The frenzy over the love affair of married South Carolina governor Mark Sanford reached fever pitch with the media portraying the story as another death knell for the Republican party. Along with the admitted sexual affair of another Republican who was considered to be a potential 2012 presidential candidate – US senator John Ensign of Nevada – people may be wondering: What has happened to the party of Ronald Reagan?
Yet Ronald Reagan himself was divorced from his first wife.
It important to look at these cases in context:
*First, we must consider that not every male politician is to blame for his woes. Many of them are married to females who drive them away – the Witches and Bitches Theory. Sanford‘s wife may not have been a very good person. There may have been unhappiness in their household. Who knows the real story? Maybe Sanford was just a scoundrel. That Sanford had four sons was very troubling. But then again, many people have divorced when children are involved. It often is a case of simple incompatibility.
Just try to imagine Bill Clinton married to Hillary. No wonder he spent so much time philandering. Behind the scenes she is said to be a Super Witch.
In the end, males are not always to blame for sexual misconduct. Females often drive them to it, or lure them into it. Just consider the radical and obnoxious nature of much of today’s feminist thinking.
*Second, this has always happened and always will. Sex is tempting. And while conservatives have been caught in such scandals, the ‘big picture’ is that liberals do a heck of a lot more of it than conservatives but that the media cover it up or make it appear equal. They covered up big time for JFK and his brother RFK, both of whom are suspected of being involved in Marilyn Monroe’s death, and many other very serious scandals relating to sex.
*Third, what about gratuitous cheating versus real emotional need? People do simply fall out of love, or are not well served by their mates. This affects everyone – conservative, Democrat, Republican, independent. But gratuitous adultery seems to be a specialty of people like Bill Clinton. JFK had so many sex partners that our nation indeed was endangered by him. Who knows how compromised he really was and how much his behavior threatened the nation.
A “sex” scandal is different from a situation where a politician leaves his wife for someone else.
*Fourth, we need to see if it is serial behavior or a one-time thing. Everyone should get a break here and there. US senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, got caught in a prostitution scandal. He hasn’t appeared to have repeated that. Rush Limbaugh got hooked on prescription pain killers after a back problem, but he kicked the bad habit and is fine. George Bush was an alcoholic, but straightened himself out.
On the other hand, really bad behavior by a Democrat is excused outright. Ted Kennedy drowned Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969 and tried to cover it up in the most insidious way possible. He still serves in the US Senate. Yet Republican US senator Bob Packwood of Oregon was run out of office for making drunken passes at female staffers.
In another incident Republican US congressman Mark Foley of Florida resigned in 2006 after it was discovered that he had sent suggestive homosexual e-mail messages to congressional interns. But Democrat congressman Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was only censured by the House of Representatives in 1983 for having had an actual consensual sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male page – a minor!! – in 1973. Studds was re-elected until he retired in 1997.
*Fifth, what are the further effects of the behavior? Is it leading to abortions that the politician says he opposes? Are multiple affairs being covered up? Is it an ongoing behavior that reaches into other areas and affects other people? Is it abusive toward others, as John F. Kennedy’s many affairs were said to be completely abusive of the females involved, spreading sexually-transmitted diseases and causing unwanted pregnancies?
*Sixth – and this is a crucial point – what is the effect of their behavior on public policy? If the behavior does not affect policy, then it is significantly less damaging than behavior that does. Think of Bill Clinton screwing around with Monica Lewinsky and others during the very same years that the 9/11 terrorists were infiltrating into the country, taking flying lessons, obtaining drivers’ licenses, communicating through the internet etc. That is why Clinton got into such a panic after 9/11. Because his behavior was exposed as completely negligent.
John F. Kennedy was said to have engaged sexually with an East German communist spy while he was president. What national security secrets did he betray to her? What blackmail was leveraged against Kennedy as a result? What were the big implications of the affair? We will never know because the media have covered it up. It may have been devastating for America, infinitely more harmful than anything Sanford or Ensign did. It makes Ronald Reagan’s divorce look like child’s play.
*Seventh – and this is really significant – what are the actual policies of the offender? This is most relevant because today Obama is being regarded as the model of family values. And he is personally. But what are the actual policies that he supports?
We know he supports unlimited access to abortion. We know that he supports endless government support payments for single mothers which encourages promiscuous sex, family breakdown and other bad behaviors. We know that the Democrat culture of ‘anything goes’, promoted through the media, long has undercut the moral and cultural fabric of our society and cost us dearly financially.
So if a very good and devoted husband and father were president but his policies supported family breakdown, what good is his personal virtue? If the economy fails to recover under Obama or we have another terrorist attack, Americans will want someone else in the White House. Even somebody who is divorced but effective will be better for the nation than someone who is married and incompetent. Rudy Giuliani has a checkered past (he is on his third marriage) but would be a much better president than Obama.
*Eighth, it is important that there come some redemptive result from such scandals. With Bill Clinton’s philandering and the result of 9/11, there was no redemption. But George Bush stopped his drinking and became president and led us through the aftermath of 9/11.
This does not excuse the Republicans who have engaged in bad activity. They should elevate themselves above the bad behavior reserved primarily for Democrats.
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