The old adage about people who live in glass houses and casting stones comes to mind.

In fact, I think that Mr. Boehner and the Republican leadership would welcome such an attack.  He and the other House leaders could quite proudly counter with the fact that within hours of the misbehavior of Mr. Lee becoming public he was encouraged to resign his congressional seat immediately.  To get a sitting Representative to immediately relinquish a position that he or she had run for and won, probably takes a lot in the way of encouragement.  But Boehner apparently was very, very encouraging...as he held the door open and offered to help Lee pack up his belongings.

The Democrats would then look rather weak and would also be tainted with guilt by association in terms of their own membership's follies.  The list of Democrat transgressors during the 111th Congress just ended, including the stellar example of Congressman Charlie Rangel, who continued in office for months, if not years, after being similarly exposed, appears to embody the very "culture of corruption" that the last Speaker railed against time and again.

Mr. Boehner can feel justifiably proud that he and his party removed the cancer within their midst before it infected not only other Republicans, but Democrats who might be tarred with the "no member of Congress has either a moral compass or a sense of decorum."  Mr. Boehner can quite rightly claim that he was not protecting only his fellow Republicans by his strong encouragement of Mr. Lee's resignation, but that he was protecting the entire House.  Mrs. Pelosi, you might want to take notes on how the Speaker of the House should act.


Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, Vietnam veteran and libertarian (small "l").  Jim blogs at
http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, or he can be contacted directly at james.v.yardley@gmail.com

 

 

 

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