Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Bottom Line

Reading the Los Angeles Times the last couple of days has been much like reading tabloids in the supermarket check-out line. The governor of South Carolina disappeared for five days. The media didn't know where he was. So what. His family didn't know where he was. That's their business. The state government didn't know where he was. That's a problem. People who have job responsibilities let their colleagues know when they'll be away and how they may be reached. That goes double for people who draw their pay from the tax dollars of citizens. That goes triple for the chief executive of a state.

Governor Mark Sanford's office apparently believed he was hiking the Appalachian trail. His family said that he had gone off to work on his book. Actually, he was in Argentina visiting his mistress. And this is where the media go wrong. Of his seven-minute apology, the L.A. Times chose to headline these words: "The bottom line is this: I've been unfaithful to my wife". No, it isn't. That might be the bottom line in the relationship between Governor Sanford and his wife. It might be the bottom line for his four cute kids who spent Father's Day without their dad, that louse. But it is not the bottom line for the rest of us. He ditched his job; that's the bottom line. It's a good thing South Carolina didn't experience a hurricane or a riot or a plane crash while he was gone.

When Sanford was a congressman, he called for Bill Clinton to resign as president after the Monica Lewinsky affair. Clinton at least stayed in his office. But aside from the irony and the hypocrisy, it should show us that what an elected official does in bed, and with whom that official does it, has nothing to do with job performance. If his resignation is to be called for, it should be on the grounds of abandoning his job, not his wife.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

You're absolutely right. Let his wife take care of the personal affairs as she sees fit. She should throw him out and he should be thrown out of office for his lack of responsibility to the citizens who trusted him enough to vote him into office. What's this world coming to?