It is time for conservatives to publicly recognize the widespread phenomenon of spousal abandonment, and the system of “family law” that supports it, for what they both are — a national scandal.
Among other things, this election result is a searing reminder that we have, as a nation, lost touch with what “redemption” really means — with the true power of God’s grace, which is the power to transform behavior. And behavior, after all, is a reflection of the heart. How much longer can conservative stewards of family values turn a blind eye to the very narcissistic lifestyle choices of our leaders that we are fighting so hard to weaken (and ultimately transform) in society at large?To put it in some context, those sections of National Review's The Corner not currently given over to Benghazi broodings are mostly devoted to Kathryn J. Lopez's wailings over abortion, and those of affiliated God-botherers like Wesley J. Smith, the title of whose offering "Hollywood Biggies Love Late Term Abortionists" tells you pretty much what you need to know about the tone of the place these days.
In other words, conservatives are still stuck in their post-electoral tantrum, and in this chaos the moral scolds of the movement, who were remarkably easy to silence and shunt to the side when any prospect of victory was visible, have been left free to seize the mic and ululate. Their connection with the world the rest of us inhabit has always been tenuous, but now that they have no reason to compromise with reality they have gone practically Dominionist. So if for nothing else, I owe Sanford some thanks for inspiring the anguish I expect Towers' ravings represents among the fundies. This will make it that much harder for them to pretend to be sane whenever they appear before normal Americans.
Sanford's victory also hasn't done any favors to the logical processes of Jonah Goldberg, who spent the writing period between his third and fourth breakfasts trying to split the difference:
Let me say upfront: I would rather we lived in a society where adultery had a higher social cost. That’s not to say people shouldn’t be forgiving or that there should be no such thing as second chances. But ideally, I’d like it if things were less loosey-goosey. Cheat on your wife, and maybe you don’t get to run for public office anymore.This prose version of flop sweat goes on for quite some time before Goldberg gets to the nub:
What was on the ballot [in South Carolina] was a choice between a woman who tried to dodge the fact she was a liberal running to advance the liberal agenda of the Democratic party and a conservative whose marriage fell apart because he fell in love with somebody else. I’m not condoning Sanford’s behavior — at all — but...But there can be no crime bigger than liberalism, and if you people who think "values" is more than a slogan we use to con suckers would just get with the program, Goldberg could stop trying to reach you and devote his pie-hole to greater helpings of pie, as God and Lucianne intended.
[Sanford's] formidable wife didn’t run to the stage to gaze admiringly and forgivingly at her disgraced husband to lessen the political damage. She kicked him to the curb and moved on with her life. Every marriage is different and we can’t peer inside any but our own, but I admired Jenny Sanford’s response.
Of course, one could argue that Huma, Hillary, and Silda were more “pro-marriage” in that they stayed by their husbands. And that just gets us back to how the culture has changed. It’s a fascinating thing."Fascinating thing" is Goldberg code for "holy shit, I just obliterated my own point fart, fart..."
Speaking very broadly as there are exceptions all over the place, it seems like liberal political couples work harder to save their marriage after a sex scandal. Again, that’s just an impression. I haven’t tabulated all the cases."FaaarrrrRRRRRRrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrt..."
Or do they place less stock in the value of fidelity (it’s just sex, who cares?). It seems to me there are a lot of ways to dissect that. For now, suffice it to say the times have changed."...[spectacular, 4th-of-July cannonade of farts and sharts] Not to worry, I'm a legacy pledge nobody expects this to make sense fart, farrrrRRRRRRtt AND IN CONCLUSION JFK was disgusting and Colbert Busch loved JFK, I bet, please don't nobody check fart fart fart, AND IN DOUBLE SECRET fart CONCLUSION..."
It’s absolutely true that conservatives need to wrestle with the question of what we should expect from our politicians. But I’m not sure liberals have anything worth listening to on the subject.Let's put it this way: That's not an egg he just laid. I hate to replay my greatest hits, but this is the stupidest thing ever written, and will remain so until Goldberg writes something else.