Don't cry for me Argentina

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009

UPDATE (2009-06-25; 11:51 AM EST): Jim Wright for the win.

UPDATE (2009-06-24; 6:00 PM EST): I can't really be snarky about this part of the story: it seems Mrs. Jenny Sanford had a pretty good idea where her husband was, having kicked him out two weeks ago. So that part of the story isn't so much bizarre as it is simply sad.

Now back to the snark!

UPDATE (2009-06-24; 4:09 PM EST): Oh, Mark, Mark, Mark. Mr. Sanford. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Another politician tearfully apologizes for doing the horizontal rumba with someone other than his wife. No word on whether the woman of Governor Sanford's dreams is a pre-op or post-op tranny, as Nathan suggests she could be in the comments below.

What is it, by the way, with the party of traditional virtues, morals, blah blah blah always getting caught with their pants down (often in restrooms)? I mean, at least Bill Clinton and John Edwards belong to the party formerly associated with free love before it got a stick up its collective ass and disavowed the sixties (and even so, the Dems remain more supportive of reproductive rights, access to contraception, non-"traditional" marriages, et al.--so there you go).

At least Sanford's affair involves an exotic foreigner, making it somewhat less staid and sleazy than most American political affairs, which usually involve pages, interns or hookers. I mean, I long for a new America where a political sex scandal can involve lots of hot models, one of them eighteen, boozing and partying all weekend at someone's villa. We're prudes, we suck, and we must close this gap we have with Old Europe!

And now today's original blog post:

I have to hand it to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford: many Republican politicians talk about reducing the size of government, but Mr. Sanford may be the first one to reduce the size of a state's government by eliminating the position of governor for several days. Why, the man is such a believer in small government, he didn't even want the elected Governor of the state of South Carolina to use up any of the Palmetto State's precious air!

I don't know how many of y'all have been following this story at all; the foibles of other state's governors can hardly be interesting to people elsewhere in the States, much less overseas. It's a lot like when Senator John McCain selected Alaskan Governor Sarah "Who the Hell is Sarah Palin?" Palin as a running mate--the only people who'd heard of her outside of Alaska were the handful of Repub wonks who floated her name to the people who suggested her to Senator McCain in the first place. Charlotte is close to the South Carolina border, so we hear about things happening down there all the time; I couldn't tell you who the governor of Georgia is off the top of my head, but maybe if I lived a hundred or two hundred miles west of here I'd be able to, I don't know. But Governor Sanford has received some national attention for his attempt to refuse Federal stimulus money (it took the combined might of the South Carolina legislature and a South Carolina judge to make him accept the funds) and I've heard his name floated as a possible presidential candidate for 2012.

The story is bizarre. His wife thought he was off writing a book somewhere. Some of his staff thought he was on the Appalachian trail. That his wife didn't know where he'd gone was plenty strange. That he might have been walking around somewhere where he could actually and truly fall off a cliff and nobody would have known about it... well, that has to be one of the weirdest Constitutional crises one can contemplate: who is in charge of state government when the chief executive is lying at the bottom of a ravine becoming a scavengers' buffet? But then a report emerged that somebody had seen Governor Sanford at the airport, which seemed improbable until it was officially confirmed this morning--yes, Governor Sanford went for a hike in the mountains and ended up in Argentina. Apparently maps aren't his strong suit.

Most people who have called the Governor of South Carolina "crazy" have been Democrats or liberals, and naturally one expects a certain amount of rhetorical excess or partisan prejudice to be in play in such cases. Now, one suspects even South Carolina Republicans have to be wondering about the Gov's sanity in a completely non-figurative sense. Is it reckless to leave the executive branch in the hands of staffers who can't find you if there's an emergency? What the hell is up with the man's homelife when he absconds from his wife and kids on Father's Day weekend and Mrs. Governor has to guess maybe he's writing that book? Who the Hell goes to Argentina on the spur of the moment? (Okay, other than Margaret Thatcher, har-har.) I worry about calling in sick one day, and things getting mucked up--how are you the governor for the whole state and you're surprised everybody's a wee mite bit concerned you're completely AWOL and your aides don't even know you've left the fucking Northern Hemisphere?

One boggles at the thought of a dark horse President Sanford vanishing overnight from the White House. "Well," the First Lady says, "he was thinking about finally writing that screenplay, last time I talked to him." The White House Press Secretary shrugs, "His Secret Service detail says he went for a short walk in the Rose Garden, so we're calling all the other countries to ask if they've seen the President." Sure, Sanford's candidacy was a long shot and it just got longer--it's still funny to think about.

Some say, "He who governs best, governs least". Evidently Governor Mark Sanford figured it was even better to govern lost.

POSTSCRIPT/UPDATE: For another, more credible explanation of the Governor's adventures, check out this press release.

Curiously enough, UCFer Jim Wright claims to be from Alaska, and now claims he's in the American South. Is there some strange connection? Jim was in the Navy: it would only make sense if he were captaining a ship on a quest to find the Seven Lost Lords of Alaska, sent away by an evil usurper....


Random Michelle K Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 11:36:00 AM EDT  

How come we couldn't get GW to do that?

Oh. Right. That would have left Cheney in charge.

Just out of curiosity, is there anything untoward Argentina is known for? Illegal Drugs? Cheap plastic surgery? Sales and purchase of organs? Donna Rice?

Nathan Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 1:49:00 PM EDT  

is there anything untoward Argentina is known for?

Pre-op Trannies!

Eric Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2:06:00 PM EDT  

Y'know, Nathan, Sanford did tell reporters today, "...I wanted to do something exotic."

Random Michelle K Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 3:00:00 PM EDT  

Argentina, Appalachian Trail--they're so easy to confuse.

Random Michelle K Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 3:02:00 PM EDT  

Writing a children's book, having an affair in Argentina. They're so easy to confuse.

Nathan Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 3:46:00 PM EDT  

Where's our update? He's had a press conference and everything now!

(I know what he's fessing up to...I just want to hear Eric's take on it.)

(And it still could have involved a pre-op tranny)

neurondoc Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:49:00 PM EDT  

Hey, I'm waiting for your update, too...

Jim Wright Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:03:00 PM EDT  

Eric, now my name and this Sanford dipshit's are irrevocably tied together by the magic of internet caching, along with the phrase: "post op trannies."

No really, thanks, Eric. You too also, Nathan. Thank you so very much indeed.


Eric Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:05:00 PM EDT  

Jim: you were looking to shed the "asshole" meme, right...?

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