Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Day, Another Scandal

Once more we are treated to the sight of one of our august elected officials acting like a lovesick teenager and completely betraying the trust of their constituents and the integrity of their own ideas by getting caught in a tacky, tawdry extra-marital affair. South Carolina governor Mark Sanford apparently woke up the other morning and decided he could not get through the day without hopping on an international flight down to Buenos Aires to see his squeeze-on-the-side Maria Something-Or-Other. Telling no one where he was going or when he would be back, Sanford blithely turned his back on his family and his responsibilities of his leadership position and just left, forcing his staff to sound like totally clueless idiots by making them serve up some drivel about him "hiking the Appalachian Trail" to "get away for a while." When he was busted by a reporter getting off a plane in Atlanta he knew he had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and a seedy, blubbering, squirm-inducing, public apology was next on the list of terminal embarrassments that are in his immediate future.

Sanford, who was also the head of the Republican Governors' Association (a terrorist organization if I ever heard of one) was being groomed for a possible presidential bid in 2012. I'm thinking he should look into a local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise instead. Other Republican governors who are also likely presidential contenders are the eternally loathsome Alaska governor Sarah Palin (Tammy Tundra), Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty (Snoooooze), Mississippi's Haley Barbour (any guy named "Haley" is automatically disqualified) and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (HAHAHAHA! I'm so sure!).

Politicians acting like swine in the middle of their spring rut is nothing new; in fact it happens all the time. Eliot Spitzer resigned the governorship of New York after he was discovered engaging the services of a high-priced hooker. The country was treated to the double spectacle of his rubbery face and beady, shifty eyes as he tiptoed around his behavior, and also his wife standing by his side, looking like she just wanted the earth to open up and swallow her. Her embarrassment and mortification were epic, and an acknowledgment that her marriage was a complete sham. Then a while ago there was Governor Jim McGreavy of New Jersey who had a same-sex dalliance with some guy from Israel and the nation was treated to the TMI details of that little snogfest. Just last week, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, another potential Republican presidential contender in 2012, announced he had an affair and resigned from the Senate leadership. At least he had the good grace to resign, something which is apparently lost on Sanford.

And then there's the classic case of Idaho Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, who got caught toe-tapping for a little male companionship in an airport restroom. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Craig adamantly denied his guilt and shrilly declared his heterosexuality, which turned more stomachs across this country than the latest salmonella scare. His wife looked so pathetic standing by his side, but she obviously had neither the mental capacity nor the worldly experience to even dimly understand what was going on.

Democrats get caught with their pants down almost as much as Republicans, but when it happens to a Republican it is especially gratifying, because they are the party of social conservatism and family values. They are constantly bellowing about how those godless liberals and gay people are destroying the family and the sanctity of marriage. It seems to me that these Republican man-sluts are doing more to destroy the sanctity of marriage and respect for the family than all the gay and lesbian couples across the country who are in committed relationships and only want those relationships recognized and validated like those of every other tax-paying, native-born citizen.

Sanford was a darling of the Republican right for at least initially turning down economic stimulus money for his state and also for his socially conservative views, but I guess that was all for show because he obviously has no respect for his vows of matrimony and his family. And many Republicans have all their fake piety and sanctimonious bullshit on display as they listen to Sanford's rambling, disjointed confession and say, oh he has sinned, he's a human being, let's all forgive him. Where is this magnanimity when it comes to accepting people with different lifestyles and political views? Where is this open and loving spirit when they gleefully rejoice over the cowardly, cold-blooded murder of an abortion provider? Where is this gentle, forgiving spirit when they spend millions of dollars to pass discriminatory amendments to state constitutions?

All this is very indicative of the rot and hatefulness which is at the core of the Republican party. One thing all Republicans seem to have in common, and indeed seems to be a genetic prerequisite for party membership, is their towering, unbelievable and monumental hypocrisy. Their mantra apparently is, "Do as I say, not as I do." They impose standards of morality and personal conduct on every citizen of this country and then see nothing wrong when they choose to violate those standards themselves. For a fellow Republican it's always all sweet forgiveness and grace; for everyone else, it is loathing and disdain for their lack of moral character and respect for religion.

Hypocrisy really does find its highest, truest expression in the Republican party. And you can bet your butt I'm going to wallow in all this delicious schadenfreude at the expense of the Republican party for as long as possible. I suggest you do, too, because it's great fun and they so deserve it.

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