This morning I'm feeling sorry for Rep. Chris Lee -- and not because that shirtless photo making the rounds is so over-the-top ridiculous.
Rather, I'm feeling compassion for the Republican congressman from New York for how difficult the last 24 hours must have been for him: Being crucified in the media for emailing that photo to a woman he met through Craigslist and then resigning from the House probably ranks up there as one of the worst days of his life.
I like to think that as a rule, I don't care what politicians do in their private life, and that I'm above making judgments about someone's attempts to get some play outside of his or her marriage.
But in this particular instance, I hate to admit that I do care -- and that's exactly because Rep. Lee made other people's private lives such a focal point of his two terms in Congress.
Specifically, Rep. Lee has a long track record of supporting laws that cast judgment on people's sexual choices, particularly with respect to same-sex relationships.
Some of the highlights:
He did not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have made it illegal to fire a person on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Also, he did not support the Respect for Marriage Act, a proposed law which would have allowed for all marriages, regardless of sexual orientation, to be recognized across state lines.
Finally, he voted against the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of discrimination that forced homosexuals in the military to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal.
His attempts to legislate people's private lives did not stop there: He opposed the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act, which would have helped married couples in the weeks after the birth of their children. And, he voted to reject federal funding for abortion.
Clearly, this is a man who worked hard to make other people's private lives and marriages his business -- which might be why so many people in turn think his should be theirs.
Do you feel bad for Christopher Lee?
Image via Congressman Chris Lee