Sunday :: Jun 28, 2009

"Even Richard Nixon Has Got Soul"

by Turkana

The Mark Sanford story has two parts. The part that matters, and the part that doesn't. This is my opinion. I understand that not everyone shares that opinion.

The part of the story that matters is that he's another mendacious right wing hypocrite. He wants to tell us how we can lead our personal lives, all the while leading a personal life that contradicts everything for which he claims to stand. Did the fact that gay people can marry in some states fuck up his own marriage? Does he really care about the lives of children when he has subjected his own to such painful public scrutiny? He's an asshole. His life and his career are going down in flames, and he deserves every little bit of it. Not only is he a liar, he's a liar about caring about people's lies.

It matters even more that he abused his office. He may have abused taxpayer funds. He certainly went AWOL from a very important and public responsibility. His staff lied about it. Or he lied to them about it. Or both. Did I mention that he deserves his career's current death spiral? On a human level, I hope he grows up and has some sort of profound awakening, and gets his personal life back together. As Neil Young once wrote, even Richard Nixon has got (had) soul. Most people are redeemable. Even Mark Sanford. Maybe the loss of his career and the possible loss of his family will be the kick in the ass he so obviously needs and deserves. Maybe not. But that gets to the part that doesn't matter.

I don't care about Mark Sanford's personal foibles. I don't care about his girlfriend or their emails. It's none of my fucking business. I didn't read the Starr Report. It disgusted me that its most intimate details were splayed all over television, radio and the print media. Two wrongs do not make a right. By gloating over every sordid detail of Mark Sanford's personal life, we give a tacit okay to the right wing lunatics who most certainly will do the same, the next time a prominent Democrat has her or his personal life come crashing down. Which will happen. Because we're all human. We all make mistakes. And the mistakes of public figures are very public. And I feel particularly sorry for those future Democrats, because all those on the left who now are reveling in Mark Sanford's attempts at being romantic will have no credibility when defending said Democrats from similar gutter-sniping.

I care that Mark Sanford has once again revealed the rot at the core of Republican "values." I care that he abused his office. I care that the career of another right wing asshole is over. All of it is good. But I don't care about the details of his most private moments. Even Mark Sanford deserves his right to privacy. Even Richard Nixon had soul.

Turkana :: 12:21 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!