September 2, 2009

Mark Sanford Situation Getting Ugly.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is trying desperately to cling to his job, invoked a couple of uncalled-for invocations. According to the Washington Times he's been quoted as saying that despite no GOP backing to save his job, he's going to continue to fight for conservative causes because it's "what God wanted me to do with my life."

Yikes. Governor, I'm pretty sure God DIDN'T want you having an affair. It might sound harsh to come down on Mark Sanford like that but it's fair. There's a lot to like about Mark Sanford's platforms and policy positions. But we don't need an empty suit. Our standards have to be higher than those of the liberal side of the aisle. We have to not only legislate what we believe, we have to live it.

Nobody is perfect, that is understood. I'm certainly not. We've all made mistakes. But you seem less than contrite right now and more concerned about power. You are a governor and you need to be closer to perfect than those you govern. In other words, a mistake is forgivable, but there are penalties associated with making mistakes and the higher up you go, the more likely those penalties become career-enders.

And it goes further. As if the invocation of the Lord wasn't enough, one could perhaps sense Sanford's desperation in the invocation of Sarah Palin.

"I think I now know what Sarah may have been feeling," Mr. Sanford told The
Washington Times.

Yikes again. Governor Sanford, Palin was under a scrutiny that could very well be described as malicious. She was scrutinized for imagined misdeeds and for her political beliefs. In your case, however, the deeds are neither imagined nor the intent malicious. It's an undeserved comparison. The scrutiny is not even at the same level Palin endured, let alone the validity of the reasons behind it.

You need to concentrate on setting things right with your family, and God, not your job. By all means this should not preclude you from Republican politics. You have some great ideas and beliefs. But as a result of your mistakes, you have likely, and justifiably relegated yourself to the role of advisor, think tank guru, or political operative of some kind. You've made yourself a backroom guy.

Maybe not forever, but certainly for now. To cling to your job is at least unsightly, likely unsustainable and at worst damaging to the GOP you purport to support.

If you are the fiscal and social conservative you claim wouldn't the order of importance go something like this?

  • God
  • Family
  • Country
  • Political party
  • Self

By the time you have the first 4 points straightened out, you may have time before retirement to reconsider a front line political career once again.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I really liked what Mark Sanford stood for, and I do not wish him any ill. However, it's a mistake to believe that his clinging to power does anything to help the GOP. It looks like hypocrisy when you compare his trouble to say Blagojevich. If the GOP is trying to look trustworthy, this does not help. Therefore, while I wish Sanford and his family the best, and hope they heal their wounds, Sanford should not remain in the GOP in any capacity that requires election. Not now. Again, maybe in 15 years, but not now.]

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