Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Promise Keeper Forgets Promise

Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has been forced to admit that he had an affair on his wife. Not only did he cheat on her with a staffer, that staffer was also cheating on her own husband – who was also an Ensign staffer. Ensign is a hardcore religious righter and was a prominent member of Promise Keepers. Gotta love those “family values.” Best of all, as the Huffington Post reports, Ensign has a long history of being self-righteous at other politicians caught cheating:

And when it comes to this topic, Ensign’s own record of denouncing the affairs and misconducts of other pols could come back to haunt him.

During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president’s conduct as “an embarrassing moment for the country.”

‘I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,’ he said.

Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. “I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it’s because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through,” he was quoted saying at the time. “He has no credibility left,” he added.

At the time, Ensign was in a tight Senate race with incumbent Harry Reid, an election he would ultimately end up losing. And he didn’t shy away from trying to exploit the moral trip-ups in Clinton’s personal life to benefit himself and the GOP.

“It could have a dramatic effect on Democrats like (President Nixon’s resignation after the Watergate scandal) had on Republicans in 1974,” he said, according to a local AP article from September 14, 1998.

In fact, not only did Ensign envision the Lewinksy affair as a political boon for Republicans, he actively made it an issue in his campaign against Reid. At one point during the campaign, Ensign accused his opponent of having a double standard when it came to politicians and sexual dalliances. Reid, he argued, had been much tougher on former Sen. Robert Packwood — who resigned from the Senate under allegations of sexual harassment — than he was with Clinton.

“Before there were hearings on Packwood, Reid said he would vote for his expulsion,” Ensign declared, the day after calling for Clinton’s resignation. “In 1998, he says we have to wait until all the facts come out on Clinton.”

And of course, Ensign voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment. Because he wants to protect the sanctity of marriage from those evil gays. Is there anything better than seeing someone hoist on their own petard?