One aspect of the John Ensign sexual-harassment-and-adultery scandal that I find most interesting is the light it sheds on the way the Republican party operates, on the real values of the so-called family-values party.
(Also, how come no one is talking about this as sexual harassment? When you repeatedly engage in sex with an employee or subordinate, isn’t that, by definition, sexual harassment? How about when you repeatedly engage in sex with the wife of an employee or subordinate?)
Before the scandal broke, Ensign had been positioning himself as a 2012 presidential candidate.
What allows apparently sane people who have engaged in adultery to persuade themselves that a presidential campaign is a good idea continues to be one of the baffling questions of our times. But Ensign’s case raises new questions because of an unusual twist. His Republican colleagues in the Senate knew of the affair, and Ensign was still able to fancy himself as a credible candidate:
Hampton (“husband of Sen. John Ensign’s affair partner, Cynthia Hampton“) also wrote that he and others had confronted Ensign about his “unethical behavior and immoral choice” on a number of occasions over the past year.
“In fact, one of the confrontations took place in February 2008 at his (Ensign’s) home in Washington D.C. with a group of his peers,” Hampton added. “One of the attendees was Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma, as well as several other men who are close to the senator.”
An adultery confrontation with attendees? In Republican circles, this is a spectator sport?
The Las Vegas Sun adds that:
Ensign remains away from Washington, missing several votes, and is not expected to return until next week.
Perhaps his Republican colleagues will welcome him with a round of applause? Maybe even a standing ovation, and shouts of “Encore!”
(Parting thought: what fun if there were Senate Republican attendees not just for the adultery confrontation, but also the adultery itself!)