When Sanford first announced that he had been carrying on an affair and that he left South Carolina to see his other woman in Brazil, I thought that Sanford would be forced out of office. Sanford, however, was able to survive that scandal and continued to be Governor. He was however weakened and nearly powerless. He was at this point mostly a figure head. He's in his last term. As such, his power is diminished to begin with. This scandal cost him all sorts of political capital, not to mention dignity. So, while he survived politically, it was almost certainly at the detriment of the state he was leading.
He was, however, on a political short leash. Then, came this accusation.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford used state aircraft for personal and political trips, often bringing along his wife and children - contrary to state law regarding official use, an Associated Press investigation has found.
According to state budget law, "Any and all aircraft owned or operated by agencies of the State Government shall be used only for official business.
"Records reviewed by the AP show that since he took office in 2003, the two-term Republican has taken trips on state aircraft to locations of his children's sporting events, hair and dentist appointments, political party gatherings and a birthday party for a campaign donor.
Sanford, for his part, has denied he did anything wrong with all of these trips. There are also rumors that he and his wife are about to divorce, which he also denies. I don't know if the accusations are true and I certainly don't know if he is getting divorced. I do, however, know that he is no longer in any position to lead. His life is in chaos. He's dealing with a series of scandals and that helps no one not the least of which the citizens of South Carolina. He must go. He is no longer helping his state but hurting it. He's no longer helping his party but hurting. He's totally powerless and he'll accomplish nothing the rest of his term. He's lost his ability to lead and once that happens you must step aside because you are now hurting your party, your state, and the office you hold.
It's up to the Republicans and the members of the legislature to demand that he step down. If Sanford refuses to leave, those around must insist that he go, but either way, Sanford needs to go.