The temptation today is to return to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair. Undoubtedly, his chances of being the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 are nil as a result of his personal misconduct. Even though his wife had asked for a trial separation over a period that included Father’s Day, his absence then will haunt any future campaign efforts.
Sad for his family, for the wife and four sons, for him and perhaps for the country that might have chosen him to be President of the United States. Critics will gloat. For me, it’s deep disappointment.
En route to the 1996 Republican convention in San Diego, I spent 2-3 hours seated with then-Congressman Sanford and his wife, Jenny. In the years since, I’ve watched his sons grow via the informal family portait on each year’s Christmas card. From that conversation, from the political commitment he honored to abide by term limits, and from his ability to articulate sound and consistent conservative positions, I became convinced that the Republican nomination in 2012 was a realistic prospect. No more.
But, disappointment aside, more important public policy issues abound. One in particular is a 1,200-page cap-and-trade bill to regulate carbon emissions that could cost consumers $2 trillion in pass-through costs within five years. Democrats say the cost per family would be under $200 per year; other estimates are that the impact could be up to $7,000 per year. It would force carbon-emitting industries, such as coal, oil, natural gas and oil, to purchase credits for emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases. It’s a hidden pass-through tax that could push the cost of gasoline and electricity sharply higher. ”Cap-and-trade is nothing more than a tax which starts accruing the moment you flip on your light switch,” opines Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to push the bill through the House by the end of this week. This, far more than the life travails of the South Carolina governor, should concern us.