Why I am sympathetic to Mark Sanford


In last night’s post, I tried to explain why I am sympathetic to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and his family, but I did so inarticulately after a long day of work. Yes, I think he’s been a extraordinarily ineffective governor. (See his stimulus grandstanding and his numerous overidden vetos by a legislature controlled by his own party.)

For your consideration, I offer the sharper obserservations of Gary Kamiya of Salon, John Dickerson of Slate  and William Saletan also of Slate. All did a better job than I did.

Especially Dickerson, who said in part:

“What Mark Sanford seemed to be trying to say is that he screwed up, in the biggest possible way, because he lost his bearings. He lost his self-control. He was indulgent. He forgot that there were other humans in the world. Yet in the constant flow of abuse, joke-making, and grand conclusions about his failings, it seemed everyone having a good time pointing at his self-indulgence was also engaging in a form of it.”

Campbell Brown of CNN interviewed Tom Davis, a S.C. GOP State Senator and former Sanford Chief of Staff. I’ve not seen the video, but his observation of his friend of 30 years seemed spot on on one point:

People be will watching for his sincerity. I think there’s an incredible capacity in the American people for forgiveness. What they will not forgive is hypocrisy.

In another interview, Davis went on to argue that Sanford should remain in office. He is wrong — perhaps his long friendship with the governor is blinding him. Sanford’s hypocrisy — condemning John Edwards and Bill Clinton, his general sanctimonious behavior over the stimulus debate — that’s why South Carolinians won’t  and shouldn’t allow allow him to return to office and it may be why they will insist he resigns.

I still think the governor’s wife said what really needs to be said on this matter.

She, her family, and the people of South Carolina deserve better. I hope for the sake of Mark Sanford and his family, they can have the reconciliation they both seem to want. On a personal note, she captures my thoughts on the matter.

But on a political note, Andrew Sullivan captures the most important point to be made. He did so on his wonderful blog, The Daily Dish:

“Another far-right Republican confesses to an extra-marital affair. Not the most effective way to keep it under wraps: disappearing for days with no notice. But it’s important to remember at these moments that we’re all human. I just wish the GOP leadership would apply that lesson to everyone else.”

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Filed under corruption, Right wing nut jobs

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