Mark Sanford Also Rises

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 8 2013 1:07 PM

Mark Sanford Also Rises

I have returned from real America with this piece about the wild night Mark Sanford returned to the bosom of electoral politics. It conveys, hopefully, the sense among the people who worked for Sanford, and forgave him, that doing so was the best way to fulfill a religious case and to reveal God's grace.

The people horrified by Sanford's return to Washington have usually couched this as outrage at hypocrisy. How could social conservatives forgive such a public affair? What a lot of those conservatives told me was that Sanford had been honest -- he only fibbed and evaded the truth for a week -- and that he'd suffered enough. To me, that raises a question about a totally forgotten brand of hypocrisy. Why would a citizen politician, a guy who proudly refused to live in Washington and slept instead on his congressional office cot, feel such a need to return? Why would the approval of voters, after he personally groveled and apologized to him, be the best way to feel divine forgiveness?

Anyway, it's all in that piece.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.