When Mark Sanford posted his nearly 3,000-word diary entry on Facebook last week, South Carolina was transported back to that magical time in 2009 when the Luv Guv’s ill-fated trip to the Appalachian Trail led directly to some Argentinian tail. And while Sanford’s strange social media confession was largely met with guffaws, I thought that it read like a soliloquy from a Shakespearean tragedy. Fortunately, so did the Bard himself. Below you’ll find Willie’s stab at Mark Sanford’s sad, sad post —Chris Haire.
“I apologize for this epic tome
But for the issue’s gravitas I wrote
When I sat down with inked quill last eve
A long list of pains came verily to mind.
More than anything, I am struck by truths two.
For the matter first, history it seems
Tells tales of those souls who avoid conflict
Do find their countenance confronted.
Such costly peace the Fates rarely bring to him.
Tho’ Jesus was clear, the other cheek we turn
And that our coats we offer when our shirts are stole.
But such truths, I have struggled mightily,
When struck by another lawsuit a’new,
A viper’s bite from a snake named Jenny.
Like vultures starved, the media did swoop
And yet my body did not bleed my thoughts.
But in sin and vanity, I thus spoke.
Summoned to justice’s home, I now ask
To be or not to be, that’s the question.
On knees I’ve prayed and council I’ve sought,
A decision I’ve found on which my fortunes rest:
Like the Lamb, to the cross I willingly climb.
On life’s great canvas, lines must be painted,
In Christ’s hand, but with our trembling touch.
Joined, we’ll defeat the conflict of our lives.
These thoughts — fight — I now command for me:
To my debtors in my district bound,
My humble payments are my wounded thoughts.
Like God, my constituents will judge me.
A knight of law will I find to guard me.
But lo, they will not strike back with vengeance.
They will defuse, de-escalate, disarm.
Together we’ll end this controversy.
In battles past, a knight I did not seek.
Imagine — never — my eyes would soon see
An adversary formed inside the womb
From which my faithful, loving sons once sprang.
As four and one half years the clock did tick,
At the strike of six months, a new suit chimed.
In each battle, the sword I took alone.
Like riots, these matters I sought to quell.
My sons I promised never to embarrass,
Nor Jenny, nor the folks I represent,
With stories about my bedded life.
The issue of money did arise
For hiring a knight is a costly woe,
So I hired naught, but my own frugal ways.
Two people, once joined, could come together,
But my belief in her kindness was crushed,
Even as I tried everything in my power
To settle this off the field of hardened battle.
For the sake of our boys, and my servant’s life.
Let us recognize the degrees to which
My ex-wife doth sought to embarrass me.
A gamble I made, my cards I folded,
And put my faith in Jenny’s greedy grasp.
The gold she sought, the pound of flesh she craved
I could not give, for I was a pauper.
So my land was annexed by her country,
And I returned the boys to her bosom.
Cubby Culbertson’s advice, I had heard,
Tis Father God’s will, the Almighty’s way.
Fighting her was damning the Lord Divine.
And she wanted another spectacle,
A spectre haunting the halls of my heart.
But what dread humor the Fates doth make of me,
My ex asked that visitation rights be changed,
But how do you change what does not now exist?
There is no time between my son Blake and I.
For at this year’s birth, Jenny did now demand,
That I shall not see my beloved son.
I pleaded, a child shall not have to choose
Betwixt the bosom and a father’s hand.
And so, eight fortnight’s passed, thieves silently
Stealing sleepovers with my son Bolton,
A harsh reminder of my House campaign
When I suffered five sonless months in shade.
Tis the trump card that Jenny always holds,
The one that dares me to fight her in court
A place I’ve long been a coward to go.
And strange emails, I’ve received, eerie notes,
From lawyers foul with sick, sinister schemes:
Your son you shall not take to see football.
The Gamecocks crow a dirge for my sad heart.
Et tu, Cocky? Then fall, Sanford.
But morning has come, I am now awake.
All the world’s a stage and we are players
In the melodrama of divorce court.
My ex-wife is an ace on the stage,
And the media is her audience.
If you prick me, do I not bleed?
If you poison me with foul, lying words
Does not my reputation suffer most?
And if you wrong me, shall I not revenge?
Illegal drugs, I have never taken,
Alcohol, I consume, but little still.
So, tell me now my brothers and sisters,
Why should the court urge me to then restrain.
Struggles with slothful demons she doth hint,
A charge to which my friends surely do laugh.
As for her home, I am unwelcome there,
And with no joy would I enter unasked
It tis a trap in which I’ve once been snared.
Out, out damned Mark! Out of my house, she said.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
I shan’t go, even for the Super Bowl.
As for you, my dearest lover Belen,
No nights we have shared with my sons at home
Except for one time, but speak not of that.
But out of fear of Jenny’s vicious wrath,
I kept my soulmate and my sons apart.
Now, I must choose between love and blood,
And for this reason, I now say adieu.
To my Belen, her tan lines and her hips,
Your magnificent parts I cannot hold
At least until the storming seas do calm
And we can build a boat to sail the seas.
In my life I’ve been plagued by afflictions,
But in tough times, anger I have not shown,
So why should I submit to the shrink’s gaze?
That you ask, is destructive, plain and simple.
So where does all of this leave us today?
My sons have a place in their mother’s heart,
A heart that has done more good than done ill,
Even as it crafts recipes for conflict.
And so, I must follow Christ’s example.
Walk away I will, but not from my son,
And into God’s grace and glorious light,
Pointing to truth wherever I see it
And trying to live it as best I can.
But a grand canvas is before me, blind
I do not see, I do not comprehend.
These confessions have been most personal,
Given the gravity of the charges,
I felt compelled to speak at length of them
And where our family is at this time
And where we shall be in the future.
Pray for me, my Charleston constituents.
Consider my pain and my suffering.
Re-elect Sanford in 2016.”