Sanford and Sin

Below is a portion of my weekly column in the Telegraph:

When the story broke that the governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, had disappeared, I was willing to lend a hand to help neutralize the story. What a line of bull he fed and lived in.

I am convinced the default behavior for politicians is unchaste. A friend points out it is the default for everyone. We live in a fallen world and we ourselves are fallen. I am disappointed in Sanford and sorry for his family.

I have noticed in the past years Democrats and Republicans elevate politicians to an insular level of no accountability. There is no support group, no group of friends, and no authority that can guide, admonish and correct politicians privately.

I have a good, dependable group of friends in a Bible Study who I surround myself with. They keep me humble, distracted as needed, and grounded as best they can. Sanford probably has none of that. I am sure John Edwards did not. Nor Bill Clinton. Nor John Ensign.

To be sure, Sanford and Ensign are in the same “Bible Study,” but anyone how knows about the C Street Group understands it is not what it purports to be.

Sanford is known as a fiscal conservative, not a social conservative. In the hours after his press conference, liberal pundits raced to the nearest keyboard and microphone to declare Sanford the second coming of James Dobson and a typical hypocritical social conservative. In their zeal to score points, they portrayed Sanford as someone he is not. They could have wounded the fiscal conservative movement that will ultimately undermine the president’s abilities to push his agenda. They, like Sanford, failed.

It is also worth pointing out that in Sanford’s absence, the state of South Carolina did not crumble and the government did not collapse. That is a feature, not a bug.

What Sanford did was wrong. He must rehabilitate himself. Blessed is the Lord who brings forth bread from heaven, water from rocks and men like Sanford from the dust of the earth. His will be done. Who knows what God has in store for Sanford.

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Erick Erickson

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