Mark Sanford: Staying In The Arena

Whether we want him to or not …

As much as we wish he would take a page from the book of legendary Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Snagglepuss and “exit stage left,” it appears as though defeated U.S. congressman Mark Sanford has no plans to leave the political arena.  The 58-year-old Florida native – who served six years in congress, eight years as governor of South Carolina and is now wrapping up another five-and-a-half year stint in congress – has decided to launch a new political action committee.

Wait a minute … the guy who began his career in politics railing against the evils of political action committees is now forming one? 

Yes.  And given the litany of hypocrisy Sanford has exposed us to over the years, that only seems fitting.

Defeated by Katie Arrington in the Republican primary for the first congressional district earlier this year, Sanford has sought to portray himself in the intervening months as the first 2018 campaign casualty of U.S. president Donald Trump.  Never mind that he spent the final two weeks of his failed 2018 congressional bid spending tens of thousands of dollars on television ads trying to convince GOP voters in his district he supported Trump.

Anyway, we aren’t going to get ourselves all wound up over Sanford’s myriad hypocrisies because frankly we don’t have that kind of time … and the voters have already spoken when it comes to him.

According to an email obtained by this news site, Sanford’s unoriginally christened “Lowcountry Palmetto PAC” will assist the soon-to-be former politician “in maintaining a voice for the ideas that we share and that I have long advocated.”

Ugh.  “For.”  You mean “ideas that I long advocated for,” Mark.

Or to say it properly, “ideas for which I have long advocated.”

Because while technically not incorrect, it is grammatically uncouth to end a sentence with a preposition.

What are the ideas for which Sanford has long advocated?  Honestly, you can boil them down to two words: Moving targets.


Nevertheless …

“I will stay involved in public debate and the war of ideas,” Sanford said in announcing his PAC. “One doesn’t have to be in public office to make a difference on ideas.”

That’s absolutely true … and Sanford has proven adept at raising cash in support of his various political machinations.  Not to mention he has over $2 million currently sitting in a pair of defunct campaign accounts, one state and the other federal.

So while we would like to dismiss him … we can’t.

Clearly this news outlet has little affinity for Sanford, but to the extent his political organization adopts positions we believe to be credible – or engages on behalf of candidates we believe to be credible – we will praise its work.  To the extent it doesn’t, obviously we will hold nothing back in leveling criticism.

Also, we would extend to Sanford and his new entity the same open invitation to address our readers that we extend to all participants in the marketplace of ideas.  We may not want to hear what he has to say, but we will always give him and others with whom we disagree the opportunity to say their piece.



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