Yes, I know that’s pretty bold billing given the recent news out about Sen. Ensign (R-NV). But beyond all the salacious detail there’s a picture emerging of the man — who, remember, is a high-profile senator and had been considered a serious presidential candidate — that combines deeply manipulative traits with an almost childlike approach to those in authority around him.
Ensign is a member of something called the C Street group, which is part of a highly secretive religious outfit called ‘The Family’. It’s a combo religious fellowship and Capitol Hill group home where a number of Republican members of Congress live. And it’s run by a guy named Doug Coe. (Because the comedy never stops, remember that Gov. Sanford too is a member of the C Street group/Family.) In one of the more surreal episodes in this whole drama, while folks from ‘The Family’, including Sen. Coburn (R-OK), were trying to get Ensign to end his relationship with the girlfriend and write her and her husband a big check.
So Ensign agrees to do this. But the members of his fellowship had so little trust he could follow through that they had him write out a letter to the mistress that he was ending the relationship and then drove him to the local Fedex office to make sure he actually dropped the letter in the box. So he does that. But then after he shakes them loos he calls the mistress to tell her his friends made him write the letter and to ignore it.
It makes having his parents pay the couple off sound far less out of character.
And this was a man who was going to run for president.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.