When both of these guys left public office a few years back, like cockroaches who’ll survive nuclear war, I knew we hadn’t seen the last of them. I was right. Former Republican Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina was just elected by a landslide to his old House of Representatives seat and Democrat Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign from Congress, just announced his run for Mayor of NYC.
Well, we know that the people in South Carolina gave back their disgraced Governor his seat in Congress. We don’t know what the people of NYC will do, but kudos to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo who just said if he’s elected, “shame on us.” But, I have so little faith in the American electorate, I wouldn’t be surprised if this little weasel makes his way to Gracie Mansion.
In case you don’t remember, then Gov. Sanford, married at the time with four children, was carrying on an affair with Argentinean Maria Belen Chapur. In 2009, he told his staff he would be hiking the Appalachian Trial and would not be taking any phone calls; instead, he went to Argentina to carry on with Miss Chapur and remained in communicado for four days. When he was spotted by a reporter getting off a plane in Atlanta from Argentina, he knew the you-know- what hit the fan and ‘fessed up. His wife divorced him and he’s now engaged to his “soul mate.” He survived impeachment proceedings and left office in 2011 with a 55% approval rating. Go figure.
Back in New York, then Congressman Anthony Weiner, a married man with a pregnant wife, kept himself busy on Twitter by sending photos of his crotch to women. Even though they were sent on his own account, he lied over and over again, saying his account had been hacked, and even vehemently denied they were of his own body parts. Eventually, he ‘fessed up, stayed married, but was forced to resign from Congress. Now, he’s back, and just announced his run for Mayor.
I don’t get either of these jerks and I don’t get the people of South Carolina who voted for Mark Sanford. I’ll hold off on New Yorkers until the election but it’s mind-boggling how either of these guys can even show their face in public.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, today, there is no such thing as “shame.” People, and particular public figures, think and know they can do just about anything and still maintain their standing in the community. Although we haven’t heard much about Mel Gibson lately, the likes of Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Bill Clinton, and now Sanford continue to enjoy successful careers despite their actions.
When I’ve discussed Bill Clinton with friends, some would say, “well, it was his private life” and I’m sure some will say the same thing again about Sanford and Weiner. Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not about your private or public life, it’s about a character defect; it’s about lying, a lack of ethics as well as poor judgment.
How can the public trust someone when they have a track record of lying and deception? How does a Governor exercise good judgment when he traipses off to Argentina for a roll in the hay with his “soul mate” and, worse yet, no one in his administration knows where he is? He could’ve been anywhere; he could’ve been kidnapped and held for ransom or killed. I wonder how much public money was used during that four-day period trying to track him down?
We’ve all made poor judgments and made bad choices and mistakes in our lives. No one is perfect. But, for most of us, our judgments and choices don’t potentially affect millions of people. If we can’t trust someone to make sound judgments in their private life, how can we expect them to make a sound judgment when it comes to their public decisions? If they’re willing to deceive the women to whom they’ve made a most sacred vow and to whom they owe fidelity, commitment and trust, we, as the public, don’t stand a chance.
I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com