Being governor of South Carolina must be the best job in the world.
I thought I'd ranted about this last summer, and I even looked through my back posts for the last year or so, but I can't find it. So if I'm repeating myself, I apologize; but I can't let this one pass without comment.
The South Carolina legislature in its infinite wisdom has just decided that Gov. Mark Sanford's actions last summer don't constitute an "impeachable offense."
Let's just recap what the governor did: he left the state for 5 days, not telling anyone (including his lieutenant governor and his security detail) where he was going, and flew to Argentina to be with his popsie. When he came back and state officials said, where the hell were you, he said he was "hiking the Appalachian trail," a euphemism that makes actual Appalachian (and other) hikers wince. Only later did he admit, with many crocodile tears, what he was actually up to. His wife is now suing for divorce. He went AWOL from his post as governor of the state and left no one in charge. But he's "not impeachable."
I know of no other situation in which you could abandon your job for 5 days - not show up, not call in, nobody knows where your are or when you're coming back - and then step back into place without any penalty. In most corporations, not showing up for a week with no explanation is a firing offense. But this is government, so it's OK.
It's the government of South Carolina, too, which means that it's heavily tilted toward men. I got curious and wondered how many of the legislators who voted on this issue were women. I found one, Joan Brady, who was in office as of June 2009. I found an online editorial in the Anderson IndependentMail from 2008 which suggested that South Carolina might actually end up with no women in the legislature; Ms. Brady's presence suggests that didn't happen, but apparently it was close.
You think the vote on the governor's impeachment might have been different if the percentage of women in the legislature had matched the percentage of women in the population? Just asking.