Back in January, I made the case against Mark Sanford.
Here’s what I wrote: “[S]ex isn’t the issue. The issue here is that Sanford was utterly irresponsible — that he disappeared from his job — for days.”
To me, it wasn’t about sex or an affair, but instead, about Sanford’s poor judgment, dereliction of duty, and utter irresponsibility.
Of course, despite my concerns (and the concerns of some others), some prominent conservatives backed Sanford — and, of course, he managed to win (fairly easily) the Republican nomination for the House seat vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. senate.
In fairness, Sanford had been a great Congressman. And I also understand the natural tendency to overlook things in the name of winning an election. Unfortunately, Sanford’s Appalachian Trail fiasco seems to have been indicative of more than just his one-time need to be with his “soul mate.”
As the AP reported last night:
“Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing at her home in violation of their divorce settlement, and a judge set a hearing two days after the Republican will stand for election in his effort to mount a political comeback by winning a vacant congressional seat.”
It should be noted that his wife has accused him of this, which means we don’t know for sure (and may not know until after the election) if he is guilty of this. Regardless, who knows if this will even matter? After all, the primary voters were pretty forgiving of Sanford’s past transgressions. It’s unclear to me whether or not South Carolina’s general election voters will even care.
But it does occur to me that some national conservative observers were a little too quick to brush aside Sanford’s past. I mean, he did disappear from his state for several days. That’s a big deal, and I suspect, some of my friends on the right wouldn’t have given a Democrat the same sort of pass.
And so, this one goes out to all the Mark Sanfords of the world: