Rehabilitation, Republican Style

Ronald Reagan's image has been remade into the holy God of conservatism with all references to Iran/Contra, his intervention with the hostages while Carter was still President, and the waste left behind by his economic policies firmly erased in the minds of the Hannitys, Becks, O'Reillys and Murdochs of the world.

George W. Bush is on his Great American Rehab and Book Pimping tour now, with no one asking him any really difficult questions about his time in office, and an intense PR effort to rewrite history with Colorforms and magic markers. By the time he's done, Jeb will be ready to step up in 2012.

David Vitter was re-elected with 57% of the vote despite his pastimes with prostitutes as the Louisiana electorate decided they despise Obama more than they despise hypocrites.

And now the latest rehab job, courtesy of the FEC and the ever-grinding Republican PR machine: John Ensign. Ensign's first step to Restored Whole Republican Personhood begins with the FEC's decision that his little $96,000 payoff to his mistress' husband with campaign funds wasn't really something the public should worry about, and so they've ruled it a private matter.

The group said the payment given to and equally divided among Cynthia Hampton; her husband Doug Hampton, a former aide to Ensign; and their two sons was an illegal political donation to Ensign. But the FEC interpreted the payments as a gift made to longtime family friends.

And with that declaration, another, quieter but more troubling one: Ensign will be running for re-election in 2012 after all. After crazy Sharron Angle, what's a payoff to keep the mistress happy? Right? RIGHT?

How do they do this and why are we beating up on each other when they've got such rich targets out there for us to aim at? Tell me...because I really don't get it.


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