I’m just sitting here watching the video of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sandford’s press conference explaining why he was in Argentina with a bimbo instead of hiking the Apalaichian trail which, I would bet, would be a lot more fun, even if he had run into a bear or murderers.
Gad. It’s here (click!) and i have to admit, watching it, it is impossible not to feel a little sorry for the bum.
“Why don’t they just ram a stick through him and roast him on a spit,” I just told Tim Gurrister sitting here behind me. We agreed it reminds us, in a way, of Enid Greene’s press conference so many years ago when it was her husband who got caught cheating, not her. She won praise for her ability to stand in front of the gathered press for multiple hours, with no bathroom breaks, and wear the bums out. What small measure of respect I still have for her (very small — her politics still repell me) comes from that performance.
Of course, the governor here has a wife and four sons. He says he’s sorry to them. Why doesn’t anyone ever think of that ahead of time?
One would think that the remote prospect of having to stand in front of a raging hoard of reporters explaining why you cheated on your wife would be enough to keep any politician honest, or at least a bit more circumspect in dealing with one’s urges (haven’t any of these guys heard of on-line porn?)
But then again, it’s rarely about sex, almost always about power or something similar.
The raging pack is having fun with this guy being a republican, and a self-professed Christian or something, but I decline to go there.
As history has shown, anyone can, and will, cheat. Popes did it. Presidents do it. Kings and Queens do it. Almost sounds like a Cole Porter song coming on here, does it not?
Doesn’t excuse the behavior, of course — and the hypocricy is what makes me sad. If you’re going to do it, keep quitet when someone else does it. A front of religious rightousness seems to be a necessity for getting elected in this country these days, but it is just a front. I grow weary of all these loud professions of that faith will make this a moral nation from people who, so obviously, are only saying that, not practicing that.
In short, if you’re doing it in private, you don’t get to condemn it in public.
With luck, a policy of never condemning in public what you do in private would mean every politician in the country would never say another word.
I like this idea.
ps. added thursday morning Gail Collins in the NYTimes makes a very, very good point that it is due time for the GOP to apologize to the nation for that whole Monica Lewinski thing — the level of alleged moral rectitude during that little affair was amazing and, as we all now know, the height of hypocricy.