Running for office means being ...
... accused of wanting to starve the poor if you're a Republican.
... accused of wanting to bankrupt the government if you're a Democrat.
... dismissed as a non-contending candidate if you're neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
... forced to ask for votes from not just people you know but strangers.
... forced to ask for money from not just people you know but strangers.
... subjected to having your personal life revealed in not just embarrassing but possibly misleading ways if you win high enough office.
Gee, under those trying circumstances, folks who run for office might need psychiatric evaluations.
But as first reported by Post and Courier colleague Robert Behre on Wednesday's front page (see Schuyler Kropf's follow-up story on today's front page), that's not why Jenny Sanford filed a new legal complaint Tuesday to force former husband Mark Sanford to get a psychiatric evaluation.
Among the other fresh requirements she wants imposed on our 1st District congressman: anger-management and parenting programs, a prohibition on both Mr. and the former Mrs. Sanford from exposing their youngest son "overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related to the plaintiff or defendant through blood or marriage," and a prohibition on both from taking illegal or unprescribed drugs or "excessive amounts of alcohol" while responsible for the care of their youngest son.
She's also asking the court to seal the case from the public for the sake of that youngest son, who's a sophomore in high school.
Oops. Too late.
Rep. Sanford issued a statement Wednesday calling his ex's accusations and requests "preposterous, crazy and wrong."
There they go again
Call me crazy, too, but it's no shock when divorce fallout includes residual acrimony.
That's particularly predictable when a prominent husband publicly humiliates a wife, who bore him four sons, by taking up with another woman in a scandal that becomes a national punch line.
Maybe our congressman should urge his ex-wife to get some anger-management help of her own.
Maybe a collective psychiatric evaluation is in order for the so many so interested in other folks' personal business that isn't any of our business.
Then again, when then-Gov. Sanford went AWOL on "the Appalachian Trail" in 2009 to see mistress and now longtime fiancee Maria Belen Chapur in Argentina, that was our business.
Then when he ran for his old congressional seat last year, he inevitably revived interest in his personal life.
Then he won.
Indeed, Sanford, unlike our last nine presidents, has never failed to win an office he was seeking in the year he was seeking it.
He's 3-0 running for Congress and 2-0 running for governor. And with no ballot opposition on Nov. 4, he'll soon be 6-0 overall.
OK, so Jenny branded him a cheapskate in her 2010 book "Staying True."
Heck, that's what moves so many of us to vote for him every chance we get.
Sanford's not just admittedly tight with his own money.
He's stubbornly tight with ours.
Read all about it
Back to the powerful public demand for gossip about celebrities in entertainment, sports - and politics:
Even The South's Oldest Daily Newspaper (this one) has a responsibility to give readers not just what they need to know but what they want to know.
And when Jenny Sanford takes Mark Sanford back to court, readers want to know details.
Hey, Hollywood (Calif., not S.C.) has Brad and Jennifer and Angelina.
We've got Mark and Jenny and Maria.
As for some readers' misguided complaints that The Post and Courier has stooped to supermarket-tabloid-level sensationalism with our latest Sanford vs. Sanford scoop, ponder these truly tacky headlines from this week's National Enquirer:
"Bitter & twisted O.J. is turning into a Muslim" ... "Casey Kasem's wife flees to Norway with his body" ... "Woman can't stop eating the insides of couches."
Clearly, our standards remain quite elevated above the lowest "eating the insides of couches" denominator.
Meanwhile, if you're unhinged about this newspaper keeping readers apprised of the continuing court conflict between our ex-governor/ex-and-current congressman and his ex-wife, perhaps you also need a psychiatric evaluation.
And if that well-intentioned suggestion makes you mad, consider getting anger-management counseling, too.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is email@example.com.
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