Debating the debate debate

Some of my loyal readers are missing some fairly obvious points. Or maybe I am (see, I’m not so arrogant). Anyway, here are three points I’d like to raise in response to feedback so far on the GOP gubernatorial debate that the governor is ducking:

  1. Nathan, are you really "sure" that I would like to see the governor packing up and moving out of Columbia? Don’t be so sure. Look at the field up against him. Why is it so hard to understand that I would hold someone I support, or have supported, to a high standard? Do you expect me to be like the partisans, who give "their" guys a pass on anything and everything, and automatically despise anything the "other" side does. I am made of very different stuff, and so is this blog. A lot of people remain convinced to this day that I "hated" Jim Hodges. My problem with Hodges was that I had respected him so much as a House member, and I KNEW he was capable of so much more. But he denied his own instincts and values, and rejected counsel from a lot of good people around him, choosing instead to follow the advice of a guy who was recently indicted in North Carolina in connection with something very similar to what he did here — promote lotteries. I didn’t hate him. I just held him to a higher standard than he did himself. Oh, and remember Bob Coble. Was I trying to get rid of him when I insisted there be a debate on his performance?
  2. People keep mentioning that I wanted the three "also-rans" in the superintendent’s race to fade to the background so that we could concentrate on comparing the two viable candidates — Karen Floyd and Bob Staton. It is suggested that I apply the same logic to the gubernatorial debate. OK, Dave, let’s do that. Let’s get that "also-ran" Oscar Lovelace out of the way so that we can concentrate on the contrasts between Gov. Sanford and his actual opponent, ummm… you know, the guy running against him. Uh … oh, yeah: Oscar Lovelace.
  3. I keep hearing the argument — and correct me if I’m hearing it wrong — that goes like this: The governor should cruise to victory in the primary without ever facing his opponent, or mentioning his name, because he can. He can get away with it. Not that it’s right, or decent, or intellectually honest to do so, but because he’s the $6 million man. Is that right, Doug? If so, it’s wrong. I expect better from Mark Sanford than that, and other voters should respect themselves enough to do the same.
  4. Back to Nathan: If I’m the governor, and Mary Rosh is the only person facing me for renomination, and a bunch of people have gone to the trouble of setting up debates for statewide candidates, and all the other statewide candidates have shown up (is any of this sounding familiar), yeah. I’d debate her. I’ll go further than that — and you may consider this the first unpromise of my uncampaign: If I am the nominee of the Unparty for governor, and it’s the fall, and Mark Sanford and Tommy Moore are both willing to show for the only statewide televised debate of the election, and I’m invited (a lot of ifs, huh?), then you bet I’ll show up. With bells on. Or a suit, anyway.

35 thoughts on “Debating the debate debate

  1. Nathan

    Why is it that we elect people because we want them to get away from the gold old boy establishment and then get mad when they don’t place nice with the gold old boy establishment? Just a question. Brad, I don’t know that you want him to leave Columbia, but I get the feeling that you don’t like PPIC, and Sanford has pushed that pretty hard.
    As for the comparison with Coble, it is apples to oranges. First, Fisher was a much more legitimate candidate. Fisher wasn’t running in a primary against an incumbent mayor from his party. If Sanford refuses to debate the Democratic nominee, check back with me. At that point I will agree that he should debate the issues.
    As for your fourth point, Lovelace isn’t the only person standing in his way. He is the PRIMARY (as in Republican primary) opposition. There are Democrats running as well.
    And for the record, if I had to vote on a nominee for State newspaper editor and blogger, I would vote for you over Mary Rosh. Even if you didn’t debate her.

  2. Tim

    “Fisher was a much more legitimate candidate”
    Say huh? I’ll bet you right now that Doc Ock gets a higher percentage of the vote in the Republican primary than Fisher got against Coble.

  3. Nathan

    First, Tim, I doubt it. Second, it is a PRIMARY. Not a general election. If “Doc Ock” were running in the general election, he wouldn’t get the 32% that Fisher got. Private polling has had Sanford at a 73%-16% advantage over Lovelace and the doctor even has a gushing news article on his website trying to declare it a victory if he garners 30% of the vote (I assume because that will help the democrats win, which would seem counter to Lovelace’s positions). There will be some who vote for anyone but Sanford, but in the end he will prevail against the doctor.

  4. Nathan

    My point about the primary is that the party faithful are often willing to vote for a candidate that they like better, but will return to vote for the candidate that wins in November. So, 15% of Republicans may vote for Lovelace in this primary, but 90% of those will return to vote for Sanford in November when they have to choose between him and Frank Willis (or whoever wins that primary).

  5. Spencer Gantt

    Wouldn’t it be great NOT to have primaries? Just let whom-so-ever is qualified run for whatever office he/she chooses, and then have the top two vote-getters runoff if no one gets >50% of the vote.

  6. Randy E

    Here’s a big picture issue, who is the figure-head of the democratic party? Where’s the focal point for democratic inspiration?
    I’m a moderate democrat and the state-wide figures I like are Graham, Campbell, and Staton. If Lourie ever runs for state office, I am fist in line!

  7. Doug

    Have you received any feedback that would suggest the people of South Carolina are as perturbed with Governor Sanford’s decision to reject the debate invitation?
    Also, can you provide some information on how the debate is scheduled? Does ETV pick the date and time and then expect the candidates to show up or is there some negotiation involved? If it’s the former, then I guess ETV might be overreaching. Aren’t debates normally coordinated between the campaigns?
    Personally, I’d rather see The State give both Sanford and Lovelace a full page apiece to present their viewpoints. Ask them both to respond to the same questions.
    I bet Sanford would HAVE to accept that request if the alternative was for Lovelace to have free advertising. I would bet the number of people who would read the paper would be an order of magnitude greater than those who would watch the debate.
    Questions I’d ask:
    1) What will you do to make SC schools measurably better four years from now?
    2) What will you do to bring more/better jobs to South Carolina?
    3) What SC government programs would you eliminate if given the chance?
    4) Should the Confederate flag remain in front of the statehouse?
    5) Will you commit to tax reform that will include elimination of property taxes on primary residences?

  8. Dave

    Sanford isnt running against Oscar. He is smartly keeping his powder dry until he knows who his real opponent is… Moore, Willis, and company are already running directly against the gov.

  9. Randy E

    J-Riles may be a worthy figure, but he’s strictly Lower State. Who’s out there leading the charge for the state democratic party?
    Sanford is doing the right thing in terms of getting re-elected, but he’s championed himself as one who’s above such political trickery (as Brad pointed out before). He loses alot of credibility with me and I would consider voting for him.

  10. Bob McAlister

    Brad, my dear friend: This is not rocket science. The Governor is going to win. Oscar Mayer-Lovelace will lose, and badly. Oscar will lose and the Governor will win because more people will vote for the Governor. Oscar has no money, no credibility, no chance. So why should the Governor give the man an hour of free time to shoot at him when Mayer-Lovelace has no record to shoot back at? Mayer-Lovelace has no more business being Governor than Sanford has being a doctor. This is nothing moral or immoral about this. It is all logic.

  11. john

    Sanford is not being honest with the voters of SC when he says he is too busy working on the budget and other legislation to debate Lovelace. Yesterday he spent all day flying around the state campaigning with Senator Ryberg for Treasurer.
    If he had time to inject himself into the Treasurer’s race, he could certainly spare an hour from his “legislative priorities” to discuss the issues with Lovelace. All of the other Republican statewide incumbents with primary opposition (Baurer, Hammond, and Weathers) thought enough of the voters of SC to find time to debate their opponents.
    It appears to me that Sanford cannot defend his dismal record of few accomplishments and would rather rely on misleading TV ads.

  12. Randy E

    Bob, as Brad pointed out if the Gov claims to take the high road and is above political games then he should respect our primary system.
    The Doc is going to shoot freely at him for a whole hour now and the Gov won’t be there to defend himself. There may be less people watching, but the next day in the newspaper the Doc will have sound bites from his 1 hour press conference.
    This will be more ammo for the Dem who gets the nomination. I think he’s better off standing up for himself and taking up half the time from the Doc.

  13. David

    I think some people – Nathan – appears to be the main one seem to think that asking Mark Sanford to debate means we must not like Sanford.
    I voted for Sanford. I worked on his campaign. I wrote letters and called talk shows to fuss at Bob Peeler’s sorry attempt to get personal against Mark.
    As of now, I plan on voting for Mark again.
    However, he will have to earn my vote. Maybe he already has. Maybe he hasn’t. I don’t honestly know right now.
    But the Mark Sanford I voted for and worked for 4 years ago would have debated anyone – not because he had to – but because he thought that getting ideas out and talking about them was good for everyone.
    If he doesn’t want to debate becaue he doesn’t want to waste his time – just be honest about it. The Mark Sanford I worked for 4 years ago would have been.

  14. Capital A

    I thought it was Walt Whitman. Leaf it to me to not clearly see…
    I don’t miss Hodges at all (even though he was my literal home boy), but I sure do miss Catherine Collins. She could disseminate information and publicly relate like no one’s business.

  15. Randy E

    If Sanford is playing the “trickster” (Lord of Rings reference), then does this indicate that he is at all concerned about his chances?
    I think the mug on the front is Gov Hodges (defender of SC highways) wearing a Walt Whitman disguise. Notice how we never saw Brad and Hodges in the same room…

  16. Bob McAlister

    To KC: I call him Oscar Mayer-Lovelace because he is a weenie. A nice weenie, but a weenie nonetheless.

  17. Dave

    The Dems know that Nader is lurking again. Those 30,000 Florida votes he took from Algore in 2000 have not been forgotten.

  18. Randy E

    Nor has the GOP “state’s rights” platform – Schiabo, 2000 voting, gay marriage…
    Nader didn’t lose it for Gore. Gore lost it for Gore. He was trying to be Slick Willie II. There’s only ONE Slick Willie.

  19. Lee

    The media didn’t lay down a smoke screen for Al Gore like they did for Clinton. Clinton was like Jimmy Carter, with an unknown record, that suckered people. Gore had a slimy trail of accomplishing nothing his whole life, and the baggage of all the Clinton scandals.

  20. Randy E

    Thank God for the controlled fiscal spending, finance reform, unity of our country, getting away from nation building, new found honesty with the American people and strong support of our military (including CIA covert agents) that we were promised in 2000.

  21. Randy E

    Hmm, Bush and Graham are liberals…all democrats are liberals…McCain would be in that category…that leaves DELAY, CUNNINGHAM, FRIST, ROBERTSON, DAVID DUKE…good company.

  22. Lee

    Get a civics teacher to explain how spreading democratic government to the backward nations like Iraq and Afghanistan is a liberal idea.

  23. Randy E

    Lee: do you simply forget history or do you make a conerted effort to distort it? Which party spearheaded the effort to go to war in Iraq? So the GOP is the party of the liberals?
    Do you laugh as you type this stuff?

  24. Dave

    Randy, Brad explained many months ago how the invasion of Iraq is actually a truly liberal and progressive act of unselfishness. He can find the archive reference but he was on the money when he posted it. Can leftwingers in this day and age ever remember the origins of liberty, equality, and freedom? I always liked Je pense que je suis, Rousseau. Robespierre and others from France. What ever happened to France?

  25. Randy E

    Spare me the ivory tower analysis. The carry over from history has limited applications in this situation. Lee’s comments are purely in terms of lefty liberals compared to his fringe, extremist perspective. Lee tried to spin and I called him on it. He wasn’t debating some high minded analysis. Your defense of Ann Coulter indicates that you are no better so don’t bother offer up a social studies lesson.

  26. Dave

    Randy – Ann Coulter doesnt need me to defend her because she is a truth teller and super American patriot. What can be bad about that?

  27. Randy E

    Lee, Coulter didn’t just criticize those women, she made vicious PERSONAL attacks. Don’t wrap her and yourself in OUR American flag and claim that gives you justification for such pathetic commentary. Your approach is similar (disparaging your own wife’s profession and education) so I don’t expect you to understand, just like I don’t expect a child to understand certain concepts.
    Lee, I have replied to your ill-conceived concepts, prejudicial (even racist) perceptions, and contrived statistics because I find education to be too important to be so overly simplified to the point that it detracts from meaningful dialogue on how to improve schools. I posted my replies for all to see how skewed and flawed your comments have been.
    Now I proclaim mission accomplished. There’s no more need for me to reply to any comment you make. Your hate-mongering and blatant disregard for the true spirit of the values of this country will continue, but I won’t waste another second in reading nor replying to you.

  28. Lee

    The Democrats spearheaded the war in Iraq when they voted almost unamimously to grant President Clinton authority “to use any means possible to bring about regime change in Iraq”, in order to “remove the danger of weaponsn of mass destruction”.
    Clinton then dropped 80,000 tons of bombs on Iraq, right up to a few months before the 2000 election.
    Captured tapes of Saddam Hussein contain discussions with various terrorist leaders about Iraq supplying money, diplomatic channels and WMD to “finish the job” begun with the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and to avenge the raids of Clinton.

  29. Lee

    And I never posted anything about Anne Coulter, so maybe some of you are just too spun up to think clearly.
    Democrats didn’t show any compassion for the murder of Mrs. Randy Weaver and her son, or the children torched by Reno at Waco.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *