(Steve Sebelius/SlashPolitics) – First, John Ensign slept with his best friend’s wife and employee, Cynthia Hampton, thus betraying his friend (and also an employee) Doug Hampton as well as his own wife, Darlene Ensign.
Then, Ensign was forced to step down from his leadership post in the Republican Party, thus simultaneously robbing his Nevada constituents of a more powerful voice in the Senate while exposing his colleagues to ridicule and scandal, in the process screwing over all of the above. (This is on top of Ensign’s infamous reputation for failing to do anything to help the Republican Party in Nevada, which could have used some assistance.)
Then, Ensign dismissed both Hamptons from his employ, and got Doug Hampton a job working for his chief campaign adviser, Mike Slanker. But he didn’t tell Slanker about the affair, and lied to him about why Hampton was leaving the office, thus screwing over Slanker and Slanker’s wife, Lindsay, both of whom were loyal Ensign supporters.
Then, Ensign got his parents to write a $96,000 check to almost the entire Hampton family, in what was a severance payment or hush money or a combination of the two. The fallout from that little caper would later cause business problems for his father and bring his parents under federal scrutiny, thus screwing over mom and dad.
Then, Ensign worked to get Doug Hampton lobbying jobs here in Nevada, and designated his loyal chief of staff, John Lopez, to be the point of contact for what was obviously a blatant violation of federal laws that prohibit ex-employees from lobbying their ex-bosses for a year after leaving their government positions. Add Lopez to the list of Ensign people who were screwed over.
Then, Ensign solicited donors and supporters — including Allegiant Air and NV Energy — to hire Doug Hampton in the illegal lobbying scheme, thus exposing them to legal liability and public scrutiny, screwing each and every one of them over, too.
Then, having continued his affair, Ensign was confronted in his C Street house by Doug Hampton and some of his fellow Christian believers. He faked repentance and wrote a letter to Cynthia Hampton ostensibly ending the affair. But then he immediately called Cynthia Hampton and told her to disregard the letter, thus screwing over Doug Hampton (again), his friends and roommates at the C Street home and God, whom he invoked in his insincere letter.
Then, Ensign moved out of the C Street house, having screwed over his fellow believers by bringing unwanted scrutiny and scandal upon them and the shadowy religious community known as The Family.
Then, Ensign did his best to thwart President Barack Obama’s push for health care reform, thus screwing over every American with a preexisting condition or who for other reasons could not get insurance.
More recently, Ensign cast what could have been the deciding vote against extending unemployment benefits in an unprecedented recession, thus screwing over more than a million people nationwide whose benefits are about to expire, to say nothing of thousands in his home state, which leads the nation in unemployment.
And now we learn that — despite a longstanding agreement between Ensign and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid to not disparage the other — Ensign persuaded an understandably skeptical former U.S. Rep. Barbara Vucanovich to support Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle. (Earlier, Vucanovich had told the Review-Journal that she may not vote for Angle, since Angle was “very rigid” and “a very difficult person.”)
“We need to defeat Harry Reid,” Ensign told Vucanovich, according to a report from my colleague Jon Ralston.
So here’s the question: Is anybody really surprised? John Ensign has screwed over his family, his best friend, his staff, his political advisers, his fellow Republican senators, his fellow Christian believers, his roommates, his constituents, the uninsured and every unemployed person in Nevada and around the country. It was just a matter of time until he worked his way around to Reid.
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who have been (expletive deleted) over by John Ensign, and those who have yet to meet John Ensign.