Friday, July 03, 2009

Mark Sanford, mental case?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I've written a lot already on the whole Mark Sanford saga -- click here, if you want -- and I don't intend to write much more on it this morning. Let me just say this:

Is it really necessary to delve into the man's psyche, and specifically to do so without actually examining him, and, what's more, so publicly?

He does seem to be going through some sort of adolescent mid-life crisis. And he does seem to be something of a narcissist. But what's with one of his home-state publications, The State, reporting that "mental health experts," while "reluctant to pin a diagnosis on the governor," and just observing him from afar, think his behavior "suggest[s] a chemical imbalance, narcissism and impulsive behavior"?

Really? They can tell that he has a chemical imbalance, that he's clinically narcissistic and clinically impulsive, that, that is, he's a mental case?


The man thinks he found his "soul mate." He thinks he's at the center of a tragic love story. The man is behaving, that is, like a smitten teenager who's read a few too many romantic novels.

To the extent that he's a narcissist, he may just be as narcissistic as your average teenager.

To the extent that he's impulsive, he may just be as impulsive as anyone else who has ever gone through such a "tragic" love story. (Many of us have been there, haven't we?)

To the extent that he appears to have some sort of chemical imbalance, he may just be as unbalanced as anyone else who's ever been so deeply (if delusionally) in love.

The only weirdness here, I suppose, stems from the fact that he's 49, not 19 -- well, and from the fact that he's the governor of a U.S. state, and that his mistress is Argentinian, and that he snuck around to meet up with her, and that his wife knew about it for some time, and... well, you know about it already.

So, enough with the psychological diagnoses, enough with all the talk about his "mental state." If he really does have problems, let him deal with them, and get treatment for them, in private.

As it is, though, it seems to me that Mark Sanford is quite normal.

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  • Although it doesn't seem to have made the news outside of South Florida, Mark has come to spend the weekend virtually across the street from me where his wife is staying with her Family. I don't know whether staying in the $2.5 million home on the golf course will help remind him of why he should fall back in love with his wife, her family, and their money, but he intends to try.

    The local republicans are crying "liberal media persecution" despite the obvious lack of reportage. I see nobody at the gate at the moment.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 12:38 PM  

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