On the Appalachian Trail

On the Appalachian Trail 

Yes, conservatives can be unreasonable, irrational, and ignorant. But Mark Sanford’s success yesterday still shocked me. Call me naïve. My first impulse was to just publish Andy Borowitz’s satire today. But the news surrounding the election  piqued my interest.

One encouragement is that even Republicans are not happy with the results of the election. John McCain’s daughter Meaghan McCain tweeted, “Really republicans? We’re gonna get behind Mark Sanford and claim gay couples will ruin marriage. This is why young people don’t vote GOP!!!” That didn’t come as a big surprise because she’s always evidenced moderate tendencies.

Another tweet reported that Gabriel Gomez distanced from Sanford, saying he “seems pathetic,” calls him “career politician,” should “get a real job.” Of course, this is the Massachusetts candidate who is trying to replace former Democratic Sen. John Kerry so he would work on the moderate side.

But Erick Erickson wrote, “Sanford was no fan of the House GOP leadership before the NRCC pulled the plug. This is about to get even more fun.” Author of Red State blog, Erickson is also a recent Fox News addition.

USA Today wrote:

“Republican Mark Sanford won South Carolina’s congressional special election Tuesday, but the results may not conclude the drama of a disgraced former governor on the outs with his own party.

“Sanford’s quest for public and political redemption after an extramarital affair succeeded with voters Tuesday, who returned him to a congressional seat he left in 2001. Sanford will fill the seat vacated when Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January.

On Thursday, however, Sanford will appear in a televised court hearing to answer a charge of trespassing from his former wife. Then he’ll head to Washington, where he made few friends during his previous three terms in office bucking the Republican leadership.”

[Note: Sanford has escaped the court appearance.]

Conservative Washington, D.C. publication The Hill wrote:

“Boehner on Tuesday morning suggested that he was less than thrilled about Sanford’s potential return to the House. And while the Speaker tweeted out a quick “congrats” to Sanford with the hash-tag #jobs, a comment from his spokesman following the results was less than a bear-hug.”

Showing the antagonism to come, Sanford’s close friend, South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis (R), tweeted, “Sorry, NRCC. We won anyway.” Not exactly the way to show consensus on GOP ideals even if the party did abandon Sanford before the election. Even two of his new colleagues, Reps. Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan endorsed one of Sanford’s primary opponents. Both the representatives are South Carolina Republicans.

In his column entitled “Sanford’s Comeback Gives Hope to Liars,” Borowitz wrote:

“Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s stunning upset in a special congressional election on Tuesday served as an inspiration to liars across the state and beyond, prominent members of the lying community said tonight.

“’In America, liars are always made to feel bad about ourselves, as if what we’re doing is wrong,’ said Harland Dorrinson, fifty-seven, a liar from suburban Charleston. ‘Mark Sanford’s victory tonight is a victory for the lying lifestyle.’

“Carol Foyler, thirty-six, a liar from Myrtle Beach, echoed those sentiments: ‘For the millions of dishonest children across America, tonight Mark Sanford has given them hope that someday, they can be somebody.’

“At his victory rally in Charleston, the former governor acknowledged the liars in the audience and said that his victory sent an important message: ‘Every lie, no matter how big or small, has value.’

“’As your Governor, I abused your trust. And as God is my witness, as your congressman, I will abuse it again,’ he said, to thunderous applause.

“Mr. Sanford, who had been behind in the polls in the waning weeks of the race, owed much of his last-minute surge to the support of the lying community, exit polls showed.

“According to those exit polls, Mr. Sanford held a three-to-one lead among voters who described themselves as liars, cheaters, or sleazebags.

“Furthermore, the polls showed, those same voters felt that Mr. Sanford’s opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, did not have the lying experience necessary to serve in Congress.”

There we have the GOP legacy for generations to come.

Politico wrote that Sanford’s win is an inspiration to Anthony Weiner, who resigned his position as U.S. representative after a scandal and is now considering a run for the position of New York mayor.

Comedian and political commentator John Fugelsang noted Sanford’s vote to impeachBill Clinton because of his extramarital affair. “But [Sanford] did the right thing. He told us that Jesus forgave him, and said mean things about Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare, proving that it’s OK to be a horrible Christian, as long as you’re a good Christian,” Fugelsang said. “Our politicians believe Darwin was wrong, and we here in South Carolina are here to prove it,” Fugelsang concluded.

T. Steelman wrote:

“[Republicans] elect adulterers, criminals, liars and morons to a government they claim to despise. They blatantly fight anything the president proposes, even if it was their own idea. They refuse to do anything to help the U.S. economy recover. They act like they won in 2012 even though the numbers tell a different story. They have shown, time and again, that they have no concept of things like integrity, compassion, honesty or intelligence. They elect people who trample those ideals underfoot as easily as they breathe.”

Immorality aside, Sanford was named one of the worst governors in the country by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics while the Cato Institute named him the best. He bragged about refusing stimulus funding—free money—despite the extreme poverty of South Carolina. He flew first and business class at taxpayer expense as governor, a violation of state law. He claimed to get his hair cut at Supercuts, but he flew on a state plane to get that haircut. He also used taxpayer money to sneak off to Argentina to visit his mistress while he left his state without any legal leadership.

The winners in the Sanford debacle are the comedians: they’ll have fodder for years. And his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, who gets $5,000 for court costs and fees with the promise that he won’t trespass in her house any more. We’ll see if he lives up to this agreement.