The other shoe finally dropped in the story of South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford. At his press conference today, Sanford admitted that he has been unfaithful to his wife by having an affair with a friend from Argentina. Stanford also resigned as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Whatever happened to the GOP’s family values?
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Sanford apologized to everyone including his family, his staff, and the people of South Carolina. Was this really surprise after it became public knowledge that his family, and his staff had no idea where he was. Then when it came out that he wasn’t hiking on the Appalachian Trail. There was something up, and it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped.
Sanford called his behavior selfish, which it was, but it was also irresponsible and reckless for a governor to abandon the people of his state to go see his mistress. It is one thing for a politician to have personal failings, but it is another matter when those personal problems impact his professional duties. Sanford doesn’t deserve the public’s trust.
Sen. John Ensign (R-AZ), who admitted his own affair last week, was a rising GOP star, as was Sanford who was talked about as a potential 2012 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. This type of personal behavior devastates families and destroys Republican political careers. This is the kind of scandal that damages the Republican Party as well.
The Republican Party used to moralize and be the party of family values. The GOP used to know who they were, but these scandals lead me to question whether the Republican Party is not only going through an ideological, but also an identity crisis. These high profile affairs make the GOP seem hypocritical on moral issues, especially when contrasted with the image of the Obama family in the White House.
Mark Sanford has gone from being characterized as bit flaky, to problem of perception for the Republican Party. Sanford may politically survive in South Carolina, but he is finished as a national figure. Ensign’s affair with a married staffer was bad enough, but to blow off Father’s Day with his four kids, to cheat on his family is a special degree of low. It is a shattering day for his family because their problems have become public,and a black eye for the GOP that this man was the head of the Republican Governor’s Association.