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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sanford Reelected

by Sam Huntington

Mark Sanford seemed to be a voice of reason within the conservative community. I recall that his advice to Barack Obama was, when you find yourself in a deep hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. What a disappointment he turned out to be when we learned of his affair with a woman in South America.

Even if it is true that in fearing Sanford as a potential opponent in a subsequent election Obama’s assassination squad zeroed in on the hapless governor, it was no one’s fault other than Sanford’s. Good men (and women) are prone to errors in judgment; even skillful monkeys fall from trees. This is why we place a high value on religious training; it provides us with a moral compass and helps us to avoid temptation. So while we cannot say that Mark Sanford’s mistake was uncommon, even back to ancient times, it was significant and he paid a very high price.

Now he’s been reelected to the House of Representatives, defeating the sister of Stephen Colbert. I must confess, I’m scratching my head. Calling South Carolina. Calling South Carolina. Come in South Carolina. If Mark Sanford is untrustworthy in his personal life, how is he trustworthy in government?


  1. The people of South Carolina have spoken and decided that Mark Sanford is most certainly trustworthy, even if his ex-wife, at the time his extra-marital affair was exposed, disagrees:

    "Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me."

    The people of South Carolina have shown that politics and allegiance to one's political party is more important than family values.

  2. "The people of South Carolina have shown that politics and allegiance to one's political party is more important than family values."

    The words of a stung, liberal loser.

    Mark Sanford has not run away from what he did or try to justify it away. He faced it, literally and famously in front of the cameras.

    If one public moral failure disqualifies a person, then we should all sit down and shut up.

  3. And I echo Black Sheep's dissapeared comment...

    You actually trust politicians?

    The man is a libertarian-leaning conservative. We need more of those in DC.

  4. One of our problems in this country, I think, is that we are always looking for a saint to serve us in politics. There are no saints. There are only men and women questing for power and influence, and they’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it. The problem isn’t the politicians; it is the people who elect them.

  5. "The words of a stung, liberal loser."--SF

    Again your need to trample anyone who differs with you politically.

    I'm a loser?

    I supported the re-election of Barack Obama, and the election of Elizabeth Warren with my votes and they both won. I had nothing whatsoever to do with the election in South Carolina.

    By your own logic, you're a DOUBLE loser, since Mr. Obama and Senator Warren won. You are a silly person for making my comment personal.

    SF: "Mark Sanford has not run away from what he did or try to justify it away. He faced it, literally and famously in front of the cameras."

    And eventually, so did President Clinton. So? Do you think they'd win any prizes in the marital fidelity category that seems to be so prized in the "Family Values" party?

    That's what this is about. I still read on conservative blogs criticizms about how Clinton was having a great time deceiving his wife in the White House, but here you are, defending a guy who maybe he didn't do it in the So. Carolina state house, but he deceived his wife while he was governor and on government time.

    All this goes to show that people will defend their heroes so long as they are their political heroes.

    It's all so amusing.

  6. Can anyone imagine hiring someone to work for you, knowing full well they’re going to steal you blind? An employer wants to hire the best person they can find to do the job … whatever that entails. Even so, most employers hire security staff to keep an eye out for shoplifters and dishonest employees. Reagan told us, “Trust, but verify.”

    We may not need more libertarian leaning conservatives if they are thieves who demand a constant eye on what they’re up to in the background – especially if by their conduct, they make libertarian leaning conservatives no different from the opposition. As Jack said above, our problem isn’t that we don’t know who these politicians really are … our problem is that our security apparatus isn’t working; politicians are stealing from us (and worse), and getting away with it election after election. Maybe we need a better security apparatus (electorate).

  7. I don't condone Sanford's actions, but I'm old enough to know that the heart goes where the heart goes.

    As Silverfiddle said, "If one public moral failure disqualifies a person, then we should all sit down and shut up."

  8. Well, Ms. Shaw, in the unlikely case that political parties actually stand for divergent principles and are not merely a gaggle of greedy, self-serving opportunists -- or obsequious, pusillanimous lackeys to The Unseen Iron Hand that governs behind the scenes -- I have to say I come down on the side of party loyalty -- and from your, apparently, ardent support of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and Blowjob Bill, etc. I tend to believe you feel similarly.

    In the end it's always more about POLICY than PERSONALITY or CHARACTER.

    If anyone denies that, he's either a morn or a hypocrite, and I could never see you as either.

  9. If what dude does in his bedroom is too volatile an activity for him to have a position in government over people, maybe the government he'd be a part of is involved in a few too many things we ought to trust ourselves alone with.

  10. I agree with Silverfiddle and Cube. What difference does it make if Sanford screwed the pooch? Kennedy did it. Johnson did it. Clinton did it. If bad behavior is good enough for the Democrats, it’s good enough for Republicans too.

    ~Vic Amatto

  11. Shaw, go tell it on the mountain.

    I'm not one of those pillorying President Clinton over past indiscretions. I have mentioned them, but I don't think they disqualify him in any way from the public discourse.

    And on my loser comment, my apologies.

    I should have said "...stung, liberal sore loser."

    I'm sure you denied Lady Killer Teddy Kennedy your vote on similar moral grounds...

  12. Dear Mr. Free Thinke,

    I think you misunderstand me. I do not stand in judgement of Mr. Sanford, and there is nothing in my comments here that says anything about his behavior.

    I wonder only about the party he belongs to that has unflinchingly been the party of family values, and has used those values as a puritanical cudgel against anyone who ran around on their spouses--UNTIL their heroes were found doing the very same thing. Newt "I Had Three Wives" Gingrich, Sen. Vitter, and Mark Sanford.

    They need to drop that "family values" nonsense as part of their identity so long as they are against marriage for people who love each other but are oh so forgiving of the Gingriches, Vitters, and Sanfords.

    It is somewhat amusing to see how the GOP protects its gored oxen in this matter.

  13. SF: How can I be a "sore loser" over an election I never participated in?

    Again, by your logic, you are a DOUBLE "sore loser." Obama and Warren won.

    Aside from that, I have always maintained that we have no knowledge of how a person reconciles his or her transgressions with his or her god, spouse, and children. I've always said that.

    I've said nothing in judgement about Sanford.

    Again. I'll type this real s l o w so that you get it.

    How does the GOP, the party that prides itself on and is associated with "Family Values" reconcile itself with these men?

    Forgive and forget?

    Ha! I have two words for you and others here: Ted Kennedy.

    The man's been dead for 4 years and you and the others will NEVER forgive or forget.

    GOHOP = Grand Old Hypocritical Old Party

  14. I can certainly see why the American people are clamoring for a third political party. Essentially, there is no difference between Democrats or Republicans. I wish Sanford luck.

  15. Black Sheep

    Your comments are being deleted because you are in violation of comment policy (see above). You are a spammer, a bed wetter, and your comments are entirely focused on personal invective.

    Good bye.

  16. It's hard to understand politicians and those who vote for them. Seems to be the lesser of two evils way too often.

    Right Truth

  17. Boys will be boys, everybody.

    Weenie dunkin' is a time-honored male prerogative.

    I'd worry about men who don't act like men, but stay home and let themselves get pussy whipped.

    My advice?


    Dick Wilde

  18. So if a person violated the oath he took at the time of his marriage, can he be trusted to uphold his oath of office?

  19. I admit I was somewhat stunned that Sanford won the election.

    When Clinton was impeached the standard line was "We have no trouble with his act, it's the fact he lied under oath and thus, broke the law."

    Fair enough. So let's excuse Mr. Sanford his unsavory acts and ask about his use of state funds to fund his dalliances.

    Isn't that a problem for conservatives?

    Mustang, you seem to hewing a fairly consistent line, one in which I see few others following.

    Shaw is correct in her assessment that a party advocating for family rights has a problem when their leaders do not exhibit those traits.

    For years we heard from the GOP that character matters and that what you do in your private life is a window into what will be your public persona.

    Has the GOP left that behind in a decision to score political wins?

    I agree, a third party is needed to help clean up the mess...

  20. Dave: Why would you be surprised?

    It's a conservative district. Partisans of all stripe will pick a flawed person they agree with over an apparently less-flawed person they do not agree with.

    Examples on the left include serial sexual harassers Dodd and Kennedy (any and all of them, pick your favorite), not to mention the left's love affair with murdering 60's terrorists.

    Shaw: I agree with you on this:

    "They need to drop that "family values" nonsense as part of their identity."

    Republican politicians as a group have proven themselves no more virtuous than their dem counterparts.

  21. It's the magic of religion. Just say you were wrong and everything is wiped clean, you're a new person and you get another chance.

    Of course this only works for the religious right. No leftist mea culpa is sincere.

    However, this Bagger victory bodes well as the rethugs start to assemble the passengers in the clown car to take on Hillary in 2016. I'm curious, have they found a drunk to replace perry and will the drink be driving?

  22. I don't think I've misunderstood ANYTHING.

    Self praise may stink, but I have to say I summed up the argument very neatly with this short sentence:

    In the end it's always more about POLICY than PERSONALITY or CHARACTER.

    I am primarily a FISCAL Conservative. However, in many other areas I have discovered that I am very much a SOCIAL liberal.

    Am I conflicted? Possibly, but M-O-N-E-Y -- MINE -- and TAX policies that encourage ECONOMIC FREEDOM trump all other considerations, because I know better than any damned BUREAUCRAT how best to utilize MY resources.

    I would gladly vote for a JEWISH-BlLACK, ONE-EYED, TRANSEXUAL QUADRIPLEGIC who was known to have married his her or its bedroom DOORKNOB, if he she or it were:

    A) smart,

    B) articulate,

    C) determined to lower income taxes

    D) determined to make sure Capital Gains Taxes were reduced to the barest minimum and indexed to INFLATION,

    E) determined to eliminate REDUNDANCY in government,

    F) determined to eliminate The Department of Education

    G) determined to get the USA out of the UN and the UN out of the USA,


    I) EMEND the 14th AMENDMENT to ELIMINATE the possibility of any future ANCHOR BABIES

    J) determined to DEPORT all ILLEGAL ALIENS who are welfare dependent or have committed felonies, BUT make INSTANT CITIZENS of of the millions who have lived here for many years, had families, own property, and to all intents and purposes are decent, kind-hearted people who have done nothing but work hard while acting as good, productive citizens.

    K) Do whatever it takes to CLOSE the BORDERS after this last amnesty.

    L) Restore an IMMIGRATION POLICY that heavily FAVORS BRITISH and EUROPEAN WHITE CHRISTIANS and completely EXCLUDES all Muslims.

    Now you KNOW where I stand unequivocally. };-)>

    Hate me if you must, but at least give me credit for telling the TRUTH.

  23. Next, Black Sheep will just totally not get how asinine he appears.

    Still not impressed.

  24. Silver, you miss my point.

    You know me and should know i do not dismiss the problems of people like Kennedy, Dodd or any other.

    But, and this is a big one, the left does not claim to run on a morals plank like candidates from the GOP do.

    Like it or not, the family values stuff is in the plank and DNA of the GOP.

    Elect who you want, fine with me. But if you are going to elect people like Vitter, Gingrich and Sanford, is this really a party of family values as they themselves have defined them?

    Mustang has it right... this compromises the message of the GOP...

  25. I agree with Dave Miller and others that if the GOP is going to claim adherence to family values (suggesting by omission that Democrats do not), they need to walk the walk. Otherwise, they lose credibility with the party faithful. Disillusioned voters stay home on Election Day. There is also a suggestion that politicians prefer that voters stay home on Election Day; doing so makes it easier to win an election. Are there any thoughts on this?

  26. "Examples on the left include serial sexual harassers Dodd and Kennedy (any and all of them, pick your favorite), not to mention the left's love affair with murdering 60's terrorists."

    Are those "murdering 60s terrorists" anything like the "murdering Dr. Tilley and others like him terrorists?" Like the Timothey McVeigh-type terrorists?

    Let's not descend into a "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" argument, okay? The right has its murderous screwballs too.

    I don't know of any liberal who didn't know all about Ted Kennedy's human failings. What you and others will not look at is his ability to rise above them and do something with his life. You don't like what he did a politician? Fine. But continually kicking him to the gutter says more about the people who do so than it does about Ted Kennedy. Christians usually believe in redemption and forgiveness--real Christians, that is.

    But one doesn't have to be religious to understand that people fail and people turn their lives around. Maybe Mark Sanford will do a good job.

    South Carolina voters, by voting Sanford back into an elective office, said that even though he broke his marriage vows, they're willing to forgive and forget; and also, they're political and tribal, so they stuck with their own kind.

    In other words, those So. Carolina voters are acting the same way that the voters in Massachusetts and Connecticut did when they decided to give Kennedy and Dodd the same chance.

  27. Shaw: "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" is all you got. You engage in it constantly, harping on about what the NRA, the GOP or conservatives in general are doing. You dredge up the worst examples and your little leftwing elf friends go wilding over it.

    The difference? Oral Roberts U and Bob Jones U don't go hire abortion clinic bombers as full professors.

    Ted Kennedy was a fat, alcoholic pig who not only left a woman to die, he went on to enjoy decades of misogynistic piggishness. I imagine he made his peace with his maker once they sawed his head open, and his fate is between him and God, but anybody who voter for that fat pile of excrement has no business criticizing the voters of South Carolina's 1st district.

    Finally, you got it right:

    In other words, those So. Carolina voters are acting the same way that the voters in Massachusetts and Connecticut did when they decided to give Kennedy and Dodd the same chance.

    Yes! We agree again. Doesn't it make you feel warm inside?

  28. @ Dave: "But, and this is a big one, the left does not claim to run on a morals plank like candidates from the GOP do."

    So that gives them license to behave like feral hogs and oversexed baboons?

    I'll grant you, the hypocrisy factor matters, and it makes you a target. If you're gonna preach it, you better live it.

  29. In other words, those So. Carolina voters are acting the same way that the voters in Massachusetts and Connecticut did when they decided to give Kennedy and Dodd the same chance.

    This is a very poor argument. Sanford apologized in public and set his case before the people. I don’t think I ever heard Ted Kennedy apologize for leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to die. I don’t think I ever heard him apologize for all those rape and booze parties in South Florida. And Dodd … the man belongs in prison for his part of the collapse of the housing market.

  30. Silver, you eat entirely too much red meat.

    So much anger. You should be posting for Hate Week at FT's.

  31. Ducky:
    Anger? A man of your age and experience can't tell the difference between anger and candor?

    On the subject of morality and politics: I'll take a fiscally conservative, liberty loving, pot smoking reprobate over a big government "family values" bible waver any day.

    Sam: I respect your views and the way you state them so forthrightly, but "family values" is like the weather; everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it.

    Also, like pornography, it's hard to define but people know it when they see it, and like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder.

    Also, you must realize that people on the left love their families, too.

    Pete Seeger, a great American of the far left, is in his 90's and still on his first wife!

    Finally, there's not much in the constitution that authorizes moral meddling by the federal government.

    I say this to you with charity and respect, because I do respect you, and our values and general outlook appear to be similar.

  32. Yes, Ducky, I was about to say the same thing.

    I hope SF isn't a heavy drinker because that rage plus alcohol could turn into something ugly, er, uglier.

    SF has some deep seated need to hammer and demolish anyone who doesn't drink his Kool-Aid.

    I hope you learn to harness that rage and pour it into your fiction.

  33. Apparently, Elizabeth Colbert Busch chances to get elected were damaged by Nancy Pelosi. Or so I found in the WaPo online:

    ...Sanford focused relentlessly on how Colbert Busch was a rubber stamp for Pelosi and the national Democratic agenda in the final week of the campaign. Asked on Tuesday about the key to the race, Sanford said: ”What I would say is that if there was turning point in this election, it was me standing on the side of the sidewalk with a Nancy Pelosi cutout having a debate we weren’t able to have in the first district.” He’s right. Without pivoting to that message of bashing national Democrats, the race stays focused on Sanford’s less-than-appealing personal life. And he probably loses.

    The key question in all of this is whether Sanford could have/would have been able to make the national Democratic argument as effectively if Pelosi wasn’t the face of House Democrats. Can you demonize Steny Hoyer? Ot Jim Clyburn? I guess you can try but no one knows who either of them are — or, at the very least, they are way less well known than Pelosi nationally. I know for a fact that some Democratic strategists were hoping that Pelosi stepped aside after 2010 and 2012 for just this reason — because they knew she gave Republicans such an easy target to nationalize House races....

    For my own part, I've given up on trying to figure out how people decide for whom to cast their ballots.

  34. Mike's America lives in South Carolina and has posted his take on the election results.

  35. I can't keep track of this argument honestly. My only view is this: if the guy is trustworthy and smart, good thing he's elected. If not, I still stand by any Republican is better than a liberal. That being said, why was he the best choice for running...

    But on the morals argument raging. Seems to me not many here have any- thus they mock them. I know the GOP is corrupt as all hell, but they at least TRY. Everyone, absolutely everyone, is a hypocrite. All of us frown on stealing, lying, raping, etc; but at least once in our lives we have done one of those. Its called human nature. That in no way means we shouldn't TRY to be moral and good people! We will fail, and fail, and FAIL, but the attempt is what matters. There is a saying to that. Better to try and fail, then never to try at all.

    The GOP does itself no favors, I realize. Politics are like that. They all, even our idols, have something in the closet. That isn't the point. The point is an honest effort to try and stand for Good in this world. Do all of them try? No. Do some? Yes. Does any liberal? No, they don't believe in morals. Lesser of two evils in that respect alone.

    I may be alone in this sentiment. Then again, I can be called a Crusader Christian easily. Its a name I would bear with pride.


  36. Sam: I'll just repeat what you said here: "Mark Sanford’s mistake was uncommon, even back to ancient times, it was significant and he paid a very high price."

    Note the emphasis. Sanford resigned in disgrace as Governor. he "PAID" for his transgressions.

    I didn't vote for him in the early primary but happily did so in the final match up with Colbert Lying Busch who tried to tell the voters here that she was a different kind of Democrat. We've heard all that before haven't we?

    I didn't vote for Sanford for HUSBAND OF THE YEAR. I voted for him to represent me in Congress. He will certainly do a better job of that than Colbert Lying Busch.

    And as for my old friend SOCIALIST SHAW K. I would just remind her that Sanford RESIGNED when he was caught lying. Bill Clinton doesn't have HALF Sanford's character or integrity.

    I would also point out that Sanford paid a price in this election too with thousands of GOP voters refusing to vote for him because of his moral transgressions. He only won with 9% of the vote. Typical GOP candidates win this district with 20% or more.

    The message was sent to Sanford and other GOP politicians (we know Democrats don't care about moral lessons, they don't have the character)that they can't do this kind of thing and not pay a price.

    But in the end, the voters realized that the alternative in this case was to elect a lying socialist clown who would embarrass us far worse with every vote she cast.

  37. Thank you, Mike. I wish Sanford and the people in his congressional district much luck. You are making a good point about the primary and special election, and of course, by now we are all so used to the idea that our choices come down to Bad and Worse, we no longer have time for any meaningful discussion about taking an oath, and keeping it. The concept has become abstract to us.

    Thank you for reading and commenting.


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