John Dickerson asks why there’s so much “disturbing glee” directed at Mark Sanford. I’ve seen a few other calls not to use this “personal tragedy” for “political gain”. That’s nonsense.
Mark Sanford is a man who made a mistake. And it’s not even a mistake that affects me since I’m neither his wife nor his mistress. So if it were just that, I’d say we should just let him and his family deal with it because it’s none of our business.
But he’s also a man who would restrict marriage to a select few. Yes, he made a mistake; but he would deny the opportunity to make that mistake to entire classes of people. There are couples who have been together longer and more faithfully than Sanford and his wife, but Sanford would tell them that their love is less pure or noble or deserving than his own.
The notion that homosexuals would somehow disrupt the “sanctity of marriage” is horrifying enough from people who actually believe it using some sort of twisted morality. But Sanford has clearly shown that all of his posturing on gay marriage had nothing to do with marriage vows he holds sacred. Instead, he just hates gay people.
So yes, we should ridicule him. We should mock the man and his hypocrisy. Dickerson asks why we can’t make allowances for the man’s humanity. It’s because he doesn’t have any. He’s filled with such hate and self-righteousness that he would legislate a bigoted morality for others while he refuses to live even a basic morality in his own life.
Much of the current story playing out in the papers is truly a personal matter for Sanford and his family. But much of it isn’t. We should leave the sordid details to be between the man and his wife — but we shouldn’t allow the “moral majority” to bury the hypocrisy and hatred of who was their standard bearer until yesterday afternoon.
Mr. Sanford has a lot to answer for.