Today’s LOLcat Picture Dedicated to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

Seriously, now: Tell your staff you’re hiking in the mountains, and then use a state car to go to the airport to fly to Argentina to have sex with a woman who is not your wife on Father’s Day weekend? I mean, really: Walk through that one and you’ll see several places this could go wrong. I think Sanford needs to go through the rest of his time in office with a big red WTF? placard taped to his chest.

Before people start gloating in the comments about the GOP having a spate of high-profile stupid adulterous politicians, two names for you: John Edwards. Elliot Spitzer. Yes, people, thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity.

118 thoughts on “Today’s LOLcat Picture Dedicated to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

  1. I’m all for the traditional big red scarlet letter “A” affixed to his chest. and the WTF on his backside.

  2. Perhaps all politicians should have WTF tattooed on the inside of their eyeballs to remind them all the time?

    “Congratulations, you’ve won ! This is Gretta, our state/federal/whatever funded tattoo artist. She’ll be tattooing you today.”

  3. Of course, neither John Edwards or Elliot Spitzer were “family values, marriage sanctity” spouting politicians, either.

  4. I won’t pick on any party, jusy say that all politicians, whether they say it or not, at least “infer” family values. But for too many of them, it’s that old saw: Do as I say, not as I do!

  5. Of course, neither John Edwards or Elliot Spitzer were “family values, marriage sanctity” spouting politicians, either.

    *cough* What is that dreadful smell? :)

    Yes, people, thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity.

    Not having enough oxygenated blood to sustain arousal and full brain activity at the same time is an exquisitely human state, methinks. :)

  6. Then again, I wouldn’t have the stones to cheat on my better half. He’s entirely capable of doing things to my genitals seldom seen outside a Lars von Trier flick.

  7. Yes, people, thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity.

    Well, there’s a reason the Latin word for penis is mentula (little head).

  8. But Democrats do not go around moralizing, preaching, and saying what god-fearing people they are. Both Democrats and republican screw around, but only republicans are hypocrites about it.

  9. But “family values” is not necessarily the only political position you can break with adultery. Spitzer, if I recall correctly, was very law-and-order, anti-prostitution, anti-corruption, which made his financial shenanigans to cover up his payments to a prostitute (and, of course, having sex with a prostitute) rather hypocritical, too.

  10. @WendyB_09

    I think that’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time. We really need to bring back public shaming by requiring people who do stupid things to wear “WTF?” on all their clothes.

    Maybe we could also give a giant “FTW” to Sully Sullenburger.

  11. Jerry:

    I don’t want John bringing the mallet of loving correction down on my head, but nonsense. John Edwards was toting his wife around on the campaign trail like a terminally ill It Bag (and I think we were supposed to take the hint that we weren’t looking at the Clintons Part Deux); Spitzer’s entire political career was based on his career as a prosecutor of lowlives; and in ’96 Bill Clinton was running ads on Christian talk radio stations about how his signature on DOMA showed his respect for the sanctity of marriage — while he was screwing the help.

    Sorry, but John had it right the first time: Not thinking with your dick (and the ripe hypocrisy that goes with it) is thoroughly bipartisan.

  12. #9: you might want to rethink your generalization there, Jerry. I seem to recall a recently highly-placed swearing to his fidelity in a national address.

    Hypocrsiy is hypocrisy, and faithlessness knows no party. Or rather, it knows a different KIND of party….

  13. But ya gotta admit, Sanford was about as dumb as he could get about his attempted concealment of the affair. What, no one was going to notice? Just because he put out red flags by the dozen before lobbing star mortars into the tube?

    DUMB.

  14. Hypocrsiy is hypocrisy, and faithlessness knows no party. Or rather, it knows a different KIND of party….

    Not the kind I get invited to. Bugger.

  15. I know there aren’t very many high profile female politicians, but can anyone think of a case where one has been caught in this sort of kerfuffle? I think of it not so much to make any sort of gender superiority point, but because the Daily Show’s “Does This Skirt Make My Ass Look Humiliated?” is one of my favorite bits ever.

  16. See, at this point, I’m not at all surprised that some politician is screwing around. My question is: do all married people cheat this much, do we only hear about politicians because they’re in the public eye, or is there something about the personality type that makes people want to be politicians also make them want to cheat?

    And you would think they would know by now that they’re going to get caught. It’s not like there isn’t a list a mile long of all the folks (guys) who’ve been caught.

  17. But ya gotta admit, Sanford was about as dumb as he could get about his attempted concealment of the affair. What, no one was going to notice? Just because he put out red flags by the dozen before lobbing star mortars into the tube?

    DUMB.

    Oh, yeah. I mean, with Spitzer, you had to get into some forensic accounting and some mid level police gumshoeing.

    Here? Come onnnnnnn. How smart do you have to be to say, “Guys, I’m taking a few days off; Lt. Gov., you’re in the hot seat for a while.” Do that, and it’d never get in the media.

  18. Re justatech, 17: I think it’s the personality type. Give a rules-lawyering extrovert power and attention and see what happens.

  19. Of course, neither John Edwards or Elliot Spitzer were “family values, marriage sanctity” spouting politicians, either.

    Also, the D to R ratio is leaning 1/4.*

    Plus, there’s the added conservative kink factor. When a Republican cheats, he doesn’t go for any old fancy hooker or random babe, no. It’s all meth fueled gay hookers and underage pages, with a side of auto-erotic asphyxiation and 5 day manhunts across international boarders.

    _______
    * Unless you’re a Fox News viewer, then it’s apparently Democrats all the way down.

  20. Oh, and the current rumors is that all his trips to see his mistress were using state funds.

    DUUUUUMMMMMMBBBB.

  21. Didn’t Sanford get the memo? Democrats are the ones who have affairs with call girls. Republicans are the ones caught in washrooms soliciting sex.

  22. What boggles my mind is the sheer stupidity of this supposed leader of a state. Living in this science fiction future of ours where every fart, burp, and gaff made by a public personality winds up on youtube, what made this dimwit think he could get away with this. I fear these actions are symptom of a greater disease amongst the power elite of this nation; the sense of entitlement to being beyond the laws of the land. Both sides of the political fence seem to be afflicted. Help me out here people. What is the cure for this??

  23. His name had been bandied about as a potential pres/vp down the road. This ends that. Well, unless he switches parties anyways.

    When it comes to extramarital affairs, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Republican and Democrat politicians – the difference is in the voting base.

  24. I’m still waiting for a really exciting sex scandal: one that involves impressive amounts of cocaine, group sex, and maybe an animal or two.

    I want to see a cable news anchor have to uncomfortably describe that kind of allegation.

  25. His name had been bandied about as a potential pres/vp down the road. This ends that.

    Nah, plenty of room for that in the Republican party (see last election). Just got to wait 15-20 years.

  26. Can anyone quote any pronouncement from John Edwards that’s like these from Sanford, talking about Bill Clinton?

    “The bottom line, though, is he still lied. He lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. So it’s got to be taken very, very seriously.”

    “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.”

  27. A lot of folks seem to be disappointed that he was just having a run-of-the-mill affair with a woman. I don’t think anyone has ruled out the possibility that he’s been hanging with a pre-op tranny. That would be more the Republican style.

    (And before anyone gets all partisan on my ass, I was more than happy to see Spitzer grilled on his own hypocrite ass.)

  28. Forget the Democrat/Republican thing. Can anyone on either side of the 49th explain why so many Americans get caught for these types of shenanigans, and so few Canadian politicians do? Trust me, Canadians are not morally better (our first Prime Minister was bounced from office for basically accepting big wads of cash from railroad interests to help fight an election) but they just don’t seem to have sex on the brain as much.

    Even the actual, rare sex scandals are much less sexy. The most famous involved an East German prostitute/spy called Gerda Munsinger.

  29. I take offense to the notion that no Democrat can come from a position of strong morality. Having a liberal viewpoint on social issues such as welfare, abortion, etc, doesn’t preclude one believing in fidelity or living up to contractual agreements one makes, especially with someone they love. And yes, I’d argue that getting married, straight, gay or in between, is nearly always an implied or explicit contract to be faithful to that individual or individuals. I’d also point out that many of the centrist or “moderate” Republicans would be distance themselves from the morality of traditional “conservatives” right quickly, despite the (R) to the right of their names..

  30. I know there aren’t very many high profile female politicians, but can anyone think of a case where one has been caught in this sort of kerfuffle?

    The only one I can think of is Helen Chenoweth, Rep. from Idaho, but she wasn’t caught in the act … her six-year affair was exposed years after it had taken place, and if I read the info correctly, she wasn’t married during the affair although her partner was.

  31. And there’s Edwina Currie — a singularly unappealing British Tory — whose extramarital affair with the equally unsexy John Major many years after the fact, was greeted with a universal chorus of retching and lurchings towards the fainting couch. :)

  32. I’m really starting to think that party politics as we know it now is one of the greatest threats to our civilisations.

    Buggered if I’ve got a better idea, but it’s really showing it’s cracks at the moment.

  33. Agreed that both sides have been guilty. Agreed that the Rs have the overwhelming edge in both numbers and degree of skew. Spitzer deserves an asterisk as a most obvious case of politicly motivated and ginned-up hunt for a hook. Spitzer was an idiot for giving them that hook but it was obvious at the time that he didn’t ‘just happen’ to get busted. The Feds were under orders to find something to get him on.

  34. nathan @ 32

    “A lot of folks seem to be disappointed that he was just having a run-of-the-mill affair with a woman.”

    Color me disappointed. Given the Presidential hopeful mutterings, I was going for a Manchurian Candidate situation. You know, having the Governor kidnapped and brainwashed by evildoers focused on world domination. Brainwashed over the Father’s Day weekend while his wife and kids wondered where he was….

    “The Argentine Candidate”

    Sounds kinda interesting, no?

    Those over 35 should feel free to attempt the novelization.

  35. Nargel @41

    Not so much.

    Spitzer was caught as a sideshow to an investigation into organized crime laundering money. By the time he was caught, he’d already squandered every political relationship he had and he wasn’t worth “getting”. He had become completely ineffectual all on his own.

  36. J.D. Rhoades@39:

    Which might prove nothing other than Edwards’ (now explicable) tolerance for lying your arse off when you screw around. :) Personally, and not wanting to relitigate the whole impeachment circus, I’m one of these cranks for whom being an adulterous, hypocritical douche-nozzle is not an impeachable offence. (That’s a matter for the wronged party to apply the not-at-all loving mallet of marital correction as they see fit.) The nation’s chief law enforcement officer committing perjury? Well…

  37. I’ve never, not once, ever, anywhere, heard a single Democrat say, “Adultery is OK, and everyone should do it.” Not once. Neither have you.

    And, in the end, a Republican involved in a sex scandal with a *woman* is pure, 100%, unadulterated *win* for the Republican party, don’t you think? (And if you think about it, you’ll realize I’m not really kidding. When Palin’s underage daughter turned up pregnant, the Republican base breathed a sign of relief, because it meant she liked boys at least as much as girls.)

  38. nathan@43

    Who else did they manage to get? IIRC he was going after financial and insurance heavyweights at the time. Ineffectual? Uh huh. And of course financial and insurance heavyweights haven’t done anything of note since then.

    Are you going to claim that the previous Administration, whom Spitzer had zinged in the past, was not intrested in spitful, petty revenge and was not trying to politicize all the branches that it could, including DoJ and law enforcement?

  39. My question is ‘why Argentina?’ Can’t people screw around in local motels anymore?

  40. @30 oh but let’s expand on Sanford’s comments re Clinton:

    While serving as a U.S. congressman, Sanford was incredibly critical of his colleagues’ marital misdeeds, including the affairs of former congressman Bob Livingston and President Bill Clinton:

    “The bottom line, though, is I am sure there will be a lot of legalistic explanations pointing out that the president lied under oath. His situation was not under oath. The bottom line, though, is he still lied. He lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. So it’s got to be taken very, very seriously.” [Sanford on Livingston, CNN, 12/18/98]

    “We ought to ask questions…rather than circle the wagons for one of our tribe.” [Sanford on how the GOP reacts to affairs, New York Post, 12/20/98]

    “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally (to resign). I come from the business side. If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” [Sanford on Clinton, The Post and Courier, 9/12/98]

    “The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust. And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.” [Sanford on Clinton, CNN, 2/16/99]

    Sanford has also been an opponent of same-sex marriage, saying in 2004, “As Jenny and I are the parents of four little boys, we’ve always taught our kids that marriage was something between a man and a woman.” [The Post and Courier, 2/11/04]

    From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/06/24/sanford-affair/

  41. Pam @ 50 –

    The truth is, he never left her.

    So don’t cry for him.

    (Obvious answer.)

  42. I wish people were less hypocritical about this.

    Statistics are fairly consistent – In the US, about 50% of all males in monogamous relationships have sex with outsiders, and 40% of females. This remains true at most social and income strata, religious groupings, etc.

    Look around the office – half minus epsilon of the people there either have an agreement with spouse/SO or have cheated.

    Look around this thread – half minus epsilon of the people there here either have an agreement with spouse/SO or have cheated, though the odds that most people here would admit it here are probably low due to the public taboo against it.

    Look at the press conference photos of Sanford – statistically half, ancedotally about 85% of the news people grilling him in those photos either have an agreement with their spouse/SO or cheated (newscritters tend to get around, from the ones I know…).

    The proper answer is not “ZOMG!” It’s “Congratulations if you don’t, but please be honest with your Spouse/SO if you do.”

  43. I don’t think it is hypocritical to mock politicians for wrapping themselves in the monogamy banner and later being caught with their pants down. No one in my office has made great public pronouncements about how important monogamy is, so I don’t think that the question of cheating among them is particularly relevant.

    The issue isn’t that Sanford cheated. The issue with Sanford (as with Ensign and to a lesser extend Edwards) is that he loudly attacked others for cheating while secretly doing so himself. (Spitzer is a slightly different case…the hypocrisy there was getting caught with a prostitute after basing a career attacking vice crimes.)

  44. Somewhere in West Chester County, NY, Bill Clinton is laughing hysterically. “Go ahead, Mark. Tell ‘em what your definition of ‘is’ is.”

  45. I don’t think it is hypocritical to mock politicians for wrapping themselves in the monogamy banner and later being caught with their pants down.

    Exactly.

    Also, being one of the politicians who claims that same-sex marriage will “turn traditional marriage into a farce” while turning your own marriage into something straight out of Feydeau requires a powerful commitment to sparkle motion cognitive dissonance.

  46. @18: Dave

    Sanford’s wife not being next to him reflects much better on her character and desire not to be used as a prop than it does on his character.

  47. @53 George William Herbert –

    I actually disagree with your prediction for this comment thread. High-profile people like politicians and disseminators of widely consumed media HAVE to express disapproval or be thought weird. But on the internet, if you’ve been guilty, nobody’s watching you if you don’t join the mockage.

  48. You know what made Sanford a dick? Wasting taxpayer money on taking a court case to the state supreme court on whether he could be obligated by his legislature to take money to augment citizen access to unemployment, when their state has one of the highest unemployment percentages. Particularly given that he knew that he would lose. And most particularly because that farce was played out to support a bid three years down the pike for president. That is what makes the guy a dick.

    Whether or not he was boinking some lady other than his wife is completely meaningless. And, by the way, John Edwards is a huge family values guy. He was the clean cut family man who used his spare time to champion the poor. And Spitzer got his rocks off enjoying the vice he made his career prosecuting. So, hypocrisy is a bipartisan effort.

    That said, you know all the Republicans who were waiting to weigh in until they could determine whether he was boinking a lady a or a boy.

    But I am eagerly awaiting the report where he used state money to fly himself to Argentina. That would be delightfully not exotic.

  49. @53 – the issue isn’t the cheating, it’s both talking about the sanctity of marriage (and then cheating) and in some of the cases over the past several years actually supporting legislation that affects peoples’ marriage rights.

    Lawmakers have added power that most of us don’t… If Joe in the office is a huge ‘marriage is sacred’ guy and talks that way in casual conversation but then cheats he’s just a dick. But if Joe is a senator, governor or the like and can not only pontificate and get elected based on his opinions but write and pass laws that support his opinions the cheating is particularly offensive.

  50. It wasn’t about just having extramarital sex. He was clearly in love. Love was a force like gravity in Aristotle’s cosmology, “the force that moves this world and the other stars”.

  51. Thanks for acknowledging this is a “politicians are bastards” story rather than a “conservatives are bastards” story.

  52. [Deleted because "yawn" comments bore me; they're the mark of people who believe they're being clever and arch but are in fact just being a bit of an ass. Want to try something less studied, cliched and posed, Xixi? Be my guest -- JS]

  53. Getting out of the sanctimonious bi-partisan free-for-all for a minute, what’s the female equivalent of “thinking with your dick” be? To be gender neutral, we probably should call it thinking with your erectile organ… but that completely loses the flavor of those 4 letter Anglo-Saxon nouns. “Thinking with your clit” sounds so inconsequential by comparison…

  54. “Thinking with your gonads” would probably suffice for gender-neutral. That said, Sanford (and Spitzer, and Ensign and Edwards, et al), were thinking with their dicks.

  55. George William Herbert writes:

    “Statistics are fairly consistent – In the US, about 50% of all males in monogamous relationships have sex with outsiders, and 40% of females. This remains true at most social and income strata, religious groupings, etc.”

    Do you have a cite for this? I’ve only looked at a bit of the scholarly literature, but the papers I’ve seen generally give infidelity rates somewhere between 10 and 20 percent. (See, e.g., Treas and Giesen’s “Sexual Infidelity Among Married and Cohabiting Americans” in _Journal of Marriage and the Family_, Feb. 2000, which gives a few cumulative metrics of extramarital sex ranging from 10.5% to 15.5%, depending on how it’s counted. The authors indicate that their numbers are in line with other well-controlled large-sample social science surveys.)

    It’s true that you see much higher rates quoted in the popular press fairly frequently, but social scientists don’t seem to take those claimed numbers seriously. (Some of the quoted numbers come from highly suspect methodology, such as self-selected respondents to a Cosmo or Playboy magazine poll; some don’t cite any source at all.)

  56. I’m one of these cranks for whom being an adulterous, hypocritical douche-nozzle is not an impeachable offence.

    Well, that wasn’t what he was impeached for, but it sure was what was used to ratchet up the political heat.

    Bozo, you’re right. It’s even worthy of a thread IMHO. “Thinking below the waist” is too clean to be any fun.

  57. Forget the cheating and hypocrisy. What Sanford did that is unique and outrageous is the fact that he disappeared for 6 (or 5, whatever) days without leaving someone else in charge in his absence. His own Lt. Governor had no idea where he was nor had any way of contacting him. Sanford knew he would not be reachable by his staff, misled them in fact, yet did not transfer the responsibilities of his office to his Lt. Had there been a major emergency in his state, his office would have been effectively useless lacking the authority to make decisions that are the purview of the Governor. IMHO, that is an impeachable offense.

  58. Politicians cheating on spouses is nothing new, but it’s a “bipartisan activity” in the same way that a 97-12 basketball game could be described as a “squeaker”.

  59. @70, how is that the case when any American reasonably well-versed in politics can name at least a dozen from each party?

  60. From Twitter by Joshbhatti —

    Gov. Sanford: marriage should only be between a man, a woman, and another woman from Argentina

  61. Cyan @69 – exactly. The “and the reason he did this dumbfuckery was to go moon over his Argentinian hottie” just made it the hot fudge and cherry on a giant three-decker Stupid Sundae.

    Oh, but let’s not forget the marshmallow sauce, which is that he apparently sent her PG-13 drooly emails FROM HIS OFFICIAL EMAIL.

  62. cyan, mythago, agreed.

    If he had called his staff and told ‘em he was taking a five day vacation after a tough session, and turn the keys over to the Lt. Gov., this whole thing would probably never unraveled.

    As it is, a lot of time and money was wasted in trying to track him down (was there an accident? was there a crime? Neither of which are terribly unlikely). TOTALLY irresponsible.

    Shouldn’t be governor after this; shouldn’t EVER be considered for any elected office higher than dog catcher.

  63. Fodder for Bill Maher. It’s just too bad he won’t be broadcasting live shows for the next two weeks.

  64. I think the tears were priceless. I hope he was crying because he finally realized what an idiot he is.

    I also think that any politician that votes against or argues against gay marriage and then gets caught having an affair has to shut up forever.

  65. No, mythago@ 73, the saucy emails released earlier today originated from Gov. Sanford’s personal email address. (There are reliable sources that confirm that but not at my fingertips, alas).

  66. @gwangung, no, Sanford misled his staff from the beginning with the “hiking the Appalachian trail” story. If the transfer of powers to his Lt. Governor had happened, it had to have occurred before Sanford disappeared, IF Sanford had the foresight to do so. But we know that didn’t happen. An utter failure of responsibility of Sanford’s part, as far as I’m concerned.

    In this scenario, whatever time or money wasted in “searching” for the missing Gov. Sanford does not nearly approach failure of responsibility exhibited by Sanford as Governor of SC in the last few days.

  67. @71: This Canadian reasonably well-versed in politics of the U.S. variety can do that quite easily. But come on, now: Failing to acknowledge that the ratio of D adulterers to R adulterers is FAR below unity would be disingenuous.

    No question, it was scummy for John Edwards to mess around on his sick wife. Did he, however, hold elected office the entire time? He certainly didn’t when he was caught.

    And in light of the facts that Gov. Sanford actually voted for impeachment when he was in Congress and Sen. Ensign actually called on Clinton to resign over Monica, I think it would be a really nice gesture for somebody to send Bill the recipe for Schadenfreude pie.

  68. @79

    How about Gary Hart. He declined to run for the senate again so he could focus on his White House bid in ’88. Which, of course, led to his “follow me around, i don’t care, i’m serious, put a tail on me” speech. Which naturally resulted in his being followed around and ultimately caught out in his active affair.

    And, nevermind that John Edwards was fully aware that his affair would be found out. Or that he trotted his terminally ill wife out to give a speech saying just how much she wanted him to run for office.

    I’m sure we’d all not mind at all if he had won the nomination and was destroyed in the election over the outing of his affair. It would have solved the Iranians current problems, in that puffs of hydrogen over glass don’t really care how their vote was counted.

    Politics requires three things of people (R and D alike): An unscratchable itch for strange; Insatiable cannabalistic desires; and an unnatural urge to sell your soul like a third tier adjustable rate mortgage backed security, piece by rotting piece. [honest, this is quoting a statement from my wife whilst watching the news. the part where she used 'strange' was disturbing]

    And, it’s nice if you talk a lot about god, vague notions of values, or helping people. But, not necessary.

  69. Well, governor Llorona’s pretty interesting and all, but I just gotta say: whatever plan that LOLcat has, dude I am in.

    He’s sitting on top of a friggin’ door, man. I don’t know about you, but I think jumping up seven feet to land on a shaky surface is pretty badass … ninja-cat level nine.

    That balloon doesn’t stand a chance.

  70. People here are talking about “implicit contracts” of monogamy. Yes, that is the standard marriage agreement in this culture: but the actual agreements between people who get married aren’t usually public, whether it’s monogamy or not; whether to have children, when, and how many; career paths (does A get to say “we’re moving for my career” when B likes their current job and home?).

    It doesn’t look as though the Sanfords had any sort of open marriage–but if a politician did, would it be safe for them to admit it? I can say what I like about my relationships, but I know I won’t ever be running for office, nor have a chance of being elected in this society if I were.

  71. @79, CartoonCoyote,

    If you look at Wikipedia’s list of US political scandals and then go down to the sex category, you’ll find that over the last 10 years or so, the Democrats are content to let congressional sex scandals be Republican territory, but they’ve claimed state and local for themselves: Republicans lead the congressional sex scandal list about 17-4, dems lead the state office and big-city mayor scandal list about 14-2. And if you look at it all the way back to 1970, the numbers really even out on the national level.

    You have to take selection bias into account: there’s a much greater number of GOP scandals when there’s a GOP majority, and vice versa (generally speaking)

    Believe me, I find GOP scandals to be a delicious mix of hilarious, hypocritical, and anger-inducing. For sheer entertainment value, I wish there were more of them.

  72. Ah, false equivalence. Democrats and liberals cheat at almost the exact rate that Republicans and conservatives do. Seems like a true equivalence, right? Not so much. One group revels in dictating the morals for one and all, and one fights for the right to make those decisions for oneself. Makes one group hypocrits and one group (as a group) not. Spitzer? Well, he’s the exception that proves the rule.

  73. “The issue isn’t that Sanford cheated. The issue with Sanford… is that he loudly attacked others for cheating while secretly doing so himself.”

    Actually, as a South Carolinian, my issue is that he left the country without appropriate diplomatic arrangements being made, without letting his staff know where he was going, and without arranging any sort of power exchange should some emergency come up while he was partying 5000 miles away.

    I’m just happy to be able to say I never voted for the man.

  74. Vicky @82, it would probably depend on the politician and their district. Presidential candidate? Not likely. State representative from Berkeley or Eugene? I think they’d be OK.

  75. torgeaux@85: There are issues beyond hypocrisy. Here in San Francisco, we have a mayor who slept with his campaign manager’s wife, destroying their marriage. That doesn’t make him a hypocrite…it just makes him an asshole.

  76. Torgeaux @ 85: the OP says “Thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity,” not that being a hypocrite about it is a bipartisan activity. Leave the goalposts where they are.

  77. PJ: Goalpost: “Before people start gloating in the comments about the GOP having a spate of high-profile stupid adulterous politicians,”

    Hit them just fine, thanks.

  78. Vicki (82) — Some people think that the Clintons (whose name has been lavishly invoked on this and other sites) did have an open-marriage agreement, and referred to it (not explicitly, but those who understood . . . etc) on TV before he was elected. I don’t remember the exact occasion, but I heard it and I thought it was pretty unmistakable; I think it was Mrs. Cinton who said whatever it was.

  79. I’m always amazed how these arrogant, inept, I’m above the law, politicians keep getting elected. WTF was he thinking (or not)? This says volumnes about his lack of judgement which is scary considering his position. Tar and feather the man and stick the scarlett letter on his forehead. I hope his wife (ex?) rakes him over the coals and he is delegated to head dog catcher in his state. What a stupid shit!

  80. Steve @88, I’m pretty sure the actual responsibility for destroying that marriage falls on the wife who decided to sleep with Newsom. That said, it’s not like there were many sound alternatives to the current mayor. (Although I am personally in favor of passing a law requiring Chris Daly to serve a term, just for the Schadenfreude of his finding out that he has absolutely no political skills outside of bomb-throwing.)

  81. #92 I don’t think so.

    Recall that when those first few Arkansas women filed sexual harassment lawsuits against their former governor, Hillary support him, saying he would never do such a thing. She blamed a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” trying to bring him down. If they had an open marriage agreement, I don’t think she could have been that clueless.

  82. Democrats cheating are just plain assholes, while Republicans cheating are assholes and hypocrites. It’s that added weight on the scale that sets the GOP scandals apart form the Dems.

  83. My initial reaction to this whole story was schadenfreude and chortling, but after his emails got leaked… I couldn’t, and still can’t, do much but wince for the guy.

    I mean, yeah, sure, rake him over the coals for being a hypocrite or horrifically irresponsible or whatever, but _nobody_ deserves to have their cringingly heartfelt eighth-grade-level mash notes circulated on the Internets like that. The vicarious embarrassment, it melts my brain.

  84. Love that particular lolcat. I have a standing rant, these days, that almost everything that has gone wrong with this country in the last thirty years can be traced to a single bad habit: not having a fall-back plan, not being willing to consider the possibility that things won’t work out the way you want them to. As Mal Reynolds said, “That ain’t gonna happen.” Zoe: “Why not?” Mal: “Because … because it’s not.” (or something to that effect) It just doesn’t seem to be anybody’s job any more to stand behind powerful people and whisper in their ear, “What if you’re wrong?”

    As a matter of principle, I really /don’t/ care who a politician has legal sex with. No, it doesn’t matter what party. No, it doesn’t even matter if they’re an anti-adultery politician caught in adultery, or an anti-gay politician caught on the down-low.

    But I can’t tear my eyes away from the Sanford scandal, because /it just keeps getting funnier./ I mean, I know it probably isn’t funny for Mrs. Sanford (although by now, maybe it is, because it keeps getting more and more ridiculous). But every hour or so for the last four days, another silly detail comes out and I find myself laughing all over again, like when he gave the excuse that he’d gone to Argentina to “drive up and down the coast highway,” and a reporter was able to verify in a couple of minutes that there are no coastal highways in Argentina. Or those godawful emails that look like they were written by someone who’s maybe 15; can you get through any of them with a straight face?

    Have they figured out yet who the people laughing, behind the governor at the press conference, were?

  85. You know, there are Republicans who have survived infidelity disclosures, certainly. Guiliani being foremost. The difference, I think, is the level at which they loudly proclaimed monogamy, and insisted on it for others. Guiliani’s infidelities became news mostly for the misuse of funds, and in this day and age, that’s a lesser sin then hypocrisy.

    mythago@94: I guess it depends on your perspective. I personally think that sleeping with someone who is thereby cheating on their spouse is a assholish thing to do. Not illegal, nor hypocritical, or even a matter of public scrutiny, certainly.

  86. nathan @ 32

    “A lot of folks seem to be disappointed that he was just having a run-of-the-mill affair with a woman.”

    Weekly World News swears she’s really an eastern ridgeback Sasquatch. They even have a picture!

    eviljwinter @ 96

    My brother wants to know why Sanford looks suspiciously like Smilin’ Bob from the Enzyte ads.

    No real answer, but I have heard it said that he turned down stimulus funds becuase he was stimulated enough.

  87. Keith@100:

    I’m going to keep calling bullshit on that fake dis-equivalence. And I’ll call out every time a Democrat makes sure his wife and kids are there for every campaign photo op — and how soon we forget the mockery Howard Dean’s wife got (and how quickly she did a u-turn) when she said she though her patients were slightly more deserving of her time than making cow-eyes at her husband on the campaign trail.

  88. Steve @103 – oh, not letting Newsom off the hook for that by any means. I mean, he slept with his best friend’s wife.

  89. Mythago @ 106 (and Steve @ 103): that’s the phrasing that kept jumping out to me when it was on the radio (I’m across the bay from you) — like “he trespassed on his best friend’s property”. It was actually doing her more of a disservice than considering her responsible for the affair, because it made her a nonperson.

  90. Can I just point out… you’d have to look long and hard to find any women governors or senators, or even mayors or members of state legislature, who do such things.

    Maybe women who are likely to cheat don’t choose to enter public life? Or maybe women who cheat are just more careful about not getting caught. Whatever. Electing women means fewer scandals.

  91. Just referencing one of my favorite blue collar humorists….

    “…sir, and here’s your card.”

  92. On another website it was suggested this would be a great time for some schadenfreude pie (JS was quoted). Now, if we had pie for every sex scandal we would be a) spherical and b) sick of pie, which is a terrible state.

    So, John, may we have some new baked goods? Perhaps some kind of layer cake where the number of layers indicated the level of strange? Standford is one, Spitzer is 2, foot-tapper is 3 and that poor guy who died in his wetsuits would be 2-tiered?

  93. @ Craig Ranapia: guess I’m confused. The chief law enforcement official of the U.S. is the AG. Plus, I’m all for people lying, under oath even, when they’re asked about their sex lives. Now
    “I’m one of these cranks for whom being an adulterous, hypocritical douche-nozzle is not an impeachable offence. (That’s a matter for the wronged party to apply the not-at-all loving mallet of marital correction as they see fit.)”
    I can certainly agree with.

  94. wendynyc @108 – if you end your sentence at the first comma, I think you will see the problem.

  95. ‘Yes, people, thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity.’

    I don’t think ‘bisexual activity’ solves the problem here – because many partisans are simply dickless, even before becoming partisans. I assume you are trying to include women in this, since a number of people don’t accept the idea that sex is an exclusively male province.

  96. There is a very simple reason why disgraced politicians should immediately resign no matter what the offense, or the talent they may possess which could benefit society: in this partisan, acrimonious, political environment in which we currently live, and at this point in time in our nation’s evolution, any elected official needs as much support from his constituency which he or she can gather. After the offense, that support base will undoubtedly diminish, and render their service less effective.

    As for resignation, you might check out this.

  97. “Before people start gloating in the comments about the GOP having a spate of high-profile stupid adulterous politicians, two names for you: John Edwards. Elliot Spitzer. Yes, people, thinking with your dick is a bipartisan activity.”

    Uh John,
    Perhaps it is because the Republicans tout themselves as the party of “F*A*M*I*L*Y* V*A*L*U*E*S*

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