Men Behaving Badly
Wednesday May 8, 2013
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Mark Sanford is the worst example of what passes for a political professional in the United States.
He will, in the next few days, be sworn in as the Member of Congress from the First District of South Carolina having won a special election against a woman whose only reason for running is that she is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.
What a choice.
Sanford, you will remember, was the Governor of South Carolina. In 2009 he sort of disappeared for about a week. This did not go unnoticed in the Palmetto State and questions were asked.
The answer as to where the Gov had Gone was he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
In fact, he had run off to Argentina - yes THAT Argentina - to hang out with his girlfriend.
Sanford was married at the time.
The running joke back then was: Sanford was supposed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail, but he was really after Argentinian Tail.
I know, I know, but this is what passes for political humor.
It comes to pass that Sen. Jim DeMint resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate to run the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Current Governor Nikki Haley appointed the sitting Congressman from the First District, Tim Scott to take DeMint's seat.
That left a vacancy in SC-01 and about 173 Republicans signed up to run in the primary which, after a runoff, left standing the former Governor, Mark Sanford.
Sanford began his campaign by running an ad asking for forgiveness. He said he was praying to the "God of Second Chances."
Because I am old and have no downside vulnerability, I said on the air that he should be praying to the "god of Tango dances."
I am not expecting a call from the Congressman-elect to run his communications shop.
Sanford appears to have won 54% to 45% so in the end it wasn't even close.
Mark Sanford will return to the Congress and as far as I am concerned the Congress is getting exactly what it deserves.
Next Man Behaving Badly
It has been a well-whispered secret that the issue of sexual assault in the military is not just a problem, it is a growing problem.
It has been a particular problem in the Air Force where, at the Air Force Academy, assaults on female cadets was, at one time, at epidemic proportions.
At Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas - a first stop for many Air Force recruits - no fewer than a dozen trainers have been charged with assaulting at least 31 female recruits.
We knew about this and were told the Department of Defense was handling the situation.
The Air Force even appointed an officer - a Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski - to head up the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Pretty aggressive stuff.
Except this O-5 apparently got drunk on Sunday night in Crystal City Virginia - adjacent to the Pentagon - and, according to the Associated Press:
"A police report says that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman's breast and buttocks. Police say the woman fought him off and called police."
Other reports indicated that Krusinski and the woman did not know each other.
If all this is true, a senior officer in the United States Military thought it was OK to walk into a parking lot near the Pentagon and try to feel up a woman he did not know.
That's not the biggest problem. Neither is the biggest problem that the woman beat Krusinski up and called the cops.
The biggest problem is that sexual assaults in the military have been increasing. According to the NY Times, a survey of active duty service members showed an estimated
"26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted last year, up from 19,000 in 2010."
That's nearly a 40% increase in just two years.
Now that Krusinski has been arrested in sight of the DoD headquarters, everyone is jumping on the sexual assault bandwagon.
President Barack Obama said:
"I have no tolerance for this. If we find out somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period."
How is it, though, that no one thought to bring to the attention of the Commander-in-Chief that the problem was growing at this alarming rate?
A former Governor, now Congressman-elect; and a field-grade military officer behaving badly - really badly.
Where do we go from here?
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the result of the South Carolina Special Election, the AP report on Col. Krusinski's arrest and the NY Times' report on that survey of sexual assault.
Also a confusing Mullfoto from a rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
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