Monday, June 29, 2009

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham: "Gov. Sanford Should Have A 2nd Chance"

MR. GREGORY: ...of South Carolina. Governor Mark Sanford disappeared for five days then announced that, in fact, he'd had a mistress, he was visiting a mistress in Argentina. He misled his staff, he misled the voters. Should he resign?

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, the first thing, I'm the godfather of Mark and Jenny's youngest child, so I'm just going to put that on the table. My main focus right now is can this marriage be saved? Can these kids have a mom and dad to guide them through life? That is my main focus. I think if Mark can reconcile with Jenny, and that's not going to be easy, that he can finish his last 18 months. He's had a good reform agenda. And I do believe that if, if he can reconcile with his family and if he's willing to try, that the people of South Carolina would be willing to give him a second chance. But he's also got to reconcile the legislature. If he can get his family back together, I think he can continue out his term and maybe do some good things next year.
The hypocrisy Lindsey is indulging in here is quite breathtaking. Both he and Sanford voted to impeach Clinton because he lied about an affair, so why should Sanford be given "a second chance" and be treated differently from the way that both Lyndsey and Sanford voted to treat a public person who behaved in such a fashion?

I suppose the main reason Lyndsey thinks that Sanford deserves "a second chance" is because Sanford is a Republican, although he actually has the nerve to use the Clinton impeachment as an example of why Sanford should be forgiven:

In a curious example, Graham noted that former president Clinton was discovered to have had an affair while in office, yet his approval rating remained high among Americans because of his job performance, Graham noted.

“Bill Clinton had his problems. People looked at his job performance, they looked at his personal failings and they said, ‘You know what, we’re going to put one over here and the other over there,’ ” Graham said. “That’s no justification for what Mark did, but I think the people of South Carolina appreciate what Mark tried to do as governor to change their state.”

Graham voted to impeach Clinton, though he said Sunday that vote was based on his perceptions that Clinton had obstructed justice – not because he had had an affair.

Graham also mentioned a surprising antidote to the current spate of politicians behaving badly: President Obama. Going so far as to call him a role model as a good parent, Graham added: “Obama has done a lot of good in the area of family.”

People have affairs and behave badly - and that doesn't necessarily mean that they are unfit for the office which they hold - but that's not what the "party of morals" have ever argued before. That's the argument which progressives have made, which the Republicans have previously scorned.

So, I'm glad to see Lyndsey being more adult about this, but I can't help thinking that, if it was a Democrat caught with his pants down, he'd be spouting the same old rubbish Republicans always spout on this issue and making the very opposite argument to the one he is now making.

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