SC Governor Mark Sanford will be in my town today, speaking at a Ryans restaurant that we frequent. He is scheduled to speak on ethics which ought to be rich. I wish I could go.
The drama with out governor continues. He seems to be defending himself with the “Cheney Tactic.” As people criticize him and ask for him to step down, he claims they have a political agenda so that makes all charges ignorable. Umm, Governor? You are a politician as are all of the legislators. If they didn’t have political agendas they should be drummed out of office. It’s the only reason to be there.
Here is my take. I do not give a damn about Sanford’s personal life, the state of his marriage, his infidelities or any of that. Frankly, I wish I could un-know most of what I’ve heard about it. Here’s what I care about: in a coastal southern state during hurricane season, he left the country while telling his staff he was in the country. I consider that by itself to be a dereliction of duty sufficient to warrant the resignation, and failing his resignation an impeachment proceeding.
These are not academic concerns. If you think back to August 2005, part of the federal government defense for their miserable handling of the Katrina aftermath was that they weren’t getting the proper requests from the Louisiana governor. When disaster strikes, the governor needs to be on top of it. Our governor wasn’t around, had lied about his whereabouts and the lieutenant governor had not been handed authority. Had something happened, the crucial first hours would have been spent trying to figure out who was in charge, where the governor was, and what to do. Sanford lied about the commission of his duties of governor. If that is not an impeachable offense, what is?
Sanford made his choice when he put his personal life above that of his constituents in the state of South Carolina. If he felt he had to do that, then he had to do that. Now it is time to pay the price for that. Conservatives love to talk about personal responsibility. It’s time for Sanford to take some for his actions, step down and put the governance of this state in the hands of someone with different priorities.
When Andre Bauer made his deal this week (any deal that involves Bauer not running for governor is a good one), Sanford declined to resign. At this point, that’s his way of saying “I’m not going to do this the easy way.” I believe it is time for the impeachment proceedings. Ample opportunity has been given for clean alternatives, Sanford declined, now on to the messy stuff.
So when I say that Sanford speaking on ethics down the street from my house is a rich one and I wish I could attend, I really really mean it.
PS – I wonder if Rod Blagojevich sent Sanford a thank you card when this story broke?