Sanford and the urge to make oneself look pathetic

Dorothy Rabinowitz has a piece at the WSJ, “What Sanford Should Have Said.” The piece as a whole is quite poor and I don’t recommend it, but the opening captures a truth:

We can now add the sad-eyed Gov. Mark Sanford, making his tearful public confessional, to the galaxy of similar fallen stars we have seen in this state before. The question no one has ever answered is how they all fell into the grip of the same delusion: namely, that the way to retrieving dignity is to go before the microphones to issue craven apologies to a list of purported victims.

Can these recitals, interrupted by barely suppressed sobs, acknowledgment of all the betrayed—the family dog will be in there some day—actually be what an adult male, whatever his status, imagines will do the trick? Perhaps someday one of these VIPs in trouble will figure out that on these occasions it’s not such a great thing to go public looking like a pathetic dolt—the kind of man who would induce instant headache and skin crawling in any woman imagining him as a lover.

[end of Rabinowitz quote]

- end of initial entry -

Stephen T. writes:

When Mark Sanford declared to the TV cameras, “I spent the last five days crying about this,” I wondered if I was the only macho relic in the audience who thought: is this REALLY the way a real man deals with this sort of thing? Particularly a man who aspires/expects to occupy position of high political power? (Next project: Google for Harry Truman speeches wherein he announced having spent “the last five days crying” about something, anything——-including dropping atomic bombs on Japan.)

LA replies:

Speaking of escaping to Argentina in order to spend five days there crying, five days after his press conference, I’m still wondering—and apparently I’m the only one—why, if Sanford was planning to end the relationship anyway, he wrecked his career, marriage, image, etc. to do it?

That he was acting under strong emotions is not an answer.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 28, 2009 04:25 PM | Send

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