Because things weren't weird enough in the special election for South Carolina's 1st District House seat, what with satirist Stephen Colbert's sister taking on the world's foremost Appalachian Trail hiker, now Hustler publisher Larry Flynt has entered the picture.
On Tuesday, calling former Gov. Mark Sanford the "sex pioneer of our time," Flynt endorsed the one-time Republican House member who in 2009 disappeared for several days for a tryst in Argentina with his then-mistress, now-finacee María Belén Chapur. Sanford's aides at the time said the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, providing generations of comedians and political writers a ready-made euphemism.
"Sanford’s open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support," Flynt said in a release on his website. It was an endorsement, though, that the smut peddler and free-speech activist made with a few reservations. "Even though Mark Sanford has emerged as the leader against sexual hypocrisy in American politics, he is a liar. He lied to his gubernatorial staff. He lied to his wife. He lied to his children. He lied to the people of South Carolina and to the press. Despite his journey down this Appalachian Trail of deceit, I support him not for his character, but for exposing the hypocrisy of traditional values. The liar has exposed the greater lie," Flynt said in the release.
Sanford faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a special election to fill the House seat vacated when Republican Tim Scott was tapped to replace former Sen. Jim DeMint.
Since winning his party's primary, Sanford has made a few headlines, bringing Chapur to his victory party, to the chagrin of his sons, being accused of trespassing on his ex-wife's property — you know, the one he cheated on with Chapur — and getting the date of the battle at the Alamo wrong.