Mark Sanford’s math doesn’t add up, either

Mark Sanford’s new ad begins, “Washington’s math doesn’t add up.”

Well, neither does his. It goes like this: He spent six years representing the 1st District before. And his accomplishments added up to zero. And yet he blithely tells people that they should send him to Washington because he’s “fought to do something about it.” Yeah, I guess so, if ineffectual posturing counts. Which it doesn’t, in my book.

Change Washington? Really? You? You never made the slightest dent on Washington.

Then, he gets to talking about mistakes.

Really? You sure that’s the work you want to use? Mistakes? So… you accidentally slipped away from your SLED detail and went to Argentina, only admitting what you had done after you were caught dead to rights?

I truly don’t want to be the guy who casts the first stone. But I will note the line that everyone seems to forget in recounting that great story of forgiveness: Go, and sin no more.

In this ad, with regard to mistakes, Sanford piously intones, “In their wake, we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it.”

Here’s the thing: When did our former governor repent of anything, so that he might clear the way for second chances? After the sins that we are all prone to, we only become “better for it” when we sincerely believe what we did was wrong, and repent.

After his rambling confession that day in June 2009, what was his penance? How did he live his life differently going forward? I’m not at all clear on that. Of course, that’s between him and God — unless, of course, he spends money buying ads that pull us into the equation.

I’ve heard a lot from this guy about how we are supposed to forgive him. He places that burden on us. Well, what’s his part of the deal?

I’ve got a great idea for a penance that would demonstrate that he’s truly sorry: If he would stop inflicting himself on the electorate. That would be better, in his case, than a thousand Hail Marys.

But no. There he is again, saying the same stuff. And we’re supposed to take him back. That’s the way he sees it, anyway.

35 thoughts on “Mark Sanford’s math doesn’t add up, either

  1. Juan Caruso

    I sense political fear in a fiormer editor; in that case, what could the unpublicized Progressive agenda possibly hold for SC? Not very difficult imagine.

  2. JoanneH

    What’s so sad is that some voters will fall for this. I taught with a woman who voted for him because he was “attractive.” And now, he’s baaaack.

    What it all boils down to is that he needs a j-o-b.

  3. barry

    heard some talk on the radio today about Mark. It was similiar to what I’ve been wondering

    why an anti government guy like Mark wants so badly to work for the government for what is basically his entire adult life.

    Can he not do anything else?

    Mark is an idea man (good and plenty of bad ones). The only way an idea man gets anything to done is to compromise on a lot of other things to get his ideas through. Mark doesn’t do that- and has never done that.

    he had rather talk about his ideas- than actually do anything about his ideas.

  4. Doug Ross

    John McCain got his second chance after multiple extramarital affairs, why can’t Mark Sanford get the same?

    “In April 1979,[58] McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father had founded a large beer distributorship.[63] They began dating, and he urged his wife Carol to grant him a divorce, which she did in February 1980, with the uncontested divorce taking effect in April 1980.[”

    It’s up to the people of the 1st District isn’t it?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You miss the point. Actually, several points.

      Is McCain engaging in psychodrama in which he demands my forgiveness — or, if you want to be particular, the forgiveness of the voters of the 1st District?

      More to the point, is he a do-nothing former Congressman who’s asking to be sent back so he can do nothing again?

      People complain about McCain and Graham always being on TV as talking heads. Well, at least between television appearances, they are engaged with the job of being senators, legislating, advising, consenting and negotiating, trying to get things done. For Mark Sanford, appearing on FoxNews IS the point. He thinks that’s the job.

      1. Doug Ross

        McCain wasn’t an elected official when he committed adultery multiple times… so he didn’t have to ask for forgiveness of the voters. He just used the wealth and connections of his second wife’s family to support his first run for Congress.

        The incident is recent enough that Sanford has to address it. That’s better than McCain’s answer of “I have a happy marriage now. The rest happened in the past”. Or would you prefer Sanford said the same thing?

        I personally don’t think Sanford should run but he has the right to do so and has the right to approach his campaign in the way that he thinks will help him win.

        I know it’s hard for you to understand but trying to stop Congress from wasting tax dollars is an admirable thing to many voters. There are plenty of us who believe Congress is broken and the best solution is to limit its spending power.

        Would you criticize a fireman for preventing a fire from happening? We need more firemen in Congress and fewer pyromaniacs.

        1. kc

          “McCain wasn’t an elected official when he committed adultery multiple times…”

          So why do you use him as an example?

  5. bud

    I don’t care whether he repents or doesn’t repent. That’s between him, his ex-wife and children. I do care about his politics. Given his complete failure as a governor to advance the state in a positive direction I urge Mr. Sanford to simply retire somewhere never to be heard from again. I would say to Argentina but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  6. Tired old man

    Sanfraud’s mantra is that he failed his family but his politics remains pure. It is all about positioning himself as a flawed but ideologically perfect Tea Party candidate in 2016.

    Never mind the largest ethics fine in SC history for misuse of taxpayer funds in pursuit of his personal, political, and romantic activities. He did, after all, once veto the entire state budget.

    Sanfraud is the Jerry Seinfeld of American politics, a show about nothing.

  7. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    I love how Sanford is using God to guilt trip people into voting for him. His argument seems to be: “You have to forgive for my past transgression because God has, and if you don’t forgive me you’re just a bad person.” Oh St. Mark the Pious of Libertaristan

  8. bud

    Is McCain engaging in psychodrama in which he demands my forgiveness — or, if you want to be particular, the forgiveness of the voters of the 1st District?

    McCain (John or otherwise) may, in fact, engage in psychodrama from time to time but I doubt it has anything to do with the first District.

  9. Kathryn Fenner

    Folks around here loooove a redemption narrative, and Sanford is smart enough to play it– heck, sell what you got, right?

  10. Dave Crockett

    I wish I could say I am amazed. I wish I could say there’s no way this man could possibly be elected. I wish I could say that his candidacy is not a symptom of the sickness pervading our political system and so many of our politicians today.

    I can’t.

    I’m just sad.

  11. Brad Warthen Post author

    When you say, “I wish I could say there’s no way this man could possibly be elected,” you say a mouthful.

    Without looking at a poll, I have assumed that he is the frontrunner, on name recognition alone. This is the same district that sent him up there three times previously, after all.

    And when I do look at a poll, as I just did before typing this, I find that I am right:

    Former Gov. Mark Sanford leads with 17%, surprisingly down from the 25% reported several weeks ago. SC Sen. Larry Grooms, with 5%, is in a tight race for the runner-up position with Charleston school board member Elizabeth Moffly, 4%, and teacher and prodigal son Teddy Turner with 4% of the vote.

    That is, I’m right if that source, with which I am not previously familiar, is right…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And if those numbers are accurate, Sanford’s drop from 25 percent to 17 percent probably reflects respondents thinking the first time, “I know HIM,” and in the second poll having a second thought and thinking, “I KNOW him…”

      That’s the thing about Mark Sanford. To KNOW him is not to support him. He’s always done well with rank-and-file GOP voters who don’t pay close attention. Among Republicans who have had dealings with him, supporters are fairly rare.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oops, I take that back. I’ve certainly met Larry Grooms. And no, he wouldn’t be all that much of an improvement, either.

          It’s easy to forget who’s running, since there are 16 candidates in the GOP primary alone…

        2. Steven Davis II

          Don’t know much about any of them but Sanford… I don’t really care, they’re all a bunch of trust fund brats who’s only aspiration is to be a career politician just like dear ol’ dad.

  12. bud

    Correct me if I’m wrong Brad but didn’t you endorse Sanford in his first run for Governor AFTER 3 terms in congress? Seems like you’re a bit harsh on other folks for not knowing enough about him given your previous endorsement for gov.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Absolutely, and I learned a bitter lesson from the experience.

      And were I to vote for or endorse him again, God might forgive me, but I’d find it hard to forgive myself…

  13. Doug Ross

    Sanford has time and money on his side. Only one month til the primary. Who else in the field will have his organization and experience?

    As I said, I don’t think he should run, but I hope he wins.

    1. barry

      In Mark’s case- his “experience and organization” isn’t really helpful.

      Mark’s “experience” is one of an idea man that really can’t work with anyone. That’s not especially helpful experience.

      his “organization?” Is this a reference to cheating on his wife while trying to be governor and hiking at the same time?

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