Do I have much sympathy for Rep. Chris Lee (and others of his ilk)?
No, not particularly.
(You see, I am what is known as a big old meanie. I particularly scorn people who can't either remain monogamous or separate/get a divorce before beginning another physical relationship.)
To those who would argue that his philandering ways have nothing to do with his ability to do his job, I ask why we should settle for someone who would cheat on his wife. If he has so little trouble breaking his marriage vows, what makes you think he'll show greater fidelity to his constituents and their interests?
...Yes, maybe there have been great leaders who have also been cheaters, but surely there are people out there who can lead and remain faithful. If you want to wield political power, be prepared to be held to a higher standard (or at least to have your dirty laundry aired, if found).
(You'd think that fear of embarrassing, life-ruining exposure would be enough to make politicians-- if not people in general-- behave themselves, but apparently not.)