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Mark Sanford Punks Out … Again

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SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN’S SECOND STINT IN WASHINGTON CONTINUES TO BE A PROFOUND DISAPPOINTMENT … 

It’s tough to keep up with the excuses offered by U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford every time he loses track of his ideological compass.  Or for that matter … his mind.

(Both of which are happening with increasing frequency of late).

Sanford, of course, is “that guy.”  The former “Lov Guv” of the state of South Carolina.  The narcissistic whiner who will forever be remembered for confusing the Argentine coast with the Appalachian Trail – and then waxing like a “lovestruck mooncalf” about the “soulmate” responsible for his confusion.

He got reelected, though, because “Republicans” in the Palmetto State are gluttons for punishment.  And because he desperately needed an outlet to continue his navel-gazing.

Anyway, the current iteration of Sanford – strolling contemplatively through the halls of the U.S. Capital complex with his paramour at his side – is a far cry from the principled, limited government lawmaker who courageously found himself on the wrong end of some 430-1 votes during his first stint in the U.S. Congress.

The Sanford of 1995-2001, whom we loved, was a term-limited pro-freedom, pro-free market champion – a guy who eschewed congressional retirement benefits, refused money from political action committees and returned millions of dollars from his congressional budget to taxpayers (famously sleeping on his couch).

Sanford 2.0?  He’s a sellout … a stooge for the same “Republican” establishment he spent the first decade-and-a-half of his political career fighting against.

Of course he’s got every excuse in the book for his conversion to the dark side – including invoking of the divine right of kings.  When he cast his ballot last year for uber-liberal U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, for example, Sanford said he did it because Jesus told him to.

Then flipped out when we criticized him.

Sanford’s most bizarre excuse, however, came after he abandoned his opposition to the corrupt, crony capitalist slush fund known as the U.S. Export-Import Bank.  Sanford flip-flopped on the Ex-Im bank because he claimed his constituents benefited from it.

That’s not true … wealthy CEOs benefit from it.

But even if it was true, Sanford had previously stated he wouldn’t make such a calculated, self-interested move if it was bad for taxpayers across the country.

“When I ran for office the first time, I said I would vote against any piece of legislation – regardless of the good it had for the District – if it was bad for the country as a whole,” Sanford wrote in his book The Trust Committed To Me.

So much for that “trust.”

Sanford 2.0’s latest betrayal?  Refusing to support the newly-formed Article I Caucus in its efforts to reassert the GOP Congress’ power over the purse in Washington, D.C.  Specifically, Sanford refused to join this group of lawmakers because they approved some language about Cuba as an amendment to a multi-billion dollar bailout for Puerto Rico.

We oppose the Puerto Rican bailout … as we oppose all bailouts … but that train has left the station in Washington, D.C. thanks to the new Barack Obama/ Paul Ryan “Republicrat” majority (a cabal Sanford is also on the hook for, incidentally).

The Article I Caucus – led by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado – knew it couldn’t block the Puerto Rico bailout, so its members decided to attach their amendments to it in the hopes of getting a little something good out of the larger “bad.”  Basically, the effort is designed to restore many of the fiscally conservative amendments previously gutted from the $1.15 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed the U.S. Congress last December (which one member of the Article I Caucus correctly railed against).

Sanford was supposed to be on board with the Article I Caucus’ efforts, but at the last minute he bailed – citing his objection to so-called “anti-Cuba” language proposed by U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida.

“The Cuba provisions were a non-starter for Sanford,” a lobbyist familiar with the negotiations told us.

A non-starter?

This website has been relentless in its criticism of America’s boneheaded Cuban policy – but Diaz-Balart’s amendments have nothing to do with trade relations or normalizing diplomatic ties.  He’s simply trying to keep U.S. taxpayers from subsidizing Cuba’s military or intelligence agencies – and to keep the Cuban government of Raul Castro from profiting off of properties it seized.

“The death squads … the torture chambers, (these) would be very good reasons not to do business with the Cuban military,” one limited government advocate in Washington, D.C. told us.  “Even Michael Corleone knew to get his assets out of Cuba.”

Indeed …

So … what’s Sanford’s deal?

“He must have a Cuban girlfriend,” one D.C. insider speculated.

“A girlfriend in the Cuban military,” another joked.

Honestly … it’s not out of the question.  And we can’t think of any other compelling reason to oppose these provisions, no matter where one stands on the broader Cuban question.

Sadly, Sanford’s real reason for bailing on the Article I effort appears to be far more predictable: He didn’t want to make his new puppet masters angry.

“(Sanford) doesn’t want to add his name to anything he thinks might piss off the GOP leadership,”a veteran Capitol Hill activist told us.  “So he came up with some bullsh*t reason to oppose us.”

Vintage Sanford 2.0, in other words.  Sell out … then lie about why.

What a shame …

A growing group of genuine limited government lawmakers – including South Carolina’s own Jeff Duncan – are working hard in our nation’s capital to try and hold the GOP leadership in the U.S. Congress more accountable to the people it’s supposed to be representing.  The Article I Caucus represents the front line of that effort – a group dedicated to exercising the constitutional authority over the government’s purse strings.

Rather than join them in their efforts to slow the growth of government, though, Sanford has stabbed them in the back … demonstrating once again that he’s become nothing but another status quo hack committed to doing the bidding of the “Republican” establishment.

RAPID REACTION

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