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Stop the presses! Right-wing Republican wins election in right-wing Republican district!

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It should come as no big surprise that former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (above) won a congressional election yesterday in a solidly Republican district, but the national media are playing the story as a huge deal.

Yes, Pat, but Sanford had been tainted by a sex scandal. The story is big because his victory signals an unlikely political comeback.

Horsefeathers! Sanford’s not the first politician to survive a sex scandal. Does the name Bill Clinton ring a bell?

But, Pat, Sanford prevailed in a district crawling with moralistic Religious Right types.

Sure, but those people are ideologically predisposed to prefer any conservative Republican to a Democrat, no matter the Republican’s moral lapses. As Franklin Roosevelt once said of some unsavory politician: He may be an S.O.B, but he’s our S.O.B.

But, Pat, Sanford got only 54 percent of the vote in a district where Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by 17 points last November. If Sanford had lost, Republicans would have been in big trouble.

Wake up, Doofus! Sanford didn’t lose! And even if he had, nothing much would have changed in Washington. The balance of power in the U.S. House would have been pretty much the same. Besides, in the long run, the Republican Party is still in trouble, no matter that Sanford won. The party is a captive of its most extreme elements, which inevitably will be its undoing.

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