Senator Ensign getting pummeled for affair - easy target for critics

Nevada Senator John Ensign is getting pummeled by critics after he admitted having an extramarital affair.

Is disgraced Nevada Senator John Ensign receiving more flack than most politicians who have admitted extramarital affairs?

It's hard to measure these things. Although there are plenty of case studies on which to build an argument. If he is receiving more attention, it's because of his associations and his pronouncements.

He's a real easy target for the opposition. Not just the partisan opposition, but those who disagree with him on who should have the right to marry.

Ensign believes that only, in the words of former Miss California, "opposite marriages" should be allowed. He's a strident supporter of a constitutional amendment which would ban same-sex marriage.

No love

So it's not all that surprising that in light of his admitted failure in honoring the marriage contract, he's not getting a lot of support from those he doesn't deem worthy to wed.

Check out Ronnie Polaneczky's column in the Philadelphia Daily News this morning. Pulling no punches, she offers Ensign (or in her words, "this blow-dried hypocrite") some marital advice from the mouths of couples who would be on the outside looking in if that constitutional amendment had been passed.

"If your moral standards say you don't pounce on someone just because you find them attractive, but you pounce on them anyway, then who are you? If you're that at odds with what your standards are, then they're not your standards," offered one man who's been with his partner for 28 years.

Promise what?

Other critics of Ensign are quick to bring up his Christian conservative credentials. Most notably, his membership in the "Promise Keepers" group.

Alan Colmes was not forgetful of Ensign's ties to that traditional values group. In Colmes typical low-key style, he doesn't pronounce a judgment on Ensign. He just presents a couple of the seven promises that Ensign seems to have botched.

Like promise number three: A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

And promise number four: A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.


Still others will bring up his judgments on others who have strayed in a like fashion. Back when it was "them" who was doing the straying, he thought "they" should step down from office. Like President Clinton. Ensign said Clinton needed to resign because he didn't have any "credibility left."

"How much “credibility” does Ensign have left?", asks Nate Carlile over at ThinkProgress.

And then there's the whole Larry Craig issue. He deemed the Idaho Republican unacceptable for the U.S. Senate after his airport restroom encounter stating, "we need people who are in office who will hold themselves to a little higher standard."


One thing's for certain. This will stay in the news cycle for awhile. Especially with his ex-love interest, Cindy Hampton, unbelievably playing the part of a victim.

"It is unfortunate the senator chose to air this very personal matter, especially after the Hamptons did everything possible to keep this matter private," Hampton's attorney said yesterday.

"It is equally unfortunate that he did so without concern for the effect such an announcement would have on the Hampton family," he continued.

Then there's that whole affair thing and the effect it had on the Hampton family. But why bring up that?


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