Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Friday, July 3, 2009

What Are They Putting In The Water At The Republican Governor's Association?

Seriously? I'm not sure which is more confusing and unexpected, the Sanford fiasco or the Palin retreat.

First off, Sanford. I haven't posted anything since his bombshell (other than the unfortunately-titled post defending him when we still thought he was off taking a hike). I've always liked the guy as a politician, and it was disappointing to see him and his family so publicly embarrassed. Besides, I'm not of the opinion that every sexual event in a politician's life is our business. While I'd like to believe that there is a direct link between personal ethics and professional fitness for office, it doesn't seem to be universally true. I think we'd be much healthier as a country if we all acknowledged that men who fail in their commitments as a husband should only be required to grovel to their families, not the public.

But then things got weird. Governor Sanford's inability to keep his mouth shut, and seeming determination to humiliate his wife while depicting himself as some sort of tragic figure is weird and mildly unsettling. My only explanation for his conduct is that he is so wrapped up in his feelings for this woman that he truly sees this situation as something out of Romeo and Juliet, and has no clue about the damage he must be doing to his wife and sons. Meanwhile, Mrs Sanford has been nothing short of saintly in her actions and public comments. Here's hoping that the governor of South Carolina will soon remember that he's a man, and more importantly a conservative man. Suck it up, quit baring your muddled soul to anyone with a press pass, tell your girlfriend to take a hike, and stop feeling sorry for yourself!

As for Sarah Palin, I think everyone is at a loss. Of the sane explanations, the choices seem to be: 1. this is some sort of strategy to better launch a senatorial/presidential run, 2. some huge scandalous bombshell is about to drop, 3. the constant ridicule of her family, the spurious ethics complaints, and the frenetic life of a governor are taking their toll.

Number one makes no sense in any way I can imagine. I can see her not running for re-election, but quitting mid-term? Why? Can she really think letting down the people of Alaska is a good strategy for building up the necessary reputation to run for president? As it stands right now, unless she releases more information that sheds a whole lot of light on this decision, I wouldn't vote for her to be my town's dog catcher.

As for number two, I doubt it is the case, but unexpectedly resigning and offering only vague reasons for doing so isn't exactly the best way to quell that sort of talk, is it?

If the reason is number three, my feelings are more mixed. I have tons of sympathy for how hard the last year must have been on her family. Creeps like Letterman who attack her family deserve some alone time in a locked room with the "First Dude". The ethics complaints (all of which have been resolved in her favor) have cost tons and tons of money and time. However, having said all of that, my final thought is still to say, "Suck it up!" Yeah, it stinks to be a polarizing national figure faced with a hostile press. But you chose to be one. It doesn't give you the right to spurn your commitments.

Ok, now that I've got all of that off of my chest, everyone, please join me in a prayer for Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, and Mitch Daniels.