Saturday, June 27, 2009

POLITICAL MORALITY EXPLAINED. Lisa Schiffren, National Review:
At the moment, I take the somewhat more nuanced and subjective view that it mostly matters when it steps over some kind of (inherently arbitrary) line, in which a major psychological flaw is revealed by dint of the nature of the infraction.

Senator Ensign didn’t cross that threshold. Spitzer, McGreevey, and Edwards all did. We learned about their characters from their sexual behavior. Mostly their practices just confirmed what we already knew to be the essential nature. Spitzer was an arrogant bully, Edwards a phony and a narcissist, Bill Clinton a sex addict. We have learned about Mark Sanford that he wasn’t entirely the hard-ass politician who fought budget growth in South Carolina so well. He has a mushy romantic side and a need to escape.

Whatever. If [Sanford] cares to, he can recover. I bet he won’t choose to do so.(Just as he has yet to choose to return to his marriage, except under immediate duress.) Which will be a pity. Because he had all of the right ideas. And these days, I would take a flawed Christian, with a failed marriage, who believes in liberty, markets, and low taxes, over what we have, no matter how good a family man President Obama might be, any day.
Or to paraphrase Nixon: I'm saying that when Republican Presidential timber does it, it is not morally illegal. Interestingly. Schiffren is not always a thorough-going shill for the Religious Right (at least when she's got a more secular candidate to promote), but when the chips are down she's always ready to call them off the bench and into the game ("I'm hoping that my embittered countrymen, clinging to their God and guns, will defeat candidates who flout their values").

Maybe she thinks she's doing them a favor here by constructing the sort of pro-hypocrisy brief that would immediate provoke howls of derision if offered by a preacher or churched Republican official. I wonder, though, if they'll appreciate it. It's been a long time since the Terri Schiavo crusade, and a lot of church folk have probably figured out that Schiffren would also support a flawed Satanist, with a failed marriage, who believes in liberty, markets, and low taxes, over what we have.

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