THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

From Randy To Rand: The New Political Fiction(s)

Borel's notion -- that you give a monkey a typewriter and let it pound the keys for an infinite amount of time and the simian will write Shakespeare -- has just produced ... our very own Governor, Mark Sanford.

He actually writes a coherent article in Newsweek, of all places, about, of all people, Ayn Rand, who, in fact, was no monkey, but has become the latest go-to girl for the evolutionary intellectual descendants of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. (Says something about how our President cites Reinhold Niebuhr, the brilliant Union Theological Seminary professor as one of his intellectual/philosophical influences, to whom the "Serenity Prayer" is generally attributed, while the wishy-washy White Mans' Party looks back to John Galt. Read Moral Man, Immoral Society for intellectual heavy-lifting.)

Meanwhile, the man who has confused the Appalachian Trail with Argentina and still holds public office while betraying those very people he swore to serve, etc., writes about the Objectivist Philosopher -- just before the tsunami of memoirs begin to deluge the body politic: Sarah Palin's and his own wife, Jenny's, to name a couple.

It's too easy here to join the chorus of bloggers tasting Lynn Vincent's mousse tart -- and this, after all, is a Books blog, so let's stick with that.

Great Fiction, several great writers have said, is a great lie well-told. In his Nov. 13 Huffington Post write-up, Geoffrey Dunn points out the first 10 lies in Sarah Palin's "nonfiction," but, like I said, the target's as big as Alaska. Sanford's lie about the Appalachian Trail was so believable he kept the state of South Carolina in suspense for days. And his intellectual exercise in Newsweek stretches muscles that are ... let's just say TMI.

He tell us how much he admires Rand, one of the most self-absorbed egoists in capital-lit history ... Well, there you go. He lets us know just how much Rand he's read and tries to give us a simplistic, if backhanded, warning about the socialist leanings sweeping ObAmerica.
At the same time, the astute reader has to swallow that the same fella who cheated on his former two-time office-winning campaign manager, one-time Wall Street wife and mother of his sons writes this vis-à-vis the Great Objectivist:

"First, an individual can achieve great things without governmental benevolence, and second, one man has no right to another's achievement. These are lessons we should all remember today, when each week is seemingly marked by another government program designed to fix society."

Let's save "First" for last.

Absolutely, Guv. No woman has any right to another's achievement. (Don't ever forget that, First Dude Todd!) Which explains why you're still governor, Marky Mark -- and Jenny's not. (Buckle up for her memoir, bud, but grace goeth before your fall.)

Okay, so, really, just how far up the river did you send your four sons after that sorry-ass spectacle of your presser? No biggie, though, because they certainly won't claim your achievement when they're big boys, and you won't get to claim theirs when they get elected to the office that you should've gotten thrown out of months ago. (Just curious: How awkward is that Eagle Scout ceremony going to be for you, hunh?)

As for "First, an individual ..." blah blah blah.

Government benevolence? In a state where our small business pays 18 different kinds of tax? Where we have to send our monthly state tax returns by Certified/Return Receipt (at additional cost and time) because your Department of Revenue keeps losing our checks and tax returns? In a state where the Governor turned down Federal Stimulus Package money, which he then was forced to take -- if only because of the horrendous state of ... our PUBLIC EDUCATION? Now, there's some benevolence.

Sanford ends his piece:

"Over the past year, we've seen Washington try to solve all our problems -- chiefly by borrowing billions from future generations."

That's as rich as baked Alaska.

For pity's sake, Mark, did Iraq, Afghanistan, the Wall Street meltdown (if you were still with Jenny, she could give you great insight into on all of that), foreclosures, the trillion-dollar deficit, Bernie Madoff -- just about all of it -- came about thanks to ... golly ... all of THAT happened in the TEN MONTHS?

Okay, alridey, y'know what? You're right. As you say at the very end of your article, she's "more relevant than ever." In your world, maybe, a world that has become incredibly small.

Can't wait to see what Jenny writes. Meme: A memoir, like a political article, should be a bit closer to reality.