Guest Op-Ed: Democrats just cannot afford to let Mark Sanford go

Today's Guest Op-ed comes from Bill Connor, an Orangeburg attorney and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army reserve. Guest submittals will be considered for publication if sent via email to

With unemployment at the highest levels since the great depression, America’s recent loss of AAA credit rating, and an economy continuing to plummet, the Democrats are floundering. For a time, the President’s promises of massive job growth through stimulus held off criticism. He promised future jobs and growth. For the first two years of his Presidency, Barack Obama got by blaming George Bush for every economic ill.

In South Carolina, for over a year and a half, Democrats were able to deflect the misery of Obama’s failed policies by hammering Governor Mark Sanford and his affair. Over and over and over and over again we were all forced to relive the summer of 2009. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Mark Sanford left office over eight months ago and they have now lost their favorite punching bag. In desperation to deflect attention from a sinking economy and a President at the lowest popularity levels in history, Democrats in South Carolina have decided they need back their punching bag. Thus comes the story about the hypothetical “return” of Mark Sanford by former SC Democratic Chairman candidate Phil Noble.

What brings the renewed lambasting and rehashing of the Sanford saga? Phil Noble, writes in the Times and Democrat (Sept 7): “(during a) recent appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, South Carolina's disgraced former governor strode back onto the national stage, apparently testing his viability as a national Republican leader, and even, perhaps, as a possible presidential candidate.”

That’s right, according to Democratic Chairman candidate Noble, Making an appearance on CNN equates to becoming a possible “presidential” candidate.

Noble goes on to write: “The fact that Sanford's newest narcissistic quest will not benefit our state in any way, shape or form should surprise no one. As we all learned during the latter part of his governorship, Sanford is willing to cast aside almost any public responsibility in pursuit of his personal desires.” That’s right, despite the fact Mark Sanford has been living as a private citizen the past eight months, making no public proclamations of a desire to run for any office, he is now indicted as beginning his “newest narcissistic quest”.

Noble’s screed goes on to rehash, for about the thousandth time, the details of the Sanford affair saga. As though any South Carolinian is unaware. The bashing continued to Greek tragedy proportions: “And make no mistake, the presidency is the goal. Mark has perfected the studied, casual, "aw shucks" demeanor of the reluctant politician. However, I believe that from his earliest days in Congress, Sanford has crafted a brilliant strategy to run for president, and that he has pursued that strategy ever since with a laser-like focus and ruthless determination. As with the story line of a classical Greek drama, the question now is, can our protagonist - felled by his own personal demons and weaknesses - arise from the ashes? Can Sanford overcome his fatal flaw - his apparent extreme narcissism, the self-centered hubris that distorts his view of reality such that he seems to think that in his personal life the rules don't apply to him?”

The Democratic desperation is clearly reaching irrational and comic proportions. When you must target a man who has lost his family, lost any position of authority, and left politics in disgrace something is wrong. All of this appears to be stretching to find the “boogeyman” GOP Presidential candidate to compare with Barack Obama. Of course, we all remember the Democrats had their own “Mark Sanford” in the person of Bill Clinton. The difference is that after the impeachment hearings Republicans allowed the former President to leave office in some kind of peace. We don’t believe Bill Clinton will run again, even though he is the ultimate in arrogance and narcissism.

My recommendation is for the Democrats to leave Sanford alone and focus on the economy and putting people back to work. Obama’s so-called “stimulus” packages turned out to be an utter failure. As did his attempt to socialize health care. Insanity is attempting the same thing but expecting different results. Americans are not crazy, and unless the President puts the extremes of Keynesian economic theory to the wayside the economy will continue to collapse. Blaming Bush isn’t going to work anymore, rehashing “waterboarding” is not going to work anymore. Certainly in South Carolina continuing to beat up on ex-Governor Sanford is not going to work.

Governor Sanford’s actions were reprehensible and he will not be able to run for high office in South Carolina. No Republicans I know want Mark back. He has lost his family and any chance at the Presidency (no matter how much the Democrats would love for that to be the case).

That said, Mark has the right as a private citizen (and former Governor) to give his opinion about political matters. OK Democrats, let’s get this straight: we don’t need to waste any further time talking about Mark Sanford’s misfortune. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get everyone back to work.

1 Response to "Guest Op-Ed: Democrats just cannot afford to let Mark Sanford go"

  1. west_rhino 13/9/11 08:42
    As they are being marginalized through their own ineptitude, Dems on the sidelines sound like Carolina and Clemson fans continuing to whine about Brad Scott, Lou Holtz and Tommy Bowden.

    Oh well, Robert Ford used to be a Republican and perhaps that may be a safer banner for him to run under.

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