So now it comes out that Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina was unfaithful to his wife, following up on two weeks ago when Senator John Ensign of Nevada was revealed as having an affair with the wife of a Senate staffer.Â
The Republican Party has seen the collapse of its image in the months since its defeat nationally last fall.Â Sanford and Ensign were both seen as possible GOP nominees, and now both have lost all credibility.Â But add to this the embarassments ofÂ Alaska Governor Sarah Palin since the election; the claim of Texas Governor Rick Perry that secession was an option for his state;Â Â the horrible performance of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in response to Barack Obama’s first address to Congress in February; and the divisive and vehement statements of former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich in recent months.
The Repubican image is now one of promoting family values and, at the same time, being totally hypocritical, and it is really hurting the chances of the party to recover from its 2008 electoral defeat.Â There is nothing worse than an "holier than thou" image followed up by constant actions that promote total destruction of the message being promoted.
As one looks at the wreckage of the party, it seems the ONLY people left on the list of potential GOP candidates for President would include Mitt Romney of Massachusetts;Â Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota;Â Haley Barbour of Mississippi;Â Charlie Crist of Florida; and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.Â I would also add Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania as a possible additional candidate.Â The interesting point here is that all of the above were Governors, and only Crist might be a Senator after the 2010 election.Â The Republicans in the Senate are such a sorry lot that it is hard to imagine even one of the 40 Republican senators being a Presidential candidate at this time.
As I have said at other times, the Republican party faces the chance that it may become extinct and be replaced by a new, more moderate and mainstream party over time, since it offers little alternative at this point to the opposition administration.