Lord, spare us Mark Sanford

We have been remiss in failing to beseech the support of South Carolina’s First District voters for former Charles County councilor and decorated Marine Corps vet Curtis Bostic in today’s primary to nominate the Republican candidate to replace Tim Scott. According to the Washington Post, Sanford is the clear front-runner to defeat Bostic in what is expected to be a low-turnout affair (no pun intended).

Sanford is of course the former governor who professed to be out hiking the Appalachian Trail at the time he went missing in June 2009. Instead, as we learned, he was meeting up with his Argentinian soul mate in Buenos Aires. In the event, he earned a legislative censure. He was spared impeachment in part by Democratic legislators who wanted him to continue to provide the face of the Republican Party while serving out his term.

If he ever gets around to writing his memoirs, the obvious title, referring to his disappearance, is Six Days in June. Writing his memoirs and working the Oprah circuit is in fact what Sanford should be doing. He has mastered the therapeutic psychobabble that comes with a Christian overlay speaking of forgiveness. In one television ad, for example, Sanford avows that he has “experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes — but in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it.”

Lord, give us a second chance. Spare us Mark Sanford.

Sanford is on a journey of discovery, but on Sanford’s journey we will discover more about ourselves than about about him. We have already discovered more about him than we ever wanted to know.

Robert Stacy McCain quotes Sanford in debate last week with Bostic: “I failed. I failed very publicly,” Sanford said during the debate, referring to “the events of 2009” as he pleaded that “because you have had failure in your personal life” it does not mean “that you cannot step back into life again.” Life is in this case a synonym for electoral politics. And we can only say, if true, unfortunately.

If he prevails in today’s primary, Sanford will face Stephen Colbert’s sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in a special election to be held May 7. If faced with the choice, I would vote for Sanford over Busch, but I would resent Sanford like hell for putting me to the test.


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