Trespassing for Football & Fatherhood

I don’t mean to obsess on the latest Mark Sanford story, but his reaction (per Political Wire) to the revelation that his ex complained to the courts about his serial trespassing on her property is just too rich to ignore or bury in an Update:

It’s an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court. I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.

Ah, yes, Sanford knows his would-be constituents very well. Trespassing is taken quite seriously in the Deep South (as a society not that long separated from its agrarian traditions), and deterring it probably contributes as much to the regional mania for gun possession as any fear of violent crime. But if anything can trump hatred of trespassers, the ritual of a father watching football with his son just might do the trick. How’s the boy supposed to learn the difference between 4-3 and 3-4 alignments without the old man to instruct him? Hell, the poor kid might wind up playing soccer or something.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.