Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Time, I'm Interested

From a political perspective, my apathy at South Carolina governor Mark Sanford's recent marital infidelity is nearly as great as it was for these two. What separates this from the normal case of politicians having affairs is:

  • The utter fecklessness of it. As if having the affair weren't enough, he lied about his whereabouts via his staff, and left folks wondering where he was for days. As dday explains at Hullabaloo:

    [T]his Sanford case is much, much different. He left his state, in fact he left the country, for seven days without telling anybody. Setting aside the fact that going to Argentina to "say goodbye" for seven days doesn't make any kind of sense, and if he got away with this I'm sure there would be additional hikes on the Appalachian trail, so to speak, in the future, leaving the country with no proper explanation is a severe dereliction of duty. He apparently lied to his own staff, lied to the Lieutenant Governor, and left his state in the lurch, despite the unpredictability of events (aren't we in hurricane season?). That's probably a firing offense. If I was a South Carolinian, it would be to me, regardless of party.

    Anything Happen While I Was Away?

  • He actually used as an excuse that he had been exhausted by his battles over the stimulus spending his state was to receive. A good summary of that battle was "screw the poor and middle class".

  • He was one of the ones who led the charge against President Clinton for his infidelity. He's been a sanctimonious jackass for a long time.

As I mentioned when I wrote about John Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer, how the politician handles the revelation of the affair tells you some interesting things about him. In Sanford's case, what it tells us is extremely unflattering.

Even though I'm a man who is experiencing much of what men go through in mid-life, it's really hard to feel sorry for a guy like this. It's even hard to say I'm not interested in his peccadillo, thanks to all the peripheral issues. What I can't help feeling here is that if there was ever a case of karma coming home to roost, it's here.

Politicians are human beings. They have weaknesses. As long as those weaknesses don't make them unable to perform their jobs, I don't really care what they are, and I wish that the public would spend less time paying attention to them and spend more of it looking into what they're doing when they're on the job. In Sanford's case, though, it's hard not to contract a case of schadenfreude.

(h/t to Dana Hunter, who found most of these links.)

UPDATE: Blue Gal administers a giant whack with the clue stick to some raving dumbass who thinks that Democratic politicians are getting a pass on sex scandals. The selective memory required to maintain such an opinion is breathtaking, as Blue Gal amply demonstrates.

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