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 June, 2009


 The Right Wing Extramarital Machine is Examined

An Affair to Remember

There’re three reasons why I’m not having an extramarital affair.

First, I’m not married. Second, I’m not a Republican who’s publicly grandstanded against other people who’ve had extramarital affairs. Third, I’m not John Ensign.

Ensign, the junior Senator of Nevada, joined the growing list of Republicans now serving in the U.S. Senate who has convened hastily called news conferences to explain they’ve “violated’ their “marriage vows.”

He’d cheated on his wife. But what’s even worse, he cheated with one of his married legislative aides for a number of months between December of 2007 and August of 2008. And even worse (and more fun for me) the woman and her husband had been Ensign’s friends.

Ensign, shortly after he confessed to the affair, he resigned his chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee, but not his Senate seat. I can’t wait for the next Republican philanderer to call for Ensign’s resignation.

This is hypocrisy folks – pure and simple.

While Ensign was in the U.S. House, in 1998, he called for Bill Clinton to resign after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

He’d also been one of the congressional leaders who’d tried to get his fellow Republican Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) to quit congress after that notorious toe-tapping sex sting (he was arrested for “homosexual lewd conduct”) in Minnesota in 2007.

Ensign, a born-again Christian, is a social conservative. His membership in the Evangelical group known as the Promise Keepers is well-known.

He obviously didn’t follow one of that group’s key beliefs – the one that reads: “A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity.”

Instead, as the published rumors have been widely circulated, he’d been forced to come clean about his lack of “sexual purity” by his former mistress and her husband. I guess the specter of extortion can humble anybody.

This is the part where I’d usually say these kinds of ugly affairs know no political party, but I’m not. There’re just too many Republicans who preach one thing – then do the other.

Ensign, in that regard, is certainly a prime example. His beloved Promise Keepers also believe strongly in the “teenage abstinence policy of education.”

Abstinence? Why John Ensign is the living, breathing, walking and abstinence-free example of why that particular philosophy may never work.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is another case-in-pointlessness.

It’s no coincidence he happens to be another preachy, but later disgraced, Republican Senator, you know?

He’s championed the cause of teen abstinence-only sex education.

In fact, he once said, “Saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness.”
If that’s the case, Vitter’s mighty unhealthy and seriously unhappy. He had a number of well-publicized liaisons with prostitutes while he served in the U.S. House.
Spouting about abstinence, after Vitter had paid for extramarital sex is just a tiny bit of hypocrisy, when you consider the rest of the story.

Back in 1999, Vitter felt Bill Clinton should have resigned because his fellow Louisiana Republican, House Speaker-elect Bob Livingston had been caught in his own extramarital affair and voluntarily stepped away.

At that time Vitter claimed Livingston’s resignation, “Makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess."

This is a multilayer hypocrisy, by the way. Livingston had been one of the more vocal detractors of the Clinton – until he’d resigned.

His replacement just happened to be David Vitter who, within months, started calling the D.C. Madam and arranging his own trysts.

Livingston had resigned in scandal in May of 1999. The D.C. Madam’s telephone records indicate Vitter began calling her “service” as early as October of that year.

When the revelations about Vitter’s infidelities surfaced in July of 2007, he held his own hastily called news conference, and then he followed the now familiar Republican “cheaters” script.

He admitted he’d sinned, asked for forgiveness and then he disappeared into the safety of the U.S. Senate.

But there is one thing he failed to say is. Something that is far more important than any well-rehearsed apology. “I’m a big hypocrite.”

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net