I’ll get the joke out of the way early – Governor Sanford is still saving me and my fellow conservatives money. He has now saved us money on Sanford ’12 buttons, hats, and T-shirts.  I guess I have to pick another horse.  But let’s be honest here.   Does anyone seriously believe he could have been the Republican nominee even without the affair?  I seriously doubt it.  My party toys with real conservatives like Sanford before picking someone totally boring and conventional.  That’s just the way the Republican Party operates.   So his chances went from around 10% to 0%.   A guy like Sanford would be much happier staying out of DC, so the end of his political future might end up working to his benefit. It could even save his marriage.

I think there’s a quote somewhere in the Bible that says something like this:  To whom much is given much is also required / expected.  Governor Sanford is a talented politician, and as a politician, one of the skills most of them have  is to give a good impression.  In his case, it was one heck of an act.  I had always viewed Sanford’s inclination to ditch the security people and to tweak the press and the politicos as the most attractive thing about him.  Little did I know that there was an ulterior motive to some of this.  I had no clue he was cheating on his wife.  Nor do I believe it was any of my business.  Now that I know, I feel betrayed — not anywhere close to how his wife and kids must be feeling, of course — but still betrayed.  It’s not just that he cheated on his wife.  That’s become a pretty common tale these days, with Republicans and Dems alike.  I don’t like the way he attempted to handle all the pressure he was feeling from the Dems and Columbia politicians by escaping to Argentina to be with his mistress.  I don’t like that he allowed his staff to lie for him while all this was going on.  Now admittedly, he has taken full responsibility for that.  It’s still wrong, and I don’t condone any of it.

The reaction from SC politicos, including the Lt. Governor Andre Bauer (who very clearly is after Sanford’s job), is typical outrage.  Those who know the Governor personally have a more sympathetic response to Sanford’s confession today. My inclination is a combination of both these reactions.  I’m shocked, disappointed, and flat out angry that I have invested so much time and energy promoting this guy, and that he has not been what I expected him to be.   But this shouldn’t be about me and how I feel.  What’s important now is that Governor Sanford makes a clean break from this woman, and that he now concentrates on holding on to his wife and becoming a better example for his kids.  We all fall short of the expectations of others, but unfortunately for him, he has to go through that failure in public.

One final thought about all this — the fact that he cheated on his wife doesn’t have anything to do with his views on the stimulus, on Washington spending, and on President Obama.  He’s right on all these things, and he deserves credit for making the case for them on cable news.  I’m thankful that we had his voice for as long as we did, and I’m sorry to see that his time appears to be up, at least for now.  Pray for the Sanford family.  They need our prayers more than our political speculations.

8 thoughts on “betrayal

  1. You almost had me until the end 🙂

    I could care less about his affair but the guy is as dishonest and as fraudulent as they come. The affair had been going on for months and he never once wanted to resign from anything then. It was only after he got caught that he decided to apologize and come somewhat clean. All along, he portrayed himself as a moral values, Christian conservative and all along he was lying. I don’t see how that does not have anything to do with his views on the stimulus and federal issues. It entirely impacts who he is as a politician and as a human being, at least that’s how Republicans have played the game for decades.

    Just like with lying about his “conservative” Christian morals, he also tried to have it both ways with the feds. It’s not as if Sanford didn’t want federal money. He wanted the money, he just wanted to spend it on other things than what the feds were telling him to. I don’t know anyone can say they are “conservative/state’s rights” when they gladly want the funds, they just want to be in charge of it. It’s like calling earmarks pork and vice versa.

    For years, all we’ve heard from Republicans is how Democrats have no morals and values and can’t possibly be trusted on any issue especially management of money since they couldn’t even manage their own families. Well, it’s come full circle. You reap what you sow. And the GOP can’t possibly expect to separate Sanford’s lifestyle from his genuineness in governance. He was wrong about the stimulus and he’s wrong to forge an affair while simultaneously trying to deny funds to people who are out of work.

  2. Already the Sanford affair has gotten more coverage than the affair (and love child) of recent presidential and vice presidential candidate John Edwards.

    As usual, the Democrat gets a pass and the Republican is forced to resign. What a ridiculous cycle.

    Sanford has always been a mercurial figure. I know he’s disappeared without explanation before, so now the question becomes have there been other women, or did this relationship with the Argentinian woman last longer than a year?

    Whether or not he survives politically isn’t really the point to me. The fact is that if Sanford were a Democrat there would be little to no coverage on his ‘affair.’ Press accounts would go to extreme lengths to label the rumors as ‘an alleged affair,’ and rather than entertain ideas of resignation, he would vow to press on and clear his name. Oh, and the wife would be at his side at the news conference, looking forlorn, supportive and ready to fight.

  3. We agree. He’s a dog, a jerk, scum, name your pejorative term. It was a mind-blowing display of stupidity on his part — both the timing of the Argentina trip and the attempt to cover up the affair. But Governor Sanford’s moral failure has nothing to do with his views on the stimulus. I suppose that his ulterior motive in doing that could be questioned. However, he wasn’t wrong in opposing it. The reason he gave made sense to me, and many of us supported him in this effort to use the stimulus money to pay down our debt. That is perfectly defensible. There’s no good reason to take temporary stimulus money to create jobs and infrastructure when it will be a permanent unfunded liability on the state after the stimulus money runs out. BTW, didn’t YOU oppose the stimulus too?

  4. Kent, the guy who says Republicans always do the right thing and resign, has absolutely no credibility comparing Democrats to Republicans.

    Lisa, personally I would have no problems separating his immorality from his politics. But sense Republicans have refused to do that for at least 30 years now, I’m not just going to change the rules and forget what Republicans demand from everyone else. And again, it’s not like Sanford opposed federal funds. He just didn’t want to spend it on unemployed people. He wanted to pay down the debt that he ran up. All the while portraying himself as a moral crusader against an evil socialist president. He was wrong, you know he was wrong and if we play by Republican rules, he’s no better than the evildoer terrorists.

    I didn’ oppose the stimulus. I opposed the bailouts, but the stimulus I supported.

  5. Sanford ran up the state debt? Really? Got a link for that? It’s my recollection that the Columbia Repubs opposed a great many of Sanford’s attempted spending cuts and overruled some of his vetoes. So I’m not inclined to buy that interpretation. It’s not disrespect for the unemployed, it’s the principle that you can’t spend more money than you have in your budget. Simple enough. Once the stimulus money disappears, South Carolina is obligated to pay the freight for all these alleged new jobs and infrastructure. In my view, that’s irresponsible and the states shouldn’t be required to take federal money. If they have to take temporary fed money, then they shouldn’t be obligated to spend at the same levels once the stimulus money dries up. How is that wrong exactly?

    Thanks for the amusing link. I didn’t actually watch the video, but I noticed the caption said that Sanford blamed Bush for Obama’s socialist policies. He’s right. It was Bush’s fault. Nothing wrong with that either.

  6. It’s my recollection that Sanford presided over one of the worst fiscal situations SC has faced since the Civil War. And none of it is his fault? So every one of his budgets were balanced and it’s the legislature’s fault? Looks like to me expenditures rose every year with Sanford notwithstanding his multiple tax increases.

    It’s always someone elses fault for Republicans. Is that when you blame RINO’s?

    The point is Sanford never turned down federal money. He only wanted to spend it elsewhere. He’s not against federal funds and he’s not against wasting tax payers money as exemplified by the fact that he used tax payer money to visit his mistress. Of course now that he got caught, he says he’ll pay the money back. Hummm…not very fiscally conservative of him is it? This is typical Republican behavior.

    States have no say when the Feds order something. The federal government is in charge of all states. This is basic American history. So yes states can be forced to take federal money, it happens every day. And when the feds tell them it has to be spent on certain things then that’s what has to happen. Ever drive on an interstate? That’s federal money that states have to spend on certain projects, and actually it proves to be more of an expense for states than anything else because it’s the states that have to pay unemployment and benefits for DOT workers. Same thing as with Sanford’s crusade against the stimulus money. Why didn’t he ever oppose federal highway money that is more of an expense than anything else? The answer is because it was all a show. A way to stand up to Obama. A grand spectacle of Republican hypocrisy.

    In the link Sanford calls Obama a socialist. Why wasn’t Sanford crusading against Bush is the real question. All of sudden when Bush leaves office and the Republicans have no power, Sanford, like so many others, becomes a self-labeled fiscal conservative again.

    • Did you even read what you linked to? Of course Sanford had some part in it. He is (was?) the governor after all. But the legislature played a huge part in the spending. It’s not just me blaming them, it’s also the writers of the article you linked in your comment. What I got from that is more ammo to back up what I’ve been saying than for your position that Sanford never was a fiscal conservative. How can you have numbers showing increased spending that don’t include budget cuts? That looks kind of suspicious to me.

      How about this from the WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel re: Sanford:

      The 48-year-old South Carolina governor is of the party wing that believes it failed in its core promise of fiscal responsibility, and in tackling the bread-and-butter issues (education, health care) that worry voters today. He’s made his name partly by confronting his own party, which runs the legislature.

      Nearly every year since he was elected in 2002, Mr. Sanford has proposed to cap spending at state population growth plus inflation. His state senate has ignored him. He’s used his line-item veto more than 500 times, usually on pork projects. The legislature routinely overrides. Far from diminishing his standing, these lost battles have made him popular in the state.

      His policies have made South Carolina more competitive. In 2005, the state passed its first-ever cut in marginal tax rates for businesses, and in 2007 broader tax relief. He’s shepherded tort reform, and crafted incentives to encourage property insurers to remain in the state after a spate of hurricanes. South Carolina still has problems (in particular, education), though since 2003 it has had the 16th fastest job growth in the nation. Its unemployment rate — the third highest in the country — has been exacerbated by record growth in the state’s labor force.

      South Carolina is hurting, but Mr. Sanford argues a stimulus primarily designed to grow government will only cause sustained economic pain. He blames much of his state’s budget deficit on the fact that his legislature grew spending 40% from 2004 to 2008, and he rejects a bailout that would facilitate those excesses. That thinking outraged the state’s Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn, who responded with a provision in the House version of the stimulus giving legislatures the right to circumvent fiscally responsible governors.

      I make no excuses for Sanford spending tax money to go visit the mistress, and believe he should pay back every cent from his own pocket. But I think you’re off-target in judging his entire fiscal record by this one incident. BTW, you must have missed the post where I called for his resignation.

  7. I didn’t miss the other post, I’m just not done with this one yet 🙂

    Of course I read what I linked to and it says expenditures rose every year and Sanford raised taxes annually to pay for his rising expenditures. It’s not all the legislatures fault. There can’t always be someone else to blame.

    Budget cuts don’t equal fiscal conservatism. And there is no way possible Sanford can be a fiscal conservative when he was using tax funds to pay for his affair on his wife. He didn’t just quit being a fiscal conservative the day he admitted publicly to his affair. He quit being one long before that, which was right about the time he was wanting budget cuts on services to the poorest of SC citizens. Again, budget cuts don’t equal fiscal conservatism.

    If we play by Republican rules, then yes his entire career is judged by his private life immorality. Once incident proves he was never who he claimed to be. Fair is fair is fair, but boy it sure does suck.

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