Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sanford: eject, recoup

by Smitty
With around twenty tabs on Governor Sanford open in Firefox, it's time to add some value by offering something of a pan-blogosphereic roundup. Then, some general thoughts on Nitwits in Public Office.

HuffPo: Sex, Lies, and Argentina"while I do not approve of how he handled himself as an elected public official or as a husband, I am empathetic to him and understanding of his frailty as fellow human being.
I think we all should be and here is why: I have been there. And so have many of you."
HuffPo: Traveled There Before on Taxpayer Dime"the Republican Governor has traveled to the South American country before, on the taxpayer dime."
HuffPo: Wife: Begone"South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny, issued a statement in which she says that she told him to leave their home two weeks ago "to maintain my dignity, self-respect and my basic sense of right and wrong."
HuffPo: Harsh Critic of Clinton Affair"The standard Sanford has set for other politicians over the years has been fairly high. A member of the House of Representatives during the heyday of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, he was often a harsh critic of the president for his marital misconduct.
This is "very damaging stuff," Sanford declared at one point, when details of Clinton's conduct became known. "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign)... I come from the business side," he said. "If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he'd be gone.""
Nat Turner's Revenge: Impeach"No. He's not hiking. He's having his ashes hauled. In Argentina. He's having an affair, this typical family values Republican. This son of the South. This hero in the face of Obamaism. In Argentina. Hope he got some good meat. Hope he brought his kids back some bolos. Hope he got tango lessons."
Liberal Land: Emails"The newspaper promises that the full e-mail exchange will be published in tomorrow’s edition."
Liberal Land: Called for Clinton to Resign"As it turns out the biggest threat to marriage is not gays; it’s heterosexual, cheating husbands."
WaPo: The Fix"He said that he had met the woman, who he did not name, roughly eight years ago and that it had become romantic within the last year. He visited her three times during the past year, Sanford said, and noted that his wife, Jenny, had been aware of the affair for the past five months. "
Little Miss Attila: Only Monks"I don’t see politicians’ private lives as fair game, any more than journalists’ should be. I’m with Dennis Prager: if someone is otherwise competent, but has had a problem or two in his marriage, he might well be a better candidate than another one whose private life is otherwise “pure.”"

LMA: how about some Funky Monks? "I'll be doing all I can, if I die an honest man."

HotMes: Sanford Admits"What is it with politicians (of both parties) and affairs? It’s so idiotic. There’s so much to lose, and for what? Is it ever worth it? Especially for Republicans. Democrats can survive a sex scandal, and most other scandals for that matter. There’s a double-standard in politics. Republican affairs have a tendency to be a career-ender. Is that ever really worth it?"
Pink Elephant Pundit: Bye Bye, Sanford"Can we not find anyone who will keep it together and not screw themselves and the entire party over? I never cared much about Sanford either way, but now the GOP has even more damage control to do. The spectacle he’s made out of it is not helping anything. Mysterious South American trips? Disappearing acts?"
Track-a-'Crat: Mental Breakdown Imminent"Thank you, Mark Sanford, for distracting from the avalanche of Democratic sleaze and criminality that the media wasn’t reporting anyway, and instead giving them something juicy that they’ll really appreciate sinking their teeth into."
Hot Air: Video"He could have been president, now he’s finished: Witness the power of the male libido."
Hot Air: Kerry on Sanford"Don’t be too hard on Waffles. His humor’s always been laced with nastiness, which is why he periodically finds himself in clusterfarks over “botched jokes.”"
Pundit & Pundette: Sanford's Betrayal"people like Gov. Sanford make it very, very difficult to convince our teens and young adults that all politicians aren't corrupt in one way or another. This is precisely the kind of thing that sours the idealistic young on politics and converts them into cynics. Sanford was correct when he said that, in addition to hurting his wife and children (the self-centered rat), he has hurt his state and his party. The conservative movement doesn't need perfection but it does need sincere people who live the values they promote."
AoSHQ: Vid: Sanford's Presser"That doesn't make it noble or anything. But the media seems to be expecting him to say "and it's all over now, and a huge mistake," etc., etc., and he doesn't appear nearly willing to say that. The complaint seems to be that Sanford's not saying the typical, Oprah-approved contrition stuff, and they're holding it against him that he's deviating from accepted Contrition Tour form."
Paco Keep Mr. Happy on a Leash"To quote Talleyrand, this is worse than a crime; it is a blunder. All we need right now, when we’re trying to mobilize against the Red hosts of Democrat nationalization, is to give the donks and the media an opportunity to distract the people from the health care and cap-and-trade disasters."
Fisherville Mike: B.A. Connection"Thanks for Gov. Sanford, we'll be learning lots more about Buenos Aires in the next few days."
The Corner: Don't Stand By Your Man"I was further impressed that, unlike the wives of Larry Craig, Elliot Spitzer and Jim McGreevey, she had the dignity to remain home when Sanford made his embarassing admission at today's press conference."
Having spared you all the trouble of that much surfing (tip jar), here is some analysis.
The questions concern the Sanford family, and public service as a whole.
The Sanford family is a private matter. They need time to heal. They need 100% of Mark to effect that healing. Sanford should resign.
Now, public service in general. The question of whoever is guiltless casting the first stone is a bugaboo. I don't know Mark, his family, or any of those details. I do know that lines have to be drawn. It's not about him personally, it's about the moral authority of the office. The same calculus Sanford applied to Clinton applies to Sanford. Let him resign, let him show repentance, and, if after evidence of repentance has been proffered, the citizens of South Carolina feel like trusting him again, let them say so at the ballot box. Sanford, it's not about you, a particular political party, your 2012 ambitions, or your non-command of your manhood. It's about trust placed in office holders. It's about demanding and receiving integrity. If you retain your position, you're cheapening the office for your successor, and making immoral behavior elsewhere easier to excuse. You've been been part of the problem, now join the cure.
Also, the links describe a lengthy relationship that recently became intimate. Men: cut that out. I'm not advocating sharia. Take heed, though: all men, husbands and fathers need to guard their virtue(!) vigorously. If you have some form of a relationship with a woman, ensure it's transparent to your wife. People are people. If hormonal tensions grow, do the right thing and ratchet the relationship down. I perceive (and could be wildly wrong) that The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover is a movie, and that kind of no-words-just-grind relationship doesn't happen much. Boring monogamist that I am, it's unlikely (let us hope) that I'll explore this in detail.
So, Sanford, you've been dishonorable. Eject, recoup, and see if you can be rehabilitated.


  1. Love that album. It's . . . magic.

    One small point: Bill Clinton perjured himself. Sanford held a press conference as soon as the spotlight fell on his personal life.

    He's resigned his Chairmanship. He shouldn't make any more emotional decisions, but just hunker down for the rest of the fight with the administration and figure this out next year.

  2. smitty-- you're hard to figure out.
    Unlike the Attila Girl's of the world, you exemplify integrity.
    I really thought you would be one of those who would find a
    way to spin this whole charade and find a way to defend his decision not to resign.
    But you point out that Sanford's criticisms of Clinton and his infidelities would make Sandord, on top of being an adulterer, an outright hypocrite.
    Kudos, this time....

  3. @Y4E,
    What's hard to figure out?
    As a military officer, leadership positions have about a 10:1 ratio between well-qualified people and billets.
    Let's set aside this voyeuristic fascination with wandering men and ask ourselves: why are we tolerating shoddiness from our leadership?

  4. Good work Smitty. And your comments are wise.

    [Since I am writing this only a few hours after his announcement, I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks in the coming days.]

    Mr. Sanford should resign the governorship. He is a conservative. We conservatives preach high standards of moral and ethical behaviour. We are therefore obligated to hold ourselves to those high standards. When we violate those standards and we are elected officials who were elected based on the advocacy of said high standards, we have betrayed those who voted for us. Therefore, the only honorable action to take is to resign the elected office.

    Mr. Sanford should go and spend time working on either saving his marriage and salving the wounds he has inflicted on his wife and children or working on making a divorce as painless as possible for his wife and children. He should be a man and shoulder any consequences no matter how painful to himself. Whatever way it is decided to proceed, it should be done in private for the sake of your family and friends

    Last and least, he has damaged the conservative cause at a very bad moment for it. If he has any honor, he should figuratively take the Luger, go in his den, and do the right thing for the sake of those of us who are struggling to save this country as it speeds down the road to perdition.

    You are not damned for eternity sir, but you are obliged to spend some time in purgatory.

    And now to vent my anger:
    He says he 'spent the last five days crying in Argentina' and added that he has 'Committed trying to get my heart right. The odyssey we're all involved with in life is the heart'. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Governor! What's with all the New Agey pablum puking? Looking at it ruthlessly for a moment: as a conservative that wants to see a restoration of what the Founder's created, I'm glad this happened. I'm glad we'll be rid of another Baby Booming, touchy-feelie, in-touch-with-his-whatsus pantywaist [the Left should have the monopoly on that kind]. Get rid of them all and bring on the John Waynes, the Ronald Reagans, the Barry Goldwaters. 'Trying to work through something we've been working through'...ah!...he just popped in [from Argentina] to see what condition his condition was in....yeah...oh yeah...oh yeah...

  5. smitty-
    I guess I anticipated that you would be among the chorus of hypocrites calling for Sanford NOT to resign.
    I spent spme time cruising the comments section of various blogs and I kept running into one particular refrain: " Clinton didn't resign so Sanford shouldn't either!"
    Now, these would be the same people who wanted Clinton's head on a stake, yet they manage to find it in themselves to use Clinton's example as a positive for their cause.
    I'm with you in this one, Smitty. We need to hold our elected officials to a higher standard and put their feet to the fire when necessary.
    I fear the problem here is that we are in an age of politics as " extreme sport", which sells of course, but perhaps harms us as well....

  6. Like this new format of roundup. I've been out of the loop for awhile, so it may only be "new" to me. In other non-bloggy news, I came across a restaurant named "SMITTY'S PLACE" in western PA. It was in a town of about 2,000 people and was clearly the most happenin' place in town! I wanted a picture for you, but couldn't grab my camera in time!

  7. The <table> tags didn't play so weel with the CSS, though: I've got to repair to my private staging blog and repair the layout.
    Just to be a jerk and use the same word with two different meanings in the same sentence. ;)