Rep. Mark Sanford Defiant After His South Carolina Primary Loss

Sanford is one of the most consistently conservative members of Congress, but this election hinged on Trump loyalty.

I have to hand it to South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford. I don’t like his past, his adultery or the cover up, but I can respect that he’s sought to make amends, he repented, and that the people of South Carolina trusted him enough to put him back in office.

Sanford recently lost his reelection bid in a GOP primary that saw a rabid pro-Trump candidate slam him for his lack of fealty to the president.

President Trump had not been particularly active in the primary, but in the final hours before the election, he decided to tweet out an attack on Sanford, and support for his opponent.

How much this may have hurt Sanford is not immediately clear, although he does feel it bears some responsibility.

The Argentina reference was to Sanford’s affair with a reporter from Argentina in 2009.

Sanford, then governor of South Carolina, had basically disappeared. His aides told the press that the governor was unreachable, since he was hiking the Appalachian trail.

The resulting scandal eventually ruined his marriage.

Since that time, he seems to have rehabilitated himself, and his record in Congress, according to Conservative Review’s Liberty score is rated “A,” with 93 percent.

That’s more conservative than Senator Ted Cruz’s 90 percent.

In fact, Sanford has been a consistent, reliable conservative, so what happened?

He supported Trump’s agenda around 80 percent of the time, as well.

But that remaining 20 percent…

Our representatives should be willing to stand up to the president, even if he’s from the same party. They’re not elected to rubber stamp everything the president says. What if he proposes something that is detrimental to the representative’s home state? Would they want him to just rubber stamp whatever the president says?

That’s dumb, but it’s apparently what the Republican party is about, in this age of Trumpism.

Sanford appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning to talk about the state of the union that would allow such totalitarian madness.

"We swear an allegiance to the Constitution and we pledge allegiance to the flag and what was weird about this race that I've never experienced before in any race I've been a part of was an allegiance question where people say are you for or against the president," Sanford said during the MSNBC interview on Thursday.

"I've never before had a question of allegiance to a person, rather than allegiance to the flag and Constitution and to a degree that's what this race came down to," he said.

I had a friend running for office in South Carolina who, unfortunately, fell to the mindless attack of Trumpidian rage.

My friend is a young, enthusiastic Christian conservative, with a good head on his shoulders and a lot of promise. During the primaries, he was “NeverTrump,” but abandoned that when Trump became the nominee. He voted for Trump during the general election, and since that time, has been very generous with Trump, in my opinion.

My friend was doing well and even felt he had a good chance at taking the nomination for Rep. Trey Gowdy’s soon-to-be-vacant seat.

In the last week of campaigning, one of his opponents began to attack him for being insufficiently loyal to Trump, and pointed out his “NeverTrump” stance during the primary season.

I saw my friend get attacked and maligned – not for his ideas about policy or his conservatism – but about his lack of loyalty to Trump.

How this plays out going forward, with Republican voters-turned-Brown-Shirts, demanding the knee be bent before the orange altar is going to be really interesting, because as we’re seeing around the country, race after race, propping up Trumplican candidates during the primaries doesn’t mean those seats are safe in a general election.

What happens when/if the time comes that Republicans no longer hold a majority in the House or Senate?

I’m going to say Democrats with a majority are going to be far less agreeable to the Trump agenda than a handful of conservatives with enough backbone to call out Trump when he’s off the rails.

Pledging “allegiance to Donald Trump," Sanford warned Republicans, could be "a mistake on a soul level."

"There are always trade offs in politics … but I think everybody's has got to answer that question for themselves," Sanford concluded.

They do, but I have a feeling for the most faithful Branch Trumpidians, it's going to take a harsh fall to earth to get the point across.

Given what I'm responding to...



I don't like Trump. I have to push back on the idea that the Trump Presidency resembles a dictator more than a country with a Constitution. That is just ridiculous nonsense. Now, I firmly believe that Trump wishes he were a dictator. I believe that is why he often, and wrongly so, says such glowing thing about authoritarian dictators, whether it is Xi, Putin or Kim. Wanting to be and doing it are two different things.

He still has a press that 90% of hates his guts and tries to get him at every turn (often with him handing them live ammunition). He is caught up in a federal special investigation at some level that he has not disbanded. A large portion of the FBI and DOJ are outright hostile to his legitimate authority as the President. He has fired two people there that I know of, Comey and McCabe. Most likely there are thousands that needed to be fired on Day 1.

Setting your hair on fire with untrue statements like Trump reminds you of a dictator causes people to not take you seriously. Otherwise, you make some good points. It is those nuggets that turn people off that aren't drinking the Kool-aid of the pro- or anti-Trump forces. All 25 of us that is.

The GOP's problems predate Trump. They have taken on another flavor with Trump, but it is the same worthless organization that hasn't accomplished anything significant since the mid-90s. That said, it is also the only vehicle for a conservative to be elected to office. I am all for working on a new party, but if we want to keep anyone decent in Congress until that is developed, we will have to vote for some Republicans. That is a different argument than better than the Democrats. I am advocating that we actually look at each candidate and make a call on where they stand. Voting strictly against a candidate because of the party they belong to is just as stupid as voting strictly for a candidate because of the party they belong to.

Some people have forgotten that Trump didn't get over 50% of any state until the 35th contest. Now the Trump ball washing has gotten a lot stronger. I think the nastiness and over-the-top vitriol, non-stop, from the media has made people more defensive of Trump. They actually working to motivate and solidify his base right now.

I don't like where the GOP is right now. I think a lot of these bad things are here to stay. It is important that we don't get caught up in our cheering section, either for Trump or against him, to the point that we lose sight of logic and the truth. He has some good and some bad. And there is reasonable disagreement on how much of one verses the other. What there should not be a disagreement on is that there is some good and some bad.


etbass, you have some good ideas and are generally correct. Far too many congress critters in both parties serve only their own self interests. They make decisions based on what they think will get them re-elected or increase their wealth and power. In my opinion, these traits are more prevalent in democrats than Republicans. Democrats are better at politics and deviate from the party line only when they have permission from their party's leadership. All of the duplicities of the two parties are becoming more obvious in the Trump administration and I thank the President for that.

@smokinmoma: Although RavenHatfield was rude and insulting, there is some truth to what he says.

The federal government disburses funds to the states on an unequal basis. For example, the South Carolina receives about 7 dollars for every dollar its citizens pay in federal tax, while Illinois receives only about 50 cents for every dollar its citizens pay in federal tax. See here:

Is this inequity unfair? Not necessarily. Because each state has its own history, its own resources, its own poverty rates, etc, some states could use more federal help than others. As a citizen of a state that receives less than it gives, I don't have an objection to this principle.

Whether the current system is fair is another question, however. For example, if you look at GDP per capita, it seems to me that states like Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Texas that have relatively high GDPs per capita should potentially moved from being a receiver state to a giver state.

What is true is that blue states are disproportionately giver states and red states are disproportionately receiver states. This is becoming more common knowledge among citizens of blue states and it is giving them some heartburn. I think ordinarily it wouldn't bother them so much (they are, after all, liberal states), but it naturally makes them pretty mad when they hear right-wing media constantly calling them "taker states."

mudskipper, your comparisons and those by others mean absolutely nothing without listing the components of federal disbursements to the states. The linked Atlantic article addresses the welfare component as a factor but it does not indicate what percentage of the differential is due to the welfare payments. For instance, Georgia comes close to breaking even on Fed Tax paid vs. Fed disbursements received but has a high percentage of the population on SNAP. I haven't yet tracked down the source figures for the statistics but there is obviously a lot more to the story than meets the eye.