Stop Giving Sanford Credit, People
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | Author: Mad Typist
Curious - I haven't seen the press conference, so I cannot say 100% for sure that Sanford wasn't moving in his admission that he had an affair. However, I am a bit surprised to see John Cole over at Balloon Juice and Josh Marshall over at TPM suggest that we ought to give Sanford a break here.

John Cole:
I don’t know if Sanford is a culture warrior or not, I’m assuming you would have to be as a Republican and chair of the RGA, but for whatever reason, I have to say I like the guy more than I did yesterday, even if he is a hypocrite. He is standing up there, owning his mistake, is not being evasive, and just laying it all out for everyone, and clearly this is a tough thing for him and his family. It is remarkably refreshing.
Josh Marshall:
In fact, while Sanford probably saw the end of his political career today and obviously deceived a lot of people -- and just acted profoundly irresponsibly with respect to his job as governor, let alone with respect to his wife and family, which is his own business -- I can't not give the guy some real credit. Unless there's a lot more we don't know, and it's hard to imagine what more there could be, he just came up there and leveled with his constituents. I'm not sure he had much choice. But that sounded pretty frank and total.

It's not a matter of ignoring or papering anything over. But it's worth remembering whoever it was who said that none of us deserve to be known or remembered only for our worst moments.

First things first - I want to address this, because it keeps popping up: the issue is NOT that he had an affair. I don't care. No one cares (well, except his family).

Here's a little scenario for you all to think about: Let's say you walk into your kitchen, and find your kid standing there. You ask him, "Hey son, did you eat all the cookies?" He says no. You point out the evidence: there's crumbs on his face, a shattered cookie jar at his feet, and he's got chocolate stains on his hands. He suggests that his brother was the one who must have broken the jar and eaten all the cookies. You then point out that his brother is away for the week at camp, and then point out that you happen to have a Nanny-cam set up, and you can see on the video that its him pulling the jar down and going to town. He finally says, "Okay, I totally ate the cookies."

Now... do you A) say "You know what, son? I admire your honesty. That took courage" and excuse him? Or do you B) put him in time out, lecture him on why lying is BAD, and otherwise discipline him?

The real issue here is the cover up and the lying. THAT'S the cookie jar. And I'm sorry... but you don't get credit for telling the truth, when it's pretty clear that that's the only option left to you (and it also appears that if you don't tell the truth, some reporter probably WILL, since there's always a paper trail with something like this). Facing up to the inevitable and taking control of the spin machine while you still can isn't courage. It's just politics as usual.
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1 comments:

On 2:29 AM , Amadeus said...

The question Mark Sanford raises is one that is as old as human society and as current as the next moment you encounter another person. It is the question which lurks inside the minds of almost every married/committed couple on earth. What does one do when after the vows are exchanged, after the children are created, after the hopes and dreams and bodies have been shared to the limit, what does one do with the chance encounter with a soul mate? This may never happen to you or me or anyone we know, but this chance encounter CAN happen.

What does one do - follow your mind and live in absolute and desperate misery or follow your heart? So long as you know your soul mate is alive, you will be dead to all around you and will grow to resent your bonds and will die bitter. No one who can be part of a couple of "three" will ever be happy again until the 3 becomes 2.

If we can put aside all of the egregious betrayal of Sanford's vows to his family and his constituents, we may be able to see a human being trying to figure out a way to avoid the third betrayal - to his heart. I do not give Sanford "credit" for anything but being a human being like the rest of us.