He nobly served the national interest, which he never defined as his own reelection,” so says National Review ‘s Kate O’Beirne about Rep. Mark Sanford. The South Carolina congressman is keeping his word to voters: stepping down after pledging to serve only three terms in Washington.
Sanford’s not a career politician. They equate the national interest with their political interest. The longer in power, the more they’ll do anything to stay in power. First the Lincoln bedroom becomes Motel 6, now ABC’s “20/20” reports that big campaign contributors are being rewarded with lavish state dinners at taxpayer expense. Our First Lady defends the practice. When told how state dinners used to host folks “who’d contributed a lot to this country or the world,” Hillary was at no loss for words: “I think contributing to the Democratic Party is a contribution to the country.” So why shouldn’t she grab our hard-earned tax dollars to reward the party faithful?
The Democrats are not alone. President Bush had fewer guests at state dinners, but a similar percentage of big donors. And now it’s okay for Republicans to throw around tax dollars in vulnerable districts in a blatant attempt to buy votes. “This is a battle,” says House GOP campaign head Tom Davis. “Both sides are using whatever assets they have . . . in a legal and dignified manner.” Perhaps in the no-controlling-legal-authority world of career politicians, what they’re doing is “legal.” But spare us the spin about how “dignified” it all is.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.