Mark Sanford Gonna Run Against Trump Because He's Got A Humiliation Kink
Hooray! Another white guy is possibly entering the presidential race, but it's not a Democrat! This proud (yeah, we know) South Carolina native's former governor, Mark Sanford, is considering a primary challenge against Donald Trump, the racist who can't be named.
During an interview with the Post and Courier, Sanford said he wants to promote a national debate about "America's mounting debt, deficit and government spending." We presume he's up for debating interesting topics, as well. Although, that's not clear from the following statement:
SANFORD: Sometimes in life you've got to say what you've got to say, whether there's an audience or not for that message. I feel convicted.
He probably means "conviction" there. Maybe it's a Freudian slip: Sanford is infamous for stepping out on his wife a decade ago with Argentine journalist Maria Belén Chapur. When he literally fled the country for nooky, his official story was as ridiculous as it was meme-generating: He'd gone hiking on the Appalachian trail to "recharge" after losing his months-long battle against Barack Obama's imperial socialism, when he was forced to accept $700 million in federal stimulus money, most of which would fund South Carolina's public schools. (We're a product of them so you know they need every last dime.)
Thanks to Obama, Sanford became a laughingstock. He lost his wife, who he tried to find by showing up at her house with a makeshift flashlight. But he later enjoyed a second act as representative of South Carolina's first district. This was until Trump crushed him like a bug because he mildly criticized the toddler in chief. The president endorsed his rival, Katie Arrington, in the GOP primary and gloated when Sanford lost the race. Because Trump only picks the best people, Arrington had her ass handed to her by Democrat Joe Cunningham in a R+10 district.
We do prefer Republicans challenging Trump for the nomination rather than trying to tell Democrats who to nominate. However, Sanford is delusional if he thinks there's much of a market for a non-racist among the Republican primary electorate. They aren't really interested in the "deficit" or "spending" or any of that crap. They just resent poor people having affordable access to milk. If Sanford wants Republicans to start caring about the deficit again, he should work to elect a Democrat. That's sure to get them counting pennies again.
Liberals want to believe their Republican loved ones are just "common sense" fiscal conservatives rather than drooling Fox News-addicted bigots. Somehow though Republicans keep voting for racists or politicians who method act as racist. Sanford claims the Republican Party has "lost its way," but he's not directly confronting its generations-long Southern Strategy. He just thinks Republicans should be more polite while trying to starve poor people. Paul Ryan's "zombie-eyed" conservatism works best when the racism is coded. Trump doesn't oblige. He walks around with his racism hanging out and no Republican dares call him on it because they don't want to offend the voters they know are just as racist. The strongest thing Sanford could say about Trump's recent racist comments was that they were "noxious" and "weird."
It's much easier for Sanford to embarrass himself in Iowa and New Hampshire, but South Carolina Republicans have to agree to even hold a primary. But they might have a soft spot for the former governor.
OK, maybe they'll just do it for the laughs. Trump's approval rating among SC Republicans is 79 percent, which is greater than each of its senators. Sanford would probably lose his own House district while he's at it. Trump is a childish bully who enjoys kicking Sanford. It wouldn't surprise us if he demanded a primary so he could hold some more Klan rallies and humiliate Sanford one last time.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.