Like an HOUR ago, CNN reported that New York Representative Christopher Lee (no, not Sauron or Dracula) resigned amid reports that Lee, a married Republican, tried to meet women on Craigslist. He used a photo to do it with, as illustrated in the images on the CNN blog.
When the CNN post told me that the allegations first surfaced Wednesday afternoon on Gawker, I thought to myself, “Isn’t TODAY Wednesday?”
Yes, today’s Wednesday; yes, the Gawker story was posted today at 2:33 pm Eastern Time — that is to say, about five hours ago. This has to be the fastest Craigslist scandal yet — four hours from the posting of the story on Gawker to the reporting, in CNN, of Lee’s resignation. VRRRRRRRRRRROOMMMM!!!!
The short version of the story is that Lee did not post an ad of his own on the Maryland/DC Craigslist — no, that would have been stupid. He merely responded to a woman posting in Women For Men, with a picture of himself (claiming to be a “lobbylist.”). Did I mention that it was the Maryland/DC Craigslist? Right. Posting an ad would have been stupid. Just responding to one isn’t stupid at all. Anyway, Lee responded from a personal email address that was connected to his Facebook page — which he deleted when Gawker began nosing around.
As Gawker put it:
By modern day standards, the conversation was relatively banal: No prostitutes, escorts, or madams were involved. Just good old fashioned lying and an apparent willingness to cheat on one’s wife.
The correspondent, after deciding that Lee had lied about his age and occupation, forward the emails to Gawker.
This is actually not so much a Stupid Representative Trick as it is symptomatic of an overall problem with being a Representative. Growing up, I always thought people in Congress had giant mansions and were ferried around in limousines with dozens of Uzi-toting bodyguards. I think future members of Congress probably grew up thinking the same thing.
Now, having been friendly with more than one U.S. Representative, I find it pretty obvious that the underwhelming sense of my-15-minutes-are-over they experience grants them a kind of deceptive anonymity, a Somebody-Nobody sorta status. They were expecting flying cars. They got a Hyundai.
The short version is that Congressional Representatives only represent a small number of people, in the grand scheme of things; they don’t get put on television unless they cheat on their spouses or spew some completely random weirdness. They tend to come to the mopey conclusion that they’re not really that big a deal. I believe it must be pretty easy, when you’re in the House, to convince yourself it’s not worth worrying about whether a political opponent might hit Craigslist trolling for Senators and come up with you, a mere U.S. Representative.
Hey, as a member of the junior house you’re the sort of Hail Mary pass that someone settles for at the singles’ bar only after Last Call, right?
You think to yourself, “I mean…I’m small potatoes. who’s that desperate. Gawker!?”
You think to yourself, “Oh, come on. I don’t need to worry about that crap. I’m not nearly famous enough.”
And apparently that’s how you get famous. Congratulations!!