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The far right rumor mill had South Carolina
Gov. Mark Sanford securing help from the
Russians to secede from the Union...turns
out he was seceding from his marriage.
Let a governor slip off the map for a few days and the rumors start flying. I received one of those types of emails you only expect to see in the Onion yesterday. It was written by someone who called herself Sorcha Faal. She is apparelty the Internet's latest hoax queen. According to a couple of websites which have tried to figure out who she is, they claim that none of the stories she's posted have proven to be true.

But in the case of Gov. Mark Sanford, I expect before he confessed to what he was actually doing when he disappeared for a week, he almost wishes the fable Faal fabricated about him were true.

Over the Fathers' Day weekend, Faal set the far right conspiracy blogsphere on fire by claiming that Sanford, one of the top GOP picks to challenge Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the GOP nomination in 2012, was seeking assistance from Russian President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev at Russia's embassy in Ottowa. In Faal's fantasy world, Sanford was begging the Russians to be the first country to recognize the "new nation" of South Carolina when the State legislature issued its proclamation to secede from the United States. Further, Faal reported—with a smirk and tightly crossed legs to keep from peeing herself in glee—for military assistance from the Russians when Obama sends federal troops to South Carolina (Fort Sumter, maybe?) to shore up the nation. Faal further noted Sanford's decision was based on the governor's firm opposition to Obama's plans to convert the United States into a socialist nation. Justifying his actions, Faal noted that Sanford may have been driven by the knowledge that Obama wants him dead.

The conspiracy blogsphere reported Faal's fantasy, word-for-word to likeminded conspiacy bloggers who are like little kids on the edge of their seats with a mouth full of popcorn at a Saturday afternoon matinee. Faal continued: "In a chilling story that seems more at home on a television police drama than in a conservative political blog, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has gone missing. The South Carolina governor emerged as an early and outspoken critic of...Barack Obama's stimulus funding and even refused to take federal money. The Republican governor was last seen on Tuesday when he was sighted in a South Carolina law enforcement vehicle. His wife has no idea where he is. There is no doubt that Sanford's opposition to Obama's stimulus plan made him a very powerful enemy with a powerful motivation to silence him."

When I received this email a few days ago, I didn't wonder so much about Sorcha Faal. You always know an idiot the minute you look at their imbecilic ramblings. What you wonder about are the people who read their dribble and pass it along like it's real news. It's no wonder Internet bloggers have such a bad reputation. We don't vet ourselves. I am almost tempted to transcribe more of Faal's fables because her writing is almost comedic, but why give her more play?

There is a tragedy in this story. It's not that 49-year old Sanford just killed a brilliant, very promising political career. The tragedy is the impact his dalliance will have on his wife Jenny Sanford and his four sons. Jenny Sanford told the media she has asked her husband to move out over two weeks ago, but hoped the separation would help, not kill, their marriage. The couple reportedly have not spoken to one since he moved out. Sanford drew national attention earlier this year when he rejected the stimulus package for his State. The State was split on Sanford's decision, with Democratic Party-orchestrated protestors holding a rally on April 1, denoucing the governor's grandstanding. The South Carolina legislature forced Sanford to accept the money.

When the media noticed the governor had disappeared, Sanford staffers apparently misled the media by saying he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail and would be back on the job "in a couple of days." Queries to the governor's wife brought a slightly different answer. She said, flatly, she had no idea where her husband was and, frankly, didn't much care.

Sanford held a press conference on Wed., June 24 and admitted that he had secretly flown to Argentina to viist a woman he had been having a sexual liaison with for the last year or so. Sorry, Sorcha, no Dmitry Medvede. No meeting with the Russian envoy. Just homegrown dirt. Sanford noted that the affair with the married Argentine woman was over. Without identifying her, Sanford said he had known her for about eight years and was romantically-involved with her for about a year. He said his wife found out about her five months ago. "I've been unfaithful to my wife," Sanford said in the news conference that was to explain his bizarre disappearance. "What I did," he said tearfully, "was wrong. Period." Sanford told the media he wanted to reconcile his marriage. His wife's statement seems to indicate that he may had earned a chance to save his marriage.

Sanford told the media he would immediately resign as head of the Republican Governor's Association. At least one Democratic State legislator demanded that Sanford resign as governor. A potential presidential candidate in 2012, there are now doubts that Sanford will be able to weather the storm, and his affair and his refusal to take stimulus money will likely be used to undermine his Lt. Governor, Andrew Bauer or popular former Lt. Governor Bob Peeler who served under two Democratic governors. One of the two will likely snag the GOP nomination for governor next November since Sanford, who is serving his second term, cannot seek a third consecutive term.. Clearly, the Democrats will try to "Sanfordize" whichever Republican gets the nomination next year, and they will use Sanford, Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich in an attempt to scare the people of South Carolina into becoming good little socialists.

The Sorcha Faal version of the mysterious disappearnce of Gov. Mark Sanford might be more interesting to the conspiracy crowd but, in the long run, facts always work better than fiction. My question is, how many people who received the Faal story believe it's the truth and Mark Sanford's confession of a tryst in Argentina is the fabrication? I'd bet you two shiny pennies Faal has snowed a lot more people than you think. Well, once again, for whatever it's worth, you have my two cents on this matter.

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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