Missing the Point


“Extramarital affairs, gambling, alcohol abuse, prostitution and sexual pursuit of minors have taken a toll on the GOP.” -Washington Times (h/t TPM)

Outside of sexual pursuit of minors and prostitution, the real problem the GOP has with these committing these vices is that they hold themselves up as paragons of virtue when another succumbs to these vices. The latest case, Gov. Mark Sanford, is a prime example. Damn what the hell he says now. Of course he is contrite, he got caught. Over and Over again. In the Appalachians hiking? No. Driving down the shore in Buenos Aires? Doesn’t seem quite possible to those who have seen the area. He likes solitude? What does Maria [Redacted] have to say about that?

What did he say just over 10 years ago, in 1998? He wasn’t so empathetic to former President Bill Clinton (as Sanford was a strong supporter of the failed bid to impeach) or Bob Livingston (R-SC). Livingston, then slated to be the incoming house speaker had to hear this from Sanford, his fellow Republican:

“We as a party want to hold ourselves to high standards, period,”

and on CNN’s Crossfire:

“The bottom line is Livingston lied,” Sanford said. “He lied to his wife.”

Sanford had a tendency to equate the violation as wedding vows as a tacit admission that an adulturous official would violate their oath of office.

Sanford was quoted as saying, “We ought to ask questions … rather than circle the wagons for one of our tribe”

Of Clinton:

“Very damaging stuff. This one’s pretty cut and dried.” Calling the overall situation messy, he added: “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally [to resign].”

But the thing is, this social scold also knew that the legislative workloads, fundraising, long times of seperation and distance from D.C. to home districts and states could take its toll on a marriage. While discussing the high divorce rate of his fellow 1994 freshman congressmen he was quoted in CNN’s AllPolitics in 1998 as saying::

“Just look at the divorce rate of our class,” South Carolina’s Mark Sanford said with a sigh. “We’re not exactly bettering the national average.”

In November, Sanford gave his party some advice on how the GOP should make a comeback in his editorial for Politco.com called “Back to Basics”:

“First, let’s go back to the principle of saying what you mean and meaning what you say.”

Well, let’s wait and see if Gov Sanford is sticking to his avowed principles.

Update: Sanford talks about oaths: