Monday, June 29, 2009

Sanford and Fun

So Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina [hereafter referred to as SC] has burdened himself with the trappings of adultery. In a bizarre sequence of events, he vanished from family and statehouse, with even his own security detail not knowing where he went. Then his staff said he was hiking the Appalachians. Then he was interviewed stepping of a plane from Argentina, calling his change of locations "exotic". Then he called a press conference that afternoon and admitted to an affair with a woman from Argentina.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for this sort of behavior. You may recall that Nevada Senator John Ensign recently admitted to an affair with one of his campaign workers. And while that incident did have a neat little "husband of the scarlet woman [allegedly!] trying to blackmail a senator" angle, this latest fling has an international appeal. We've got a fair amount of religion in the current Sanford scandal, too. And tasty, tasty hypocrisy.

Mark Sanford is a devout Episcopalian, invoking the Bible many times in his apologetic statements in the wake of his indiscretions. He opposed SC's faith-based license plates, writing: "it is my personal view that the largest proclamation of one's faith ought to be in how one lives his life." See, it's these sorts of quotes that just make political researchers' days.

While he was a senator in the 90's, he voted for the impeachment of President Clinton, calling the whole business "reprehensible". Since Sanford has a mistress of his own now, we can be charitable and retroactively interpret his comments in light of the actual engendering impeachment: lying. Or maybe not, since the governor also lied quite a lot about his whole affair. So, maybe he was REALLY talking about lying under oath, thereby committing a crime. Further proof that people who are going to eventually enter the glass domicile market should be verrrrrry careful practicing their throwing arms.

Despite calls for resignation from his own party, Sanford has indicated that he will stay on through the remaining months of his term to serve the people. Isn't it fun to have so much in common with Bill Clinton? Just to pile on an additional level of weird, it turns out that adultery is illegal in South Carolina, though all of Sanford's actions seem to have occurred in Argentina, so there is no jurisdiction to prosecute.

Finally, Sanford's decision to remain as governor is probably apt. After all, he has the support of the people. Well, it's not so much that he has their support... as much as his mistress (and even his wife) has the people's contempt. See, it's the woman who's the bad guy: she should have known better, she's a prostitute, she's a terrorist spy, his wife isn't supportive. Those are some of the opinions collected by a blogger at The Nation.

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