However, my biggest beef with Sanford is his stupidity, his lack of political savvy, his inability to see the big picture and the devastation his acts would cause.
What made this man think he could do what he did and be invisible? What inner weakness made him willing to toss away everything for a woman? Guess that one's an age-old question
However, age old questions aside...
Anyone in the public eye these days should know that they can't get away with anything for long. If they haven't been caught or outed already, there's someone somewhere holding onto the juicy tidbit just waiting for the right moment to use the info. Whether they want to use the indiscretion to blackmail, coerce or destroy, there is a political opponent who's hanging onto the ticking time bomb with hand-rubbing glee.
Sanford of all people should have known that once he defied Obama his opponents would be coming after him... big time. He should have known they'd be watching him like a hawk, digging for dirt and trying to find his weaknesses. Unfortunately, that's politics. In fact, it's not just politics, it's business, it's life.
But for someone who's ratcheted up their visibility in the political arena to be so stupid as to think they could have an affair and NOT get caught is the ultimate idiocy.
Especially as a Republican, as a self-proclaimed Conservative.
Sure, we all make mistakes.
Sure, we all do silly things, sometimes stupid things, when we're in the throes of love or lust.
But you don't thrust yourself into the national arena, take a stand against whoever is in the highest office in the country and then expect to be invisible. It compounds the indiscretion, it magnifies the betrayal because you've thrust yourself into the spotlight and touted your values. You've asked to be a figure of trust for not only your family, fellow church members and local voters, but for your Party and the country as a whole.
What the heck did this man think when he decided to take off to another part of the world to be with a woman? with the "other" woman??? Never mind, I already know the answer to that one... we know he wasn't thinking about anything but his own self-gratification.
At a time when more than anything we need strong leaders with a strong core, Sanford let not just his wife and family down, he let his country down, he let every person who believed in what he was "selling" down.
The last thing Republican's need at this critical time in our country is to be opening doors for anyone to attack with credibility.
Look at Sarah Palin. She has done nothing wrong, she stands on principles, sticks to her core values, protects her family, fights the good fight and gets reviled. She should be an object lesson to anyone who puts themselves in the public eye. If you don't have to do anything other than breath to be attacked, you should definitely make sure you don't give your opponents anything REAL to use against you...
Sanford should have been intelligent enough to realize that those in the opposing political arena (even those in the same Party) look for weakness. They look for flaws. He had people gunning for him the moment he ran for office... more when his name came up as a potential Presidential candidate... and even more as soon as he said no to bailout monies...
Sanford's betrayal goes way beyond the devastation of his family life, his political career and the people of South Carolina. He gave the "other" side something to hang their attack hat on and hurt every Conservative who sticks to their guns, who's strong enough to stand on their values even when it costs them personally. He gave all of those who oppose Conservative values and principals mud to throw at ALL Conservatives.
We expect more of those we put into office. We know they're human, we know they make mistakes, but during these critical times when the Republican Party and Conservatives in all parties have enough to deal with, we need those in elected office to stand taller and to stand stronger.
Sanford deserves the censure of the South Carolina GOP. He deserves our censure. Asking for, and recieving, forgiveness doesn't mean there shouldn't be consequences.