Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Sanford Saga

Note: I wrote this before it came out that Sanford went to Argentina to meet his mistress. I was talking to my dad yesterday afternoon about this and he bluntly said, “He’s getting laid.” Turns out he was right.

Has this been weird watching the Mark Sanford saga play out in South Carolina or what? After hearing that he was off writing a book, that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail and that his wife had no idea where he was or what he was doing, it turns out that he was in Argentina!

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford arrived in the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport this morning, having wrapped up a seven-day visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, he said. Sanford said he had not been hiking along the Appalachian Trail, as his staff said in a Tuesday statement to the media.

Sanford’s whereabouts had been unknown since Thursday, and the mystery surrounding his absence fueled speculation about where he had been and who’s in charge in his absence. His emergence Wednesday ended the mystery.

And he did talk to one newspaper and gave some rather cryptic answers:

Sanford, in an exclusive interview with The State, said he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled with lawmakers over how to spend federal stimulus money.

Sanford said he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail, an activity he said he has enjoyed since he was a high school student.

“But I said ‘no’ I wanted to do something exotic,” Sanford said “… It’s a great city.”

Sanford, in a brief interview in the nation’s busiest airport, said he has been to the city twice before, most recently about a year and half ago during a Commerce Department trip.

Sanford said he was alone on the trip. He declined to give any additional details about what he did other than to say he drove along the coastline…

The governor said he cut his trip short after his chief of staff, Scott English, told him his trip was gaining a lot of media attention and he needed to come back.

When asked why his staff said he was on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford replied, “I don’t know.”

Sanford later said “in fairness to his staff,” he had told them he might go hiking on the Appalachian Trial.

Sanford said he decided not to return via the Columbia airport to avoid the media. The State Media Company was the only media who greeted Sanford this morning.

“I don’t know how this thing got blown out of proportion,” Sanford said.

The hell he doesn’t. There’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye, that’s pretty obvious. The various stories just don’t add up. If he had just scheduled a vacation and went to Argentina, no one would have blinked. But to do that without telling your wife you’re going? And without telling anyone on your staff, or your Lt. Governor who might have to make decisions while you’re gone, or your security staff?

Sanford is either the most thoughtless and irresponsible governor in the known universe or there’s some major league bullshit being spread around to cover up the real story.

And it turns out there was indeed some major league bullshit being spread. Look, let’s just clear this up right now: You can probably count on one hand, two at the most, the number of men and women in Congress who aren’t having affairs. When you have power, you get sex. And when sex is offered, few are going to turn it down. And that’s just the way it is.

As enlightened as we like to think we are, we’re still mammals and that whole alpha male thing still goes on. You think Donald Trump gets hot blonde models for any other reason? Is this a good thing? Of course not. But it’s reality. But what I find endlessly amusing about it is the self-righteousness of those who declare their moral piety and then get their closet opened and the skeletons fall out. This is funny stuff to me. I hope this does become a weekly event as it seems to be at the moment.

By the way, a friend of mine has a theory that Sanford’s wife is the one who hung him out to dry. I think that’s a very plausible theory. And if she did, bravo to her.