Why I’m angry at Mark Sanford
Like the stages of grief associated with the death of a loved one, I’ve gone through several levels of discombobulation with South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. I skipped Disbelief, moved onto Seriously?, and swam a bit in Oh Give Me a Freaking Break. I’m finally on Anger and I realized why today.
It’s not that he made me like him lo this many years ago, with his off-handed quirky style, his run-on sentences, and his devil-may-care sartorial decisions.
It’s not that he ran as a maverick fiscal conservative who vowed to clamp down on government waste but still saw fit to fly business class to China because other government officials have in the past and it would be bad to be tired when he got China for meetings–this coming from the man who was legendary for sleeping in his D.C. office as a Congressman rather than pay for a flat there.
It’s not that he cheated on Jenny, because even though it was beyond-the-pale-stupid, we have sort of come to expect our elected officials to trip over their zippers and fall crotch-first into a mistress.
It’s not that his colossal misunderstanding of the reality of the situation has once again put this fine state on the map as a place where heartless, dense, corrupt, disrespectful people live–and that was before Congressman Joe Wilson gave him a weekend without bad press.
It’s not that he has gone on the Mark Sanford Apology Tour and added fuel to the fire each time he appeared in front of a camera, because it’s become pretty clear he has some form of mental illness and it’s not right to be angry at people for something they can’t control.
It’s not that he has again paved the way for someone we don’t want to take over for him following his leaving office, and in the very near future I’m going to be looking at a Governor Bauer, Governor McMaster, or someone elected by the people in the video below (especially the lady who says she supports the Constitution and then looks off camera like ‘You think I snowed’em?’).
No, it’s none of those reasons.
No, I am angry at Mark Sanford because I can no longer look my wife in the eye and tell her I want to go hike the Appalachian Trail.
Let’s be clear. I have no need nor nor desire to bury myself in an Argentinian lover. My wife is too good to me and puts up with more than her fair share of ridiculousness. That said, I’ve recently been in a bit of a mood that has made me say, “I really just need to get away for a bit–free from responsibility, free from a fairly oppressive sense of impending failure.” (And don’t start giving me grief because I have a perfect life, because I know I have a perfect life and I’m not trying to escape it, thank you very much).
I drove around for a bit today and wondered where I would go. Argentina seemed like sort of a bad suggestion, as did anywhere I might normally take my wife (the islands, New Orleans, etc).
Then it hit me. A weekend on the Appalachian Trail. Just me, a pack, a couple books, and…Mark Sanford.
That’s why I’m angry with you, Governor. In the end, I probably just would’ve manned up and not gone anywhere, but you turned a perfectly reasonable suggestion for a getaway into a synonym for slipping it to a South American.
And that, sir, will be your legacy.