Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mark Sanford, trespasser

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I realize this is for the most part a private matter that probably shouldn't have been made public, but I still find something delicious about it:

Jenny Sanford, the ex-wife of South Carolina congressional candidate and former Gov. Mark Sanford, has filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband trespassed at her home earlier this year, the Associated Press reported Tuesday evening.

According to the AP, Jenny Sanford's attorney filed a lawsuit on Feb. 4 alleging that she confronted Mark Sanford at her home the previous day, where he had been using his cellphone as a light. Trespassing would violate the terms of their divorce settlement, which said that neither would be able to be at the other's home without explicit permission.

A court hearing is slated for May 9, according to the report – two days after Sanford competes in a closely watched special election.

Ah yes, the special election, where he faces the formidable (and not just because of her brother) Elizabeth Colbert Busch

South Carolina's First is a solidly Republican district -- in fact, it's been Republican since 1981 (with Democrats holding it before that going all the way back to 1897). Sanford himself held it for three terms, first winning in the Republican wave of 1994. The previous incumbent, Tim Scott, is now in the Senate, and of course the state itself is solidly Republican as well.

And yet here's Sanford, struggling mightily in what is a winnable race for the GOP. A while back, I put his chances of winning at just over 50 percent, mainly because, whatever his various problems, I just couldn't see a Democrat, even one with a famous brother, winning. But now I'm not so sure. He has a ton of baggage, most of it involving his character, and this trespassing lawsuit filed by his own ex-wife, the one he cheated on, won't help.

But Republicans, of course, have no one to blame but themselves. Sanford may win, in which case it would be more by default (any Republican would do) than anything else, but if he loses it may well be because he's proven to be a massive hypocrite without a shred of genuine self-awareness or humility.

And yet Republicans picked him anyway. That tells you a lot.

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