Is Clinton Sex Scandal Worse Than Ensign’s?

I guess it depends on who you ask. Sen. John Ensign, who loudly demanded Bill Clinton’s impeachment back in ’98, told a luncheon audience the other day that what the former president did was worse than his own sexual impropriety. Why, you may ask? Because Clinton lied about it under oath.

Bill Clinton hugs Monica Lewinsky

For those of you who may have forgotten, John Ensign had to admit having an affair with former campaign aide Cynthia Hampton. Hampton’s husband was Ensign’s administrative assistant, and the two families were friends. I guess the accent should be on were. Ensign says the difference between calling on Clinton to resign and not resigning himself is, quoting here, “I haven’t done anything legally wrong.”

This is a most interesting set of circumstances to contemplate. Why would a politician compare his sex scandal top another’s in the first place? There’s a good chance if he hadn’t brought it up, no one else would have. Is Ensign feeling the pressure to quit in his home state of Nevada? After all, this was his first public appearance back home since his June acknowledgment of the affair.

Maybe the apology he made to that Chamber of Commerce luncheon would be good enough. He called his straying “a distraction”. Maybe resigning from the Republican Policy Committee (did I mention he’s a Republican?) would suffice. It all comes back to the same question. Why compare his affair, which ended last year, with Bill Clinton’s, now more than 10 years old?

I guess it’s time for some truth here. Affairs among married people are universally ugly. They hurt people, intended or not. Politicians think they can get away with them, be they Bill Clinton or John Ensign. An awful lot of them don’t. Still, they do it because they can, because it makes them feel powerful. Why else mess around with a friend’s wife?

Here is what John Ensign should have told the Chamber of Commerce the other day. Obviously, he didn’t have the guts.

“I shamed myself and my family by my conduct. That conduct was my own, not to be compared to Bill Clinton or anybody else. Like Bill Clinton, I’m remaining in office to serve the people of this state, but I realize that my calls for his resignation back in 1998, in light of what I’ve done, were premature at best. There is no excuse for infidelity, and I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life. To the people of Nevada, to my colleagues in the Senate, and most of all, to my family, I’m truly sorry.”

Not likely. But what do you think? Should Sen. John Ensign compare his sex affair to Bill Clinton’s?
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4 thoughts on “Is Clinton Sex Scandal Worse Than Ensign’s?”

  1. This is getting like Alice in Wonderland: MY sex scandal isn’t as bad as YOUR sex scandal!

    My feeling is this: If you campaign on issues, and avoid wearing a moral halo, then, if you get caught with your pants down around your ankles, I couldn’t care less.

    But if you run on a platform of being a “devout Christian,” a “family man,” a person who upholds “traditional American values,” and then you get nabbed schtuppin’ some hot Brazilian babe, then I say: Out you go!

    I’m sick of hearing about politicians and their libidos, and their “wide stances.” Blecch! I yearn for the days when a politician was finished if he were divorced!

  2. I guess it would be in poor taste to state that it really doesn’t matter what a politician does in their bedroom (whether it’s with a woman or man)

    Unfortunately, folks of the religious persuasion have a creepy criteria for who should hold public office and tend to ascribe their faith onto candidates.

    Lyndon B. Johnson had been caught at least 1 time using the word Nigger and he ushered in sweeping civil rights legislation, even threatening to break a fellow southerners arm or leg to get the votes to pass.

    And yet George Bush, arguably a devoted man in marriage to Laura, was an incredible disaster as President.

    America’s moral compass has lost its bearing when it tries to use religion as its guiding principal for upright behaviour (even though those casting the stones have secretly been guilty of the same discretion)

  3. To Michael Corley: You are a very intelligent young man! I wish you the best!

    As William Hazlitt said: The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocricy.

    That’s why I think so many have such a visceral, disgusted reaction to these “family men” who get caught with their pants down. These people are hypocrites. I much prefer someone like Teddy Kennedy, warts and all, in comparison to his brother, JFK. Teddy never pretended to be anything more than what he is. Jack Kennedy, on the other hand, was playing tonsil hockey with Marilyn Monroe at the same time he was letting Life Magazine print pictures of him and his “perfect” family.

    Hypocrites are not only morally blind,they are blind to the world around them. They don’t see how ridiculous they look to the rest of us. Sarah Palin touts her “real Americanism,” but she has a teenage daughter who gave birth on the wrong side of the blanket. That’s none of my business. But I find the irony delicious.

    Can you even IMAGINE what Sarah and Co. would say if the situation were flipped, and President Obama had a 17-year-old, unmarried, pregnant kid? OMG. They’d ride him out of town on a rail. I can hear Limbaugh: “Do we want this man–and his promiscuous offspring–serving as an example to our young, impressionable children? No. This man is a menace. We have to get rid of him by any means necessary!”

    And to continue the irony: Those who show up at these staged “Town Hall” meetings and call Obama a Nazi see themselves as the last of the “real Americans.” Most of them are the type who go to family reunions to pick up girls.

    But it is OBAMA who lives the American ideal that these folks tout so loudly. It is OBAMA who has the great wife, the beautiful kids. It is OBAMA who lives the life of a “real American,” not them.

    Deep down inside, I think these crazies get that–thus their hatred of him.

    They talk the talk. Obama walks the walk.

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