Friday, July 10, 2009

The Dr. Rev. Sen. Tom Coburn & Mr. Ensign.

Philandering Republican politicians are like the last drunken guest to realize the party is over. Now come their enablers, who rather than showing them the door offer up a handle of Smirnoff's and tell them the party doesn't have to end.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) accused the media of doing harm to the families involved in Senator John Ensign’s (R-NV) adulterous affair. That’s right, adultery doesn’t tear families apart, the media does. This is the kind of nonsense that speaks for itself. It also is the kind of nonsense that makes the GOP appear hypocritical.

John Ensign cheated on his wife and then allegedly arranged payments to his girlfriend’s family, suggesting he wanted to keep the affair from being disclosed publicly. This is what is tearing up these two families, not the media doing its job of reporting on the conduct of a public official.

Republicans are quick to say they believe in personal responsibility, this is usually the argument given in opposition to entitlements. Where is the act of taking responsibility by Mr. Ensign? Owning up to his bad deed is not taking responsibility, that’s a consequence. Taking responsibility is making full disclosure to his constituents, which he never did by not being the first to reveal the payments and then accepting some form of punishment (which at minimum should be a Senate Ethics investigation into the alleged payments). The only reason Ensign's constituents know about the payments now is because of the media. What else hasn’t he revealed that the media is going to have to discover so Ensign's constituents know what kind of public official he really is?

As to Mr. Coburn, hiding behind his doctor of medicine and ordination as a deacon to claim his conversations with Ensign about the affair are privileged is inappropriate and plain wrong. Coburn and Ensign know each other as Senators; they didn’t meet by appointment at a medical office or parish. Coburn is enabling not only Ensign’s bad conduct, but any other Senator who strays from their committments and then seeks guidance from Dr. Rev. Sen. Tom Coburn.

John Ensign is nowhere close to taking responsibility for his bad acts. What he did and what Coburn is doing makes the GOP look like a gang of hypocrites and the Republican Senators staying quiet on this matter should know better and demand better from their cloakroom colleagues.

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