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News John Ensign's Problems Expand

  1. Jul 9, 2009 #1


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    So it's not just another infidelity, that seems to have become a pandemic in the Republican Party, but sadly here is the portrait of a man that let himself be shaken down. Cash on the line for his indiscretion. Coupled with the severance package he gave the woman he had the affair with, and the payments to her son for his campaign, the guy is looking like he was on a serial ethics violation spree.

    Yet he and Sanford are the same moralists that were vocally condemning Clinton?

    Perhaps he should just resign?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2009 #2
    Yep, he should.
  4. Jul 9, 2009 #3
    I don't see any reason why today's male politicians would be commiting more acts of infidelity than they have in past generations, so the only explanation is that the media and those who are close to the politicians are more likely to expose their affairs in public. These kinds of stories have been much more frequent in the post-clinton period, due to (1) the clinton scandal set the standard for the virtual elimination of the privacy of public figures in these matters, and (2) for any given sex scandal, half of the polarized electorate will be ruthless in their condemnation of he-who-is-scandalized.

    With that said, any case like this where public funds were a part of the cover up is certainly a public issue in any era.
  5. Jul 9, 2009 #4


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    I see that Ensign's stepfather is Chairman of the board of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Maybe pay-offs are just a way of life in his family underneath the public facade of his moralizing shtick?
  6. Jul 9, 2009 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    ...and Larry Craig.

    It is starting to seem that public self-righteousness in itself is cause for suspicion.
  7. Jul 9, 2009 #6


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    From the subject line, I was kind of expecting to hear Ensign's girlfriend was pregnant.

    There's different ways to respond to someone else's sex scandal:

    1) Sanctimonious condemnation. This actually isn't polarized by political party. Ensign on Craig, "embarrassing not only to himself and his family but to the U.S. Senate." Edwards on Clinton, [he] "has no credibility left." The hazards are obvious, but common sense seems a little less abundant in politics, nowadays.

    2) If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all about them. Even if you detest their behavior, at least the apology was nice. Sen DeMint on Vitter, "It's a huge moral failure that reflects on the whole body. And for that he's very sorry." Sen Cornyn on Ensign, "He's apologized to his constituents and his colleagues and acknowledged a grave error." (Sometimes, people are even gentle on sanctimonious airbags.)

    3) If you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all about them. Obama on Edwards, "I really haven't seen the details of it, so I don't know what's going on. I'm a little in the dark." Sen Kyl on Ensign, "I'm not going to say anything." Sen Grassley on Ensign, "It would be intellectually dishonest for me to comment."

    4) If you can't say anthing nice about someone, talk about their family instead. McCain on Spitzer, "I was just watching, as all of you have, this information about the governor of New York. I don't know what to make of it—our prayers go out to his family." Hillary Clinton on Spitzer, "I obviously am sending my best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family."

    5) If you can't say anything nice about someone, defer to a higher power. Sen Bayh on Clinton, "Ultimately, he will be judged for his sins by that tribunal before which we all must stand one day. But we must apply a mortal, constitutional standard here." (on why not to impeach Clinton).

    6) Say something nice about them - or at least stand by your man. Gore on Clinton, "The president has denied the charges, and I believe it."

    7) If you can't say anything nice about them, then speak softly and carry a big stick. Gingrich on Clinton, "I think every citizen ought to slow down, relax, and wait for the facts to develop. When we know, then is the time to comment." (Gingrich led the impeachment effort.)

    8) If you can't say anything nice about them, then speak in limericks. Kerry on Vitter:
    "There once was a man named Vitter
    Who vowed that he wasn't a quitter
    But with stories of women
    And all of his sinnin'
    He knows his career's in the—oh, never mind."
  8. Jul 10, 2009 #7


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    Now that's a keeper! :rofl:

    When I saw the headline, I instantly thought of one of the characters on the (canceled?) TV show Dirty Sexy Money. Scion of a wealthy family pushed into law / public service by the family patriarch, and ultimately a middle-aged teenager who's family keeps on cleaning up after him, and maintaining his reputation.

    Okay, so most of that doesn't apply, but as a 50-something guy with his own family and holder of one of the highest offices in the land, shouldn't he be able to clean up his own messes (hush money, abortion, whatever--even if it's sanctimonious, hypocritical, of questionable legality, etc.), and not have to have his folks do it for him?

    EDIT: Why no, I don't have kids... Why do you ask?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  9. Jul 10, 2009 #8


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    Speaking of whom, I heard his explanation last night for the first time of how he innocently got caught up, from an interview where he said that when he sits on the toilet he spreads his feet in a wide stance.

    What amazed me was that he said it with a straight face, while his wife was sitting next to him, just looking straight ahead, and she didn't laugh either.

    Aside from the fact that the police record was too much information for me already, this bogus explanation took "too much information" to a whole new level.
  10. Jul 10, 2009 #9


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    Was he wearing pants? If he had his pants down, how could he spread his feet in a "wide stance"? Not too plausible. How about the open-palmed motions that he made across the bottom of the stall divider? Out of paper maybe?
  11. Jul 10, 2009 #10


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    Why go to such a level of (self-?)deception and ridiculousness? Because dammit "[he's] not a homosexual!" Anything other than these far-fetched tales (like on, say, the confession he signed) would require him to publicly admit that he's a homosexual, and a basket / closet case to boot. Apparently, there was a study done on this phenomenon (straight, except for the anonymous gay sex part) a few decades ago:

    And the name for this sort of thing is cottaging (when I heard George Michael had gotten arrested for it, I wondered how he could possibly have gotten arrested for such an innocent-sounding term!)
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