Politically, this is fucking bullshit. The governor of an eastern seaboard state with military bases cannot simply "go walkabout" whenever he feels like. He can disappear with a government vehicle, to see a girlfriend with whom he has met on the government's dime? He doesn't need to inform his security detail, or put someone in charge while he's gone? If he was on vacation to suck down crawdads in Louisiana, or surf in California, he still needs to leave in an orderly fashion, with a security detail. He's slacked off on his duties, period.
Sanford also cheated on his wife, an issue separate from his political life. He's got a wife and FOUR kids, and he just bailed on them. He missed Father's Day with his kids. He put his wife in the position of lying for him, while she knew he was out cheating on her. That's the nastiest sort of betrayal... he cheated on his wife IN PUBLIC, after spending years and lots of her money getting himself into the public eye. That's just disgusting in all kinds of ways.
Respect? I could respect Sanford if he made a GODDAMNED CHOICE!! He's been going out and saying that he loves both women, that his mistress is his soulmate, and he is going to try to make himself love his wife. He's saying he should keep being governor even after all of this, as though he can pretend this isn't happening and that he hasn't made his personal life a political issue. Here's a crazy idea: Mark Sanford, you should divorce your wife who you obviously don't care about, resign from office, and move to Argentina to be with your soulmate. If you did that, I would have some small respect for you... because even though you fucked up, in the end you followed your heart. Anything else strikes me as "have your cake and eat it to" CYA opportunism. If you threw away your life over the love of a woman, go be with you. If you threw it away for lust for some strange, you should suffer more than what will probably happen.