How the GOP Must Respond to Sanford-Gate and Ensign-Gate

By John Cardillo
America’s Right

For the record, I hate the “gate” suffix when describing scandals, but it just seemed so appropriate in this case since the Democrats have had their “gates” for years, and capitalized on them. Now it’s our turn.

Mark Sanford, in taking an Argentine vacation with his mistress, and John Ensign in having an affair with a friend’s wife, both give the GOP a unique opportunity to drag out some old Democratic dirty laundry as the 2010 midterm elections quickly approach.

That’s right, I’m talking about William Jefferson Clinton and his cigar, Elliot Spitzer a/k/a “Client # 9″ and, of course, former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy, who not only had an affair, but a sexually harassing homosexual one. [I call him the "Jersey Meathook." -- Jeff]

Democrats love to point fingers whenever there is a Republican “sex scandal,” but that’s to be expected from a party that doesn’t like mirrors very much. However, when Democrat presidents seduce college kids, Democrat governors get caught paying prostitutes with whom they are cheating on their wives, or sexually harassing male employees, it is written off as human nature, and pressures of the job.

In the wake of their own infidelities, Clinton was listed in women’s magazines as a “sexy” man, and Spitzer recently was the feature of a Newsweek piece that implied he’d be back. McGreevy published a book and did the talk show circuit.

But whatever happened to Jack Ryan? Remember him? I do, and so should you. No, not the Tom Clancy character — the great candidate who was running for Senate against Barack “Barry Soetoro Hussein” Obama . . . and winning. Remember what the Democrats did to him? How they used their Hollywood connections to pressure his wife, Star Trek‘s Jeri Ryan, during their divorce, to describe a visit to a sex club years before while the two were still married? It sunk his candidacy, destroyed his reputation, took him out of politics, and he was vilified in the press. Republican leadership was nowhere to be found, and Ryan, who could have been a rising star in the party, was hung out to dry all alone, and without a shred of support. Shame on the GOP.

I was as embarrassed for the Republican party’s handling of that incident as I was impressed by the way Democrats galvanized around Bill Clinton like a sow to her cub. They attacked anyone who dared say Clinton was wrong for having oral sex . . . in the Oval Office . . . with an intern. Yet, the GOP couldn’t defend a guy who tried to spice up his marriage one night with his wife.

That’s why we as a party have a problem. We don’t defend our own. Every best friend and brother knows the rules. You defend your own in public no matter what they do short of criminal activity, then rip into them behind closed doors. Until we learn that, a strategy the Democrats know and use very well, we will never win the PR war.

Once the GOP defends, the candidate in question needs to apologize publicly and be contrite. After that, the scandal is a non-scandal, and the “move along, nothing to see here” mentality will set in. Sanford already handled the contrite apology part well, and so did Ensign to some degree, now the party must to do their part. The GOP needs to say “not this time.” The RNC and Michael Steele must stand behind Sanford and Ensign. They must roll out the same blanket apologetic rhetoric that the Democrats have done for their own for so long. Unless they do, we will be handing the Democrats a true patriotic, albeit eccentric, conservative in Sanford, and we will be weakening the party and our agenda that much more by losing a Republican Senator in John Ensign. It is time for us to stop storing ammunition, and start using it.

The left will try to use Sanford and Ensign to detract from Obama’s daily disasters, Pelosi’s mess, and upcoming vital votes and debates on energy and health care. We cannot let that happen. The right cannot “take the high road.” Instead the GOP needs to let loose the Clinton, Spitzer and McGreevy dogs of war, and put the left on the defensive. While the left has their gloves on their face defending those indefensible scandals, the right needs to hammer with body shots of North Korea, Iran, and Obama’s dismal poll numbers on his handling of the economy.

We need to control the news cycle as best we can and, even more important, we need to show the Democrats we are going to start street-fighting, just like them. Sanford and Ensign just gave us what we need, and we must use it. If we don’t, we will once again miss a great opportunity.

Of course, I am not condoning what any of these people did (except Ryan, as he and his wife, as consenting adults, should have been able to do whatever they wanted and had it kept private). Not the Republicans and not the Democrats. But I am saying that we must stop bringing knives to these gun fights, and finally fight fire with fire.

John Cardillo, a former NYPD officer now considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on online safety and security, is president and CEO of Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., an Internet security company which specializes in online crime and predator detection, online child safety, and the protection of Internet end users from criminals and sexual predators. Cardillo lives in Miami, Florida and, in his spare time, can be found astride his Harley-Davidson, in the Florida Keys, at the shooting range, or on South Beach. He has been contributing to America’s Right since January 2009.



  1. Linda says:

    For goodness sake – did you HAVE to finish your article with that picture? I could hardly stand to see his face then and now is no different . . . although the current joke has replaced them as far as faceless to me.

  2. Dee says:

    I totally agree. In a way it's like a family and, as you said, you back them and support them in public and chew them out when you get home. The Dems will use this to deflect attention from all the other issues that should be dealt with.

  3. Gail B says:

    Linda, I'd rather look at a REAL president's face than that of someone literally giving us a one-finger salute.

  4. Linda says:

    oops: meant to say replaced 'him' as far as faceless.

    Must be my anger and fear over the infomercial tonight and the sheeple who will believe it, and the horrifying cap and trade vote on Friday that's making me make mistakes. I have called my reps and am now in the process of circulating the letter Glenn Beck received from the Arizona woman to every senator, representative and governor in this country. I've had enough and we need to take control of our country before it doesn't resemble anything that we remember.

    Stay tough, everyone. But now is the time to stay focused and take action through our letters. I can't take many more sleepless nights.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That's it, you hypocrite. Complain when Democrats drag Republicans through the mud and claim "foul", but use the same tactics in as "rallying cry". A scandal is a scandal is a scandal. Whoever tries to "profit" from it is a lout, regardless of political affilliation.


    What happens in Rio, doesn't stay in Rio.


    Dude. That's pretty darned funny.

    Save for the whole Rio-is-in-Brazil thing. Still :D

  8. SARAH says:

    Isn't Argentina a continent?

  9. HAIL TO THE GRIEF says:

    An erection cost an election.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I think the Republican party should stand by him…right after his wife beats the sh*t out of him.

  11. R I O SPEEDWAGON says:

    Would you believe I meant Rio Gallegos, Argentina? ha…. Google rocks

  12. Anonymous says:

    oy, just wait for the late night talk shows tonite.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I know you're a big Stanford fan, but I disagree. The way to beat the dems is not to become more like them.

  14. sharon says:

    Well said. I will say in all of my disappointment, it was a pretty darned good press conference to say the least. Took responsibility. The bright light in all of this is that his wife new about the affair and had kicked him out of the house two weeks ago. If it were not for his misstep in this incident, they may have been able to work it out as a family. I hope she leaves him though, infidelity is a huge issue for me.

  15. SNEAKY says:

    Well, if you're gonna have an affair, nothing like going almost all the way to the South Pole to hide it (Argentina).

  16. Anonymous says:

    in the final analysis i am a forgiving person and at the same time i simply MUST say these people in political life deserve a harsher treatment for their messups than others. WHY, you say?

    because DAILY by means of their jobs they are reminded that they are to be held to a higher standard.

    additionally, an "affair," is not something you SLIPPED and did… you had time to repeat your poor choice and you had time to consider the consequences.

    sanford turned out to be just another USED John. yes, i am 100% sure she used him, and who's to say the reason why republicans lost wasnt because of certain things he leaked to her?

    if his wife has known for five months then it started before obama took office?

  17. Anonymous says:

    (paraphrasing) "GIRD YOUSELF… KNOW HOW TO SAY THESE SIMPLE AND STRONG WORDS:::: "i am committed to a wife and children."

    that always gets rid of of the circling sharks.

    did Chavez hire her to work him over? ARGENTINA???? what the hell…

  18. Anonymous says:

    dont have much respect for people who do this sort of thing.

    it tells me that they cannot be trusted with party secrets or anything else if they can be lured this easily.

    most guys are smart, but some of these guys with the highest educaiton on paper seems to lack common sense.

    now i ask myself, just why would an otherwise "intelligent" man think that whatever a hooker, etc. just tole 500 men BEFORE him that she means it when she says it to him?

    have never been able to figure out that one. will be a cold day in hell beore i let a woman like that around me… any woman who lacks the respect for a man still living in a home with children is – excuse me – A SLUT!

    (not saying anyone cannot be forgiven, but until they ask forgiveness they are nothing but the S word, imo).

  19. Anonymous says:

    Democrats write it off as "human nature".
    Republicans write it off as "a fall from grace…sin…forgiveness is due".

    I'm am so sick of the spin on both sides…

  20. Anonymous says:

    How about letting loose the Obama scandal with Larry Sinclair….if you think that is just a bunch of hot air then you are in denial as well!!! Larry is telling the truth and he has proof….Obama believes he is above the law as do many of these immoral politicians. The MSM is avoiding the real scandals…such as the drugs and sexual escapades MR. Fraud had with Mr. Sinclair back in 1999!!! Now why not air all the dirty laundry???


    SOOOO true at 1:51
    Cocaine, Sex, Lies and MURDER

  22. Anonymous says:

    We are a society that lives for sensuality, and then we're surprised when it pops up in our politicians. The pursuit of sensuality is the engine that drives almost everything that we, as a culture, have decided is important – even our politics.

    "I'm shocked, shocked, that there's gambling going on here" (from "Casablanca").

    Thanks to a culture of sensual gratification, infidelity is as common as dirt, but what burns me is when people tout their piety at the same time they indulge themselves in such sordid acts. It tarnishes, once again, the name of Jesus Christ and discredits all of us who claim to be Christ-followers.

  23. NIP and TUCK says:

    Hey Billy, time for an eye tuck.

  24. John says:

    Larry Sinclair is a nut, and there isn't one shred of proof to support anything he is saying. We do a disservice to all the legitimate complaints and concerns about Obama, by legitimizing some freak making up salacious details about a fictional event to satisfy his bizarre fantasies.

    My writing this piece had nothing to do with me being a Sanford fan. I like the guy, but he was always a bit eccentric for me to have taken him seriously as a potential POTUS. My motivation was strategy.

    And to anonymous who says…"the way to beat the dems is not to become more like them"…I say this…You are naive, very very naive. Politics is war. In war, when the other guy has better and more brutal weapons, he wins and you lose.

    The Dems are vicious and brutal when it comes to their political opponents. Unless we fight like them, we lose.

    That was the point of my piece. It doesn't matter whether or not you're disgusted by what Sanford did. I don't approve of it, most don't. But this is bigger than Sanford. A message needs to be sent that the right is no longer "taking the high road", but is instead going to get in the trenches and fight.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The reporter couldn't read his scribble on the notepad: "Appalachian Trail" was really "Argentinean Tail".

  26. mad mom says:

    I'm not surprised about Sanford, but I am disappointed. Humans make mistakes and I give the governor credit for speaking from his heart (aka rambling by the media) and giving details that the media would have pressed for anyway (aka TMI by the media since they didn't get to dig it out like a earthworm).

    Here's where I'm stumbling: Last year, May or June, Sanford was on the list of attendees at the Virginia hotel where the infamous "Bilderberger" conference was supposedly held. At that time, he was a consideration for the vp nominee with McCain. So early, you say? Makes you wonder about slam dunks, doesn't it?

    Then yesterday in Sanford's news conference, he stated this relationship sparked about a year ago. Really? Where? In the Blue Ridge of Virginia?

    The laws of shady politics and subversive organizations are pretty consistent. One being: If you can't buy someone, you compromise them.

    Doesn't excuse the behavior of a married man cheating on his wife, but it makes me wonder if this was a setup to kill opposition…or if Sanford is playing the role he was designed to play and simply got caught in some extra-curricular activities.

    Heaven help me, after watching this last election, I trust no one to be who they say they are.


    Let's just disagree, John, I have really looked into Larry; I am not a big conspiracy person, but I believe him. Let us just see who the passage of time proves right.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Just because you're a nut, doesn't mean another nut won't get in a limo with you and do cocaine and the deed sans Monica.


    Good God, I accidentally clicked on that photo of Bill, and when it popped up in High Def unexpectedly it scared the living CRAP outta me!!

  31. Gail B says:


    I clicked, and you're right!

    Also, I noticed that the picture was taken either before he told Hillary about Monica or long after: There was a black and blue mark on his left forehead the next morning when Bill had to admit to his wife what he'd been up to in the Oval Office. The bruise was not coverable by makeup, and it showed for nearly a week before it could be hidden.

  32. CHARO? BIZZARO says:

    I just can't picture Sanford with Charo, gootchey gootchey.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Posted on CNN:

    South Carolina Dems call for Sanford investigation
    Posted: 02:55 PM ET

    (CNN) — South Carolina Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler said Saturday that Republicans in the legislature should form a bipartisan committee to investigate Gov. Mark Sanford

    "Mark Sanford deceived us – the only way now for South Carolinians to feel confident they are being told the truth is for the General Assembly to pursue every recourse under the law to get at that truth," Fowler said in a statement.

    Wow. How a little tit-for-tat here? If the Dems can go after Sanford, how about anybody can go after Obama?

    We ALL want the truth, don't we?

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