Tangled up in extramarital affairs, politicians tend to be contrite, remorseful, apologetic -- any number of things designed to make them appear humble in the
Tangled up in extramarital affairs, politicians tend to be contrite, remorseful, apologetic — any number of things designed to make them appear humble in the face of the intense public scrutiny that inevitably follows. (“If there was ever anything I could take back in my life, this would be it,” Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said last year after finding himself in a similar pickle.)
It’s not that he doesn’t start well:
It has been a privilege to be a part of the battle for freedom and the values we share.
But then he immediately moves on to imply that the strains of the job — and the sacrifices he’s made for his constituents — led him astray.
It has been all consuming for me to do this job well, especially in a district with costly, competitive elections every two years.
I do not have any sort of “normal” life — for family, for friends, for church, for community.
That’s followed by a brief shift back to humble-servant mode:
To serve has been a blessing and a responsibility given from God.
I wish I could have been a better example.
I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.
But then he’s back to blaming external factors for the position he’s put himself in:
In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain.
I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.
Diane and my family were more than willing to stand here with me.
Finally, he accepts responsibility:
But the error is mine and I should bear the responsibility …
I am so ashamed to have hurt those I love.
But that’s followed by the claim that his resignation is a heroic gesture designed to salvage the policies he advocated in Congress.
By stepping aside, my mistake cannot be used as a political football in a partisan attempt to undermine the cause for which I have labored all my adult life.
If there’s a message in all of this contradiction, he doesn’t make it easy to glean.
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