Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Swingin' Governor Mark Sanford

There's an old adage about throwing stones in glass houses. It stands to reason that, if you're going to point out the splinter in someone else's eye, you'd best not have a log sticking out of your own. We've seen proof positive of this recently thanks to the sextra-curricular activities of Bob Barr, Mark Foley, Eliot Spitzer, Larry Craig and, most recently, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. It would seem almost inevitable that the public moralist is also a secret hedonist.

I don't think that we expect our politicians to be saints, nor do I believe that a little bumpity-bump outside of marriage disqualifies someone from holding public office. However, one should not hold someone else to a standard that they themselves are not willing to aspire to. I'm speaking mainly about the mock outrage that erupted from the mouths of the bulk of the politicians I mentioned above when it was revealed that then-President Bill Clinton had been playing pig-in-a-poke with Monica Lewinsky. They weren't outraged so much by Clinton's little fib to a grand jury so much as they were about the commission of the actual sex act. That always puzzled me, as adultery isn't illegal, while lying to a grand jury is, yet all these public moralists focused on the seedier aspects of the scandal rather than the legal ones.

I don't care if Mark Sanford wanted to get his groove on with some babe in Argentina behind his wife's back. Where I take umbrage is the fact that he spent taxpayer dollars on the trip (doesn't matter if he pays it back, the very act itself is illegal) and he abandoned his post for five days in order to do it. Furthermore, during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, Sanford demanded "moral clarity" from Clinton and called upon him to resign. Sanford obviously believes that some sort of moral character is needed in order to effectively govern, and, that being the case, he has undermined himself and lost all credibility.

Time to take your own advice, Sanford. Though, we know that's not going to happen.

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