Courtesy Nevada Sen. John Ensign’s extramarital affair, we’re in the middle of a prime moment. Not only do Americans increasingly support things like same-sex marriage and letting gays serve openly in the military, but one of the leading members of the opposition — the GOP — just so badly tarnished the notion of “family values” that to not exploit the Republicans’ moral hole would be legislative malpractice.
A staunch opponent to gay marriage and adding gays to hate crimes protections, Ensign just opened up the GOP to an assault on the very morals and ethics it supposedly maintains.
There’s Ensign’s affair, sure, but what about the cash he paid his mistress? And how he used GOP funds to pay her son? When quizzed on the scandal, top Republican leaders had (for once) nothing to say on the matter, either refusing to comment or simply noting Ensign’s affair was a “personal matter.”
But that little personal matter means plenty to us.
Ensign just enabled Democrats to make moot any Republican opposition to gay rights legislation. The GOP throws around the term “family values” so often, it’s worth less than the dollar. And now, if the Dems could get it together and put a repeal to, say, DADT on the books, or go so far as to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, Republicans would have a difficult time maintaining that “sanctity of marriage” talking point they’re so fond of, given Ensign’s absolute mockery of it.