Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sanford should Resign

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who, this week, admitted to an ongoing affair and went missing for several days while visiting his mistress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, should resign from his post as governor.

But not because of the affair.

Politicians have had affairs for decades, centuries even, without it interfering with their jobs. We may not like their actions, but if they're able to perform their duties properly while still carrying on the affair, we should not demand a resignation; we should wait until the following election, and see then if we want new leadership, either in the primary challenges they may face or in the general election.

But when that politician comes who is unable to perform his duties DUE to the affair in question, then that politician becomes a liability. In this instance, Gov. Sanford's actions warrant resignation on his behalf.

Sanford left the country for several days to be with this woman. He left without anyone knowing where he was. What if his state had faced a cataclysmic event? How would he have been able to lead? He'd have to come home, for sure, but without anyone to contact him, how would he even know? And would he be able to come home in time to make a difference?

These are all questions that matter. Sanford's actions are shameful for sure: he had an affair during father's day weekend, of all things. But his actions as governor are also shameful: he left his state without a governor to lead it. If Sanford wants to take special trips to meet with this woman, he should consider if it's viable to remain governor, for the people of South Carolina's sake.

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