6.26.2009

Why Sanford has to go

I tend to take a relatively laissez-faire attitude when it comes to marital indiscretions on the part of public figures. Do I think it's disgraceful when our elected leaders pay for sex (Vitter, Spitzer), sleep with their staff (Clinton, Ensign), or just seem to have trouble keeping it in their pants (Edwards, Paterson, Giuliani)? Sure. But, by and large, I think infidelity is between the transgressor and his (because it's almost always men, isn't it?) family. (On that note, I think Jenny Sanford is plenty justified in giving the Governor the old heave-ho.)

But Gov. Sanford is different. He has shown awful, awful judgement, not only with regard to his personal moral conduct, but with regard to his duties as governor. This is made plain by two different factors.

The first is that he just up and disappeared for five days. He took no steps, as far as I can tell from everything that has been reported thus far, to have a clear protocol in place should something have required his urgent attention during his absence. Who was to be in charge? Who would have been able to get in touch with him? If I were to up and disappear for five days, leaving who knows who to see my patients and take my calls, I would have some serious 'splaining to do. As much as it pains me to admit this, the governor of a state (even a small one like, say, Vermont) is more important than I am, and the people of his state are perfectly right to be incredibly angry that he absconded.

Even worse than that, he spent taxpayer money on an earlier trip to visit his mistress. (Yes, apparently there was a "legitimate" business purpose to the trip, but Sanford is in no position to expect people to cut him any slack at this point.) This is a huge breach in the public trust, and effectively obliterates any reasonable expectation that he will be able to function in his job any longer.

He should resign.

11 comments:

  1. Excellent points, Dan, and I agree.

    I believe the only president of my childhood who didn't cheat was Truman. Why didn't we hear about the others? More respect for the office? Not nearly as much airing of dirty laundry in general back then? Ironic, given the much more conservative era back then. I mean, ironic in that their affairs didn't cost them their careers. But, again, we didn't know.

    Barbara

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  2. Hey, I agree, Sanford must resign. I'd also put Pelosi, Dodd, Murtha, and Rangel in the same basket. Pelosi is a liar, Dodd, Murtha, and Rangel are clearly cheats with public money.

    Republicans usually resign (and Sanford will, I'd wager, within two weeks). Democrats never resign, even if caught in bed with a live boy and a dead girl, $90,000 in cash in the freezer, and a mortgage that says "pay for three prostitutes a day for the Senator in exchange for his support."

    Physician, heal thy own party.

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  3. GJ, what a droll comment you made. Democrats never resign? You card!

    Let's play a guessing game. I'll think of a high profile Democrat who's resigned in disgrace after a sex scandal, and you try to figure out who it is. Ready? Here's your hint. His name rhymes with "Meliot Mitzer."

    While you're pondering that, I'll just check in to see how David Vitter's re-election campaign is going.

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  4. Barbara, what evidence is there that Carter cheated, or Bush jr? And what woman other than his wife would cheat with Nixon? And Reagan was faithful while he was married to Jane Wyman and Nancy, it was only when he divorced wife one that he went wild before settling down with Nancy.

    I also disgree he should resign for reasons I posted on the other thread (this don't let you copy and paste)

    charo

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  5. Danny, to back you up, statistically speaking more Dems do resign from extramarital affairs than Republicans. The Gov. of NJ did. But Craig didn't. (gay affairs) Spitzer but not Vitter (prostitutes)

    In general Republicans are far more evil in their actions since it is they themselves who trumpet how evil said actions are. Ensign is far worse than some live and let live Dem. because Ensign claimed to be holier than Jesus. This is the fundamental flaw with most Republicans, they truly believe that there are two sets of rules, one they try to forcefeed on America and one they live by.

    There is no healing for the Republican party, it is one elephant that deserves to be put out of its misery. And at the rate they are going, they are doing a good enough job of it themselves.

    charo

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  6. Hey, Dan, exacalakaly what law did Sanford break?

    Spitzer resigned not because of sex, but because he broke laws, and would have faced prosecution. He could have [verb] all the women he wanted if only he did not transport them across State lines for paid sex. Oh, and if he had not made so many bitter enemies who would cut him no slack whatsoever, just as he never was merciful to anyone. Karma is a bitch.

    But I'm willing to admit error, if you or charo can cite a reasonable study showing Dems resign at a higher rate than Repubs when caught with their greedy mits in the cookie jar. That's all I need.

    charo, I think you have it exactly backwards. Repubs don't have two sets of rules; if they did, there would be no reason for them to resign out of shame. A person can know an action is wrong, say it si wrong, tell others not to do the action, and yet still perform the action time and time again. My example? Our President, the smoker.

    A hypocrite is someone how says one thing and believes another. It isn't clear that, for example, that Mr. Craig believes homosexual behavior is right while publicly saying it is wrong. All humans fall prey to acts they believe wrong. The consistent ones admit error and resign. Unlike Vitter, Pelosi, Murtha, Frank, Rangel, Dodd, Sanford...

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  7. Let's just scroll up a bit and reread your comment, shall we GJ?

    'Republicans usually resign (and Sanford will, I'd wager, within two weeks). Democrats never resign, even if caught in bed with a live boy and a dead girl, $90,000 in cash in the freezer, and a mortgage that says "pay for three prostitutes a day for the Senator in exchange for his support."'

    "Republicans usually resign." "Democrats never resign." I can think of a whole bunch of Republicans who have not resigned, and two Democrats (Spitzer and McGreevey) who have. You're the one who made the flagrantly inaccurate statement, GJ, so you're the one who has to defend it on its merits, not me.

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  8. Oh, and PS, I've not actually said anywhere that Sanford did anything illegal. What he did was irresponsible and selfish, regardless of its legality.

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  9. yeesh, GJ, I don't think Sanford should resign, and certainly not out of "shame." You know the whole cast the first stone thing, they should resign when they commit illegal acts, and they do because they often face impeachment or removal. I also don't think Ensign should resign, I find him to be a laughable hypocrite, but it is enough his presidential ambitions are gone. The rest is up to the people of his state.

    And please, Obama and smoking? That is utterly silly. Nicotine is an addiction, but it is legal, and Obama is not claiming smokers are immoral. He is not a hypocrite because he is up front about it. He is not saying one thing and believing another, do you have any doubt that he doesn't want to quit smoking? That he doesn't know it is bad for him? Why in the world would you reach for such a silly analogy?
    Ensign certainly is a hypocrite, at the time when he was making speeches at Promise Keepers he was sleeping around, all the while acting as though he were holier than Jesus. He is simply a cretin.

    Oh, and Dan utterly destroyed you in that last post. ouch.

    charo

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  10. Dan, I've never claimed you said Sanford did anything illegal. Spitzer did break the law, and I was highlighting the difference.

    Yes, it was way too strong to say Dems never resign. I retract that, full marks for calling me on it. I'd still like to see some comparison of D vs. R resignations, but you know what, it doesn't really matter in the end. It is hard enough to tell the difference between D and R as it is. The whole lot of them are a bunch of lying stealing crooks. I'd rather be goverened by a random choice out of each district than the crew of mediocre kleptocrats that are elected.

    charo, do you think Mr. Obama would be happy if his daughters started smoking (legally)? He signed an antismoking bill designed to keep teens from picking up the habit. That doesn't sound like a man who thinks the habit is good, but rather a man who thinks smoking is not good, even if legal. You might not call him a hypocrite, but I can point out that his rhetoric doesn't match his actions.

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  11. Obama is addicted to nicotine, it is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, give the guy a break already. His rhetoric does match his actions, he is trying to quit but he occasionally fails, that is what he says and that is the truth. The point of anti-smoking bills is that young people themselves don't become addicted. Good lord is this a silly debate. This is the best you can do? Obama smokes cigarettes so therefore he is....fill in your own hysterical condemnations. To compare his smoking to about moralizing Republicans who loudly condemn any Democrat who has an affair, but when one of their own is caught suddenly cry for forgiveness and understanding, shows just how far Republicans have fallen.

    and talk about brazen CJ, you went from Democrats never resign to it doesn't really matter, A to Z as it were, in one shot. Talk about a flip flopper, are you sure you aren't related to John Kerry? You make him look like an amateur.

    charo.

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