A Philosopher's Blog

Sanford & Sons

Posted in Politics by Michael LaBossiere on June 26, 2009

Jenny Sanford, the wife of Governor Sanford deserves praise for her response to her husband’s misdeeds. Rather than simply standing silently by her straying husband, she said “His career is not a concern of mine. He’s going to have to worry about that. I’m worried about my family and the character of my children.”

Jenny Sanford is in a rather unpleasant situation. Not only did her husband cheat on her, but the affair is now known around the world. While knowing that one’s spouse has been unfaithful would hurt a person, knowing that almost everyone else in the world knows must add significantly to the pain. Whenever she sees someone looking at her, it must run through her mind that the person knows what her husband did. Even worse, she has to worry about what her four sons might be exposed to via the media. For example, what might they see on television? While it is easy to say that is the risk one takes when one gets involved with a public figure, that assertion is hardly comforting.

She is doing the right thing in focusing on her children and leaving his career to him. After all, this situation is no doubt extremely stressful on the kids. She will also have quite a task explaining to them what has happened and be quite busy trying to raise them. Given her values and the values that Sanford professed, this situation will be especially problematic.

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9 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on June 26, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t think we have enough information to know if she deserves praise. It may have been better for the kids to stand by her husband rather than throwing him to the wolves.

    • biomass2 said, on June 26, 2009 at 10:17 pm

      “. . .rather than throwing him to the wolves.”

      Ignoring his children’s welfare, Sanford grabbed himself by the collar and in a miraculous maneuver threw himself straight at the wolves. I’m thinking she’s likely as blameless as Elizabeth Edwards.Either way, ‘he’ stepped out of the picture. Provocation or no, he broke the bond–in a very public and bizarre fashion.

      To me, the real problem of interest here is the gaping gap between what Sanford hoped to appear to be and what he actually was. Ditto Sen. Ensign. Fallen representatives of the family values party.

      Heard about 10 minutes of Limbaugh today. It’s amazing how much waste he emits in such a short time. In this instance he was trying obscurely and ineffectively to make the point that President Kennedy had affairs, but because he was a Democrat and could hide it better he got away with it.

      This deflection probably works for most listeners in Limbla-la Land. But. . . It’s not that the Democrat got away with the adultery and the Republican didn’t. Or that the media shrugged for Kennedy and Clinton but bared its fangs for Craig, Sansford, Ensign, et al. No. It’s the ooze from the wounds of holier-than-thou hypocrites that drew the predators.

      Over four centuries ago Shakespeare explored the distance between appearance and reality in play after play. It’s an ageless, pervasive theme that we see playing out everywhere around us—and within us—if we’re not afraid to look. Look to your politicians ,talk show hosts, and business and religious leaders first; they’re great for setting grand goals for others and themselves, and some can’t live up to the goals. For some (enough to make the news interesting) the fall from what they would be to what they ‘are’ is inevitable.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

        That is a good point. While such cheating is wrong, it is worse for someone who professes moral superiority to fall in such a manner. They add the extra sin of hypocrisy to their misdeeds. It is (sort of ironically) more honest to not profess such values and then go on to commit misdeeds.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      Good point. Her words are praiseworthy, but perhaps she is not. Or perhaps she is. Never met either of them, so I just have their words to go by (and the news).

  2. kernunos said, on June 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    She could have been a completely dreadful person to him. Not saying that is the case but you are assuming a lot here. He should resign because he did this on tax payers’ backs not because the media wants him to. Also Conservatives should not re-elect him after this because he is obviously not focused and true to Conservative values. If he was a Dem’ he could just claim he had an addiction and was working hard everyday to fight it. :)

    • biomass2 said, on June 26, 2009 at 10:31 pm

      “She could have been a completely dreadful person to him.”

      So. . . true Southern Republican governor that he is he passes on marriage counseling, separation, divorce, and jumps right to an adulterous affair with an Argentinian broad? :) At least he didn’t do the beast with two humps with a Venezuelan chick. That Chavez connection would be a real political killer.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

      True-perhaps she pushed him towards an affair. But, if she was that bad, then he should have just divorced her and moved on.

  3. kernunos said, on June 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    “This deflection probably works for most listeners in Limbla-la Land. But. . . It’s not that the Democrat got away with the adultery and the Republican didn’t. Or that the media shrugged for Kennedy and Clinton but bared its fangs for Craig, Sansford, Ensign, et al. No. It’s the ooze from the wounds of holier-than-thou hypocrites that drew the predators.”

    Ah yes, the old hypocites are more guilty argument.

    • T. J. Babson said, on June 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

      The Republicans sell themselves as the “Daddy” party, who make the tough decisions that are good for the country but are perhaps politically unpopular.

      Like it or not, the standards are higher for them. They just need to start living up to the principles they say they stand for.


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