For reasons that have always struck me as paradoxical, one place where Republicans totally excel Democrats is in their ability to survive sex scandals. Admittedly, Bill Clinton managed to get that ball pretty far down the field for the Democrats in the 1990s. God bless’em.
But since then you’ve got Larry Craig, David Vitter, John Ensign, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons — who had so many affairs that he eventually decided to just get divorced and go legit. (Who am I forgetting?) In fact, in Gibbons’ case, even the fairly credible allegations that he attempted to rape a woman in a parking garage in 2006 hasn’t seemed to seriously break his stride.
I mean, compared to this, Eliot Spitzer managed a hang time of something like 24 hours before he had to resign as Governor of New York, though he seems to be making a decent stab at a comeback. True, Mark Foley didn’t manage to hang on either. But he’s sort of the exception that proves the rule.
In any case, John Ensign has managed to hold on for an awful long time now with an affair scandal which actually may have involved criminal infractions in the attempt to cover it up. But Senate Ethics committee investigators are in Vegas this week apparently taking depositions in the Ensign probe, so maybe his luck is running out.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.