John Ensign and Charles Rangel. Birds of a Feather?

Senator John Ensign, a Republican from Nevada, is married, but he had an affair with a married woman.  He arranged payments for her and allegedly used his influence to try to line up work for her husband.  Was it to compensate the man for wrongs done to him or get him out of the house?  Perhaps only Ensign really knows the answer to that.

Representative Charles Rangel, a Democrat from New York, has amassed a considerable amount of wealth by various means and, allegedly, forgot to disclose a significant chunk of his income when filling out his taxes.

Democrats think that Senator Ensign is a disgrace to the human race and should resign immediately (at least from the Senate, if not from the human race itself).

Republicans are equally convinced that Representative Rangel should step down, then go directly to jail.

Naturally, both sides think that their opposites are being hypocritical.

Ensign is saying that he didn’t break any laws, so he isn’t stepping down.  As far as I can tell, Rangel isn’t saying much of anything.  President Obama hasn’t been overly chatty about these two men either.

Democrats have pointed out that Republicans wanted to throw Bill Clinton out of office for having an affair.  Republicans have countered that their main problems with Clinton had to do with obstruction of justice and perjury.  But as I recall, there was also a lot of moral outrage over the irresponsible behavior and calls to do the honorable thing (step down from the presidency).

Republicans have noted that Democrats accused the Bush administration of acting as if it was above the law.  Democrats said they would improve the ethical environment in Washington.  If something isn’t done with Rangel soon, either exoneration or punishment, it will be hard for Democrats to escape the charges they were recently leveling at Bush, and the Dems. will be looking hypocritical, too.

Oh, sweet term limits, where are you when we need you?