Tag Archives: Democrats

Why is Mark Sanford Still Talking? Why is He Still in Office?

The bizarro governor of South Carolina seems incapable of shutting his yap. During the past week or so, this guy has admitted he lied to his staff about an Appalachian Trail hike, when instead he was visiting his mistress in Argentina.

Since then, he’s said, among other things, that his wife knew about the affair, that he asked her permission to visit the woman, that she was his soul mate, that he’d messed around with other women but hadn’t had sex with them. Let’s see, did I leave anything out?

US-BUSH-SANFORD-FUNDRAISER

Sanford, you may remember, was full of righteous indignation about the sexual foibles of Bill Clinton. He’s also the fool who didn’t want to take stimulus money even though his state’s education system badly needed it.

The people of South Carolina must suffer fools gladly. So must Sanford’s wife Jenny and their four kids. Talk about public embarrassment!

But this isn’t really about that. It’s more about a sitting governor being addle brained enough to drop looking after the business of the people of his state to follow his heart (or another part of his anatomy) all the way to South America. Is it any wonder he’s refused to release financial records that might show whether he used taxpayer funds to hang out with this woman in the past?

Equally as hilarious is the notion that Mark Sanford can somehow redeem his marriage by staying on as governor.

Jenny sanford

If there’s a connection between these things, it escapes me. It also escapes a growing chorus of voices in his home state that are calling on him to resign. Those who support him are telling the press he’s tired, but showing no signs of instability. Is that what it takes to govern  an American state in the 21st century? No sign of instability?

The amazing thing about the litany of serial political adulterers is that party affiliation has little to do with whether they stray. Democrats do it just like Republicans. Liberals, conservatives, religious zealots, it just doesn’t matter. I think I know why they do it, but I won’t share it here, lest I be called sexist or worse.

However, there is this to ponder. Very few women in politics get caught up in the foolishness that’s nailed the likes of Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Bill Clinton, Mark Foley, and yes, I’ve left some out.

Why is that? Yes, there are fewer female elected officials, but are they better at not getting caught? Are they smarter? Or perhaps, are they just not drunk enough with power to think any member of the opposite sex they fancy is fair game?

Whatever. The central question is, Can Mark Sanford survive the calls for his political head? I’m guessing no, not too much longer.

What do you think?

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Would CIA Lie to Pelosi?

Actually, that’s the latest charge from the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about waterboarding. At issue here is a “what did she know and when did she know it” game of gotcha in Congress.

If Pelosi knew about the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, the logic goes, both parties must share the blame for their use. Yeah, I know it’s a specious argument, but it’s all the Republicans have got.

Pelosi herself has been caught in a trap on this one. She’s denied for some time that she knew or had been briefed about CIA use of torture. Then comes word of a September 2002 briefing that said she had. The GOP was beside itself with glee. After all, if the woman who became House Speaker more than four years later was told, how bad can torture be? (sarcasm off)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Now Pelosi has thrown down the gauntlet, saying she was misled about techniques used on detainees, specifically telling her “waterboarding was not being used.” When asked Thursday by reporters why she didn’t point this out when, in 2003, she learned the CIA was waterboarding, her answer was, “they mislead us all the time.”

That, of course, is an explosive charge. Lying to members of Congress is against the law, even for the CIA. The agency, for its part, issued a statement through a spokesman, saying it is “not the policy of the CIA to mislead the United States Congress.” There may be a couple of Americans who wonder about that one. After all, it may not be the policy, but did they do it?

At least Nancy Pelosi and her chief Republican critic Pete Hoekstra of Michigan agree on one thing.

Hoekstra
Hoekstra

Both want more details of CIA briefings with members of Congress released. Sure they may want them released for different reasons, but what the heck. That this entire furor has sea legs speaks to fears that some Bush Administration and CIA officials may have to account for the torture program that Dick Cheney so roundly defends.

That’s why it’s so important to document that some Democrats knew about it and kept their mouths shut. Who better than the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee in ’02, who now is the Speaker of the House?

Right now the only way to clear the air on this is to actually let those briefings see the light of day. Whether they back Pelosi or not is irrelevant. The American people deserve to know the full details about how torture became part of the US arsenal of intelligence gathering.

Isn’t it worth it so we don’t make that mistake again? What do you think’s the outlook for Nancy Pelosi? Should Nancy Pelosi step down?

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