Eye on the Ball

sanford-ensign-muckLet’s face it – Farrah Fawcett picked the wrong day to die.  Like those who passed away around the time Ronald Reagan died (Tony Randall, Ray Charles) her story will be washed out to sea by the tsunami of Michael Jackson coverage. Poor Farrah – yesterday, once the Gloved one was declared dead, she went from a banner at the top of the NYT front page to a blurb and a postage-stamp photo at the bottom.

It is also true that coverage of the Ensign and Sanford sex scandals will suffer. And this is unacceptable. These family-values fuckwits need to be mocked, driven from office, and perhaps gelded.

So I promise to do my best to keep on top (sorry) of both stories.  Here’s the latest:


Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon.

And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn’t back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I.

You have got to be shitting me. David was, like, a king. Sanford is an elected official. Plus, David could have anyone that disagreed with him smitten, if you know what I mean.


The Las Vegas Sun reports that Fox News received Doug Hampton’s bizarreletter — about the affair between Hampton’s wife Cindy and Sen. John Ensign — three days earlier than the right-wing news channel had previously acknowledged.


Of course, the main significance of the news, as the paper notes, is that it raises the likelihood that someone at Fox, or in touch with them, tipped Ensign to the news, prompting the Nevada senator to come clean. Fox senior producer Tom Lowell has previously denied telling Ensign about the letter, but Lowell declined to comment for this story.

And believe it or not, there is a Ensign-Sanford connection.

And just for fun, a handy chart I found over at fivethirtyeight.com.


That’s all for now.


Sanford abandoned his young sons and spent Father’s day in Argentina in the arms of his mistress. I suspect that’s the fact that’ll ultimately doom him… that and the fact that he was taking these trips on the taxpayer dime.

In many way the best thing that could happen for Democrats is for Sanford not to resign, of course. He now has no moral capital, and everything he says and does will be seen through the lens of his adulterous affair.

@Serolf Divad: In the SC statehouse, Sanford has many enemies in his own party. I don’t think it would help Democrats in any way because of that, and because, well, South Carolina is redder than Assy McGeezer’s face on the day he forgets to take his Fibercon tablet, as he strains on the toilet while yelling for Cindy to get the Fleet enema from the upstairs bathroom in one of his zillions of houses.

No, there will be a vindicator in the SC GOP who is just angling for higher power, and the residents of the Palmetto State will give him (and yes, a him) that power).

@Serolf Divad: Me, I was poking around Sanford2012.org before I got distracted yesterday afternoon — an independent “draft” site that had a sudden change of heart:

Where do I start? I guess the first place to start in my mind is by telling everyone who has left comments about ME to get over themselves. My name is not Mark Sanford and I am not the one who cheated on my wife. What Mark did was wrong – no way around it. But as for myself, my biggest regret is the fact that I once again put trust into a human being (a politician no less) who I have absolutely no control over and I’ve only met a few times in my life. I had a quick email exchange with my Sunday School teacher today and he said it so well, “Don’t put your faith in man!”

And while Gov. Fat Fuck (R-Mississippi) remains technically “viable,” folks will start noticing that interesting Katrina corruption if he steps up.

@Serolf Divad: If I were a father that’s what I’D want to do on Father’s Day ….

And I’ll believe this when I see it.

I’m still wondering how much NBC paid the Sinatra family to put off his death announcement until just after the Seinfeld finale.

@blogenfreude: This father says “and who wouldn’t?” I mean, there are 364 other days of the year to spend with the family, amirite?

/shuffles off to empty cat litter, mow lawn, wash wife’s car

Did King David abandon his throne for week and leave no one in charge? I think not. Talk about eyes on the ball: I don’t care who he was fucking. That’s not the point, in terms of keeping his job. How could anyone take off a week from their job unannounced, with no instructions left for handling things in their absence and no way to reach them, and not get fired? It’s beyond irresponsible. Also, I think Nate has overlooked the fact that Sanford is indeed a lawbreaker: Adultery is still on the books in SC, and they’re still arguing over whether the law requires the governor to leave the lt gov in charge if he is unavailable.

@blogenfreude: There’s so much fine print in the student loan relief, it’s ridiculous. Doesn’t cover the private loans, only the federally guaranteed loans, which are capped at $18,500 per year. And if you’ve consolidated your loans, you can’t do it, either.

@Mistress Cynica: Agreed — Sanford was off the menu before the confession, even before his plane landed. If he had indeed been, um, hiking the trail, dereliction of duty would have been sufficient to tank any chances he had in 2012.

But hey — bless him for providing some first-class political entertainment this week. I’ve never seen such a sublime swan dive into Hades.

@Mistress Cynica: I think the law is still on the books but — Stinquelawyers help me on this one — did Lawrence v. Texas not settle all that whatnot about consenting adults?

@Mistress Cynica:
There was King David’s trip to Greece so he could “study philosophical dialogues”. He refers to in Psalm 6969 “Yea, which path shall I take to the bath house, O Lord?” I think it’s in one of the suppressed books of the Bible.

Sanford’s back in the game! Now he’s King David! Hooray!


Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask, did you enjoy Peaches’ show or did you OMFGGOOUTOFYOURMIND love it?

@Benedick: IIRC, King David was able to hook up with Bathsheba because he arranged to have her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle. Lesson: it’s good to be King.

And Jenny strikes back in an interview with the AP. Marky Mark is so screwed:

South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says she warned her husband not to see his mistress before a trip last week and was shocked he met her in Argentina anyway.
Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press that she discovered Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair in January when she found a letter from him to the other woman. She said she told him to end the affair and he agreed to.
She said that when the governor told her recently he needed time alone to write, she specifically warned him not to visit the mistress. She was shocked to learn this week that he’d gone to Argentina to do just that.
Jenny Sanford says she stayed with her husband while their four sons finished the school year in Columbia before leaving him for their coastal home on Sullivans Island.

So refreshing to see the wronged wife dedicate herself to taking the bastard down. When chatting with the press yesterday, she said she wasn’t concerned about his career and that she and her boys would be fine without him. It’s good to be the one with the money.

@Mistress Cynica: And the power tools. She could fuck him up something awful.

@Original Andrew: I needed a fucking cigarette after it. Peaches crowd surfed over me; high-fived me; I was literally front and center. It was worth getting there like 4 hours early.

@Benedick: That reminds me, is Kings still on NBC?

@Mistress Cynica: I think I’m going to start a Jenny Sanford fan club.

w/r/t Jenny Jenny Sanford, here is the full AP interview. And damn, girlfriend [wifey?] is brilliant when it comes to messaging – something that her husband is seriously incapable of doing…Prommie was right – Governor Mark had pussy madness bad. I present to you Exhibit A:

South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford sat in her oceanfront living room Friday, recalling how her husband repeatedly asked permission to visit his lover in the months after she discovered his affair.

“I said absolutely not. It’s one thing to forgive adultery; it’s another thing to condone it,” Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press …

She said that when her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, inexplicably disappeared last week, she hoped he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, as his staff told those who inquired about his absence. That he had dared to go to Argentina to see the other woman left her stunned.

“He was told in no uncertain terms not to see her,” she said in a strong, steady voice. “I was hoping he was on the Appalachian Trail. But I was not worried about his safety. I was hoping he was doing some real soul searching somewhere and devastated to find out it was Argentina. It’s tragic.”


“You would think that a father who didn’t have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit,” she said.


@SanFranLefty: She is brilliant. I am in awe. Political wives, take note of how not to act like a victim.

@Mistress Cynica: She really needs to find her inner FCS and drive a bayonet into one of his eye sockets and twist it hard while repeating their vows to him very, very slowly before pausing to watch him writhe in pain and then beginning to tear off parts of his body with a Sears overunder while shouting the universal cry of the abused spouse, “Die! Fucking die, you piece of fucking shit! DIE!”

@FlyingChainSaw: Oh, FCS, you are so revealing your Yankee roots. Because she doesn’t need to find her inner FCS. As there’s nothing more torturous in the south (back me up, Cynica, OA, cubbie, MellBell) than a woman saying shit like “You would think that a father who didn’t have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit.”

Total passive aggressive mindfuck with a cup of sugar, combined with a “Don’t you worry mister, mah daddy has found me the best attorney evah and you will never see those boys again, and by the time I’m done I will change their names and their last name will be SkilSaw” Probably doesn’t help that Mark called her daddy to ‘splain why he was flying to Buenos Aires all the fucking time.

P.S. She’s heiress to the Skil fortune. She would never use tools from Sears.

@Mistress Cynica: I had my hopes up that Slida Spitzer, who survived a decade at Skadden Arps, would have half the ovaries that Jenny Jenny is showing. But it proves the point about who has the money (not to mention why professional women should never quit their jobs to be political wives) – and in the Spitzer household it was Eliot and daddy who had all the money. Jenny has a level of economic freedom that the other wives were unable or unwilling to embrace.

@SanFranLefty: But Jenny’s originally from Chicago, with a family tie to Ethel Kennedy’s brother. Smells like a Yankee to me.

If that’s not an incentive to cheat, I don’t know what is.

Mark Sandford, welcome to your hell.

According to NYT, it was Sanford’s Mistress’ ex boyfriend (!) who leaked it, not 867-5309

@SanFranLefty: Jenny is awesome. I, too, had hopes for Slida. Maybe Slida decided to put her foot on Eliot’s throat in private.

@SanFranLefty: She would never use tools from Sears.

It’s pretty unlikely that Skil makes an overunder (a shotgun). Now, one of those .22 powered nailguns, that’d work too…

@SanFranLefty: It’s true. She’s not originally from the South, nojo‘s right about that, but she works it like a true belle. He’s her bitch now.

@nojo: She left Chi-town at age 18 to go to Georgetown, spent a few years in Nooo Yawk City, and then hitched her star to a South Crackolina boy. Plus, the Chicago Stinquers can back me up but I think once you get 10 miles south of the Cook County line you are in the south…

@Dodgerblue: I think Mr Skadden and Mr Arps would be bummed if she didn’t

Halle-fucking-ujha! Finally, a woman who doesn’t drag her ass up to stand beside and support some shithead that just betrayed her trust.
@SanFranLefty: @Dodgerblue: As someone that knows ole Skadden Arps intimately, all I have to say is that she must have been in Corporate.

JEEzus…i don’t open the laptop or turn on the tv for a few days and icons are dropping dead and gov’nahs are engaging in the wrong foreign affairs. king david?
i’m having dinner at his hotel tonight.

jenny? i think you’ll be fine, but if you need any tips on how to make your ratbastard wish he was never born….call me.

Caught up with Colbert on Sanford last night. Almost the best coverage anywhere. Certainly the funniest. Particularly to see him telling Sanford how boring he is. To my surprise I thought Sanford was quite charming.

I think we should be a little careful about giving Jenny too much credit. She is declaring herself proud possessor of a Strong Faith® which she’s counting on to get her through. I don’t think it’s quite fair to compare her to Silda. Spitzer was doing stuff with hookers which, while not perhaps the most admirable activity he might be engaged in is, after all, only sex.

/ducks to avoid shoes thrown at his head.

Similarly, I have a somewhat different POV re Jenny and the Doorstop. Were I in her position I would try to find it in me to be happy for my husband that something quite so unexpectedly uplifting had happened to him. There are few things in life quite as wonderful as falling in love and, always considering how it’s been handled, I would hope I could find it in myself to be happy for him. Were I in her position I would hope I might have been able to send him off to BA with a change of underwear and a sense that the boys would be alright. Many very successful and dynamic marriages are organized along similar lines. I suspect however, given their propensity for prayer, that a great deal of resolving and never-againing and swearing on the Bible has been going on which has no doubt produced inhuman amounts of torment. It seems to me that Silda might have the more human approach. Not that it can have been easy for her but she would seem to have had the sophistication and good sense to realize that her husband, although a dick, was still the man she loved. I can respect that she wanted to stand beside him, no matter how humiliating. And Spitzer manned up and resigned. He didn’t deny or evade while Governor Doorstop, on the other hand, seems to be following the teachings of the American fundie handbook: my sins are forgivable, yours are not.

But of course, one can never see inside another marriage and I have a great dislike of being absolute.

None of which, of course, stops me from finding the whole thing hilarious.

ok, i’ve done my homework, and conclude that jenny absolutely tipped off the intrepid girl reporter at the airport, who “had a hunch” HAHAHA
jenny, i think i love you.
benedick, yes hilarious–a many diapered thing for style points alone.

@baked: Revising opinion somewhat as to ‘uplifting love’ aspect since reading that Maria’s BF-on-the-side was the whistleblower. I had thought that given the magnitude of Governor Doorstop’s Faith® he would have brought his grand passion to Jenny’s attention and been honest about it (not that I’m altogether in favor of honesty: there are many situations in which the only decent thing to do it to lie). But no. Seems he went skulking about the bushes like a… well like a Republican. In which case the Vengeance of Jenny takes on new meaning.

I’m just so glad I will never have to have dinner with any of these people.

@SanFranLefty: I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing is so sturdy an aid to independence as “a fortune of one’s own.”

@Benedick Ahnuhld: Yes, all the Jeebus rambling is offputting. I”m trying to overlook that while I admire her vengeance. And if you could discover your spouse was in love with someone else and be happy for him, you are saintlier than Jeebus himself. I know my reaction is colored by the fact that someone very close to me has been similarly betrayed and is going through a very bad time.
@lynnlightfoot: Jane Austen couldn’t have said it better.

@Mistress Cynica: Gee, thanks. I was just channeling her and Woolf.

I agree that you’d have to be “saintlier than Jeebus himself,” to be happy for your spouse in love with someone else, also sillier than I can’t think of ? – maybe Mrs. Bennet, or Lydia B – since I believe “in love” is usually more accurately described by the word “lovesick,” and contracting that condition is like a very bad case of the flu or a colossal binge in its effects on both the life of the sufferer and the life of the sufferer’s hitherto most significant other.

@lynnlightfoot: @Mistress Cynica: Ladies, it depends. I’m not saying it’s likely but I have known it to happen. And in quite solid marriages both straight and gay. I just think that the great bubbling up of emotion can be a wonderful thing. And it might not last all that long. I can see a case to be made for waiting it out with good grace.

However, we are talking about Republicans.

@Benedick Ahnuhld: I agree there’s “a case to be made for waiting it out with good grace,” unless of course the love affair is just the cap sheaf on a mountainous heap of unkindnesses and provides an excellent opportunity to shed the blankety-blank so-and-so. It’s also different if the lovesick one decides to burn his or her bridges. You don’t want to get caught out there in the middle of a conflagration.

@Benedick Ahnuhld: I can perhaps see it if one’s marriage or long-term relationship has evolved into more of a platonic friendship, but only if one is far more generous than I am (I’m more the Medea sort, I fear). Also, only if one had one’s own money and wasn’t facing serious financial straits if one was dumped for the other love.
Jenny is almost as good as friend of my mother’s, heiress of one of the wealthiest families in our part of SC. Her husband was mayor of the city I grew up in, and started an affair with their Swiss au pair. She said she was headed to the beach house with the kids, drove to the island and dropped the kids off with her sister, drove back home and found him in their bed with the au pair. She called the cops to have him removed from her home (everything was in her name) and told them he could take his clothes because those were the only things in the house that belonged to him. By morning, he was jobless, homeless, poor, and a social pariah. Last heard of slinking off to Florida or somewhere.

@lynnlightfoot: @Mistress Cynica: Of course it all depends on the who, why, and how. But I’d suggest that Silda’s behavior displayed not only nobility – standing by her husband to take some of his humiliation onto herself – but perhaps the recognition that he was in bad trouble and that he needed her. Sometimes the affair with the au pair means the man has lost his bearings and needs his wife more than ever. Most of our behaviors and assumptions are learned and have not much more meaning than what the culture gives them. Let’s not forget that Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville West had a long and spectacularly successful marriage yet both led fairly separate lives of romance. And lest you think that they weren’t truly connected, after she died Nicholson went completely to pieces. The OH was visiting someone at the Albany (an extremely swank apartment building in Piccadilly) and bumped into a man stinking of piss who looked like he hadn’t bathed or changed in weeks (duh) who stumbled into the building’s lobby where he was treated with great tenderness by the staff. On asking who it was, the doorman told the OH that it was Mr. Nicholson who had not been himself since the wife died. On a lighter note, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the great Edwardian star, loved him the young men and was always falling in love and doing various foolish things with, for and about them, but whenever he found a new lover always took them to meet his wife to get her approval. This story came from Esmee Percy, who was very beautiful as a young man and was much loved by Tree. When Sir Herbert took him for supper to meet and be approved by Lady Tree they had a perfectly nice time. When she rose to leave the two of them together she paused in the doorway and said to her husband “I don’t care what you say, I still say it’s adultery.”

Maybe you have to be English? I don’t know. I’ve been in some dicy situations myself which involved quite a lot of crying in bathrooms. My only point remains that one can never tell. And often the most sensible and/or generous course of action is the one that makes the least sense. I think it’s a pity that too often we take our cue from the tabloids.

I daresay Sanford was given warnings and he has clearly behaved like a fool. But the very extent of his folly suggests that something else is going on and perhaps changing the locks is not the only right response.

Thank God he’s not my problem and I can continue to find the whole thing hilarious.

@Benedick Ahnuhld: Funny you should mention Harold and Vita. As I young girl, I dreamed of growing up and marrying a nice gay Englishman. We’d have a lovely garden and give marvelous parties; he’d have his young “protogés,” and I wouldn’t have to be bothered with children or sex or any other such unpleasantness. Perfect!

@Mistress Cynica: You have just made my day with “As I young girl, I dreamed of growing up and marrying a nice gay Englishman.”

@Benedick Ahnuhld: “And often the most sensible and/or generous course of action is the one that makes least sense. I think it’s a pity that too often we take our clue from the tabloids.” Amen to that. I’d just change it to “often the most sensible and/or generous course of action is the one that makes the most sense.”
When I was in my twenties, I copied into my journal a quote from Chekhov (whose tuberculosis killed him at forty-nine or so): “Come now, to be picking faults with life at sixty-two, that ‘s not magnanimous.” That’s it, of course. “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”

@lynnlightfoot: That’s right. Quote Chekov and make me cry.

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