By any reasonable measure of Capitol Hill hypocrisy, it does figure that a Republican congressman who listed "values" as the No, 1 reason to reelect him last fall would spend his free time trolling Craigslist with a semi-nude photo of himself as as date bait.
There was something so predictable about the news that New York Congressman Chris Lee resigned abruptly Wednesday, after it was revealed that the "proud husband and father" had somehow found his way to the "women seeking men" corner of the Internet.
Let’s start by getting a clear read on this self-described "fit, fun classy guy." Though he looks the fool today, Lee was actually one of the abler of the new generation of House Republicans. And he was not nearly so aggressive a moralizer as many of his colleagues.Yes, he voted as a social conservative who opposed the repeal of the discriminatory "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" rule. He backed moves to wrongheaded moves to defund reproductive health-care programs. And, certainly, there will be those who detect at least a measure of hyprocrisy in the fact that Lee was a big backer of the proposed "Student Internet Safety Act," which is was framed as a defense against internet predators.
But Lee’s primary focus was on economic issues. Indeed, the second-term congressman, who comes from a wealthy family with a background in manufacturing, was more focused than all but a handful of congressional Republicans on specific job-creation issues. he highlighted a "5 Point Jobs Plan" as the central focus of his 2010 reelection campaign and sponsored or cosponsored dozens of bills related to manufacturing and business development.
That does not mean that Lee got far beyond the usual "cut taxes, cut regulations" mantra that Republicans — and too many Democrats — have been chanting for decades. But he was more nuanced than most Republican members of Congress in his comments, especially on trade and currency policy. While Lee was generally a free trader, he argued that:"We also need to ensure that we are getting a good trade deal with China. Real action to have the yuan decoupled from the dollar is long overdue, and so is reform of China’s indigenous-innovation and market-access policies, which keep out U.S. exports."