ENSIGN’S UNDERSTANDING OF ‘SOLEMN OATHS’…. Part of the problem for politicians caught up in sex scandals is that they become a lens through which all news is filtered. For example, when Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) promoted his efforts to protect raw oysters, or made a casual reference to handcuffs, it offered critics a chance to remind folks about Vitter’s background with prostitutes.

Similarly, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) took to the Senate floor today to push a measure challenging the constitutionality of health care reform. He told his colleagues, “When each one of us comes to this floor after we’re elected, we raise our right hand, put our hand on the Bible, and take an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. We in no way take an oath to reform health care, or do anything else that we think is good to do…. That’s the oath, the solemn oath that each and every senator takes.”

First, health care reform isn’t unconstitutional.

Second, Ensign’s talk about the importance of honoring “solemn” oaths only serves to remind us that he cheated on his wife, sleeping with an aide married to his friend. Eric Kleefeld noted that senator “does appear to have a point on this one. After they are elected, Senators walk down the aisle of the chamber and perform a serious ceremony, committing themselves to the bonds of their office. And breaking those vows is not to be taken lightly.”

And third, Cornyn’s point of order was defeated, 60 to 39. All 39 were Republicans — including Snowe and Collins — who presumably know better.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.