Argentine fact shows Sanford story was never a non-story [updated]

[update – June 24, 2009]

I was wrong in my initial conclusion that the Drive-by media was doing a hit job on the first Republican I ever voted for. It is now clear to me that South Carolina’s Governor was reckless in the conduct of his office. I initially relied upon the seeming contradiction between “missing” headlines and this statement in the body of the stories about Mark Sanford’s whereabouts:

His communications director, Joel Sawyer, wouldn’t disclose Sanford’s location but said that before the governor left town last week “he let staff know his whereabouts and that he’d be difficult to reach.”

Given Governor Sanford’s admission yesterday that he has been in Argentina together with statements from his staff that he was on the Appalachian Trail, it is clear that Sanford was not in sufficient communication with his staff so as to be diligent in the conduct of the responsibilities of his office.

I suspect the reporters of the initial story could tell by the body language of Sanford’s aides that they were lying.

I have no problem with a governor getting away from it all, but he must stay in touch with the situation in his state. An astute political observer assured me early on that she was sure he had a second cell phone in another name for this purpose. I agree, but it is obvious that he didn’t utilize any sufficient communication medium for at least 48-72 hours, or he was aware of the controversy and decided to let it continue.

That may have been ok, by itself. After all, if he is aware of the fact that no hurricane has hit the state nor that any other emergency event has occurred, then he knows that he can at any time, appear on the scene. But when your staff is lying to cover for you, then the situation is unacceptable.

I draw no conclusions about his marital/family situation, but would only say that the same rule I applied to Bill Clinton applies to Sanford. That rule is that it is not acceptable for executive office holders to put themselves in a position to be blackmailed.

For years, I considered Sanford a bit of a flake with his Ron Paul-like voting record as a congressman and pig battles with big government state legislators in his own party. And, yes he is a flake. But that does not disqualify, and I actually admire his flakiness, even his daring to have a private life and not let the press lead him around by the nose. I had come, as you will see below in my original story from a few days ago, that he has won me over on his political positions on the stimulus and more.

But the position he put his staff in could well disqualify him from a credible presidential campaign even if, as is likely, he has learned a valuable lesson that he would never violate again.

[end update]

The only thing “missing” is the credibility of the leftist myth that we can’t function as a people without Big Brother government monitoring our every move 24/7 365.

Hence, the Drive-by media’s breathless non-story, aided and abetted by Democrats and big government Republican political opponents, to try and discredit him as “missing” for four days even though the press “reports” that he was missing, included the following:

His communications director, Joel Sawyer, wouldn’t disclose Sanford’s location but said that before the governor left town last week “he let staff know his whereabouts and that he’d be difficult to reach.”

What are “staff”, trees in the forest that can’t hear a fellow tree fall?

Never thought Foghorn Leghorn would have to translate the word spelled m*i*s*s*i*n*g, but here goes:

Alert to AP, The (Columbia) State newspaper and Politico, just so you know: I am in my personal residence.

There are no witnesses here, but I did tell my paralegal I was going home when last I saw him at 1400 hours.

Feels better knowing that I will not be considered missing and hence, presumed “crazy” since Jonathan Martin can confirm my whereabouts.

But then, I am a conservative…and so could one day be subject to smear campaigns if I dared to act on my conservative beliefs in public office as South Carolina’s governor has dared to do:

Seems like everybody’s sore at S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford these days.

And for good reason – he talks like a crazy man.

Sanford says he doesn’t want to pour money on a fire.

Which is crazy talk. After all, it’s free money. Straight from Washington.

As part of the recovery plan, federal stimuluteers earmarked $700 million for S.C. education. Sanford balked.

Sanford says things like, when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

Which is crazy talk. After all, who cares how deep it gets?

Mark Washburn of The Charlotte Observer gets who is really crazy, as he continues:

But he said more than 10 percent of S.C. taxpayer money goes to debt service. If he took the $700 million, he said, he’d rather spend it on paying down the principal.

Sanford says things like, we ought to put some hay in the barn like farmers do, knowing winter is coming.

Which is crazy talk. After all, winter is far away. And the problem is here now.

Washington, wise in its ways, said take the money. But give it to schools, now.

But he argued that taking the money would just cause more problems. South Carolina would spend the cash over the next two years, then be left with a huge hole in its budget when the windfall ran out.

Sanford says things like, I don’t want to just kick the can down the road for someone else to deal with.

Which is crazy talk. After all, he’d be out of office by then.

Folks went to court and got an order telling him to take the money. After all, they said, we must think of the children. We must pay for education.

Sanford says things like, it will be those children who will pay the money back.

Which is crazy talk. After all, we’ve been sticking our kids with the bill for years. That’s how it works.

Sanford was one of those politicians who said when he was running that he’d be an agent for effective but efficient government. He said he’d make the hard decisions when they came along. He said he’d do the right thing, even if it was unpopular.

Which, as it turns out, isn’t crazy talk.

Which, as it turns out, is exactly what he did.

So, hop in governor. Traffic is pretty light on that road you want to go down. And even though there’s plenty of room in the car, I happen to like where you’re headed.

Gamecock likes where Sanford is headed, too.

Call me crazy, but it seems that what the fears that Sanford could lead a movement that would a lot of big government nanny-state jobs missing from future budgets.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.