Political Animal


April 17, 2013 12:11 PM Trespassing for Football & Fatherhood

By Ed Kilgore

I don’t mean to obsess on the latest Mark Sanford story, but his reaction (per Political Wire) to the revelation that his ex complained to the courts about his serial trespassing on her property is just too rich to ignore or bury in an Update:

It’s an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court. I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.

Ah, yes, Sanford knows his would-be constituents very well. Trespassing is taken quite seriously in the Deep South (as a society not that long separated from its agrarian traditions), and deterring it probably contributes as much to the regional mania for gun possession as any fear of violent crime. But if anything can trump hatred of trespassers, the ritual of a father watching football with his son just might do the trick. How’s the boy supposed to learn the difference between 4-3 and 3-4 alignments without the old man to instruct him? Hell, the poor kid might wind up playing soccer or something.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • jpeckjr on April 17, 2013 12:41 PM:

    The Super Bowl is not a "situation that had arisen." Arranging to watch it with his son is something that could have been planned well in advance, and at another location. Hell, I'm not much of a football fan, but even I knew the Super Bowl was happening long before game day. It does not "arise."

    Where did he watch the first half -- the Appalachian Trail?

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 17, 2013 12:41 PM:

    What a loathsome, self-absorbed, entitled little dipshit!!!

    What is even richer was this little nugget:

    "There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election..."

    And your mistress trotting out at the victory party wasn't embarrassing??? Not to mention everything else YOU did that led to this sorry state of affairs.

    This totally reads like a Lifetime Movie.

  • Collin on April 17, 2013 12:53 PM:

    You are forgiven for this obession and there is no way I will find anything as funny today.

    I think Mark Sanford missed his calling as he should have been a late comedian writer.

  • c u n d gulag on April 17, 2013 1:06 PM:

    Sgt, Gym Bunny,
    Yes, but in a Lifetime movie, he'd get his just "desserts," and his wife would light his ass up like a banana flambe!

  • punaise on April 17, 2013 1:10 PM:

    soccer? no, anything but soccer! :~)

    (Captcha poetry: UNTAIN dappeaki)

  • scott_m on April 17, 2013 1:10 PM:

    I'm thinking in this case, the property line judge will hit Sanford with a 100-yard encroachment penalty.

  • thebewilderness on April 17, 2013 1:11 PM:

    What a frightening experience that is to come home and meet someone sneaking out your door.
    To come home over and over to find that someone has been there going through your things and making sure that you know they have been there by leaving their imprint on your bed. Or worse than their imprint.
    This is a form or terrorism that many women experience every day in spite of restraining orders and protection orders.

  • biggerbox on April 17, 2013 1:18 PM:

    Man, Sanford really is dumb as a stump.

    If you're going to go down this road, you have to say something about how you felt it was important that, after that Beyonce half-time show, you felt it was important that there be some adult supervision of the boy. And met "under the light of my cell phone"? What does that mean?

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 17, 2013 1:23 PM:

    But seriously, dude's a jerk. The most sinister part about this is that he obviously took advantage of his son's affection to get somewhere where he knew he had no business. (My parents got divorced, and they regularly did these kinds of things.) Total douche, who clearly hasn't much in the way of scruples with regard to whom he won't take advantage of.

  • Lifelong Dem on April 17, 2013 1:43 PM:

    Hey, leave Mark Sanford alooooooooooooonne!

    My father died when I was 12, and I know far too well the deep, never-healing emotional scars caused by having to watch the Super Bowl alone. I, I nearly come to tears at the memory of all those lonely Sunday evenings ....

  • gelfling545 on April 17, 2013 1:46 PM:

    So he wanted to watch football with his kid. Great. Does he not have a home and a tv where this could happen without invading his ex wife's home?

  • Matt on April 17, 2013 1:49 PM:

    biggerbox: And met "under the light of my cell phone"? What does that mean?

    Jenny Sanford's complaint is more to the effect that he was trying to sneak in or out of the back door, using his cell phone as a flashlight to avoid detection, rather than turning on the lights and making his presence obvious.

    So, he has to carefully include that detail in order to make the whole Super Bowl chaperone story fly.

  • AndrewBW on April 17, 2013 2:01 PM:

    "[A]s a father I didn’t think he should watch [the Super Bowl] alone."

    What the hell does that mean? Is the Super Bowl R-rated all of a sudden?

  • FlipYrWhig on April 17, 2013 2:22 PM:

    @AndrewBW, two words: wardrobe malfunction.

  • Daniel Kim on April 17, 2013 2:27 PM:

    "How’s the boy supposed to learn the difference between 4-3 and 3-4 alignments without the old man to instruct him? Hell, the poor kid might wind up playing soccer or something."

    . . . and become gay.

  • schtick on April 17, 2013 2:30 PM:

    He wants his mistress and wants to control his ex, too. He lets her know that by tipping into the house when she isn't there. He's a stalker and she should fear for her life. His next step of getting physical and/or killing her is right around the corner. If he loses the election it just may be the thing that pushes him over the edge.

  • Alan Tomlinson on April 17, 2013 2:48 PM:

    "How’s the boy supposed to learn the difference between 4-3 and 3-4 alignments without the old man to instruct him? Hell, the poor kid might wind up playing soccer or something.

    . . . and become gay."

    With this worthless scumbag as a role model, I would suggest that a young man would have every reason in the world to see being gay as the moral response to the immorality he experiences through his father.

    If they don't elect him, I will be surprised.


    Alan Tomlinson

    P.S. Don't for a moment think that I carry any sort of brief for homophobes; I am merely attempting a bit of ironic juxtaposition here.

    P.P.S. more captcha poetry: paid ingfinu

  • Col Bat Guano on April 17, 2013 3:23 PM:

    I would love for someone to explain to me how Jenny Sanford was "out of town" and yet still discovered him sneaking out the back door. Does "out of town" mean something different for Sanford like "She didn't answer her phone so I went over because I deserve to be in that house."?

  • jpeckjr on April 18, 2013 1:26 AM:

    And yet, at the end of the day, I still do not have an answer to my question: Where did he watch the first half? My guess: with another another woman. Jenny and Maria should get together and compare notes. Wouldn't surprise me if he's been out hiking again!

  • paul on April 18, 2013 9:21 AM:

    Note also that Sanford is hypocritically taking advantage of the decency of the rest of his family, knowing that his ex-wife is not going to stage a press conference with their son to determine whether he's lying or not.

    And, as other people have noted, on the Appalachian Trail there are apparently no cell phones, text messages, or calendars with important events marked on them.