- not support Rudy Giuliani's presidential candidacy;
- question Hillary Clinton's fitness to run the country (and she didn't even commit the adultery);
- dismiss an officer from the military;
- not trust an individual to "do the correct thing with a gun/tank/ship/airplane";
- "not inherit the Kingdom of God" (that's 1 Corinthians 6:9–11)
When I’ve been asked whom I thought could be the individual to lead the Republican Party out of the wilderness, my answer has always been Mark Sanford.
His vision for his party and his country — traditional values and limited government — has always been clear, consistent, and, in my view, correct. And he has always pursued that vision, as a congressman and as a governor, with a boldness and courage rare among politicians [Star Parker, reprinted by Bob Ellis, "Dakota"Voice.com, 2009.06.27].
The only words of criticism of Sanford's behavior from Parker/Ellis: "I watched with disappointment his confession about his clandestine adulterous affair." And then we're off to the races, blaming America's moral decline on the Kennedys, Roe v. Wade, and, with tone-deaf hilarity, same-sex marriage:
We move step by definitive step to legalizing same sex marriage. By so doing, we will render our most sacred social institution, marriage, meaningless in the official eyes of government and as a nation will formalize the acceptability of behavior our Bible clearly calls sinful and abominable [Parker/Ellis, 2009.06.27].
You know, you don't do much for the meaning of marriage by running off to Argentina for five days of nothing-left-to-lose sex with your mistress, either.
Dakota War College had the decency to call Governor Sanford's misconduct what it is: "a big whack out of your moral authority" and "a bad example for the GOP." DWC also didn't have to wait three days for its moral compass to find the right words; Mr. Powers knew what to say right away. "Dakota" Voice waits three days after Governor Sanford's public confession to bury its first Sanford commentary, filled with diversion and sugar-coating, on a low-readership Saturday. (But hardly an hour after the media announce Michael Jackson's death, Ellis opines that the King of Pop, with his "sissified manner," has probably gone to hell.)
So who says this is the end for Mark Sanford? How about the conservative (and Moonie-run!) Washington Times, which comes up with a much more apt, direct, no-bull assessment of Governor Sanford's political future... or lack thereof:
...[N]ow he has squandered much of his legacy on an act of pure folly.
His extramarital affair gave his enemies the political rope they needed to hang him finally. Whether or not Mr. Sanford resigns is irrelevant. He is spent as a national political force. His erratic and bizarre behavior - the weird claims that he was hiking on an undisclosed path along the Appalachian Trail; his rambling, confused news conference announcing his infidelity; and the steamy e-mails that have been published on the correspondence between him and his Argentine mistress - have doomed his chances as a Republican presidential contender in 2012. He has become a laughingstock [Jeffrey T. Kuhner, "Corrupt Conservatives: Sanctimonious Hypocrites on the Right Dishonor Faith, Family and Freedom," Washington Times, 2009.06.27].
Bob Ellis likes to accuse me of moral relativism and depravity. Bob Ellis doesn't know me at all. On Mark Sanford's adultery and dereliction of duty, I'm the pinko secular humanist talking moral absolutes: Sanford has demonstrated an emotional instability, immaturity, and inability to keep personal crises from affecting his execution of official duties. (And yes, I would entertain a similar argument about President Bill Clinton's adultery and deception in the White House.) Professed Christian and conservative Bob Ellis is the one making excuses and exemptions... and claiming Sanford could be a great American leader.
Update 11:35 CDT: Who else says this should be the end for Sanford?
- Randy Page, conservative Republican activist and president of South Carolinians for Responsible Government: "In order to best protect and Blogger: Madville Times - Edit Post ""Dakota" Voice All Apologies for Adulterous Sanfor..."preserve his family and the integrity of the Office of Governor, it is necessary for him to resign from office to allow his family, his staff and the people of the Palmetto State time to heal and move forward."
- Conservative/libertarian-leaning Carolina blogger Bane Windlow, who has been an "ardent" Sanford supporter but now says Sanford "crossed the line by just up and leaving the state for six days. It’s almost akin to a soldier going AWOL while on active duty. That, plus the nature of his sabatical [sic] that has now revealed itself for all intents and purposes have crushed any remaining credibility the man may have left in Columbia." (Windlow's Carolina Politics Online has more than double "Dakota" Voice's readership, according to Quantcast.)
- Arch-conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer: "The governor of the state is chief executive, and if there is a disaster in the state, and this guy is incommunicado, he is nowhere to be seen and he doesn’t transfer authority to his lieutenant governor who calls out the National Guard, you cannot recover from that. I think he doesn’t last a week in the office of governor."
- and the list goes on....
Update 2009.07.03 11:13 CDT: John Gilgoff, US News's God and Country blogger, finds remarkable the total silence of other family values groups on Mark Sanford's "duplicitousness and breaches of character." Gilgoff quotes conservative faves Tony Perkins and Harry Jackson:
As long as we as Christians are willing to tolerate or overlook duplicity in our self-identified party, it will be clear to the world that our allegiance is to a party and not the truth, regardless of what we claim. . . .