Gov. Mark Sanford - A Symbol of a Party in Terminal Decline

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Ben Cohen
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Governor Mark Sanford - "Friend of the Trail" by Joe Mescher.

By Ben Cohen

Republican hypocrisy apparently knows no limits. Gov. Mark Sanford's pitiful confession that he had cheated on his wife and stolen from the tax payer was a sad sight to behold. I almost felt sorry for the man, clearly pained by what he had done to his family. But then I remembered what a sanctimonious asshole he had been for his entire political life - berating Democrats for their 'liberal values' and assuming moral authority over people like Bill Clinton who had cheated on their wives.

He said of his vote to impeach Clinton, "I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible... I feel very comfortable with my vote."

Indeed. Destroying a man's career for infidelity seemed so easy to Sanford, he did it almost gleefully. But of course when it came to his own infidelity, Sanford hesitated to give up everything he had worked for.

Why?

Because he rightfully understands that personal issues have nothing to do with his public life. That cheating on you wife does not make you a bad governor - or even a bad person. Just human.

But people like Sanford, like the majority of his party, have one rule for themselves, and one rule for others. Socialism for the rich and the free market for the poor, no marriage for gays, but sordid bathroom romps in airports for them.

Dick Cheney's militant stance on everything other than gay marriage is indicative of Republican style morality. He only supports gay marriage because it personally effects him. Had Cheney not dodged the draft for Vietnam, it is entirely possible he wouldn't have pressed for war at every given moment in his political career.

Perhaps if Sanford's infidelity had happened earlier, he may not have tried to ruin someone else's life for the same offense. But it didn't, and now Sanford must reap what he sowed. He deserves everything the media chucks at him, and some. The press should lay of his marriage, but not his outrageous hypocrisy - a disease the Republican party just cannot get rid of.

(photo by Joe Mescher)