This isn't really a Mark Sanford diary. I mean, seriously - when I heard the interview that one of the intrepid reporters from The State did at the Atlanta airport this morning, I knew he was busted. I have to be honest - it made me smile. I told a co-worker at the office that the only thing that could make the admission of an affair on his part better was if he admitted that it was with a male. So it really didn't shock me when he admitted to an affair during his his press conference.
No. My head almost exploded when I heard Candy Crowley's commentary on CNN following the press conference and Sanford's admission of an affair.
More over the fold.
I can't link to a transcript because the comments happened live on CNN less than an hour ago. Additionally, I'm going to have to paraphrase the comment she did make that made the pressure in my head escalate.
So you've seen the presser, and you know that Sanford rambled on for a good ten minutes about letting the free western world, and all the people in it, down. This, apparently, was the preamble to the admission of an extramarital affair. As my diary intro indicated, this didn't shock me in the least.
So CNN turns it over to their commentary folks, one of whom is Candy Crowley. Kira Phillips (CNN anchor) references Sanford's 2012 Presidential aspirations, and throws it out there as to whether or not a Presidential run is completely off the table. Crowley says something to this effect:
CROWLEY (paraphrased): Well, I never say never when it comes to politics. But this certainly makes it hard - it's not helpful. That sound you hear is Republicans everywhere screaming. They don't want to have this out there, first Ensign and now Mark Sanford. But this kind of thing does happen on both sides of the aisle.
She went on to blather some drivel about the fact that Sanford has not indicated he will resign the South Carolina Governor's office. I had kind of blocked it out after that bit above that I represented in bold.
So she's technically correct. Infidelity happens on both sides of the aisle. Men cheat on their wives and women cheat on their husbands every day, in all walks of life, in a myriad of political parties. But nowhere did Crowley reference the obvious - that the reason why it's so especially infuriating when a Republican - particularly a moralizing, family-first Republican - commits adultery is because it's just about the most hypocritical act EVER. This is what I know:
- Fundamentalist Christian Republicans think it's ok to tell me what I can and can't choose with respect to my own body. "Family first", they yell - "Sanctity of life", they cry.
- Fundamentalist Christian Republicans think it's ok to tell homosexual people that the thought of marriage equality is a threat to not only the institution of marriage itself, but also to their marriages. Individually.
- Fundamentalist Christian Republicans pontificate ad nauseum ad infinitum about the importance of children being raised in an environment where both a mother and father are present. No other arrangement will yield a successful, adjusted child, they imply.
To which I say. If you had any respect for your so-called sanctity of life and putting family first, you'd keep your proverbial dick firmly ensconced inside your proverbial pants and not stick it into someone who is not, in fact, your spouse.
If you had any respect for the so-called sanctity of marriage, you'd start by addressing the plank in your own eye before becoming unnaturally, psychotically obsessed in the speck in the eye of all the homosexual couples who want only the opportunity to marry and then, possibly, fuck up as badly as you have.
If you had any respect for the so-called mantra of family first, you would actually practice what you preach, be where you say you're going to be, and not falling into the bed and vagina of a person who is not your wife. On Father's Day. While your four sons are at home and have no idea where you are.
So ok, Candy Crowley. You're technically right. Politicians on both sides of the political aisle stray from their marriages. But on MY side of the aisle - while not espousing open marriages and orgies and what have you - there is substantially less moralizing. There is substantially less focus on scrutinizing people's personal lives, finding fault, and then issuing directives on the "better" way that a life can be lived. People on my side of the aisle, generally:
- Want healthcare for everyone. So that if you get an STD from your wife or from your mistress or from your same-gender assistant, you will be treated without questions or embarrassment.
- Want opportunity for everyone. So that if you work hard at a solid, middle class job, you can afford a clean, safe home in a safe neighborhood with good schools for your children. If you make that home with another person who is the same sex as you are, and you adopt your children, we don't care.
- Want freedom of choice - and freedom FROM excessive government intervention into our fundamental privacy - for everyone. So you find yourself with an unexpected pregnancy and want to keep and raise your child? Great. We'll try to ensure you have the resources to do that successfully so you can raise a successful, happy child. You want to end your pregnancy? That's fine, too. We'll try to make available to you all the resources and support you'll need to make such a serious decision and survive it - emotionally AND physically.
People on my side of the aisle fall just as hard when they're caught in marital infidelities. But the difference is, they don't hold themselves up as some kind of iconic figure of The Way You Should Live Your Life in the first place. So human error and frailty is much more palatable on MY side of the aisle because we never put ourselves up there as the ONLY way to live a valid, productive life.
And with that said, the pressure in my head has lessened and I can go back to work.
Update [2009-6-24 16:56:44 by RenaRF]: Pee Ess. Thanks for all the comments - some are hilarious and some point out things that are SO right that I hadn't even considered. So this is cool.
And. Maybe I'll get my TU status back. ;)
Update [2009-6-24 19:9:59 by RenaRF]: In the comments, someone asked if there were heads exploding at Redstate. I hate that place, but after reading that query, I couldn't resist. I found this post on their front page:
Well, what I wrote yesterday was wrong. Sanford’s lies spread through his office and out to the rest of us.
The left is linking to yesterday’s post to laugh at it. What they are missing is that most of us tend to give people the benefit of the doubt — even people like John Edwards.
We live in a fallen world and we ourselves are fallen. I am disappointed in Sanford, but not angry. The default for politicians seems to be unchaste. All we can do is work for ideas and try to find men of good character to fight for those ideas.
I think one thing I have noticed in the past five years is that Democrats and Republicans tend to elevate politicians to such a level that there is no accountability. It is insular. There is no support group, no small group of friends, and no authority that can guide, admonish, and correct politicians privately.
We have each other. I’m off in a bit to hang out with friends from my Bible Study. Sanford probably has none of that. I’m sure John Edwards did not. Nor Bill Clinton. Nor John Ensign.
What Mark Sanford did was wrong. He needs to go in a dark hole somewhere where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself. On the bright side, I doubt his indiscretions will affect the FisCon movement. The left is going to spend the next week making Sanford into the second coming of James Dobson to smear real marriage advocates and social conservatives — positions Sanford was rarely vocal on.
Blessed is the Lord God Jehovah who brings forth bread from heaven, water from rocks, and men like Mark Sanford from the dust of the earth. His will be done.
I'm going to totally ignore my impulse to focus on the idea that "we" live in a fallen world. I'm glad this guy has his faith to lean back on. Seriously. I'm less glad that he feels the need to try to fling it in my general direction. That's all I'll say about that particular part of his post.
What's most striking to me is that the focus of this post is ENTIRELY on the adultery. Not anywhere does the poster discuss the total abrogation of duty perpetrated by Sanford. My question for him would be: is it not worrying to you, even in the slightest, that Sanford left SC without leaving someone in control of the state's affairs? What if there had been a catastrophe or some emergency in the state that required a Governor's request to declare a state of emergency or the need to call up the National Guard? What if lives literally hung in the balance during the time it took to transfer power to the Lt. Governor, and some of those lives were LOST?
The silence of the issues underlying this issue is appalling.