It Is Time For Mark Sanford To Go.

I like Mark Sanford. Despite his affair, I think he’s a probably more of a decent guy than the average politician (Of course, that’s a little like calling a woman the cleanest prostitute in the brothel). In any case, Sanford certainly doesn’t appear to be a serial philanderer like Bill Clinton or a Larry Craig style pervert. He comes across more like a man having a mid-life crisis who’s unable to decide if it’s worth it to destroy his family and throw his life’s work away to be with the woman he really loves.

While that might make for a compelling reality series, the people of South Carolina need an effective Governor, not the star of an ongoing morality play:

Two Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday met with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, under fire for an extramarital affair and questionable spending, and told him to resign — but the governor rejected their advice.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, under fire for an extramarital affair, may be under threat of impeachment.

Sanford ally Rep. Nathan Ballentine told CNN that he and Rep. Gerry Simrill had a private talk with the governor at the State House for about 40 minutes and warned him that unless he steps down, House Republicans would likely impeach him.

“Barring some swing of momentum in his favor, I told him the writing is on the wall,” Ballentine told CNN. “I thought there could be a change in scenery and he could put an end to it all, but if he doesn’t, members of the House will take things into their hands.”

House Republicans are meeting this weekend in Myrtle Beach for their annual caucus retreat, and the possible impeachment matter is expected to dominate the agenda, according to those planning to attend.

Sanford has faced a new round of scrutiny after investigations into his travel expenses revealed that he spent thousands of dollars on business and first class airline tickets for overseas flights, and used state aircraft for personal and political travel. Those probes were prompted by Sanford’s disclosure in June that he had an affair with an Argentine woman.

Members of the legislative House Judiciary Committee said there are enough votes on the committee to send an impeachment motion to the floor of the House when the legislative session begins in January.

As a general rule, I think politicians who get caught having affairs in office should resign. There are exceptions to that rule, like John Ensign, but Sanford is no exception. What he did was morally wrong and to keep his family under the microscope in this situation, when he’s obviously not fully committed to his marriage, is just cruel. Then there’s the possibility that Sanford’s travel expenses aren’t legit and the distraction from his job that this whole imbroglio provides — it’s just a mess.

That’s why the Republicans who are talking about impeaching Sanford are doing the right thing. Sanford should take their advice, resign, and then try to resolve his personal issues one way or the other, out of the media spotlight.

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