Opinion

Forgive Mark Sanford

Photo of W. James Antle III
W. James Antle III
Editor, The Daily Caller News Foundation

Now, in a sane political world, none of this would matter. Good stewards of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t be so hard to find. We could be picky and choose one with fewer blemishes in his personal life.

But in the world in which we live, fiscally responsible politicians are rarer than buried treasure. Republican governors like Chris Christie and Rick Scott are accepting President Obama’s Medicaid expansion, increasing spending, and helping to make Obamacare permanent.

Republican senators had to be shamed into joining Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster to gain assurances from the Obama administration on the most basic limits of government power.

During Sanford’s first stint in Congress, when he voted against nice-sounding but unconstitutional and expensive bills, the Republican leadership would actually chastise him.

“I remember the leadership would come and say, ‘This stuff is okay during the campaign, but we have to govern,’ and I thought it was govern toward a specific end, not just govern to govern,” Sanford recalled to The American Conservative.

The spending he has opposed has a much bigger price tag than any taxpayer cost of his hanky-panky.

I wish Mark Sanford honored the promise he made to his wife. But the country desperately needs political leaders who will honor their promise to uphold the Constitution.

It’s understandable that Jenny Sanford might not want to forgive him, much less run his campaign. But cash-strapped taxpayers should at least give it some thought.

W. James Antle III is the editor of The Daily Caller News Foundation and author of the forthcoming book Devouring Freedom: Can Big Government Ever Be Stopped? Follow him on Twitter.