The Value of the Values Debate
The saga of Mark Sanford has been given so much coverage that it could be turned into a soap opera. South Carolinians have every right to be upset. Their executive was derelict in his duties. He was awol, at taxpayer’s expense. But I think the underlying theme of this brouhaha is the continued dismantling of the Republican Party as the moralist party-even if they don’t see it.
By no means is mainstream media giving Sanford any leeway for his actions. However, there seems to be a much softer tone in their barrage of criticisms. Is it because of his poetic emails? Is it because he traveled to another continent? There should be no public empathy for Sanford because he was a “sweet romantic”. Romanticism doesn’t mitigate the fact that he profligately spent taxpayer dollars to swoon his sweetheart. My 9th grade math teacher once said if it looks like a fish and smell like a fish then it’s a fish. Mark Sanford is a philanderer who forsook his state to be with his mistress.
What makes me cringe even more is the Republican Party still trying to cling to the distinction as standard-bearers of morality. Whether it is a bathroom stall, swanky New York Hotel, internet chatroom, or in Argentina, when it comes to amoral acts, there is equal opportunity. No party has a pristine record. But for a party that promulgates “core family values”, it makes me wonder what values are they promoting. It surely can’t be abstinence only or no sex until marriage- Bristol Palin messed that one up. It can’t be anti-homosexuals- Larry Craig ruined that. It can’t be against pedophilia- Mark Foley screwed that up. It would seem that after all this tomfoolery the Republicans would loose traction on this issue? But they still cling to it.
Humans are all prone to error. As a Christian I understand that we all fall short before the cross. That is why I don’t understand why the Republicans continue to prance about as if they were holier than thou