Mark Sanford is not going gently into that good night …
But let’s be honest: Did anyone really expect him to? The pinnacle of narcissism in the Palmetto State – where political navel-gazing and self-aggrandizement might as well be requirements for seeking office – the former two-term South Carolina governor (and soon-to-be former six-term U.S. congressman) has made it his mission to become the poster child for the #NeverTrump movement after his defeat in last month’s “Republican” primary election.
Not surprisingly, we have taken a dim view of Sanford’s attempt to cast himself as the first GOP casualty of U.S. president Donald Trump …
The truth of the matter is this: Sanford lost huge chunks of his base because he morphed from principled citizen legislator to complete and total sellout (which, sadly, is a road he’s been on for some time now).
Sure, a lot of people probably declined to support him because he wasn’t with Trump … but many of them no doubt declined to support him because he became part of the “Republican” establishment in Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember Sanford spent the final two weeks of his failed 2018 congressional bid spending tens of thousands of dollars on television ads aimed at convincing GOP voters in his district he supported Trump.
Now he wants to play the role of #NeverTrump “martyr?”
He is also a chronic hypocrite, marked by a nauseatingly infuriating “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” sanctimony that has defined him for years. Like when he criticized others for having affairs (ahem) or took credit for road funding … that he voted against. Or when he bragged incessantly about protecting taxpayers while at the same time taking government-funded junkets all over the globe.
He’s a joke … but unfortunately national #NeverTrump media continue to take him seriously.
This week, Sanford took his show to Esquire – where Ryan Lizza recounted a meandering conversation in which the ousted congressman compared (but claimed he wasn’t comparing) Trump to former German dictator Adolf Hitler (and modern-day America to ancient Greece).
“In part this is not a new movie,” Sanford told Lizza. “This is a replaying of a script that’s played throughout the ages, but with incredibly ominous possibilities if we don’t recognize the dangers of the themes that are now at play within American society.”
He also claimed Trump was “more (of a) clear and present danger to the republic than even the debt and the deficit that I thought was the end of the world.”
Wax on, Mark … wax on.
Of course the real “news value” associated with Sanford’s interview with Lizza was his refusal to say whether he would support an effort by liberal “Republicans” to install Democrat Nancy Pelosi (below) as speaker of the U.S. House.
(Click to view)
(Via: Joint Chiefs of Staff)
“I don’t know,” he told Lizza. “I mean, everybody’s going to come up with their own remedy as to what you do next. I wouldn’t say that’s mine.”
Of course Sanford added that he was “not there yet” on a Pelosi decision and would take the issue “one day at a time.”
To be clear: The ideological trajectory of the U.S. House under Pelosi, Boehner or current U.S. speaker Paul Ryan has been essentially unchanged.
From our vantage point, “Republican” control of congress has been largely pointless. Even the biggest GOP victory – the 2017 tax cut bill – was a missed opportunity to provide the sort of middle class relief Trump promised on the campaign trail (Sanford supported that bill, incidentally).
Too often, Sanford chose to go along with the D.C. herd – directly rebuking some of his previously held core convictions (which means they weren’t really “core convictions” at all).
Yet this guy now wants to be the principled leader of the #NeverTrump movement?
Again … please.
Mark Sanford is just morphing again … shape-shifting from a candidate who touted his support for Trump (when it was convenient) to pretending to be his most prominent victim. That strategy may be good for a few hits with the Beltway media, but it is demonstrably disingenuous – making it unsustainable for the sort of national ambition Sanford clearly still harbors.
Bottom line? We’re happy to let Sanford keep filling this particular balloon with hot air … because sooner or later it is destined to go “pop.”
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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