In the Arena

Schadenfreude on Hold

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I take no pleasure in political sex scandals, even when the perpetrators are politicians I find loathsome and hypocritical. Indeed, any sign that a pol actually is human, has flaws, has faults, is often an indication that, post-scandal, he (or she, but usually he) might be more able to relate a little better to the sinners he represents. 

The Mark Sanford case is a bit different from the others, and almost admirable. Not for him the usual “I made a mistake” dodge, not for him the exploitation of a staffer or a child. This is a guy who clearly fell in love, and seems unable to hide it very well. And none of that stand-by-her-man stuff for his wife: she kicked the sucker out. This is fabulously human behavior. It is terribly sad for all concerned when it happens, but it happens all the time. Sanford is not my favorite politician, but I wish him and his family well as they navigate the vagaries of the human heart.