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April 19, 2015

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A disgraced senator’s Hair, standing by its man

John Ensign

John Ensign

The Hair is not relieved. Of course, the man upon whom the Hair resides, the disgraced senator recently let off the hook by the Justice Department, is — as befits a person of small vision and empty pieties — perfectly pleased. “It’s a pretty nice early Christmas present,” John Ensign said when news broke that he is no longer under criminal investigation.

But the Hair sighs. Long considered Ensign’s best attribute — and the only thing about him that might accurately be called “statesmanlike” — the Hair has always taken its responsibility seriously. A proud, firm, manly prow, it rarely failed to impress. It strove to look as good during the bad times (as when Ensign publicly admitted sleeping with his best friend’s wife) as it did during the good ones (for example, the seduction itself).

When Ensign once spoke, as he often did, of family values, of good Christian values, the Hair appeared virtuous, resolute, an emblem of paternal authority.

When Ensign’s fundamentalist Christian housemates in the infamous C Street facility confronted him about the affair, told him to end it, and he promised he would (before later deciding he wouldn’t), the Hair stood by him by looking chastened but determined to accept responsibility. The Hair said, in its own way: We are manning up for this. No wonder Ensign’s housemates bought it.

When Ensign agreed to help his cuckolded friend find a lobbying job and maybe line up some work, which some saw as violations of the law — the Hair also wondered if it was hinky, but let Ensign chart his own course — it was friendly, reassuring.

And as Ensign struck a rather defiant public posture — as the Las Vegas Sun put it, “He’s been aggressive about his public appearances, refusing to shrink from questions from constituents and voters at forums” — the Hair again did its part, never wilting under the scrutiny. But it made the Hair uneasy: Whereas the man is shameless, the Hair is afforded a slightly higher view of these things.

Now, days after the Federal Election Commission decided there was no problem with the $96,000 Ensign’s parents paid to his (now former) best friend and wife, the Justice Department halted its investigation into the payoff and subsequent actions. The Hair has to hand it to Ensign. Against all expectations — in the media, among Democrats, and most especially within his own party — he has pretty nearly slipped the noose, with only the Senate Ethics Committee left to weigh in.

The Hair should be happy. But it is not. Because Ensign plans to run again. Never mind that the one of the first people he called, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, later issued a statement (“I am sure Senator Ensign was pleased by the announcement”) that was the textbook definition of lukewarm. Never mind that here in Nevada, party support appears minimal and his fundraising efforts even worse.

He’s running. With polls telling him that 64 percent of GOP voters approve of him, and now past the stigma of legal inquiry, he’ll surely go all out.

Which means that by letting Ensign off the hook, the Justice Department has put the Hair back on the hook. Instead of a restful retirement from politics — which, after everything that’s happened, it feels it’s earned — the Hair will spend the next two years vigorously campaigning with Ensign. It will rise, with carefully masked distaste, from the forehead of a scoundrel as he stands in front of town-hall meetings and rural barbecues, making his case that he’s not as bad as all that. Unless the Ethics Committee tosses Ensign from the Senate — unlikely — the Hair will again be forced to provide good-looking, stylish cover for a man possessed of less character than his follicles. Every day will be another reminder that the man below the Hair is also beneath it.

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  1. Meowww...

  2. That silvery mane may have helped him get his best friend's wife into the sack, but it will not help him ONE IOTA with voters.

    John Ensign's new campaign slogan;
    'Do As I Say, Not As I 'Do.

    He has NO DOUGH, and all the great bakers in the world can't conjure up the necessary bread to fund his folly.

    Will mummy & daddy waste their casino moola on little Johnny's pipe dream?

    Maybe Manna will rain down... C Street is praying fervently.

    I will be SHOCKED if he wins his own party's primary.

  3. SOF writes:
    [[Alas, I trust this wont even be read since I am not a "trusted commenter" i.e. subscriber/sufferer of fools to pay the Sun to be annoyed, and paying for retarded articles about hair.]]
    Your post will be on display for 24 hrs. You go into quite a tirade about Scott's "retarded" column, yet you have no problem with ad hominem attacks on his last name and other posters.

  4. it entirely escapes the right-wing nut-jobs that newspapers have columnists that have opinions, and that their job is to WRITE OPINION PIECES....

    You would think, after spending their lives listening to AM Radio & watching FOX on the box, they would "get it"... all they're ever EXPOSED TO is opinion.

  5. What happened to the two women involved in this situation? Has anyone seen them alive?

  6. Maybe the Obama Justice Department let him off the hook because the Democrats have a better chance of picking up this Republican seat with the Hair running than with some other candidate.

    Just sayin'.

  7. If Johnboy can somehow pull off a win, then Americans really are stupid and deserve exactly what we get.

  8. By LarryVegas
    Dec. 4, 2010
    8:11 p.m.
    [[ One thing about it... The LV SUN is giving John Ensign plenty of name recognition...]]
    If John Ensign doesn't have name recognition after all of his time as an elected rep from Nevada and his embarrassing scandal which went national, he is n way more trouble than we thought.