Sanford Must Go 

The governor's true sin was being an idiot

We here at the Charleston City Paper couldn't care less about what goes on behind closed doors.

We also know that sometimes a physical relationship between two partners ends well before the pair separates, that is if they separate at all. Oftentimes, these relationships are reduced to marriages of convenience.

And we also know that in many cases where infidelity has reared its head, these relationships can be repaired.

But none of that concerns us, and it shouldn't concern you. And that's pretty much how we feel about the current situation involving Gov. Mark Sanford, his wife and family, and the governor's paramour in Argentina. We're not the morality police.

That said, we can't stand stupidity. And there's no question that Mark Sanford has proven himself to be a moron of the highest caliber, and for that he needs to resign. The dude is a rank amateur, not a chief executive officer of this or any state. Hell, he shouldn't even be put in charge of the Harper Valley PTA.

Think about it: Sanford skipped town to be with his South American sweetie and didn't have a plan to cover his ass. He left not just the state, but the country, without concocting at least some kind of bogus story that would have hidden his indiscretions — an Argentine hunting trip perhaps or a desire to take tango lessons. To make matters worse, he only had to lie to us — not to his wife Jenny. She knew all about hubby's new bunkmate. Clearly, he has never watched an episode of CSI or, hell, Murder She Wrote. That's just sloppy.

Equally as amateurish, Sanford up and decided to go all incommunicado. That right there doomed him. If he had just remained in contact with his staff and whoever else he needed to touch base with on a daily basis, we would be none the wiser that Sanford had snuck out of the state like a horny teen crawling out of a bedroom window in order to get laid. And we as South Carolinians wouldn't be looking like brain-dead yokels to the rest of the country.

Thank you, Mark, for stealing the dunce cap off the Lizard Man and kicking him off the idiot throne in the corner of the room.

Now we have learned that Mr. Fiscal Conservatism gladly used state funds to book a trip to visit his sweetie nearly a year ago. That he has promised to now pay back that money doesn't change the fact.

And neither does the fact that Sanford has fessed up to his sins, that is if by fessed up you mean he got frikkin' caught. Read the accounts of Sanford arriving in Atlanta earlier this week; that is not a man who is ready to admit to anything. Clearly something happened between the time Sanford told a reporter from The State that he had decided not to go hiking on the Appalachian Trail because "[He] wanted to do something exotic" and the time he decided to come clean at the Statehouse.

But what do you expect from a guy who thought it was a good idea to turn down federal stimulus money, money that would keep teachers, police officers, and prison guards on the job, money that we as South Carolinians would have to pay back to Uncle Sam even if the governor turned it down, money that would have gone to a state that probably hadn't been as hard hit by the economic downturn as the Palmetto State?

In the end, here's the thing: Jenny and boys can forgive Sanford. And his loyal supporters can talk about how this only proves that Sanford is human and that we are all sinners. But we, the people of South Carolina, can't. The Palmetto State is in rough shape right now. Unemployment is skyrocketing. The Port of Charleston is on the decline. School districts are slashing budgets. College tuition is spiking. Home foreclosures are up. Government services are being cut. More and more people are watching as all that they have worked hard for is going down the drain. And while South Carolina burns, Mark Sanford spends his time diddling on our dime.

Just leave the keys on the counter at the Governor's Mansion, Mark. And don't let the door hit you on the way out. That is unless you're into that sort of thing.

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