Caught With Their Family Values Down

This month’s cover story is about sex, and there is nothing I can add to the topic that would not violate the rules of my parole, except to mention that a Nevada senator—who single-handedly prevented the District of Columbia from getting voting rights—recently had some sex issues of his own.

In a somber public statement that stunned his Republican colleagues (and probably sent them scrambling to delete personal e-mails, phone records, and credit card receipts), Sen. John Ensign admitted having an extramarital affair with a former staff member, which is wrong in most parts of this country, although on Capitol Hill they’re not sure. (“Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that after years of hard work raising money, earning the trust of my constituency, and rising to a position of enormous power, I CAN’T expect sexual favors from my staff?!?” one stunned elected official might have said in his sleep, off the record.)

I would not even bring up Ensign’s infidelity—since he has asked forgiveness and can rightly expect compassion from those of us who believe in the power of redemption—except for the fact that I want to make fun of him.

You see, the bill giving congressional representation to D.C. residents looked like it would finally pass in May, putting an end to decades of colonial servitude, not to mention taxation without representation, which figured powerfully in our nation’s early history. (Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty, or lower my taxes! Wait, that doesn’t sound convincing enough.”) But at the last minute, Ensign added an amendment that would eliminate the city’s authority to control gun ownership, a vindictive move that killed the bill.

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Sojourners Magazine September/October 2009
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