Sunday, July 12, 2009

GOP Family Values: Ensign's Parents Give His Mistress Thousands, Brooks Speaks Of Thigh-Grabbing Senator

Following the revelation that Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina turned up in Argentina to meet his mistress, we now hear more about the extramarital complications of another Republican, Senator John Ensign (left) of Nevada. Ensign's parents gave almost $100,000 to his former lady friend and her husband. His lawyer explained that the gifts were made out of "concern" for the couple's "well-being" and were part of a "pattern of generosity." Why be cynical and refer to this cash as hush money?

Like Sanford, Ensign is opposed to gay marriage, seeing it as his duty to "defend" the institution. He and his wife were once active in Promise Keepers, a Christian evangelical group devoted to strong families and marriages. Gail Collins provides more details on Ensign's moral rectitude:

We hardly need to point out that Ensign was one of the people who demanded that President Bill Clinton resign over the Lewinsky affair, that he votes against financing for education and contraception services to combat teenage pregnancy and that he supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In the world of politics, hypocrisy is a hard market to corner, but lately the Republicans have been making a Microsoft-like effort to do it.

Adding to the growing perception that Republicans' licentious behavior is modeled after Fellini's "Satyricon," conservative columnist David Brooks said in an interview, "I sat next to a Republican senator at a dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time. I was like, ew, get me out of here." Watch:

Exactly why Brooks didn't remove the offending hand was not explored. In any event, with the recent escapades of Sanford and Ensign, along with those of Foley, Craig and Vitter, one must conclude that something strange is going on in the "family values"-oriented Republican party.


Davin said...

A friend of mine, who integrates a religious approach to the world with an affirmation of the validity of science, said that he thought the rigidity of many fundamentalists comes from their underlying insecurity about their beliefs. They try to cover up -- from themselves -- their own sense of uncertainty about life's mysteries by a dogmatic attitude.

Perhaps those who preach too loudly about sexual morality feel
uncertain about their own ability to control powerful urges.

If that is the case, we've certainly got some good examples in the cases you present.

Jeff Tone said...

Davin: Yes, these examples present a battle royal between the superego and the id, with the id winning.