Republican Senatorial Hypocrisy On Parade Again-- John Ensign
No one could believe that ambitious reactionary John Ensign-- who, until today, was harboring delusions of running for president in 2012-- missed the Senate's one roll call today, a vote to shut off a de facto filibuster by the Senate's 3 biggest pests (DeMint, Coburn and Bunning) on S. 1023 a tourism bill that he was cosponsoring. Every single senator-- even knee-jerk obstructionist kooks like Burr, Cornyn and Inhofe-- voted to shut off debate on a bill meant to "promote leisure, business, and scholarly travel to the United States." Needless to say, the bill is a huge priority for the collapsing Las Vegas tourist industry.
But Ensign was in Las Vegas instead of in DC. He decided it would be politically advantageous to make the big announcement of his extramarital affair-- with a staffer at his PAC, so paid for by Republican donors-- in his home town with his poor wife at his side. (He claims he was being blackmailed; so sordid.) The wife isn't angry because he paid the woman off last year and got her to go away, at least temporarily. Ensign was one of the Republicans who pushed Larry Craig into resigning when Craig was caught soliciting a policeman in a public toilet. (Earlier he had also demanded Bill Clinton resign.) When I called his office to ask if he would take his own advice and resign a staffer told me to go-- well what Dick Cheney said to Pat Leahy. Those Republicans are all so predictable-- and such huge supporters of the "sanctity of marriage." I bet Vitter is hoping this takes the heat off him.
UPDATE: John Ensign Resigns-- But Not From The Senate
After virtually begging Nevada voters not to force him out, this morning he resigned as the #4 Republican leader in the Senate GOP-- chair of their Policy Committee. Miss McConnell: “He’s accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family and constituents. He offered, and I accepted, his resignation as chairman of the Policy Committee.” His presidential pretensions were pronounced dead:
The swift movement by Republicans-- with Ensign’s consent-- to clear him out of Senate leadership is a sign that the party wants nothing to do with another sex scandal as it tries to slow down the massive Obama agenda and focus on health care, energy and other pressing issues. Ensign has said he will remain focused on his Senate duties representing Nevada, but his days as a rising star in GOP politics are clearly done.
“One thing is for sure, he cannot go any further in Senate leadership, or higher in electoral politics now,” said one Republican Senate aide... Before this announcement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he saw no reason to remove Ensign from his leadership spot, but when asked whether Ensign could still be an effective spokesman for the party at this point, Graham said, "No."
Oops... looks like there was some criminal behavior here too. Ensign was using PAC money-- which is federally regulated-- to pay his mistress' son while he was screwing her. The 19 year old son was doing “research policy consulting” for the NRSC in March 2008. No wonder he got fired from his Republican leadership position this morning. I wonder how long all the facts in this case are going to dribble out. Why don't these Republicans ever learn-- and just be honest and get it over with all at once?