In retrospect, one thing is clear about the 2008 Presidential election. It seems to have forever emboldened adulterers in the Republican party (both admitted and unadmitted) into fancying themselves as perfectly viable candidates.
This is perhaps the natural result of seeing admitted serial adulterer John McCain make it all the way to the finals, and eventually enjoy the full-throated (no pun intended) support of all segments of his party, and seeing proudly in-your-face adulterer Rudee Giuliani regarded throughout as a credible, front-rank candidate, even if he didn’t exactly win many votes.
In fact, at this point, keen observers of the political scene may be forgiven for thinking that lustful fornication outside the sacrament of marriage may well end up becoming a prerequisite for the 2012 Republican primaries.
Here, therefore, in an act of bipartisan generosity, is a helpful note to Republican would-be-Presidents: in the minds of Republican voters (or maybe it is their Christian hearts?), adultery ages well. Newt Gingrich, no less celebrated an adulterer than John Ensign or Mark Sanford, is a more credible candidate at this point precisely because his adultery is so much more ancient. So all Ensign and Sanford have to do is
— not run for elected office again for the next ten or fifteen years
— cultivate the media, and turn themselves into political talk-show fixtures, and keep publicly spouting stuff that makes absolutely no sense at all (which, judging by past performances, shouldn’t be hard at all for either of them)
— buy the loyal support of some loyal supporters, who will keep hailing them as intellectual heavyweights
And before they know it, they’ll be credible President candidates again. (Assuming that the Republican Party still exists, of course.)
What’s with The State just sitting on the Sanford-Maria emails for more than six months?
What were they waiting for exactly? That question clearly leads to some very disturbing thoughts about the power of the media to influence our politics, and the potential for abuse of that power in ways that do not bear thinking about.
If they had published those emails at any time up to one week ago, it would have served the public interest. To publish them yesterday, as they did, only served a prurient interest.
Also, as a post in Daily Kos points out, publishing those emails many months ago would have served their own urgent economic interests. In March 2009, The State laid off 11 percent of its work force. They also cut wages for the remaining employees by 2.5 to 10 percent. Clearly, they could have used a boost in circulation right around then. And they just sat on this story, and did nothing.