You have to hand it to former New York representative Chris Lee. The timing of his sex scandal was impeccable, although I don't suppose he actually planned it that way. It happened at a time when everyone's eyes and ears were focused on events in Egypt. (Those few who weren't focused on Egypt were probably focused on the CPAC convention, but that's a blog post for another day!)
Gawker.com broke the story on Wednesday under the headline "Married GOP Congressman Sent Sexy Pictures to Craigslist Babe." He had represented himself to this "Craigslist Babe" as a divorced lobbyist when in fact he was a married congressman with children, and, most incriminatingly, he had sent her a picture of himself, topless, flexing his muscles. And really that seems to be all that happened. The two people had some flirtatious emails back and forth and he sent her the picture to prove that he wasn't "a toad" but this so-called sex scandal doesn't even seem to have involved any actual sex. On the scale of Washington sex scandals, it hardly even nudges the needle. Nevertheless, hours after the story broke, Congressman Lee resigned. It tends to make the cynics among us just the teeniest, tiniest bit suspicious that maybe there were other stories that hadn't yet broken that he was trying to forestall. But I'm probably just showing my jaded view of politicians, especially those politicians who loudly proclaim their allegiance to "family values." It seems that about 99.9 times out of a hundred, these guys are hiding something. Or trying to hide something.
Anyway, Lee may now be in the books as having had the fastest sex scandal on record in Washington. I certainly don't remember a quicker one. Usually, they drag on for months with charges and counter-charges, ad nauseum, and the politician being dogged by reporters everywhere he goes until he finally decides he needs to "spend more time with his family" and resigns in ignominy. Of course, it hasn't quite played out that way with two Republican senators, Vitter of Louisiana (of the diapers and prostitutes) and Ensign of Nevada (of the payoffs to his aide, the husband he cuckolded). They are both still serving (very bad pun intended).
The key may well be that many of those long-term sex scandals that we've come to more or less expect came to light in summer, during slow news periods. This one broke during a very eventful February. Like I said, timing is everything.