I have a new post up at Global Comment
Unlike other western politicians, American legislators are expected to lead lives of sexual purity. When they step outside of their marital vows, it triggers a feeding frenzy in which members of the press and public line up to consume their pound of flesh. Mark Sanford is the latest politician to allow his
genitalia heart make his decisions for him. He was in a prime position to be the front man to the now-rudderless Republican Party, until recent events changed everything.
There really is nothing new or shocking about Sanford’s story. Each day, countless people are unfaithful; according to The Monogamy Myth by Peggy Vaughan, statistics show that approximately 60% of husbands and 40% of wives will have an affair at some time in their marriage. Today, it is often more shocking to find that a husband is not a lecher. The only real twist to this drama is the reaction of Jenny Sanford, Mark’s wife.
When Mark Sanford made his predictable atonement plea, he was standing in front of the cameras by himself. Jenny Sanford seems to have declined to take on the role of long-suffering wife awaiting the return of her fickle lover. Dina Matos McGreevy, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards all stood by their men, allowing the public to feed off of their grief like suckling pigs. Edwards and McGreevy even went as far as to write tell-all books, just in case somehow, in all of the public commentary and accusations, you missed essential points of their rise to public martyrdom.