You did not think that I forgot about this doofus, did you?
I have done a lot of thinking about Mr. Sanford and his lady problems. In the end I came to a conclusion: I do not think that politician should have to resign his or her post if they cheat on their spouse. If they did, there would not be any politicians left.
When the story first broke, I remembered a clip that I watched on The View. (Why do I watch "The View" online? I don't know. It is like a giant train wreck that I cannot turn away from.) Anyway, the young one, Elisabeth, made the comment, "If someone breaks that most sacred covenant, marriage, how are we supposed to trust him to lead?" Boy, is she going to be in a rude awakening if she ever finds her husband cheating on her.
However, I think her comment is typical of American views regarding politicians and marital fidelity. Americans often expect their politicians to be Übermenschen. These Supermen never cheat on their wives, are not over weight, do not smoke and always put the interest of the little guy first. On the other hand, Americans want politicians who "are just like them." Therein lies the contradiction.
Europeans have a decidedly different view of these matters. Your private life is your private life. Period. Nicolas Sarkozy left his wife and children to marry a supermodel, and he is still President of France. If anything, the French love their new first lady. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was on his third or fourth wife when he was first elected. I am not sure which, It was hard to keep track sometimes.
The Governor of my lovely Bundesland, Lower Saxony, is an even better example. When Christian Wulff was first elected in 2003, his campaign featured large posters of the handsome young politician and his beautiful wife and daughter. In 2006 he left his wife for his new girlfriend and in 2007 he was divorced. By the end of 2007 his girlfriend was pregnant. In January 2008 he was reelected, in March got married, and in May had a son. The only person who found this all a tad strange (i.e. portraying himself as a family man to get elected and then leaving his wife and living with his pregnant girlfriend) was me. The Germans never batted an eyelash.
Sadly, spouses cheat on each other. This does not disqualify a person from being an elected official and is something left behind closed doors. As I approach my 5th wedding anniversary and watch my toddler getting bigger, the black and white view that I had about cheating has gotten a lot grayer.
However, leaving your family, including your four sons, over Father's Day weekend to visit your mistress in Argentina and not tell anyone, which you know will lead to wild speculation, and then using the story of King David to defend yourself . . . well, that just makes you an IDIOT, and may be a reason to step down.