THE “COMEBACK SOUL-MATE” IS IN TROUBLE … AGAIN
|| By FITSNEWS || It’s been a little more than a year-and-a-half since former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford – a.k.a. the “Luv Gov” – pulled off his remarkable political comeback by winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives. And it’s been more than six months since The New York Times magazine published a sprawling piece chronicling his unlikely political rehabilitation.
“He has managed something that few people have: returning to public office after an embarrassing, nationally televised — Twitterized and blogged — sex scandal,” the Times’ chief political correspondent Jim Rutenberg wrote.
Sanford was back on top … the “Comeback Soul-mate.”
After a brutal “Republican” primary in 2013, the scandal-scarred former chief executive ran unopposed in the 2014 GOP primary for his U.S. House seat. Not even a token challenger filed against him, and no Democrat filed against him in the general election.
Sanford was also in the process of “getting the band back together” – his term for making another run at higher office.
Then something happened … well, more to the point “Mark Sanford happened.” And then he happened again. And now again … a third time.
What do we mean, exactly?
Well, there were three things Mark Sanford absolutely couldn’t afford to do if he wanted to keep his comeback momentum going. In no particular order, they were …
1) Do something to remind people of his disastrous personal life. (CHECK).
2) Get busted in a pay-to-play scandal. (CHECK).
3) Create an opening on his right flank by alienating conservatives …
Yeah … CHECK.
In case you missed it, Mark Sanford – the guy who once challenged Ron Paul for the title of “most conservative lawmaker”- cast his vote this week for the renomination of U.S. Speaker John Boehner, one of the most liberal, ethically compromised GOP leaders ever.
You read that right … the guy who at one point in his political career couldn’t cut government deeply enough has now lent his limited government imprimatur to the biggest ‘big government’ Republican of all-time. A guy GOP voters have overwhelmingly given up on … and rightfully so.
This was a “gut check” vote, as we noted, and Sanford (shocker) came up lacking in guts.
What, exactly, did this “conservative” icon think he was accomplishing with this sellout? And more to the point … what did he get to sell out?
We’re not sure … but you better believe we’ll be digging for answers. And we expect to find something, too, because the political calculus on this decision simply doesn’t compute.
Sanford would appear to have nothing to gain by selling out. He has to know the “Republican” establishment is never going to accept him. Hell, the national GOP pulled the plug on supporting his 2013 bid – and just last month Boehner and company denied him the committee assignment he coveted. Basically, no one in the U.S. Congress had more justification for opposing the “Republican” establishment than Mark Sanford … yet he still gave its leader a big fat kiss on the lips.
Again … what gives?
Sanford’s decision to support Boehner is big deal in any context. He’s already got little to no backing among centrist “Republicans,” meaning the pro-free market, pro-liberty wing of the party (all of whom loathe Boehner) is where he must go to receive the majority of his support.
“How is he getting reelected if he votes for Boehner with the business community after him, and the Tea Party demanding a ‘no’ vote on the Speaker?” one national editor asked us. “Just what is Sanford‘s pathway to re-election?”
That’s a damn good question …
In fact one libertarian-leaning voter answered if for us today.
“I’m fed up with ‘Scamford,'” he texted us.
But Sanford’s ideological inconsistency – and its potential impact on his electability – isn’t his only problem. The fallout from this poor political choice is compounded by his chronic narcissism. Seriously … does anyone still believe Sanford’s “engagement” to former lover Maria Belen Chapur was anything other than a prop for his political comeback?
Because if so … that’s cute. Really, really cute.
Also, if Sanford spent 2,400 words explaining his latest personal drama to us … we wonder: How many words will it take to reconcile his shameful betrayal of taxpayers?
Beyond all that, there’s the taint of self-interest courtesy of Sanford’s quarter million dollar payout from controversial lender Tree.com.
What did he do for that money? That’s another damn good question …
Mark Sanford may very well win another term in the U.S. House in 2016: After all, he’s an exceptional fundraiser and an excellent retail politician. And while there are plenty of rumblings about credible challengers for his seat, no one has stepped forward at this point and said “I’m taking this guy on.”
Make no mistake, though: Sanford is doing everything within his power to lose his seat. Which after his vote for Boehner would be just fine with us …