Disgraced GOP Sen. John Ensign Exits Washington a Pariah
May 3, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)– Going, going, gone. Disgraced Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) delivered a farewell speech on his last day as a U.S. senator, after spending the past two-years immersed in a sleazy sex scandal that led to hush money payments, cover-ups, and serious allegations of violating senate ethics rules. In the end, the hypocritical family values lawmaker didn’t have a friend left in Washington. Save for a few loyal staffers and the presiding member Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), the senate chamber was empty. Not one former colleague showed up to say goodbye. With his words echoing in the empty room, Ensign invoked his faith, while blaming his personal, professional and ethical failings on “his arrogant and self-centered,” power-hungry behavior. He also cast blame on the yes men surrounding him for not standing up to his megalomania to point out the obvious truth: that their boss is a scumbag.
Ensign also apologized to his wife and children. And thanked his staff and his parents who coughed up the $96,000 in hush money to his mistresses’ family. The mea-culpa portion of his remarks pointed out his selfishness for not thinking of the consequences of having a sleazy affair with the staffer-wife of his best friend, also an Ensign staffer.
The Politico writes:
“When one takes a position of leadership, this is a very real danger of getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status. Oftentimes, the more power and prestige a person achieves, the more arrogant a person can become,” Ensign said.
“As easy as it was for me to view this in other people, unfortunately, I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered that I had become. I did not recognize that – that I thought mostly of myself.”
And his warning about yes men: “My caution to all of my colleagues,” he said, “is to surround yourself with people who will be honest with you about how you really are and what you are becoming, and then make them promise to not hold back, no matter how much you may try to prevent them, from telling you the truth.”
Ensign went on to show remorse for his hypocritical attacks on other lawmakers plagued by scandal, specifically naming former senators Larry Craig and Ted Stevens.
He didn’t mention the time when he called for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
“Following Larry’s admission and Ted’s guilty verdict, I too believed in the power of my leadership position and I called on both of them to resign,” he said. “I sincerely struggled with these decisions afterward, so much so that I went to each of them a few weeks afterward and admitted what I did was wrong and I asked both of them for forgiveness. Each of these men were gracious enough to forgive me, even though publicly I did not show them the same grace.”
If Ensign had not officially vacated his seat, as of Monday, he would have been forced to testify before the senate ethics panel on Tuesday. He still may not escape the embarrassment and consequences of his actions.
The ethics committee may still release a report of its findings, that could include a recommendation for criminal charges.