On Sanford: Humanity, Hypocrisy of it All
There's nothing like a political sex scandal to drive web site page views or bring out the creativity in our Readers Who Comment, who are having a field day with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's admitted transgressions.
Sanford is a Republican, and Dan Balz, in an insightful analysis this morning, writes that "For a Republican Party down on its luck, the governor's disappearance and subsequent rambling apology to his wife, his family, his close friends and all the people of South Carolina draw more unwelcome publicity to a party that needs but cannot seem to get any good news."
There are a few Republican-sounding comments about this piece, most of which include the words Clinton or Spitzer or Edwards. But we hear from dozens of readers who employ the term hypocrisy and attempt to paint all Republicans with its letters. Among other things they complain about the GOP's Bible-thumping defense of "family values" and its opposition to abortion and gay rights. Many of them are enjoying Sanford's e-mails with his Argentinian girl friend, which have been thoughtfully provided by The State newspaper.
We'll start with three cheap shots:
ravitchn wrote, "Don't cry for me South Carolina!"
And wmboyd suggested, "New GOP Amendment to the Constitution.
Marriage should be between a man and 2 women."
Flabergasted wrote, "This is all Clinton's fault. If he hadn't been unfaithful, then these repubs would not have felt it was Ok to do it too. -- signed RNC"
waterbirds said, "Always interesting to note that when conservatives and republicans can't defend "their man" - they are left just listing sinners from the past ....
This "fall from grace" is news because the party of "family values" puts themselves on such a high, moral pedestal that the fall nearly always kills them - politically..."
mlipsius wrote, "Gee, another "family values" guy gone astray. Wasn't Sanford one of those sanctimonious hypocrites who said that Clinton should have resigned his seat because of his affair?..."
ricklinguist said, "As a gay man, I have felt more than once that the GOP has used me as a pinata. "Family values" and "defending marriage" are but two of the ways they have demonized me and the life I lead. Yet I have been faithful to my life partner for more years than some people on this board have been alive... No one has been able to explain to me how my faithful monogamy is anything but moral and a true "family value"..."
sequoiaqueneaux wrote, "It's the hypocrisy. This guy self-righteously opposes even CIVIL UNIONS for monogamous gay couples in a moral crusade for the "sanctity of marriage" and "family values."... And this "fiscally responsible" rebel did all this on the taxpayer's dime. Just wow."
TonyV1 generated several creative responses by asking, "Why does Mark Sanford get all this press, and John Edwards gets a pass?"
Kteeeo responded, "John Edwards didn't get a pass; to pretend that he did is disingenuous. The difference is also Edwards was not in public office at the time and had already dropped out of the presidential race when the news broke.. Sanford is the current governor of South Carolina and he lied about his whereabouts. He also caused his staff to lie..."
theLword-liberal said, "...Politicians are human and fallible and lascivious, just like the rest of us. They fall in love, they fall off the wagon, and they try like hell to hide it from everybody - Republican or Democrat. -- Nonetheless, hypocrisy point taken: opposition to GLBT marriage rights is bigotry... and as for Edwards, if you think he's gotten a "pass" recently with publicity from his dear wife's book, well then, I wish you a "pass" like that in heaven, partner."
KD11 wrote, "The party of the confused. Republicans stand up for individual rights - except for the right of a woman to choose. The pro life party - except where war and the death penalty are concerned. The party of fiscal conservatives - unless it's going to help their own pocketbooks."
OldWriter1 said, "Sanfor[d], Ensign, Foley, Craig, etc... The Republicans should erect a shrine to Bill Clinton--he's a Democrat and he did it right in the White House!..."
isthisajoke wrote, "...Republicans need to jettison the religious whack jobs they have been pandering to in their party or they are going to implode... Just do it, Repubs, pull off the fundamentalist Christian bandaid, tell them all to go home and read their bibles -- deal with the real problems we have in this country."
sailorashore said, "...I fail to see how anyone can still reasonably consider
Newt Gingrich as having any credibility at all with American voters, conservative or otherwise. If there's one thing we Americans can't stomach, it's hypocrisy..."
mxipp wrote, "It's not the affair so much as the hypocrisy... These are the people who claim to favor small government, until it's a question of meddling in people's personal lives. Considering an abortion? Sorry, that's nothing for any woman and her husband and doctor to decide -- the GOP will decide for them! Should gay couples be given the same rights as heterosexual couples? Heavens NO! The GOP reading of their favorite religious book is against that! Should sex education -- other than "just say no" -- be taught in the schools? Good lord no! That might lead to a reduction in teenage pregnancy! The GOP wouldn't want that!..."
rabjack, obviously a recovering copy editor, quoted a sentence that said "The scandal will impact the Republicans" and wrote, "Yes, yes, yes, I know "impact" is now perfectly acceptable as a verb, but must you? Really? It just makes me grind my teeth every time I read it..."
khote14 wrote, "...I didn't care that Clinton was doing that intern, I don't care that this republican was doing that woman in Argentina. I do care that he was all over clinton for what clinton did, and then does the same thing himself!..."
georgiaguy said, "I think I just saw the white flag of surrender by Republicans over family values. Gay rights should be a done deal now. I see gay marriage in all 50 states by 2015... I see it is not gay people who threaten marriage, but men with huge egos."
EnemyOfTheState wrote, "I don't really care that Sanford had an affair - that's his business, and he is paying the price with his family. What really bothers me is the disappearing act. As governor, he has a public trust to uphold. South Carolina voters may be forgiving about the affair - we'll see - but they are not going to look kindly on him for forsaking his duties."
bibleburner said, "...The difference between the Rs and Ds is that the Rs are loudly preachy, sanctimonious and self-righteous and constantly try to use legislation to invade the private lives of citizens (gay and abortion rights come to mind). The Ds are more "live and let live."... *That* is why the Rs deserve to be called hypocrites, at least those such as Sanford and Ensign -- although I don't believe the term applies to everyone in the party."
nanonano1 wrote, "He cant quit sex and Obama can`t quit smoking. Both situations indicate a lack of will power."
wendy1231 predicted, "Edwards, Clinton, Spitzer, etc...this crosses party lines and it sure did not hurt Bill and Hillary...This too will pass."
We'll close with this one:
Fazsha wrote, "One Republican stands tall through it all. Ron Paul."
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