I usually find your observations to be well reasoned, Star. But in this instance, you have stumbled into lockstep with the schizophrenia that characterizes our culture’s situational morality.
Sanford's candidacy implicitly demanded that voters suspend the reasonable expectation that each of our duly elected leaders be a person of integrity; one who can be trusted with governmental responsibilities and to selflessly model respect for the laws, liberty and well-being of everyone within the circumference of his/her life.
His extravagant self-indulgence in a disloyal, deceitful and expensive escapade should not have been - or even now be - so lightly or sarcastically ("sinful stuff") ignored. The Governor’s sins are made up of the stuff upon which greater treasons can be drawn.
In one fell swoop, Mark Sanford dishonored himself and proved that his words meant nothing: that he did not value others above himself – neither wife nor mistress; that he is greedy with other people’s money; that he did not take his sworn responsibilities seriously; that when aware of conflict, he would refuse to turn to the appropriate person(s) and change his course as needed. In short, Mr. Sanford’s ear is tuned only to his own counsel, which is clearly capable of depravity, disloyalty and the bells and whistles of duplicity.
The Democrats and Ms. Lapp have a legitimate point when calling the man “ethically challenged.” (Kinda raises the “spectre” of a similar personality from Pennsylvania, you know?)
Properly, the former Governor should have retired from public office and gone to work as a consultant, putting his flair for marketing at the service of someone better than himself. The Republican Party should have demanded it. But no, Sanford’s unremitting ego and the South Carolina Everyman’s ambition to appear fashionably “progressive” have together placed the shepherd’s staff into the hand of a sometime “wolf.”
And now that Sanford is comfortably ensconced in Washington, D.C., conservatives owe an apology to Jimmy Carter, who honestly and somewhat humbly acknowledged that which is inescapable in our media’s tsunami of temptation: a passing thought of lust. But the true mettle of the man or woman lies in what you and I do with that thought: Send it to the Trash file and “Delete”? Or roll in the mud? Frankly, Star, I hope against experience that Mr. Sanford will leave his piglets behind.