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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"

Moving on.

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."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 25, 2009; 6:53 AM ET
Categories:  Republicans  | Tags: Republicans, Sanford  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Health Care: We Fear What We Want
Next: Mrs. Sanford's Defiance and Defense


don't resign gov. sanford, your moral family values should be seen by the whole world.i always wonder how some other americans having the right to marry will harm your perfect relationship with your wife and sons.i know it was a difficult decision to be apart from them on father's day, but let's just blame those horrible dems, they make you honorable repugs do these awful things to your family and constituents.

Posted by: ninnafaye | June 30, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Looking on the bright side: The Re-thuglicans appear to actually be improving.

At least the Argentine Stallion went to roll in the hay with an adult of the opposite gender.

Leaving aside the fact that the woman might be married, and that he certainly is married, and that he was and remains one of the main "water carriers" for the phony moral majority of the country, I'd have to say that this

IS AN IMPROVEMENT over past GOP performance.

Posted by: Va_Lady2008 | June 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The only fallout from this that means anything is if Gov. Sanford falls out of office as quickly as he fell out of his intentions to comply with his wife's request he not visit the girlfriend.

The irony is Sanford's delusions continue. He thinks a good public cry and a resolve to do better is what the public wants.

Meanwhile, the public just wants him gone.

Posted by: info12 | June 29, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

findmeatba - "I would love to have that kind of power".

You can, this is how that is done, first you have your lawyer write an opinion that whatever crime you want to commit is not a crime and then if you get caught you present the the letter written by your lawyer to the courts.

Here's where it get a little tricky though, you may still be challenged by the courts but at that point you use the defense that whatever crime you are charged with pales in comparison to the benefit you gained by committing the crime.

I know a guy (I don't want to use his real name, so I'll call him George) that used this for years and was never charged with any really works (kinda like those "Seen on TV" ads.

Well, gotta run, I'm picking up a legal opinion from my lawyer that says I can drive as fast as I want...

Posted by: magic3400 | June 27, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

It's the Repub's "do as I say not as I do" attitude that I'm sick of (not to mention a long list of other things).

They are just annoying, I change they change when most of these thugs come on and start bumping their gums, their positions are not grounded in reality most of the time and if they can't win they just want to "gum up the works" so nothing gets done.

They use this country as their personal punching bag, not seeming to care that the policies that we sent them there to debate are for the benefit and the good of the nation, not their personal chess game.

Republicans politicians have it all backwards, they seem to think we (American society) are there to support them and their way of life.

A few more losses and maybe, just maybe, they'll figure out that public service means them serving us.

Posted by: magic3400 | June 27, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

He must resign right away. He talked and now he must walk. Anything less will make the entire republican party look like a bunch of hipocrits. We also need to purge ourselves of the likes of Vitter Craig, Newt, and Rudy. You cant take the high road with adulterers as your leaders. We either must put these clowns behind us or apologise to Clinton. Well?

Posted by: waawaazaire | June 26, 2009 3:16 AM | Report abuse

"He can't quit sex, and Obama can't quit smoking. With both, it shows a lack of willpower."

Um, Sanford has a wife for sex, remember? The scandal is adultery not sex. Sheesh.

Posted by: jhbyer | June 25, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

It’s amazing how these guys still don’t get it, but there are some who are still untouchable. John Edwards is not the only one getting a free pass. The UAE Ambassador to the US orders prostitutes from Madames. The State Department and FBI seem inclined to look the other way. I would love to have that kind of power.

Posted by: findmeatbar | June 25, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Has Freddie Baron been indicted yet for using John Edwards Presidential bid campaign cash for a mistress pay off?

Posted by: bruiserND | June 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This is just another episode of the popular road show TV concept.. Titled>>>
Sanford (sans)Sons Argentina Adventure.
Starring Mark "the Red" Foxx and
Maria of (West Side Story). A tender love story between people from different sides of the tracks amid warring gangs of reporters and wonderful songs.
Heading for a Broadway opening in the Fall.

Posted by: Pachc | June 25, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Gov. Sanford can have a bright future and even evict Obama from the White House.

Gov. Sanford's absence is consistent with contemplated suicide-there is no need to tell anyone where you are if you do not intend to return.

Lets ignore contemporary examples of recovery (Ted Kennedy) and go back in history.

In the Bible David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba–David had her husband killed.2 Sam 12.

David took 3 acts Gov. Sanford needs to do:

1. Acknowledge this is sin. Adultery is prohibited by the 10 Commandments. No Dem moral equivocation of whether this is “sex” or what the meaning of sin is.

Realize Americans do hold Republicans to a higher standard than alleycat Dems.

2. But Sanford only sinned against God and his wife–not the Dems.

SHUT UP about this family matter in public--its NONE
of their or anyone elses business.

David wrote Psalm 51 after his affair:

Ps 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

Read the whole Psalm.

3. Trust that God can use you and wants to restore you. David wrote:

Ps 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Ps 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Ps 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

David went on to became the greatest King of Israel, a man after God’s own heart. (I Sam 13:14).

Go and do likewise.

Posted by: JaxMax | June 25, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I call for a Constitutional Amendment banning republican marriage. Their lifestyle choices are unhealthy to themselves and society. (tongue firmly planted in cheek... but really..).

Posted by: Robguy1 | June 25, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Well now, let's hope this is the last time we are lectured by the rightwing self-righteous bible-thumping holier than thou super hypocritical right wing fore-flushing frauds about morality and family vales.

Now if we can eliminate the rightwing psycho drivel from the flag draped super patriot draft dodging cowards like Cheney, Wolferwitz, Bolten, and the rest of the stupefyingly stupid neo-con crowd, the U S can get back to an era of informed rational thought and action.

No wonder the Party of NO, psycho talk, and old angry white guys is and should be irrelevant

Posted by: JRussell42 | June 25, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

someone who commented on the immigration issue was sad that the latinos were not angry at whites...
this in itself is sad...
beneath the surface, it's time for another war...
for one side or another to win...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 25, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

pga99 is a perfect example of why the gop will continue to fade to black. Clueless, absolutely clueless.

Posted by: dem4life1 | June 25, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Things you must believe to be a Republican today:

Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, etc., are sleazy liberals who violated their marriage vows. Personal integrity and character are important, and they have none.

Adulterers Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Larry Craig and David Vitter, and drug addict Rush Limbaugh, are fine conservative Americans who acknowledged their sins and deserve our forgiveness.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | June 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse


Who cares about the politician ; get pictures of the Argentine woman , preferrably doing the tango nude.

Posted by: bruiserND | June 25, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post does a disservice to include these comments from extremists; homosexuals and abortionists.

Obviously, they take any opportunity to defend their perverted selfish life choices or to attack those that don't agree with them.

Posted by: pga99
So your moral high horse somehow forces you to defend it because he has an (R) next to his name?

Very transparent whining there buddy.

Posted by: theobserver4 | June 25, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If he wants to cheat on his wife then that's between him and his family. If he wants to abandon his post for some nookie that's between him and his constituents. The fact that he'd been on previous "business" trips to Argentina on the taxpayer dime should be his final undoing. The fact that there was not a proper chain of command in place during his absence is criminal. So let's separate the moral failings with the clear breach of duty here. This isn't about Clinton, Edwards, Kennedy etc. it's about governing and hypocrisy.

The pulpit preaching and holier than thou attitude is just insult to injury.

Posted by: theobserver4 | June 25, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

One has to wonder if in the year 2121 - if the GOP is still alive - that Republicans will still be bringing up Bill Clinton as a retort to all their failings.

For a party of personal responsibility it sure does love the blame game and that it's everyone else's fault except their own.

Posted by: dre7861 | June 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post does a disservice to include these comments from extremists; homosexuals and abortionists.

Obviously, they take any opportunity to defend their perverted selfish life choices or to attack those that don't agree with them.

Posted by: pga99 | June 25, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

There seems to atleast one thing THE PARTY OF NO, says yes to." Cheating " is an age old problem; which is to say it's not a big problem at all. To be a lieing, stealing, and cheating hypocrite; is another thing altogether. The neocon Republicans are all of the above. That party, and their LOW INFORMATION BASE, are beyond belief! They preach intolerance to all that don't see the world through their eyes. In the mean time,all that they rail against; they practice on a grand scale. As humans, we are all fallible. But to sit on their FAKE throne and condemn others is unforgivable! As a party, they are disgusting.

Posted by: idallasj11 | June 25, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This shows again that conservatives can't really do the hard things,like stay faithful,that they seem to want everyone else to do.Cheat, steal ,lie over and over again.They shouldn't make goals and promises they can't keep.

Posted by: mmaza1 | June 25, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are leading the charge to their oft-championed decline of moral values in America. They know where it leads. Adultery, prostitution, clandestine meetings in airport bathrooms, child molesting, drug use.

Republicans have been warning everyone what will happen if Gays are allowed to marry. Polygamy? Bestiality? You have to wonder what they know. Which Republican Senator has more than one wife or is have a 'good time' with his/her 'pets'?

Fear, Hatred and Division. It's all they've got.

Posted by: thebobbob | June 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"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!..."

Don't forget senator David Vitter of Louisiana! He is a bible thumping "conservative" who cheated on his wife, and children, with Las Vegas prostitutes.

Posted by: FlexSF | June 25, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

As a working American, I'm more offended that this jerk can skip town and leave his job for a week without telling anyone and expect to keep it. He has a sense of entitlement and that should be taken away from him. True justice would be him having to work at an intro position in food service with no health insurance.

Posted by: tweldy | June 25, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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