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Hey, Gov. Sanford, How Are Those Family Values Treating You?

The Loop, Commentary, Devona Walker Posted: Jun 25, 2009

After disappearing for four days, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has finally confessed that he has been unfaithful to his wife.

No kidding. Did he really expect anyone to believe he was just hiking along the Appalachian Trail on Fathers Day, without his wifes knowledge? It was kind of funny watching the 96-hour news cycle while Sanford was gone, though. You had everyone from Chris Matthews to Rachel Maddow all but calling the man a liar on national television, just stopping short of saying he was having an affair. What man leaves his family for nearly a week without telling his wife where he is? Come on.

This comes just a week after the last Republican Party sex scandal. Then, Republican rising star (aka competition for President Barack Obama in 2012) Sen. John Ensign, of Nevada, admitting to having an affair with a campaign staffer whose husband was on his staff.

Last year I had an affair. I violated the vows of my marriage. It is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it. "

Thats what Ensign said with watery eyes at a press conference just last week. Of course, he only confessed after it was rumored that his mistress husband was making a fuss about it.

And now, here we go again, Sanford dumped his security detail, either tells his entire staff nothing or tells them to lie, unplugs his cell phone and boards a plane for Argentina to meet with his mistress. He only fessed up after reporters found out that he'd left his car at an Atlanta airport and wasn't on a "hiking trip."

Here's the rub: Both these guys are refusing to resign. Neither of them think their sins are bad enough to force a resignation. Of course, when Bill Clinton was caught in an affair, Ensign was leading the lynching party. And Sanford, well, what can I say that Mr. Don't Cry for Me Argentina hasn't already said.

I just spent the last week crying in Argentina, Sanford said today at a press conference.

Well, I guess, that explains why his wife and kids werent exactly longing for daddy on Fathers Day.

If these guys were Democrats, this would be enough to incite a morality revolution by the right. If these guys were Democrats, we would be investigating every penny these politicians have spent in the last five years, as in the case of John Edwards. If these guys were Democrats, there would be a witch hunt.

But they arent, so we will just add them to the list of hypocritical liars on the right. Just in case anyone may have forgotten the depth of these Republican scandals, I have come up with a fairly comprehensive list.

Mark Foley. In 2006, Rep. Mark Foley's secret was discovered. He had been sending out sexually explicit emails to male teenage pages for some time. His sexuality and his impropriety with young pages was not a very well kept secret in Florida politics. In Vanity Fair, it was stated that everyone knew Foley was gay and everyone helped keep that closet door half closed for the sake of politics. In fact, one of the parents of a congressional page actually went to the newspapers months prior with Foleys emails, but was ignored. Later, another newspaper got a hold of them and Foleys world officially fell apart.

Sen. Larry Craig. In 2007, this Idaho Senator was arrested for trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officer in a Minnesota bathroom. This led to a few months of good late night talk show humor and even the mock auctioning off of the bathroom where Craig was caught. But he, just like Ensign and Sanford, refused to resign. Craig had reportedly been battling the gay disease rumor since in 1982.

David Ankeney. In 2001, this Republican party activist was caught up in a sexual assault scandal when he was accused of assaulting a 13-year-old girl he met on the Internet.

Jim Bakker. The famous anti-gay, anti-Democrat, anti-just-about-everything televangelist was indicted in 1988 on 23 federal charges of fraud, tax evasion, and racketeering.

Bob Barr. This Georgia Congressman sponsored the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act the one gay rights activists are still battling. He was once quoted as saying, "The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundation of our society, the family unit." Barr was married three times, and paid for his second wife's abortion (she also suspected he was cheating on her). He failed to pay child support to the children of his first two wives and while married to his third and present wife and was photographed licking whipped cream off of strippers at his inaugural party.

Parker J. Bena, a Bush operative and key player in the Bush 2000 election campaign pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Some of the photos involved children as young as three committing sexual acts.

Louis Beres, past chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon, three of his family members accuse this upstanding man of God of molestation. In 2006, he confessed.

John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush administration, is suspected of forcing his ex-wife to engage in group sex. The State Department never refuted the charges despite numerous inquires posed by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt. Flynt reportedly heard from numerous sources that Bolton went on paid vacations to Platos Retreat, a popular swingers club in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jim Bunn. This congressman from Oregon dumped his wife and five children, married a staffer and put her on the payroll for nearly $100,000 per year.

President George W. Bush was accused in a criminal complaint and lawsuit of raping Margie Schoedinger, a black woman. The claims were never substantiated. But Schoedinger never recanted them. She died later in what was declared a suicide, but critics have claimed the circumstances surrounding her death were questionable. Tammy Phillips, a former stripper, also claimed she had an affair with Bush in 1999.

Neil Bush. This is W.s little known brother. During his divorce in 2003, he admitted to having repeated sex with strange women who just showed up at his room while on an Asian business trip.

Congressman Ken Calvert (R-California), has been called the champion of the Christian Coalition and its "family values." But in reality, Ken Calvert was sued as an alimony "deadbeat dad" by his ex-wife. In 1993, he was caught receiving oral sex from a prostitute by law enforcement. He attempted to flee the scene but apparently couldn't move fast enough to get away from police, and was arrested.

In 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that women had accused California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of groping and verbally harassing them. Schwarzenegger apologized, but never really owned up to his behavior. If "The Terminator" were a Democrat, the right-wingers would have tried to deport him. Instead, Bill O'Reilly and the gang went on all-out assault against the newspaper.

Devona Walker is senior reporter/blogger.

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