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June 24, 2009

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Sanford's Odyssey

“The odyssey that we’re all on in life is with regard to heart.” - Governor Mark Sanford, June 24, 2009
Sing, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the school system of South Carolina. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own ass and bring his staff safely home; but do what he might he could not save his staff, for they perished through their own sheer folly in telling one lie after another to the Sun-god The Press; so the god prevented them from ever reaching better jobs in Washington. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever liveblog you may know them.

So now all who escaped death in elections or by men’s room encounters had got safely home except Sanford, and he, though he was longing to return to his wife and country (on Fathers’ Day, no less), was detained by the goddess Calypso, who had got him in Buenos Aires, into a large condominium, and wanted to marry him. But as the days went by, there came a time when the gods settled that he should go back to Carolina; even then, however, when he was among his own people, his troubles were not yet over; nevertheless all the gods had now begun to pity him except Neptune, who still persecuted him without ceasing and would not let him get away with a bullshit story about just where the hell he’d been.

The press secretary was still singing, and his hearers sat rapt in silence as he told the sad tale of long hiking trip in the Appalachians, and the ills Minerva had laid upon the Republicans. Jenny, daughter of Icarius, heard his song from her room upstairs, and came down by the great staircase, not alone, but attended by two of her handmaids. When she reached the press corps she stood by one of the bearing posts that supported the roof of the cloisters with a staid maiden on either side of her. She held a veil, moreover, before her face, and was weeping bitterly.

“Douchebag,” she cried, “you know many another feat of Governors and Senators, such as poets love to celebrate. Sing the press some one of these, and let them write their stories in silence, but cease this sad tale, for it breaks my sorrowful heart, and reminds me of my lost husband whom I mourn ever without ceasing, and whose name was great over all the Carolinas and Sullivan’s Island.”

“Mother,” answered the governor’s son, confusingly also named Marshall, “let the douche sing what he has a mind to; staff members do not make the ills they sing of; it is Jove, not they, who makes them, and who sends weal or woe upon men according to his own good pleasure. This fellow means no harm by singing the ill-fated woes of the Republicans, for people always applaud the latest songs most warmly. Make up your mind to it and bear it; Sanford is not the only man who never came back from sex scandals, but many another went down as well as he. Go, then, within the house and busy yourself with your daily duties, your loom, your distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for speech is man’s matter, and mine above all others- for it is I who am master here.”

She went wondering back into the house, and laid her son’s saying in her heart. Then, going upstairs with her handmaids into her room, she mourned her dear husband till Minerva shed sweet sleep over her eyes. But the press were clamorous throughout the covered cloisters, and prayed each one that he might receive her exclusive interview.

Then Marshall the Younger spoke, “Shameless,” he cried, “and insolent reporters, let us feast at our pleasure now, and let there be no brawling, for it is a rare thing to hear a man with such a divine voice as this douchebag has; but in the morning, meet us at a full press conference that we may give you formal notice to depart, and feast at another family’s misery, turn and turn about, at your own cost. If on the other hand you choose to persist in spunging upon one man, heaven help me, but Jove shall reckon with you in full, and when you fall in Gannett’s forthcoming bankruptcies there shall be no man to avenge you.”

The press members bit their lips as they heard him, and marvelled at the boldness of his speech. Then, Antinous, reporter from the Washington Post, said, “The gods seem to have given you lessons in bluster and tall talking; may Jove never grant you to be a Presidential hopeful as your father was before you.”

To be Continued…
Posted June 24, 2009 at 12:52 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Snarkpolitik


Sing too, muse, of this South American Circe, who has brought cunning Sanford low. What is her tale? By what magics did she bid this powerful man come to her, and stay with her, when his staff knew not where he was? How has he come to this, like even to swine?

Posted by: Matt on June 24, 2009 at 08:45 PM

I was going with Calypso rather than Circe. But Odysseus, unlike Sanford, stopped with, loved, and was loved by a LOT of divinely-powered women on his way back to Ithaca.

I have a Part 2 in the cooker, that rethinks Telemachus's speech to the Ithacans as Sanford's presser this morning - but I'm getting confused about whether the suitors are the press or his staff. So hard to keep the thread with a poem this big!

(Please make this a recurring format/series. Auto-Tune the News is good. Homerize the News is GREAT.)

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