So, he had an affair; big deal.
Sanford, unlike so many others on the right (as recent examples Vitter, R-La, Craig, R-Id and Ensign, R-Nv.), has not used faith as a keystone of his candidacy and term of office. At least. as far as I can remember, he has not aggressively worked to deny gay rights or promoted himself as a warrior for christ etc. Now, part of the reason may simply be because in South Carolina you don't have to work that hard to put these laws in place, but his actions, at least from my perspective were far less vile that those of many others on the right.
Sanford's affair is not nearly as hypocritical as the actions of so many of the other fallen on the right were. Yes, he relied the religious right for votes, yes he appointed their leaders to various positions in the government and yes he talked in their language (as he did when confessing today), but he was not really one of them. He was an anti-government libertarian and loathed public education but while he dabbled in religion he was not driven by it.
So while I opposed most of his policies, felt that most of his ideas are somewhere between foolish and idiotic and still think he is one of the worst state governors in the country, this affair is, on any level other than his family's,nothing of import. It does represent a personal weakness but we all have those and I will not condemn a person for that.
Ensign bragged about his promise keeping, Viter framed almost all his policy arguments around using the government to promote his religious beliefs, Craig voted against gay rights for decades, while engaging in homosexual activity. Their falls all involved specular hypocrisy. Sanford's actions don't come close to this level of disgrace or two faced behavior.
So I will say this, his cheating on his wife is, in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. It is a personal issue and like Clinton's affair, not worth worrying about simply because Sanford, like Clinton,(and unlike Ensign, Viter and Craig) didn't seem to spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to get his policies into the homes and bedrooms of others.
OK, so maybe he is as big a hypocrite as Viter, Ensign and Craig
It appears the I will need to avoid any trivia questions about South Carolina politics in the 90s.
During the 90s Mark Sanford demanded that two politicians involved in affairs resign their elected positions, so his options are now very limited, resign or be a typical republican hypocrite
Sanford, South Carolina