First, we need to be clear on the facts — not the media speculation:
- Sanford did tell his staff and family where he was going.
- Because he was traveling without a security detail, it was in his best interests that no one knew he was gone.
- His political enemies — Republicans at that — ginned up the media story.
- When confronted by a pestering media, things went downhill.
- Again though, at all times there was no doubt that Sanford's staff and family knew where he was.
Now, here is all you need to know about this whole entire story — the reaction from the erstwhile Republicans angry at Sanford for not being a fiscal squish and from the media all go back to their core belief that without Sanford manning the barricades of government at all times, the government will collapse and people will starve, die, and forget how to read and write.
But that did not happen. Life in South Carolina went on. The world did not end. Government did not go off the rails. That the media and politicians would react as they did says more about their world view than anything else.
It is refreshing that Mark Sanford is secure enough in himself and the people of South Carolina that he does not view himself as an indispensable man.
Sanford's lies spread through his office and out to the rest of us.
The left is linking to this post to laugh at it. What they are missing is that most of us tend to give people the benefit of the doubt -- even people like John Edwards.
We live in a fallen world and we ourselves are fallen. I am disappointed in Sanford, but not angry. The default for politicians seems to be unchaste. All we can do is work for ideas and try to find men of good character to fight for those ideas.
I think one thing I have noticed in the past five years is that Democrats and Republicans tend to elevate politicians to such a level that there is no accountability. It is insular. There is no support group, no small group of friends, and no authority that can guide, admonish, and correct politicians privately.
We have each other. I'm off in a bit to hang out with friends from my Bible Study. Sanford probably has none of that. I'm sure John Edwards did not. Nor Bill Clinton. Nor John Ensign.
What Mark Sanford did was wrong. He needs to go in a dark hole somewhere where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself. On the bright side, I doubt his indiscretions will affect the FisCon movement. The left is going to spend the next week making Sanford into the second coming of James Dobson to smear real marriage advocates and social conservatives — positions Sanford was rarely vocal on.
Blessed is the Lord God Jehovah who brings forth bread from heaven, water from rocks, and men like Mark Sanford from the dust of the earth. His will be done.