Thursday, June 18, 2009

The "breathtaking hypocrisy" of John Ensign

By Michael J.W. Stickings

What can one say about adulterer John Ensign, Republican senator from Nevada? Like my friend Steve Benen, and so many other liberal-minded adults, I really don't care what Ensign does with his personal life, as long as it doesn't involve animals or children -- or, rather, I do care, insofar as people may have been hurt by his actions, but whatever he did really isn't my, or our, business. He did what he did, and now it's between him and his wife, and him and his conscience, and among those were involved, and those who are close to him, like his family.

But, oh, the "breathtaking hypocrisy," as Steve puts it:

Of far greater interest is Ensign's hypocrisy. When Bill Clinton's adultery came to public light, Ensign not only voted to remove the president from office, but insisted the president should resign as a result of the personal scandal. When former Sen. Larry Craig was caught up in a sex scandal, Ensign not only called for Craig's ouster, but led the charge against him.

Ensign has also been a
fierce opponent of marriage equality, and supported a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In 2004, the Nevada Republican lectured his colleagues, "Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded. For those who say that the Constitution is so sacred that we cannot or should not adopt the Federal Marriage Amendment, I would simply point out that marriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation."

And did I mention that Ensign is a longtime member of the Promise Keepers, a conservative evangelical group that promotes strong families and marriages?

Few really care about Ensign's private life. The story is relevant only insofar as the Republican lawmaker has spent much of his career touting "families values" and using his office to promote his version of sexual morality -- with standards he doesn't apply to himself.

Oh, yes, what a grotesque hypocrite. (Like pretty much ever other conservative moralist who transgresses, and there are so many of them, he'll apologize, seek forgiveness, be forgiven, and perhaps even blame liberals.) And, really, isn't that just the Republican way?

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  • The thing that puzzles me is, why is Ensign making a public statement about this now?

    I think we're a little closer to that answer in that I read elsewhere that Ensign put the woman's son on his payroll as well.

    I can only assume that Ensign was forced to hold this press conference. What is it that made this necessary?

    And yes, he is indeed a major ass.

    By Anonymous karen marie, at 9:10 AM  

  • A little more poking around reveals this:

    "According to news reports, Ensign decided to go public with an affair he had with the wife of a former aide after her husband tried to blackmail him with the secret for money."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 AM  

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