Chris Lee Didn’t Just Resign Over a Shirtless Photo

The vagaries of writing quick, clean English sentences lead Chris Cillizza – and lots of other people – to make a sort of ill-fitting comparison between Anthony Weiner and former congressman Chris Lee.

Former New York Rep. Chris Lee (R) stepped aside within hours after a shirtless picture made its way online.

Yes, he did. He cauterized the wound, and fast. But he didn’t just resign because Gawker published a photo he’d sent to a Craigslist connection. He resigned because there was more evidence that he was into transexuals and cross-dressers. Because Lee left so quickly (three hours!), the follow-ups didn’t get much attention, but Gawker found an ad Lee posted online looking for a “passable TS/CD.” What was the nightmare scenario for Republicans if Lee stuck around A first-of-its kind scandal about an anti-gay marriage member of Congress who liked to flirt with male prostitutes who wore wigs and high heels? I’ll answer that for you: Pretty damn bad.

Now, look back at Weiner.* What’s he accused of, as of today? He sent lewd (but not naked)** photos to women, kept an online profile illustrated by shirtless pics, and exchanged racy DMs with decent-looking girls who said he looked “hott” on TV. Embarrassing, but as sex scandals go, it’s not quite the same of hitting on transexuals.


**I should say “not yet.” We have no idea what else is out there, and a photo of a fully-exposed… sigh… Weiner, would shake things up.