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Friday, May 10, 2013

Redemption and the South Carolina Republican Voter - Congressman Elect Stanford Could Have Been a Manikin

South Carolina voters accepted former Governor Mark Sanford's pleas about his redemption when they elected him to be their first district Congressman, in spite of his weird behaviors.

What does this say about South Carolina voters? Because Governor Sanford won a special election to fill a vacant Congressional seat, a lower turnout may have helped.  But, frankly, shame on Democrats for not winning this seat.  Congressman Elect Sanford has a history of weird behavior and has not demonstrated how he will be a Congressional leader.

Stanford whined to voters with a sympathetic plea about his "redemption" after behaving weirdly, but he hasn't demonstrated any redemptive actions. In my opinion, redemption is a lifelong process, while junior Congressmen can be replaced every two years.  The best predictor of how a person will perform in a job is to look at their past performance - and I therefore rest my case.

The Washington Post reports:   On the campaign trail, (Sanford) couldn’t escape a past that for a time turned his name into a late-night punch line. But voters were willing to accept his promise to protect their pocketbooks and message of personal redemption. Political observers say it won’t be impossible for him to convince fellow lawmakers in Congress to do the same — even after national Republicans yanked funding from his campaign in the wake of allegations that he was at his ex-wife’s home without her permission and other allies seemed to keep their distance.

That trespassing complaint was settled Wednesday, the day before Sanford was to have appeared in family court to answer the allegation. In the settlement, Sanford admitted that on several occasions he violated the couple’s divorce decree by entering Jenny Sanford’s home without her permission.

The judge will withhold sentencing as long as Sanford complies with the decree in future. Sanford will also pay his ex-wife $5,000 in fees and court costs.

How can South Carolina voters accept Sanford's redemption claims when behaves so weirdly? Would South Carolina voters consider investing in a Nigerian lottery scam?  Maybe they can solve the national debt by learning alchemy.  Voters who believe Sanford is a man of upstanding character,  competent to provide Congressional leadership for South Carolina, might as well use their energies to win the fraudulent Nigerian lottery or figure out how to make gold.  

Sanford is a political stool pigeon.  He was elected because the right wing Republicans, who show up in special elections, want to stuff him full of their rhetoric. His redemption will be contingent on his compliance with their commands.

Nonetheless, the Democrats missed a rare opportunity by allowing the right wing to elect their stool pigeon Congressman.  This election demonstrates how tenacious the right wing voters are in achieving their radical goals, including wrestling our government away from the Federalist principles our founders wrote about, whereby they envisioned government as "the greatest reflections on human nature."  

Democrats need to remind Stanford about his fragile junior Congressman status.  

Maybe, Stanford's capacity to represent his constituents can be questioned, especially if he continues court appearances to defend his weird voyeur behavior.

In summary, the election of Sanford is a pitiful statement about South Carolina's Republican voters.  A Republican manikin could likely have won the First District Congressional election, because right wing voters want to stuff their Sanford figurine with ideological myths and regressive politics.  They're scary right wing nuts, even scarier political neoconservatives and a warning to progressives everywhere.

I'll be surprised if Mark Sanford has experienced real redemption; but he has experienced real political resurrection.

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Blogger NC gal said...

As someone once famously observed about South Carolina, "Too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum."

6:02 AM  
Blogger Juliana Maine Writer said...

Thanks NC gal, truth in humor!

8:02 AM  

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