Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mary Jo Kopechne could
not be reached for comment

Having suggested that Jenny Sanford should ventilate her cheating SOB husband with .38 slugs, I think I cannot be accused of making excuses for Republicans with zipper problems.

Well, what about David Shuster of NBC News? A friend was following Shuster's Twitter feed yesterday:

Does Spitzer deserve more "credit" (wrong word choice, I know) because he resigned as opposed to Sanford who is staying in office?
To quote Andrew Sullivan, words fail. My opinion is that Sanford's next office should be under a tombstone, and comparing the Last Tango in Buenos Aires to the sordid saga of Spitzer -- the anti-prostitution crusader who found himself entangled in an FBI investigation of an interstate call-girl ring -- tends to obscure, rather than enlighten.

What kind of perverse mind tries to use Sanford's shame to rehabilitate the scoundrel Spitzer? Absurd.

Meanwhile, speaking of Twitter and Sanford, Dave Weigel just Twittered a quote from his story about the Sanford scandal:
"It proves men who oppose federal spending are irresistible to women."
-- Grover Norquist
Heh. No wonder Dr. Helen keeps such a close eye on Glenn Reynolds. Keep that .38 handy, Dr. Helen!

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is definitely not a member of the Grover Norquist Fan Club:
Just what we need: Beltway conservatives showing how tone-deaf and insensitive they are for the sake of a self-aggrandizing soundbite.
Note Malkin's mother-bear reaction:
I don’t find anything funny about the Sanford affair. It’s the mom in me thinking about four handsome boys on Father’s Day weekend abandoned by their stupid, selfish father, who was busy tanning with his mistress in Argentina. Heart-breaking. Yes. Nauseating. Yes. Maddening. Yes. Funny? No.

Sarcasm is my natural metier, and spending two decades in the newroom tends to put a keen edge on one's cynical indifference to the foibles of the famous and powerful. In some circles, a big-shot politician is like a rock star, so when a politician behaves like he's on tour with Aerosmith, it brings out my inner Mencken. (He once remarked that the only way a journalist should ever look at a politician is down.)

My cynicism is bipartisan. Sanford's Argentine escapade is, to me, as ludicrous and deserving of scornful laughter as any shenanigans of Gary Hart, Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton.

I was on the phone a few minutes ago with a Texas Republican, a Christian conservative gentleman with extensive experience in the blogosphere. As I explained to my friend, for 20 years I've had a saying: My wife has a kitchen drawer full of knives, and I've got to sleep sometime.

Humor can expresss truth. In an act of divine irony, God blessed an ugly old hound like me with a beautiful wife, a blessing deserving of eternal gratitude. If I ever cheated on Mrs. Other McCain, no jury would ever convict her. My well-deserved death (or grievous mutilation) would be the subject of a thousand jokes, and appropriately so.

UPDATE II: Weigel's story is now on Memeorandum and if you're offended by humor, let's look at a couple of serious reactions to l'affaire Sanford. Erick Erickson:
What Mark Sanford did was wrong. He needs to go in a dark hole somewhere where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself. . . . The left is going to spend the next week making Sanford into the second coming of James Dobson to smear real marriage advocates and social conservatives — positions Sanford was rarely vocal on.

There are things from which a politician can "rehabilitate himself." Flying off to Argentina to screw a "glorious" woman named Maria Belen Shapur? Nope. I caught a minute of yesterday's press conference while at the American Spectator office. When Sanford used the word "forgiveness," I shouted at the TV a two-word response. (Hint: The second word was "you.")

Welcome to the private sector, sir. Resign now. Meanwhile, Sanford's downfall contributes to the disillusionment of a young Washingtonian:

Forget shaking my faith in the Republican Party, after a while it just starts to shake your faith in men. I mean, are all men incapable of remaining faithful?
I've been following this story with fingers crossed, "Please, don't be another Republican having an affair!" I guess that was too much to ask for. What a chump. It just leaves me shaking my head with a look of disgust across my face. It's just so disappointing.

Question: What about the Marias of the world, who seem to have no compunction about affairs with other women's husbands? Do such women bear no responsibility? Whatever sort of two-faced scumbag horndog Mark Sanford may be, even in Buenos Aires it still takes two to tango. Sanford is 100% responsible for keeping his own vows, but his responsibility does not exempt Maria from blame.

Amid all these serious considerations, I still defend my right to sarcasm. If Bill Clinton is a punchline, Mark Sanford is a Monty Python routine.


  1. This is just more false equivalency. What Spitzer did was a CRIME. He hired hookers.

    What Sanford did wasn't illegal in any sense of the word. His wife may not like it. But it wasn't a crime against the people of South Carolina.

    And they wonder why we accuse "journalists" like Shuster of being in the tank for Democrats.

  2. @Jim,
    Forget Spitzer, forget Sanford.
    I submit that we should set aside the personal, and start asking questions like: Just what do we require if this office?
    In some crazy future America, we're still going to have people chattering as if halls of government are high schools or something, but there could be a future with measurably improved integrity.
    Sanford: make your disgrace a turning point and a move in the direction of a tradition of integrity. Attempting to cling to power when you've shot your integrity wad just gives ammunition to other, lesser creeps.
    Oh, and Senator Ensign: go and do thou likewise.

  3. @Smitty -

    I agree with you about integrity. I subscribe to the instructions given to a jury that if you find a witness to be false in one thing, that you are justified in believing them to be false in all things.

    What Sanford did was both morally and politically stupid, and if I were a citizen of South Carolina I would demand his resignation as he's proven that he's willing to lie to both me (as to his whereabouts while he's collecting a paycheck I wrote) and his family.

    It would be nice if both sides of the aisle held their members to the same standard.

  4. Dude, don't forget the original Argentine Firecracker, Fanne Foxe and the then Chairman of W and M, Wiiiiillllbur Mills.

    Hahaha, I long for the days when W and M chairmen were satisfied with women.

  5. It strikes me that getting into a dark hole was what got Governor Sanford into this mess in the first place.

  6. There is a gaping chasm that separates "coming clean" from "getting caught." Too often these press conferences are spun as cathartic epiphanies by deeply introspective souls, rather than the perp-walks they really are.

  7. Face it, Sanford is a wonderful Republican. He's not only a hypocrite -- aren't you all? -- but a sociopathic liar.

    Look at this thing. Not only did he lie to his staff, but he put them and his wife in the position of lying to the public. Once he returned from Buenos Aires, he lied to the reporter who greeted him in Atlanta, inventing a tale about being alone in Argentina to escape the crushing burden of celebrity (!!) imposed by South Carolina's governorship.

    Only after The State newspaper confronted his staff with the e-mail exchanges with Maria did Sanford hold that press conference. And even then, he continued to float the Appalachian Trail fiction, telling people that the flight to Argentina had been a last-minute decision.

    This is Republican behavior at its finest: When in doubt, lie! When caught, lie again!

  8. Leviticus 20:10: "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

    Execute Mark Sanford, for he who claims to live by the sword of God should die by the sword of God.