My wife asked me the other day why I had nearly abandoned watching the television evening news and cable political shows that I once eagerly waited for every afternoon nearly like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Her question took me aback quite a bit and while I fumbled for a coherent verbal answer the visual that stuck in my head was of boat full of people on a river arguing over who would navigate blissfully ignorant of the large and deep waterfall whose edge they were about to go over.
Since the 2008 election things seem to have gone bad and every sign and omen only suggest things are only going to get worse. People are now bringing loaded semiautomatic pistols and assault weapons to political rallies that the president is attending holding signs quoting Thomas Jefferson about the tree of liberty needing to be refreshed; a blatant reference that it takes the blood of patriots and tyrants to do such a thing. A giggly bimbo, nominated by a semi-senile politician for Vice President, can’t give an unrehearsed answer about any serious national issue or policy without squirming away minutes later whining about liberal media unfairness is still in huge circles being considered for a 2012 presidential run. A much needed serious national debate over health insurance reform degenerates regularly over transparent lies about death panels and insane fears that some government bureaucrat will come between a person and his or her doctor. All the while the Marching Morons ignore the fact that corporate insurance bureaucrats do the same thing on a regular basis. Not being a person who holds much stock in pop culture doomsday prophesies I must admit that the approaching 2012 doomsday, spoke of in the Mayan calendar along with other lesser known prophets, is starting to concern me. The human race has never been that smart but stupidity and ill rational fears are multiplying exponentially. So much that lately I find myself looking fondly at a far more simpler time, like the Bush years.
After being criticized more than once for not giving George W. Bush some small credit for doing at least some microscopic and trivial item right there is one thing I will have to give the man credit for. While he was in office his epic incompetence and gargantuan ego raised the bar to new levels on how to write yourself into history for all the wrong reasons. I’d like to have thought that it would have taken decades for others to come close to his achievement but even a foul mouth piece of talk radio trash recently lamented how one man he and many others on the Conservative side favored could have been the Republican’s version of JFK is doing his best to match Bush’s score. That proto-Republican JFK is none other than the governor, and avid Appalachian Trail hiker, of South Carolina.
Now to be fair I have personally cut the good governor of South Carolina a great deal of slack for his recent affair and the resulting aftermath that he found himself in for several reasons which I will not write about. Even though after the 2008 election he more than willingly wrapped himself in the mantle of an “aw shucks” simple, honest, and fiscally responsible statesman’s out to protect the common folk from rascally, traitorous, and morally corrupt liberals. At least I figured, he still shied away from declaring himself an agent of God on Earth while donning a crown of thorns and developing stigmata while tightly clutching the Bible to his breast.
Like any scoundrel seeking some refuge though, seeing his hopes of further power and influence evaporate like some Buenos Aires fog on a hot summer morning he is now desperately grabbing for anything that might at least restore a little of the legacy he hoped to leave.
As part of a fresh round of interviews designed to help save his job, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford suggested a higher power wants him to remain in office, and called his now legendary Appalachian Trail deception "a little white lie". And the embattled Palmetto State Romeo reiterated that he planned to complete his term, which runs through 2010, in order to advance conservative principles -- despite a meeting of GOP lawmakers over the weekend, at which not a single person expressed support for him.
"I feel absolutely committed to the cause, to what God wanted me to do with my life," Sanford told the Washington Times. "I have got this blessing of being engaged in a fight for liberty, which is constantly being threatened."
Sanford sought to minimize his irresponsibility in leaving the state to visit his Argentinian lover while claiming he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail, saying he had told his staff a "little white lie."
Sanford also spoke to the Wall Street Journal, declaring (sub. req.) "I have a newfound level of humility, knowing how hard I work and how hard I push is not the ultimate driver of change. Power resides with people."
Still, speaking to Times, he wasn't above a bit of self-pity. Sanford compared himself to Sarah Palin in acknowledging a state ethics probe, requested by the attorney general and legislative leaders, that's looking into his use of state aircraft, his overseas flights and whether he used campaign funds to pay personal expenses. Palin cited the cost of fighting off what she called frivolous ethics complaints as a reason why she quit as Alaska governor in July. Said Sanford: "I think I now know what Sarah may have been feeling."
Sanford also lamented that he's being written off by the state's political community. "What happened is that you take your eye off the ball and have the moral failing that I did," he told the Times, "and suddenly you are off the playing field. Then you realize how blessed you were to have been on that playing field."