What do you think?
Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, has burst into mainstream media again. This time, it’s because of his 6-day disappearance and the revelation that he’d spent the time in Argentina (of all places) with his mistress.
Jeez, Louise. My first reaction to this was “Can’t Republicans keep it in their pants?” This was a knee-jerk reaction after learning recently that Republican Senator John Ensign had also had an affair. In his case, it was a bit more ironic — and hypocritical — given that he called upon Bill Clinton to resign after his affair with Monica Lewinsky. As summarized in Wikipedia, Ensign also supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, saying: “Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded.” Yeah, right.
The problem with Sanford, however, goes beyond Ensign’s hypocrisy and their shared infidelity. Let’s look at the facts: Mark Sanford disappeared without telling any of his aides or the Lieutenant Governor where he was going. He left the country without leaving instructions regarding the chain of command in the event of an emergency. He basically abandoned his post.
To make things worse, he apparently deliberately misled his aides about his destination, hinting that he wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. His staff passed this information on to the press, thus misleading the entire nation. (Imagine if he didn’t come back. We’d be combing hundreds of miles of mountainous wilderness, searching for him.)
This is not an issue of unfaithfulness to his wife and family, of abandoning his four sons on Father’s Day. It’s an issue of acting irresponsibly and lying to his constituency. If he lies about this, what else would he lie about? What else has he already lied about?
Is this the kind of many who should retain “leadership” of a state?
And I won’t even go into his political games, attempting to deny the people of his state Federal stimulus money to make a political point. I’m just glad for the people of South Carolina, that he didn’t get away with that.
My opinion: Mark Sanford should step down as Governor of South Carolina and move to Argentina. His family, his state, and our country don’t need people like him.
Update: The story is evolving. Apparently, Sanford also visited his South American sweetheart on the state’s dime, making it part of an official visit to the area. So now he’s guilty of misappropriating state funds for non-official “business.”
Yet an NPR caller today claims he’ll still support Sanford if he runs for president. Do these bible-belt conservatives understand the difference between right and wrong? Or are they just plain stupid?