Sanford’s shame and why no one has an excuse
Just a week ago, Mark Sanford was admired by almost every conservative in the country. He was one of the lone stalwarts, taking a principled stand against Barack Obama and his Roman emperor complex of giving gifts. The average conservative voter was wishing that the other Republicans in government would show the same backbone he did.
Unfortunately, all he showed was the same lack of moral restraint as a lot of other Republicans.
There’s no excuse for Mark Sanford’s actions. They are reprehensible. He ought to resign, if not because it is wrong for a governer to abuse state funds in the manner that he did, simply because the pro-life, pro-family values he claims to hold to for which the people of South Carolina elected him run contrary to what he has done. Mark Sanford is a hypocrite. There is no other way to state it and no easy way around it. Mark Sanford is an adulterer. There is no easy way around that, either.
But like the rest of us, Mark Sanford is a sinner. Some of us may not be hypocrites, and some may not be adulterers, but all are sinners. While we should be harsh and swift in condemning what Governer Sanford did because it is wrong and because of his office, we should keep in mind that he is a human and humans sin. Humans also need forgiveness, which does not mean he shouldn’t suffer the consequences, but that we should not hold him to more than he deserves.
Unfortunately, Mark Sanford is a Republican, which means that he will not be afforded grace or forgiveness from a very large portion of the population. While Republicans sin and are condemned universally for their actions, to about half of the nation and ninety percent of the news media, Democrats make errors in judgement. For Democratic politicians and media members express outrage over Sanford’s hypocrisy is a classic case of pot and kettle. Democrats and liberal media members have no room to talk about this, because according to them, such actions aren’t even wrong. While they may say (at certain times) that those actions are inappropriate, the evidence suggest otherwise. One of the most revered Democratic politicians, Ted Kennedy, had a mysterious night that resulted in the death of a young woman. Less outrage was expressed by the left wing when John Edwards was caught cheating on Elizabeth in the middle of her battle with cancer. And we can always bring up the stout defense offered for Bill Clinton: what he does in his pants is his business.
I’m not blaming any Democrat for Mark Sanford’s downfall. Mark Sanford’s sins are Mark Sanford’s fault. However, Mark Sanford is being honest about his sin. He’s calling it sin. And he’s not making excuses for it. He’s facing the consequences for his actions. Those who won’t face the consequences when they do the same things he has done have no room to talk.
And that’s the simple truth.