Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 4:59 AM

Why “hypocritical politician” is becoming redundant…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

If these politicians were not lead vocals in a chorus of moral crusaders, I would not give their sexual escapades a moment’s thought. For the unadulterated pleasure of afflicting these hypocrites, however, I don’t even mind being bedfellows with a publicity-seeking hustler like Larry Flynt.

[DC Madam outs Sen. David Vitter as a faithful “John”…, TIJ, July 17, 2007]

Following the primrose path taken by moral crusaders like Rep. Mark Foley, Sen. Larry Craig and Sen. David Vitter, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has become the latest self-righteous politician to get his nuts caught in the vice grip of sexual hypocrisy. And I can never resist reveling in their public shame….

As the fourth-ranking member of the Republican leadership, Ensign was a rising star among the endangered species of conservative men who still think they can rule by the patriarchal principle of “do as I say, not as I do.”  He burnished his bona fides in this respect by touting his membership in the Promise Keepers, a national men’s group committed to extolling traditional family values and championing men as “godly influences” in the world.

More to the point, Ensign made a public display of his self-professed moral rectitude by rebuking fellow Republican Senator Larry Craig as a “disgrace” after Craig was arrested in 2007 for soliciting gay sex in a public toilet.  It is particularly noteworthy that Ensign demanded Craig’s immediate resignation.

Not to mention the display he made of insisting that Bill Clinton should be impeached for having sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. Ensign reasoned dismissively that Clinton “had no credibility left.”

Now comes the inevitable revelation that at the very time he was rebuking Craig Ensign was planting the seeds of an extramarital affair with the wife of his chief of staff.

What’s more, it seems he only confessed because this cuckolded chief of staff (pictured here) reportedly tried to blackmail Ensign, perhaps figuring that if his wife is going to behave like a whore, he might as well behave like her pimp…. Never mind the hypocrisy of Ensign declaring that, since his wife and God had already forgiven him, he had no intention of resigning.  

Incidentally, Ensign’s wife is following the long-suffering path of most betrayed political wives by standing by her man. But she deserves credit for not serving as a political prop during his public confessional in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon.

It remains to be seen, however, if the guardians of the religious right, who praised him as a model conservative politician, will be as forgiving. But, just as I have deferred to the constituents of these respective hypocrites to determine their political fate, I shall leave it to the citizens of Nevada to decide Ensign’s. 

Of course, that Ensign’s extramarital affair is now national news not only makes a mockery of Nevada’s most-celebrated motto:what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” it effectively derails his presidential ambitions as well…. Thank God!

NOTE: Before ascribing partisan motivations to this commentary, please be advised that, based on the principle delineated in my opening quote, I opposed the impeachment of a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, but supported the impeachment of a Democratic governor, Eliot Spitzer.  It is also why I did not comment recently when the Democratic mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, was caught in the very same vice grip (i.e., sleeping with the wife of one his staffers) in which Ensign now finds himself.

Related commentaries:
Rep. Mark Foley
Sen. Craig
Sen. Vitter
Gov. Eliot Spitzer

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