Earlier today, I tried working on a post on Obama, gay bloggers and DADT. But, for some reason, I couldn’t think to string words together to make a coherent and thoughtful sentence, so I decided to take the afternoon off from blogging. (I do hope to get that up before I go to bed tonight, but we’ll see.)
As I’m working on two pieces (which pay) for other websites, I may not be able to devote as much attention to this blog as I’d like until later in the afternoon Thursday, early evening GayPatriot blog time. I had intended to blog on writing and compassion–how today’s difficulty writing filled me with compassion for others. It seems sometimes that when we do show kindness to others, it is not so much our own nobility as our own consciousness of the difficulties we face.
Those of you who have read George Eliot may suspect that I’ve been reading some of her books lately as the above idea is akin to much that she has said. And you’d be right; as yesterday’s post suggests, I’ve been re-reading Scenes of Clerical Life.
When, after taking my break and finding the words for that post, I was checking the web and learned about South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s latest travails, I wondered at how news breaks on days when I’m not following it. And yes, I do have some sympathy for the Governor, understanding the pressures he’s faced in standing up for principle, against a spendthrift legislature controlled by his own party and against a tenacious White House, trying to force him to take “stimulus” cash.
All that said, he should have known better. He was wrong to violate his marital vows. And he should have realized that when you’re a public figure, particularly in the age of a multi-source news media, people are going to find out.
It’s particularly disappointing to see such a principled conservative suffer such a public embarrassment. Unlike Senator Ensign, he was truly someone Republicans could turn to as a plausible presidential candidate. It was so nice to have a Governor we could point to who had held the line of spending and could articulate the conservative message with reasonable fluency.
But, now we can no longer turn to him. He acted badly and apologized accordingly. He remains a good Governor, but his latest indiscretion may tarnish (hopefully only momentarily) conservatism.
His trip to Argentina cost him more than the good will of citizens of the Palmetto State, fiscal conservatives and rank-and-file Republicans. It deprived me of a position of leadership in the GOP as he seeks to restore the principles which have guided his Administration. He is no longer a credible candidate for President of the United States nor can he even imagine being tapped as the next nominee’s running mate.
Actions have consequences. And Governor Sanford will surely suffer for his indiscretions. As will conservatives who considered turning to him as a future leader of our party.
ADDENDUM on writing. Earlier today, I struggled to write a single sentence. But, tonight, the words for this post just flowed from my fingers. I guess the lesson is sometimes we just need to take a break and not think about politics. And writing.