Within hours of AWOL South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s admitting an affair, Republican propagandists on the radio, television and even comments to newspaper Web sites were attacking Democrats.
Avoidance of reality is the platform upon which the Republican Party stands. The reality of public officials such as Sanford selling “family values” as a brand is absurd and empty to the core. Public service of character is what Ted Kennedy has embodied for his entire life, working hard to ensure a government that values all Americans and works for things such as affordable health care, a reasonable foreign policy, equal opportunity, military force as a last resort, and tax cuts for the wealthy only when the budget is balanced.
Republicans have never been consistent with their “values,” decrying reproductive rights while praising capital punishment. They are fine with the Bush administration having misled America into a war in Iraq, a charge that was bolstered very recently by new, damning information by the author of the Downing Street memo. They thought it fine that Newt Gingrich cheated on his cancer-stricken wife while trying to impeach Bill Clinton.
No American can overlook the pain that Sanford, Clinton or others who have similarly failed, caused. It stands equally true that no American should overlook the hypocrisy of a Republican Party that wags its finger in moral indignation over a host of narrow cultural issues while claiming indulgences whenever the reality of the human condition rears its ugly head within their own ranks.

Mark Tardif, Waterville


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