Steve Largent

Should He Stay or Should He Go? The Palmetto Family Council Can’t Decide

While a majority of Americans believe that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford ought to resign following his decision to go AWOL and the subsequent disclosure of his infidelity, one group is not so sure.

And that group is the Focus on the Family affiliate and pre-eminent Religious Right organization in the state, the Palmetto Family Council:

Palmetto Family Council president Oran Smith says his group has not yet called on Sanford to resign, but is monitoring whether the governor is earnestly trying to reconcile with his wife.

"We really haven't reached a conclusion," Smith admits. "I'll have to say there is a lot of strong support on our board of directors for asking the governor to resign -- just simply because of some of the things that happened that were not related necessarily to the affair, but that involved him telling some untruths and trying to be evasive in a way that was not good to establish trust in the office of governor."

Just out of curiosity, what do you think the PFC's position would be were Sanford a Democrat?

But frankly, it's not surprising that the Palmetto Family Council would be reluctant to take a stand against Sanford (just like all the other Religious Right groups) considering that his endorsement of the organization is featured prominently on its website:

And, for those who are so inclined, here is an address Sanford delivered in which he gushingly praises the organization, though most of the speech is an introduction of former Rep. Steve Largent, whom Sanford credits for introducing him to C Street.

But just because the organization is unsure of what to do about the state's hypocritical governor doesn't mean they can't try to rally support for his wife, which it has done by setting up a webpage asking activists to send her messages of thanks and support:

The people of South Carolina, particularly the wives and mothers of the Palmetto State, feel the hurt of this scandal most deeply, and refuse to let this moment pass without taking time to thank and encourage the one person who has been a rock in this crisis: First Lady Jennifer Sullivan Sanford.

Friends of Palmetto Family Council are saying loud and clear that Jenny Sanford deserves our thanks and our support ... By doing so, you can encourage her and thank her for her strength, her courage, her commitment to her family, and her example. Please help us collect as many signatures as possible to show how deeply the people of South Carolina (particularly wives and mothers) appreciate her and what she represents.

Dobson Finally Fights Back

For weeks, former Congressman Dick Armey and Focus on the Family have been publicly bickering, but all the while FOF chairman James Dobson has refused to respond personally, instead choosing to let proxies defend him and attack Armey. 

Those days are now over. 

Apparently, Dobson could no longer tolerate Armey’s allegations that “Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies” who rely on “demagoguery” to manipulate the “intellectually lazy” and accusations that Dobson is a power-hungry egomaniac, so he a penned a lengthy reply and published it, not surprisingly, on the Fox News website.

In a piece entitled “Mr. Armey, You've Become a Bitter Man,” Dobson accuses Armey of making up or imagining past slights and intentionally distorting Dobson’s record and positions.  On and on Dobson goes, defending his work and his influence within the Republican Party before chalking Armey’s dislike of him up to bitterness over Dobson’s support for Armey’s opponent in a race for House Majority Leader

I supported my close friend and hunting buddy, Rep. Steve Largent, R-Okla., because I thought he was more committed to conservative ideals, especially the sanctity of human life. Armey is apparently still ticked about that. At least in this instance, Armey has his facts right. I didn’t “orchestrate” anything, however, since it is impossible for an outsider to engineer any internal congressional matter. I did let my preference be known. I make no apology for that, but Mr. Armey still appears to resent me for it.

Finally, Dobson insinuates that Armey has sold out by working with the ACLU on privacy issues before all but dismissing him has a non-entity who is merely seeking to make a name for himself

Believe it or not, I don’t spend my time trying to figure out what Dick Armey is doing and really don’t care very much one way or the other.

Either Dick Armey has forgotten most of what I said, or he has become a very bitter man. Or maybe there is another possibility. He could be trying to reposition himself as an erstwhile Republican leader by discrediting the Religious Right, hoping to step into the vacuum after the upcoming election.

Come to think of it, that may explain everything.

With just a week to go before the election, Armey and Dobson couldn’t have picked a better time to air their dirty laundry in public and engage in a nasty ideological battle over which part of the Republican base - the anti-government tax-breaks-for-the-wealthy crowd or the anti-abortion gay-bashers – will attain the greatest influence over the party.

Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious