Friday, April 22, 2011

Ensign Resigns

I find it a bit amusing that I have a previous blog post on soon-to-be former Senator from Nevada, John Ensign, and its title is just one letter off from this one’s.

It took him awhile to realize it, nearly two years, but he finally realized that this issue was not going to go quietly into that good night. Not with Barbara Boxer as Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee.

But you know, it’s ironic that Ensign effectively ends his political career with a whimper as he shuffles off into irrelevance, and people completely miss the boat on why this guy has no business in public service: that he was, is and will continue to be a flaming hypocrite of colossal proportions. People miss it because he is in denial that his acts are in some way lesser sins than Bill Clinton’s dalliances. He is famously quoted as saying this (courtesy of the Associated Press):
President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people," Ensign said. "You remember that famous day he lied to the American people, plus the fact I thought he committed perjury. That's why I voted for the articles of impeachment.
Yeah, and what about the fact that President Clinton did not resign over the Monica Lewinsky matter, but John Ensign did resign over the Douglas and Cynthia Hampton matter? What about that?

But it wasn’t over the ginormous problem Ensign has with his ethical dealings with the wife of his staffer, it apparently is all about the money.

The money, the $96,000 “gift” that John Ensign’s casino-rich parents made to Douglas and Cynthia Hampton. The facts surrounding this monetary exchange have been shrouded in mystery – available for speculation, but without any known facts.

The fact that the Senate Ethics Committee seemed to be poised to address this issue for the first time in public seems to be the gentle nudge that got Ensign gone. The truth must truly be dark.

From the New York Times:
“Mr. Ensign’s family, at the time the payment became public, described it as a gift. But Mr. Hampton has insisted that it was a severance payment. If that was the case, the payment could be construed as an illegal contribution by Mr. Ensign’s parents to their son’s campaign, which then was paid out to the Hampton family. Federal Election Commission staff lawyers raised that theory last year. And the Senate Ethics Committee, which has subpoena powers, was examining the same question.”
Lessons learned? Apparently being a hypocrite in DC is de rigeur and not a real issue among the beltway boys. But getting caught with your hand in the till? Well that simply cannot be abided.

In Texas it’s pretty much the other way around.

1 comment:

Julia B. said...

It looks like the Vitter rule has come into effect; these shameless bastards only resign if it looks like they can't hold the seat.