The Art of a Scandal-Scarred Politician's Resignation

When caught in a sex scandal, the first political instinct is to wait for the furor to blow over. Larry Craig fought tooth and nail to maintain power. Mark Sanford won't budge. That's why we praise Mike Duvall.

The California GOP Assemblyman came up on our radar yesterday, when a video surfaced of him bragging about his oozy trysts with a female lobbyist.

After reading over his lewd, yet unbelievably fascinating, remarks, we didn't expect him to have much dignity about the whole thing, but he's surprised us, for he resigned today.

I am deeply saddened that my inappropriate comments have become a major distraction for my colleagues in the Assembly, who are working hard on the very serious problems facing our state. I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately, so that the Assembly can get back to work.

A successful political resignation, such as this one, has three components. First, an acknowledgment of improper conduct, as seen in his admission "inappropriate" remarks. Second, it's good to mention a familial discussion. Voters want to at least pretend familial obligations — not public shaming — played a role in a once respected lawmaker's departure. Finally, and most importantly, a scapegoat, preferably, as seen above, the fact that the gossip and snickering has become a "distraction" from public duties.

So, hats off to you, Duvall, you sick braggard. Now, what will become of the lobbyist, Heidi DeJong Barsuglia, who, as Duvall recalled, loved describing how he dripped out of her. Ew!