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The Morning After, More Questions for Sanford

By Ben Pershing
We are all witnesses now.

What began as a relatively routine Wednesday in the world of politics turned into a stunner, with three distinct stages of scandal. It started as a below-the-fold punchline ("hiking the Appalachian trail!"), became a baffling example of eccentricity ("Argentina?") and finally, the truth revealed, yet another strange and sobering tale of a politician's fall from grace. Dana Milbank compared President Obama's Tuesday press conference to a daytime soap opera but for shear drama and shock value, his midday television spot paled in comparison to Mark Sanford's riveting turn yesterday.

Today, the focus first is on Sanford's emails to "Maria," which The State newspaper publishes in all their uncomfortable detail. Nearly every outlet wrote some form of "Republicans in turmoil" piece, with Sanford's downfall diagnosed as a symptom of his party's problems in a way that Eliot Spitzer's or Jim McGreevey's mostly weren't at the time. Others took a broader look at the long, sordid history of politicians behaving badly. (An actual Associated Press headline -- "Analysis: Why Do They Cheat?" The apparent answer: They have huge egos. Who knew?)

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  June 25, 2009; 8:38 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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Next: Emanuel Talks Sanford and Health Care at Monitor Breakfast


I don't really buy that argument that Republicans should be castigated more for these affairs more than Democrats because Republicans preach "family values."

If something is wrong, it is wrong regardless of what one says before committing the offense. Is hypocrisy any worse than using moral equivalency to justify any action?

Hypocrisy is not just limited to Republicans either. Former Senator John Edwards and his wife had an emotional media event in which he announced that his wife's cancer had returned. He earned praise for this and got a temporary bump in the polls for his presidential campaign. The problem was that he was in the midst of the affair while making this announcement with his wife.

He later said that his wife's cancer was in remission when he was having the affair as if that justified it.

Edwards is through politically and I don't like to beat a dead horse but Edwards' actions were more despicable than those of many of the Republicans involved in sex scandals and his actions have received less scrutiny.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 26, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Nevada Republicans can be happy because Governor Mark Sanford is making Senator John Ensign look good in comparison.

Posted by: danielhancock | June 26, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

To: tomtildrum, who said the following below "...with Sanford's downfall diagnosed as a symptom of his party's problems in a way that Eliot Spitzer's or Jim McGreevey's mostly weren't at the time." Gee, why would the press do that? ANSWER: BECAUSE THE GOP RUNS ON A FALSE PLATFORM OF FAMILY VALUES AND HYPOSCRISY FOR THE SAME TO ATTRACT THE SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE VOTER. THE DEMS ARE NOT HYPOCRITS ON THIS ISSUE AT LEAST AS FAR AS THEIR CORE PRINCIPLES GO. (OBVIUOS EXCEPTION BEING ELLIOT SPITZER)...

Posted by: gregp1 | June 25, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse




And once again, sex, lies and video distract the mainstream media from exposing a covert American politicide.

• Anti-Vigilante Journalist Assaulted by PA Cops: A Set-Up?

OR RE: "Gestapo USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 25, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Governor Sanford joins the long line of exposes of public figures sex lives. There have been many have been heterosexual men who have potentially risked everything for a sexual encounter or thrill. Think Elliot Spitzer, Gary Hart, Marv Alpert, Bill Clinton, Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Bill Cosby, and Bill O'Reilly. Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Cosby continue on with their work; others have not been so lucky. It remains to be seen what will happen to South Carolina's Governor. But these men have either forgotten or never learned some basic rules for sexually healthy adults. So here they are:

Honor your commitments to your partner. A sexually healthy marriage is based on honesty and trust; only you and your spouse know what you have agreed to, but don't put her in the position of having to stand by you at a microphone while you confess to the entire world. Keep that picture in your head as you are considering your behaviors.

Understand that you can have a sexual feeling without acting on it -- without even telling anyone about it. Think about it -- if Bill Clinton had thought to himself, "Cute Intern. Too Young, Too Risky" and moved on, he would not have been impeached.

You can read the rest at my blog:

Rev. Debra Haffner

Posted by: Religious_Institute | June 25, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"...with Sanford's downfall diagnosed as a symptom of his party's problems in a way that Eliot Spitzer's or Jim McGreevey's mostly weren't at the time."

Gee, why would the press do that?

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 25, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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