Zero Defect

U.S. Representative, Chris Lee, of Western New York resigned tonight.

Although married with a child, Congressman Lee sought female companionship on Craig’s List.

He was apparently seeking to fill those lonely Capitol Hill nights.

His resignation came as a shock to all.

His offense: tastelessly posing without a shirt for a Blackberry shot.  As a descriptive caption, he wrote that he was a “fun, fit, classy guy.”

Although I don’t agree with him politically, I thought Chris Lee was a good Congressman.  He was good for our region.  I will be sad to see him go.

During our Haiti Earthquake Crisis in January 2010, Rep. Lee and one of his trusted aides were a tremendous help to us in working to bring first Running Girl and then Island Boy home.  In every interview I gave, I thanked Rep. Lee for his support.

He must be dying of shame right now.  It is worse for his wife and child.

This sad event begs the question: Have 21st century American politics become so harsh and unforgiving that no human frailty is forgivable?

The U.S. House of Representatives is made up of 435 members.  The Senate is comprised of 100.  Thousands more hold elected state and local governmental offices.

All of these people are human.  Each of them have secrets and personal baggage.

Can we afford a society that holds its elected officials to a “zero defect” standard?

His behavior was certainly less egregious than Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, a client of the notorious “D.C. Madam.”

His conduct was nowhere near as bad as that of Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who carried on an affair with the wife of his best friend/chief aide and then attempted to pay off the entire family after the relationship came to an end.

Both of these elected officials are still in office.

Perhaps we should be thankful that Chris Lee has decided to spare the American public extended debate on this silliness.  Maybe that works to his credit.

His resignation statement:

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.

“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”

— The Major

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