Commentary: Sanford's hypocrisy

If hypocrisy were an impeachable offense, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford would probably be gone by now. As it is, he is clinging to his governorship like a plane crash victim with a death grip on his seat cushion flotation device.

Wednesday, after Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer urged Sanford to resign, the governor said he wouldn't be “railroaded” out of office.

Yes, many people think he should resign because he had an extramarital affair — to which he confessed in June after he just vanished for almost a week, leading his staff to believe he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. After a reporter met him in Atlanta getting off a flight from Buenos Aires, he confessed to an affair with an Argentinian woman.

We don't condone adultery. But that isn't why he should resign. He should resign because to leave his state and staff not knowing where he was or how to reach him was dereliction of duty. And now, it also appears, he might have violated state ethics laws.

It turns out this ostentatiously Christian and self-proclaimed tightwad of a politician was taking plenty of trips on state aircraft for personal reasons. The Associated Press found, for instance, he once had a state plane pick him up in Myrtle Beach and deposit him in Columbia — costing $1,265 — and the only thing on his calendar was "personal time" at a discount hair salon. An AP probe found trips on state aircraft to dental appointments, political events, a birthday party for a political donor and his kids' sporting events.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.