Thursday, June 25, 2009

Forget Bruckheimer, Get Me Nora Ephron

There’s something about the Republican Party these days that’s just made for a summer blockbuster movie. If it’s not the Jerry Bruckheimer “terrorists are gonna blow us up and we’re all gonna die if we don’t waterboard this guy” scenarios peddled by Liz Cheney, we have the passionate e-mails sent by Mark Sanford to his Argentinian lady:
You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ...


In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul.

Damn, that’s good. What woman wouldn’t adore to hear that from her lover? Forget Dick Cheney’s memoir, I want to read Mark Sanford’s, and I want him to write it. Clearly he's tired of politics, tired of his marriage, tired of his life! You don't self-destruct like that and not have a certain awareness of what you're doing. Aw, honey.

The guy is a romantic and while I’m sure plenty of liberals are going to take pot-shots at him for those e-mails (yes I'm talking to you, Keith Olbermann) I’m enough of a sap to find them charming. Touching. And terribly romantic.

I see pictures of this stuffy politician and then read those words and think: ohhhh! Summer romance! Blockbuster! Get me Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks! Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant! Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor! Or, you know, whatever stars you kids today find hot.

Yes, it’s bad for a politician who, while in Congress voted to impeach Bill Clinton on the grounds the president

... lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife. So it’s got to be taken very, very seriously.

But I’m not talking about the political stuff.

I just want to give Mark Sanford a hug. This guy poured his heart out onto the keyboard to his one true love and I just hate to see him mocked for it. Call me sappy, hormonal, sentimental, whatever, but this is the stuff of a great summer romance. If there's any redemption for Mark Sanford it's not in Washington but at the multiplex.

If this story plays out the way it should, Sanford realizes his dream of living on a small winery in the Argentinian Pampas with his lady and writing novels about Nazi hunters was a hopeless fantasy. It had always been so, an ephemeral dream of a life that might have been, had they been other people. But they were who they were, no use arguing about it. So he retires from politics and returns to private life with Jenny and the boys, and they try to make a last go of it.

But it’s too late. Too much has happened, there’ve been too many long, stony silences. There's been too much humiliation, dammit. And Jenny, well, she’s tired of the entire game, the forced smiles, the going through the motions of it all. Slowly the realization dawns that what’s been broken can never be repaired, and they divorce.

Mark lives a quiet life for a year, two, maybe even three. It’s a time of healing, contemplation, and taking stock of what’s important. Then one day he decides to take a little trip.

As he sips a robust Tempranillo at the Vincente Resto on a quiet street in Buenos Aires one afternoon, a familiar female figure approaches. They embrace.

Cue music. Roll credits.