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The Rambling Word Salad That Is Mark Souder’s Resignation Statement

Tangled up in extramarital affairs, politicians tend to be contrite, remorseful, apologetic -- any number of things designed to make them appear humble in the

Tyreece Bauer
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 18, 2010

Tangled up in extramarital affairs, politicians tend to be contrite, remorseful, apologetic — any number of things designed to make them appear humble in the face of the intense public scrutiny that inevitably follows. (“If there was ever anything I could take back in my life, this would be it,” Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said last year after finding himself in a similar pickle.)

So it was odd to see the statement this morning from Rep. Mark Souder, the “family-values” Republican from Indiana found today to be not as committed to his family as he’d have us believe.

It’s not that he doesn’t start well:

It has been a privilege to be a part of the battle for freedom and the values we share.

But then he immediately moves on to imply that the strains of the job — and the sacrifices he’s made for his constituents — led him astray.

It has been all consuming for me to do this job well, especially in a district with costly, competitive elections every two years.

I do not have any sort of “normal” life — for family, for friends, for church, for community.

That’s followed by a brief shift back to humble-servant mode:

To serve has been a blessing and a responsibility given from God.

I wish I could have been a better example.

I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.

But then he’s back to blaming external factors for the position he’s put himself in:

In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain.

I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.

Diane and my family were more than willing to stand here with me.

Finally, he accepts responsibility:

But the error is mine and I should bear the responsibility …

I am so ashamed to have hurt those I love.

But that’s followed by the claim that his resignation is a heroic gesture designed to salvage the policies he advocated in Congress.

By stepping aside, my mistake cannot be used as a political football in a partisan attempt to undermine the cause for which I have labored all my adult life.

If there’s a message in all of this contradiction, he doesn’t make it easy to glean.

Tyreece Bauer | Analyst and photographer in the field of technology. When I'm not working on my laptop, I like to go surfing, hiking with friends, and go karting or play soccer with my nephew. I enjoy traveling and am excited to visit Tokyo this summer. What are your plans for your next trip?


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