To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, July 22, 2024


Saccharin Sanford



I went on vacation and another “family values” Repub, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, goes off the deep end.

Mrs. Sanford says what he did was inexcusable, but she is going to forgive him. I might be inclined to forgive him for his transgressions, but forgiving him for all the love sick excuses he is coming up with is a completely different matter.

While in Congress he was so fiscally responsible that he slept in his office to save money for the rest of us. They used to say he was so unaffected by the opposite sex, other than his wife, that they said he was “asexual.” He said that Bill Clinton should resign because he lied and that meant he was untrustworthy. The governor is proven to be a liar every time he opens his mouth, but still thinks he is trustworthy.

He is 49 and sounds like a 14-year-old girl in the throes of her first love. He is really in touch with his female side. The e-mail about her standing holding her assets that he can’t touch is too much. I have had to catch up and haven’t seen or heard what all the comics have said, but I’ll bet they had a field day. The woman taking over for Rachel Maddow says he fell out of the love tree and hit every branch on the way down.

He finally admitted to a “handful of instances,” while letting off steam where he did stupid things, but didn’t cross the ultimate line. He talks about meeting, then dancing and then going where he shouldn’t have gone, where no married man should go. I was always told about what dancing would lead to.

So where did he go and I am guessing the ultimate line is the one from 3rd base to home plate. He fumbled on the five and didn’t make a touchdown. His lay-up was blocked. Was that a “handful of instances” or instances of a handful? Is this another instance of a new definition for “sexual relations?”

Eight years ago he saw her across a crowded open-air dance-floor. He glided to her side and she told him her marriage was on the rocks and he gave her the “God wants you together thing.” It was wonderful and there was some sort of connection he can’t explain. Then they became secret e-mail pals.

So far every thing he has said seems like code designed to let the mistress know where his heart is and there is not much there for his wife.

In 2004 she just happened to be at the Republican National Convention in New York and it was like “catching up with a great old friend.”

His feelings for her are still there and they are still real. Then he lapses into something the female lead in a sappy love movie would say, “I remember there was an older couple sitting to our right, and I remember them watching us, in the way we interacted. They could see a spark, or, I don’t know what you’d call it, there was something there.” Mark was 44 and Maria was 39; how old was this couple? The young folks are so cute. He talks about sparks and all that sparking.

There was “some level, something, something, I could never put my hands on was there.” He says “he did stupid” and now he is saying stupid over and over again. “So anyway without wandering into that field we’ll just say that I let my guard down in all senses of the word without ever crossing the line that I crossed with this situation.”

It is the difference between his left brain and right brain, he says. “One was about these different concrete things I’ve been working on. And the other, the other is tied to [long pause] the pursuit of happiness. Whatever that is.”

OMG, his marriage is the concrete? If you are pursuing happiness doesn’t that mean you aren’t happy with where you are?

He actually asked to go see her in person and his wife said, “no” so he went anyway. She knew he was coming, but his wife, staff, and the state of South Carolina didn’t know he was going. She didn’t believe he was really coming, “but I got down on one knee and said I am here in the hope that we can prove this whole thing to be a mirage.”

Wrong, you don’t go back into the fire to prove it isn’t hot.

Where is the reassuring part for his wife? He will be “able to die knowing he met his soul mate,” but it was “one of those things” and he knew the “cost.” Now he’s Cole Porter, but straight, thank God, “just one of those fabulous things, a trip to the moon on gossamer wings.”

“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, that it’s a love story … a forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.” He is “deeply conflicted” between “one’s heart and one’s value system” and he has “an 8½ year wrestling match on that front.” I guess he held on to his values for seven years and that was enough.

“Everyone of us is going to be at that death bed one day and we’re going to look back over the whole of our lives and we’re going to ask, you know, was or what we’re willing to risk certain things that may be viewed as a stupid trade-off by the rest of the world but that’s for each person to determine. And so if you end up 50 years here on earth and you know, alright, maybe I get another 30 and if you come into connection with a soul that touches yours in a way that no one’s ever has, even if it’s a place you can’t go, this notion of knowing that you know, for me, became very important.”

I’m becoming diabetic.

Everything he says is about the other woman or himself, except when he says he is trying to fall back in love with his wife. I think that means he isn’t in love with her now and hasn’t been for a while. If he is “completely honest” he still has “feelings in that way.” Feelings that are “still there and still real.”

This poor deeply convicted tortured “family values” backslider isn’t begging for forgiveness, he is begging his wife to let him go. I guess it is really good he never had his mistress to the Governor’s Mansion because adultery, even the true love kind, is illegal in South Carolina.

I’m with the Mrs. – f orgive him and keep him in a state of torture until you find someone else.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.