Sadly, South Carolina has proved yet again how out of touch with reality voters can be. Thus far, Mark Sanford’s legacy to the world is abandoning his family and his elected job as GOVERNOR OF A STATE while using taxpayer time and money to visit his girlfriend in Argentina. After a mysterious absence, Sanford lied and said he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail” creating a new euphemism for adultery and abuse of power.
Since resigning his office in disgrace, he’s been largely absent from the news — other than that little matter of trespassing on his ex-wife’s property and violating a court order. Apparently bored — or feeling like he’d been out of office long enough that a tepid “oops, sorry!” was enough — he decided to run for his old seat in the U.S. House, SC District 1. Despite his being away from that office for over a decade and his controversial past, Sanford refused to complete most candidate position questionnaires and based his campaign largely on being a Republican in a very Republican district.
Frankly, I don’t care about his personal life. The party that just re-elected him ought to, given their whole “family values” pitch and the fact that House Republicans impeached President Clinton for a much less egregious lapse.
What everyone should care about is his clearly sloppy attitude toward public service: funding his activities with tax dollars and abandoning the public trust placed in his office for personal pleasure. Is this really who you want to have represent you in Congress? Maybe so in SC-1, since this is the same state that voted for Jim DeMint!
The fact that Sanford won by the narrowest margin for a Republican in his District in decades is small comfort. That just underscores how gerrymandered districts and partisanship trump common sense and true public service. My public service announcement for all is: Don’t drink the Tea at the Party in South Carolina.