Never Forget

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Memo to Mark Sanford: WE REMEMBER YOU.

Sure, I could talk about the long-awaited concession of Norm "Dental Dam" Coleman in the Minnesota Senate race, but I've been bidding Coleman farewell for so damn long that his actual leaving is an anticlimax. Instead, I'd like to celebrate the one-week anniversary of the greatest political story of 2009, Mark Sanford's Secret Argentinian Mistress, with a special all-infidelity edition of IDIOTS SAY AND ADMIT TO THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

""Because it's not feelings - it's not emotions. For most Christians, at some point in your marriage, if you're married long enough, you do it because that's what we're called to do _ out of obedience instead of out of passion. And I think that's where Mark and Jenny are right now." - Warren "Cubby" Culbertson, Mark Sanford's spiritual advisor and the leader of a "spiritual boot camp" hosted by the Sanfords while they were pretending he wasn't cheating on his wife.

I think this goes a long way toward explaining why certain breeds of Christians are so fucking miserable, and so fucking intent on making the rest of us miserable. Notice what he's not saying. He's not saying they're together for the sake of the kids. He's not saying they're together in the hopes of making it all work out. He's saying they're staying together because God will be mad at them if they don't. That's just sad. It's not noble, it's not righteous, it's just a tragic and ultimately dishonest form of self-martyrdom. This is just one of many reasons I've never spent any time at spiritual boot camp.

"Their belief was that if I walked in with a real spirit of humility then this last legislative term could well be our most productive one - and that outside this term, I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm." - Mark Sanford, who I hope is lying about why he's not resigning.

I say I hope he's lying, because the only thing sadder than a cynical plea for redemption that casts losing your position of power in disgrace over your ridiculous actions as "the easy way out", and keeping the job and the perks and the power as the real sacrifice, is if he actually believes it. And there's a chance he might. He's shown an alarming lack of political calculation in the past week, to go along with the equally alarming surfeit of self-delusion made evident over the past two weeks. But he's probably lying, because "whatever doors God opened next in life" is clearly faith-based code for "oh please oh please oh please don't let this be the end of my political career, Vitter's still in office and he fucked a hooker in a diaper".

"There were a handful of instances wherein I crossed the lines I shouldn't have crossed as a married man, but never crossed the ultimate line. - Sanford, in an AP interview.

By the way, fun fact - in that same AP interview, he admitted to seeing his Secret Argentinian Mistress a few more times than he actually copped to during his "brutally honest" and "admirably truthful" confession last week. Suckers.

Now, many people have speculated what, exactly, Sanford means by "not crossing the ultimate line", but I believe he is referring, metaphorically, to a famous French chastity belt from the late 1800's, the "Vaginot Line". That belt also served as the inspiration for French fortifications after World War I, if memory serves. In other words, this is a somewhat vaguely worded variant of the "I Only Fucked One Of Them, Honest!" defense, also known as the third worst defense in modern history, after "I am not a crook" and, of course, the Vaginot Line.

Let us pledge this day that no matter how many celebrities die, no matter how many comedians finally win their hard-fought Senate seats, and no matter how many Honduran governments get overthrown, that we will never forget the awkward, fumbling, and sordid tale of Mark Sanford and his Secret Argentinian Mistress. At least until someone gets pictures of Tim Pawlenty humping a capybara. And fair warning, if such pictures are found, I will be posting them at full resolution on this very page.