Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | June 25, 2009

Republican (Lack of) Family Values

This week has seen an extraordinarily ridiculous political event: Mark Sanford, Republican Governor of South Carolina (even if Fox News claims he’s a dem, he’s not) and potential candidate in the 2012 White House bid, disappeared. First, his staff scrambled to give reporters a plausible reason for his disappearance, saying that he had gone off to unwind after a grueling legislative session. Then, the missing governor was spotted in Georgia. The story changed, and his staff implied that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail (on Naked Hiking Day, no less!). Throughout it all, his wife maintained that she was unconcerned. Then, today, Governor Sanford arrived at Hartsfield International Airport, fresh off of a flight from Argentina. Why did he go to Argentina? To break up his girlfriend…over Father’s Day weekend…leaving his four sons at home. (Let’s also note that he was completely incommunicado leaving his state without a leader, that there have been allegations that he has travelled to Argentina on the taxpayer’s dime, AND that adultery is illegal in South Carolina.)

Let’s not forget Senator Ensign, Republican from Nevada and another potential 2012 candidate, who recently admitted to having an extramarital affair. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, it later came out that there had been underhanded financial goings-on related to this affair.

Going back a bit, we have Sarah Palin, another prominent Republican, whose teenage daughter recently gave birth (and, by the way, the wedding fell through). Bristol Palin is now the Abstinence Ambassador for the Candies Foundation. Let’s not even examine the concept of an “abstinence ambassador”, and let’s ignore the whole “how can a teen mom be abstinent?” question. Personally, this is just a lame attempt to paint Bristol in a family-values-friendly light, given the whole unmarried teen mom fiasco.

Going back even further, we have Senator Larry Craig of the infamous airport bathroom scandal. Craig plead guilty to disorderly conduct in a desperate attempt to make the whole arrest go away quietly. Unfortunately for him, the arrest became public and the charge that Craig was soliciting gay sex made the rounds anyway. (He tried to fend it off by claiming that he had a “wide stance,” but I think it was a case of he “doth protest too much.”)

And then there’s Newt. Good old Newt. Don’t forget that Newt pressed his wife for a divorce while she was still recovering from cancer-related surgery. And Newt also has a long (and I mean loooooooong) history of adultery. Try typing “Newt Gingrich adultery” in your Google search and see what you find.

This is not to say that Democratic leaders are pure as the driven snow (Clinton and Kennedy come to mind). Far from it (again: Clinton and Kennedy — even the ones we still like had flaws!). The difference is that leading Democrats don’t generally run on a family values platform. Democrats rarely preach about the importance and sanctity of marriage. That line is usually reserved for Republican leaders…leaders like Sanford, Ensign, Craig, and Newt. Which means that these people are worse than NORMAL adulterers – they are HYPOCRITICAL adulterers.

Let’s examine the idea of the sanctity of marriage. Your typical wedding vows generally include something along the lines of, well, fidelity. In fact, I’m pretty sure fidelity is one of the most basic requirements of marriage. Yet, despite being the most fundamental task in a marriage, fidelity is evidently not something these leaders can handle.

Republicans can preach about how allowing gays to marry would violate the sanctity of marriage all they want. Until Republicans prove that they themselves can respect the sanctity of marriage, they are nothing more than hypocrites. Forget banning gay marriage – let the gays marry – ban Republican marriage.

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