Hey, I LIKE Mark Sanford…

A couple of replies to the comment by Chris on the last post. Chris, when you say this…

The problem with editorial endorsements is that it alerts readers to
thought processes and reasoning of those making them…

…you point to the precise reason that my colleagues and I on the board write columns — to elaborate on the reasons we endorse, to give readers additional insight into our thinking so that they have more information upon which to base a judgment of our decision, whatever they choose to make of it. The point of my doing the blog is to go even a little deeper into all that, to give you the chance (if you’re at all interested) to know even more about how the editorial page editor ticks, so that you might have even more insight into the editorials. It’s so you don’t have to guess.

The whole point of an endorsement editorial, as I’ve said a thousand times, is not the WHO, but the WHY — the "thought processes and reasoning" behind the decision. It’s really hard to get that message across, because it’s counterintuitive for a lot of folks. It’s not personal, as a Corleone would say. The fact is that — in this case — one of these two men is going to be governor. The purpose of an endorsement is to say, knowing what we know (and in part, what we know is based on dealing with these men repeatedly over the course of years), which way we would go if we just have to vote for one of them.

Our reasons, and the reasons behind our reasons, are all we have to offer you. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about whose side we’re on, or who we "like." If we went on the basis of who we like, I’d probably have gone with Sanford. I know him, and I personally like him. I really have to force myself to look at what he’s doing (and not doing) as governor and shove aside the fact that I like the guy.

I can’t say the same for Tommy Moore, which is not to run him down. I just don’t know him as well. I’ve known him at a distance for almost two decades — much longer than Sanford. But I knew him as an editor dealing with the information that reporters (usually Cindi Scoppe, back in her reporting days) brought to me about him. Mark Sanford I’ve dealt with directly, ever since he was in Congress, because his political career began about the same time I joined the editorial board.

I’ve also dealt with him more because he’s a wonk like us. He’s more into talking about issues than he is about doing anything. I’ve had the impression that he’d rather pick up the phone to chat with me for 45 minutes about some political theory than sit down and wheedle lawmakers to turn ideas into laws. (At least, he was inclined to do that until a few months ago. I don’t think I’ve heard from him at all since my column about his veto of the budget.)

Sen. Moore has never spent much time talking to editorial types — at least, not to me. He was over in the State House, getting stuff done. Since he wasn’t trying to accomplish abstract goals, he had nothing to chat about with perpetual talkers. So I don’t know him that well. I don’t think he’s figured us out, either. To him, I’m that guy who wrote that he didn’t have the "fire in the belly," and he knows he didn’t like that.

So why did we not endorse Mark Sanford? Read the endorsement. Then read my column. Then read other columns. Then read everything you can get your hands on, and talk to everyone you know who might know more about these guys and the issues than you do. Then go out and vote any way you think is best.

If you do that, having made our endorsement even a small part of your own process — even if it’s only to tick you off and make you want to do the opposite, and to work harder to find reasons why we’re wrong — then I will have done my job.

Oops. There I go. Revealing thought processes and reasoning again. Sorry. (Not.)

(One other thing, though, Chris — your comment sort of loses me when you jump from editorial to news coverage, as though there were a connection. If you’re suggesting that what we do has anything to do with what the news department does, you are confused. Reporters, and their editors, would likely laugh their heads off at the idea that they agree with our conclusions. That is, they would if so many people, including sometimes candidates, didn’t make the same assumption you do, which is a major professional pain for them. I think most news people would just as soon the editorial page go away, as it causes them little but grief. Good thing there’s a high wall between our separate divisions to protect us — there are a lot more of them than there are of us.)

83 thoughts on “Hey, I LIKE Mark Sanford…

  1. Lee

    A lot of politicians are likable. That is how they attract shallow voters.
    The problem ones are those who are cannot control the cancerous growth of government, who cannot say no to buying a vote or paying off a financial backer, or to lining their own pockets.
    Tommy Moore has a record of failing to control spending and waste.

  2. Dave

    Brad, what comes through is that you are like a single issue voter. Some of the most ardent pro-lifers are single issue. You are single issue on preserving a public education pseudo monopoly. Since you are seemingly principled on the war, taxes, the economy and other areas, I am sort of surprised at this single focus issue, but then again, you have been on this bent, along with Cindy, for some time now.

  3. Brad Warthen

    Actually, Dave, I’m not. We’ve endorsed people this year who supported PPIC — the first one that comes to mind is Kenny Bingham. Kenny slides because he is dedicated to one of our favorite causes, comprehensive tax reform.

    Sanford would get by if he had managed to follow through on any part of restructuring, which is an even bigger deal to us than tax reform (a lot bigger, in fact — as big as it gets). But instead, structural reform was set BACK.

    OK, a guy can try and still fail. But he didn’t try hard enough, and he kept ticking off lawmakers — lawmakers who would have loved to work with a governor of their own party, something they had looked forward to all through the Hodges years. But he kept sticking it to them, and playing to the voters AGAINST them, to the point that by the end of this session, they weren’t inclined to do anything he wanted — and in fact were inclined to do the opposite.

    I don’t think you understand how seriously dysfunctional this administration has been. Perhaps you’ve heard of the incident, toward the end of this last session, when Oscar Lovelace visited the House. Someone entered a polite resolution to name him "physician for the day" or some such. He stood up in the gallery, and the Republicans went WILD, standing ovation, hooting and hollering, clapping their hands off. I talked to a Democrat or two who said they just looked around in amazement at this much passive hostility aimed toward Sanford.

    Everyone was aware that these guys didn’t want to see Oscar Lovelace become governor. They just wanted to show what they really though of Sanford.

    I can’t stress enough how wrong you are if you swallow the standard Sanford campaign line that he is some sort of populist hero fighting the good fight against a bunch of crazed tax-and-spenders. These are conservative people, who would love to do many of the things you would like to see. But they are not about to work with a guy who gets ahead by running them down.

    You need to be there. You need to follow this stuff day after day, and talk to some of these frustrated lawmakers.

    If this were about him supporting PPIC, and that alone, we’d probably endorse Sanford. Moore doesn’t support restructuring, and that’s a major strike against him — although, ironically, he has accomplished a lot more in that direction than Sanford has, since he helped shepherd through the Campbell restructuring in 1993.

    We’d probably say we’re sticking with Sanford to get some more restructuring, and just plan to keep defeating PPIC by showing what a lousy plan it is. But when you combine his utter failure (what looks almost like a DETERMINATION to fail) on restructuring with the fact that PPIC supporters aren’t satisfied to have a straightup debate on the issue (they insist on using all sorts of misleading advertising to stack the legislature in their favor), and you have a pretty poisonous stew.

  4. Lee

    The solution is to replace the obstructionist legislators with people more conservative and libertarian than Mark Sanford.
    Electing one of the bad old boy legislators as Governor is precisely how kill any and all reforms.

  5. Doug

    After Sanford wins re-election, I woudn’t sit by the phone waiting for a phone call from him to discuss political theory. But I’m sure Jim Rex will be available…

  6. Mark Whittington

    There must be something to what Brad is saying. I don’t follow Republican politics, but I couldn’t help but notice a large campaign sign on Forest Drive from these folks.

  7. Mona Williams

    I can’t believe you endorsed Tommy Moore. I, too, am grossly disappointed in Mark Sanford. But Tommy Moore? You’ve got to be kidding. If you don’t like the good ole boys, guess what? Tommy Moore IS the good ole boys.

  8. LexWolf

    Brad, you know what that Lovelace anecdote reminds me of? Our 6-year-old, who sometimes gets in trouble and then says to the parent administering the discipline “you’re so mean – Daddy/Mommy is much nicer”. In other words, Sanford is holding the piggies’ feet to the fire and they don’t like it one bit; no wonder Lovelace seems so much nicer to them.
    IMO you’re dead wrong blaming Sanford for the failure of restructuring to-date. I may not go hobnobbing with the piggies in the State House the way a certain editorial page editor does but it’s clear to me that the piggies themselves are in total control of any restructuring. Sanford can ask, beg, promise/bribe, plead, cajole, threaten etc. but in the end any action has to come from the piggies. No matter how much they like a governor, somehow I just don’t see them cooperating with any dilution of their own power unless they come under extreme political pressure.

  9. Rob

    You say that restructuring is the most important issue to you – then you endorse Moore? I’ve never posted before but this is just too much to merely read about…that is crazy. Sanford has pushed hard for restructuring…remember the horse and buggy he brought to the legislative chambers? Remember him being the first governor to ever address a Senate subcommittee…and that was to push for restructuring? Why didn’t restructuring go anywhere? Because the Senator who you say can “make things happen” failed to get a decent bill out the committee or even to the Senate floor. He and McConnell…Senate cronies for sure…worked together behind the scenes to make sure it never had a prayer of passing.
    So restructuring is your most important issue and that’s the guy you want in charge? Not a chance it will ever happen if Moore were to win. Fortunately for you and for all of us he won’t, which means restructuring has a decent shot with another four years of Mark Sanford. Remember Campbell didn’t get restructuring until his 7th year in office and that was only after Sen Moore’s buddies in the Senate went to jail over the Lost Trust scandal…otherwise the legislature never would have ceded the power that they did.
    You are right…Sanford has kept ticking of lawmakers. But the main reason is that he kept doing exactly what you wanted him to do…push for restructuring and take away their ability to do favors for their lobbyist friends. He starts messing with their money and power-base and of course they are going to look for every opportunity to take him down…and whining to you or cheering for Oscar are perfect examples of that. Hell hath no fury like a good ole boy legislator who’s ability to help his special interest is threatened, or something like that. Most of their whining about personality and procedure is a smokescreen because they decided if you can’t argue with the message then shoot the messenger. Brad, I hope that you are proud of the job that you continue to do in aiding and abetting them. I’m not because I thought much more highly of you.
    I agree that restructuring is the most important issue in our state and nothing substantive can be changed until we have a system that allows us to hold someone accountable as opposed to the faceless mass of good ole boys. I really question that you agree with that statement based upon your endorsement today. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the earlier post that said you and the State editorial board have turned into one-issue anti-school choice zealots. I too am gravely disappointed and disheartened to discover this. You seem to be missing out on the big picture due to the same blinders that hamper all other one-issue fanatics be they in this country or middle-eastern ones.
    And Mark, I looked at the names on the Republicans for Moore list. Weston Adams endorsed Hodges four years ago so I’d hardly call him a real Republican. And many of the others are just on the list because they have a personal ax to grind with Sanford. Former Senator John Kuhn, for example, was a key vote to kill restructuing in Moore’s Senate subcommittee and as a result lost his seat to upset voters who elected Sanford ally Chip Campsen. The fact that he and Brand find themselves on the same side of the Governor’s race just further proves the points that I made above.

  10. Dave

    Brad, My legislator is not part of the old boys club and he is highly respected and works across the aisle on some issues, in particular rural development. He voted against the billboard lobby. I am going to get his direct opinion on what you see as dysfunction. We shall see.

  11. Bryan

    Speaking of endorsements…you called lobbyist Robert Barber a” Methodist minister-turned lawyer” , and used the sentence “Where Mr. Barber shines is in terms of responsibility, maturity, judgment and respect for the public”…..
    Mr. Barber appears not to have read your endorsement, and has produced and aired a dark and negative attack against Andre Bauer.
    So maybe a better description of Mr. Barber would have been “paid lobbyist, long time politician and desperate to do anything to get into public office”.
    Just remember, Andre has barely mentioned his opponent. In the State on Saturday, your articled even referred to Andre complimenting Mr. Barber. But as usual, the State gets the wrong end of the stick…and Barber uses it on them by showing disrespect for Bauer, and the public.

  12. Laurin

    Just to give you the heads up, Bryan/Chris/ChrisW/Wally/Ronald and perhaps other user handles are all the same person. He’s a blog troll who posts under a variety of names to slam Robert Barber. Under various names he’s assumed all sorts of identities: public school teacher, African American who is “leaning” Republican, etc. Once I figured this out by connecting the dots of his IP address, I deleted all of his comments and banned him from my site.

  13. LexWolf

    Nice try, Herb, but no cigar. I’m me and only me. Now maybe somebody should check out your alternate monikers, and even more so, those of Randy Ewart.

  14. HP

    She’s not. It could be a library or office computer for all she knows. Hey Brad, want to kick me off for using an alias?

  15. Lee

    What’s Herb afraid of? It is the “liberals” who engage in most of the slander, phony names, e-mail attacks, etc.
    The ones with more guts show up, always in mass, to shout down lectures and discussions with viewpoints other than socialism.

  16. Randy

    I dont get it. I use a fake name. Most everyone does. I live with roomates and we all share computers, email accounts, bolg accounts,etc. We have one lap top we take to the internet cafe.
    so whats the big deal. abusive language and conduct is the standard.this is not my name. I jsut made it up. I will use another one next time. Are my points less valid?

  17. Laurin

    I got suspicious when I noticed that all these different commenters had very similar email addresses RobertSC@yahoo.com, BryanSC@msn.com, and on and on. It took me weeks to catch on, but I can search all of my comments by IP address (which is the numeric tag for one’s internet access point), and all of these commenters were posting from the exact same IP address. I went back and read all of the comments, from all of these different “users” and they were nearly identical in substance — about 99% were trashing Robert Barber. Where they differed was that one commenter would be an African-American person who learned about Andre Bauer at his church and planned to vote for him, another would be an educator who’d never voted Republican before but was planning to do so this time, yadda yadda.
    Blogs are only good when they operate in good faith. The point is not the usage of aliases, which is fine. The problem lies in the abuse of aliases and “trolling” in general. Trolling diminishes the quality of the discussions taking place on the blogs, and quality discussion has always been what I’ve enjoyed most about running a blog.

  18. Laurin

    Does anyone know if Mark Twain’s mom called him Mark, or Samuel?
    from a share computer…wondering who else has posted from here…

  19. Herb Brasher

    Hey Lee and Lex,
    Laugh once in awhile. I know Lex does, I’ve never seen Lee crack a joke yet.
    Hey, I’ve even agreed with you once in awhile; OK, not very often, but sometimes we do.
    Anyway, I tried to be funny.
    To the other, will the real Laurin please stand up? I’m getting confused; which doesn’t take much to accomplish, I’ll freely admit.

  20. Randy Ewart

    This is like a Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movie with everyone pulling off masks.
    Herb, to his credit, Lee make a funny at my expense – one-upped me.

  21. LexWolf

    “Herb, to his credit, Lee make a funny at my expense – one-upped me.”
    Heh. Good thing you’re not an English teacher! We’d probably be at # 57 or 86 or something instead of “just” # 49 on the SAT.

  22. Dave

    I think this is the modern e-version of What’s My Line? First, will the real Laurin please stand up? The virtual Laurin that is.

  23. Dave

    A couple of interesting facts for the day. The NRA gives Anton Gunn a “D” report card grade. His last name may have saved him from the “F”. Spratt earned an “F”, while Norman gets an “A”. Also, if you check out the SCEA (SC Education branch of NEA) they endorse ALL Democrats in Statewide races.

  24. Randy Ewart

    Dave, the NEA is biased. They are a one issue institution. Norman needs all those weapons to protect his family from all those illegals he hires. After all, Lee pointed out almost all crime is committed by these people.

  25. Lee

    Randy would rather fabricate absurd straw men than face the reality of how much crime is committed by illegal aliens, most of them crossing the Mexican border.
    The fact is that a lot of our law enforcement, prison and crime problems would be eliminated by deporting all the people who have no right to be here.
    Would you like to see some more statistics on how much crime they commit?

  26. Paul DeMarco

    Illegal aliens are a problem but your scapegoating them is counterproductive. Your outlandish statements about their propensity for crime or their role in the health care crisis cripple your ability to argue credibly.
    BTW, the majority of the uninsured are over 30, white and American citizens (kaiser family foundation).

  27. Lee

    There are 12-22,000,000 illegal aliens ( Bear Stearns ) and most of them are uninsured, so let’s not count them.
    Then there are the very large numbers of white Americans in their 20s and 30s with household incomes greater than $50,000 who CHOOSE to be be uninsured, because they prefer to spend their money on automobiles and vacations ( US Census )

  28. Lee

    “The U.S. Justice Department estimated that 270,000 illegal immigrants served jail time nationally in 2003. Of those, 108,000 were in California. Some estimates show illegals now make up HALF of California’s prison population, creating a massive criminal subculture that strains state budgets and creates a nightmare for local police forces.”- Investors Business Daily article on DOJ report of March 2005
    * 33 to 35% of the total jail and prison population are illegal aliens.
    * At any given time in 2006, Arizona has 4,000 illegal aliens in state prison for felonies. The population of illegals in Arizona has quadrupled since the last Clinton amnesty in 1996, to 540,000.
    * 36 to 42 percent of illegal aliens are on welfare. – Health and Human Services report 2005

  29. Paul DeMarco

    Acording to the Kaiser Family Foundation Primer on the Uninsured (October 2006), only 7% of the uninsured make more than 300% of poverty level (roughly $60,000 for a family of 4). 37% of the uninsured make 100% of poverty level or less (roughly $20,000 for a family of 4) and the other 56% make between 100% and 300% of poverty level. So to characterize the problem of the uninsured as one mostly of “choice” is incorrect.
    While undoubtedly there are some high income earners that choose not to buy insurance they could afford, the vast majority of the uninsured can’t afford or don’t have access to insurance. Only 60% of employers in this country now offer health insurance to their employees. If you work for one of the 40% that don’t (often small businesses that can’t afford to) then you are faced with the prospect of paying over $10,000 a year for family coverage. Even with a net income of $50,000, most families could ill afford to spend 20% of it on health insurance.
    Illegal immigrants do have a high rate of being uninsured (about 50%). If you estimate their number at 15 million, then that’s 7.5 million uninsured or about 16% of the total uninsured population (46 million), a significant number to be sure. But they still constitute only a small minority of the entire uninsured population.
    I’m not sure why you’re working so hard to defend a system that spends twice as much per capita for health care as the other developed countries but delivers mediocre results. Our nation’s health as measured by things such as life expectancy and infant mortality is not usually in the top ten when compared to developed countries that have single payer systems but spend much less overall than we do on health care.

  30. Lee

    There is no “system” which spends any money on medical care. There is the free market, the heavily regulated markets, and the various socialist systems which spend a lot of money on overhead.
    So I don’t defend this mixed economy we have. I advocate the abolition of much of the socialist programs. One of my pet reforms, private health savings accounts, is finally being made a reality by the GOP, after 25 years of a few of us pushing for it.
    “Single payer systems” don’t exist. That is socialist NewSpeak for the productive minority paying the bills for the rest of society. The treatment is inferior, the technology was derived from America’s free market, and the cost savings are accomplished by denial of care.
    Apparently you are a physician or dentist. I am an engineer who has helped develop diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation devices. You probably use some of them. None of the wonderful breakthroughs I have seen in my career were developed by socialists.

  31. Lee

    The Kaiser Family Foundation is known for its bogus statistics. Here is what the US Census says:
    About three-quarters of the rise in the number of uninsured over the past four years has been among households earning more than $50,000 per year, and almost half of that has occurred among households earning more than $75,000 per year.
    In fact, almost one-third of the uninsured now live in households with annual incomes above $50,000 and one in five live in households earning more than $75,000 annually.
    * From 1993 to 2002 the number of uninsured people in households with annual incomes above $75,000 increased by 114 percent.
    * The number of uninsured in households with annual incomes from $50,000 to $75,000 increased by 57 percent.
    * By contrast, the number of uninsured people in households with incomes under $25,000 fell by 17 percent.

  32. Dave

    Paul, you must be aware of Community Care. People on this coverage pay $20 a month for full health care coverage. I dont know all that much about it but according to their website they have 200,000 customers in SC serving migrant families, the rural poor, etc. What is your take on it?

  33. Paul DeMarco

    The web site you gave is for the SC Primary Health Care Association which is the umbrella organization for the Community Health Care clinics in SC. I believe the primary source of funding for these is federal funds through HHS. For the uninsured, these clinics operate on a sliding scale so what you pay is based on your income. They are a good safety net provider but there are not enough of them to serve the entire underserved population nor is there enough money to fund such a large influx of uninsured patients.
    The census figures are a bit different than the Kasier figures but make the same point. According to the 2005 census figures, the uninsured are distributed as follows:
    1)8.7 million with incomes > 75K
    2)8.3 million with incomes 50-75K
    3)15 million with incomes 25-50K
    4)14.5 million with incomes < 25K The reason that more upper income folks are uninsured is that fewer employers are offering health care. The reason less lower income folks are uninsured is likely secondary to increased Medicaid eligibility. It bothers us both that the higher income folks who could afford coverage are not buying it. But what is your solution? In a single payer system, everyone would be taxed and pay a fair share of health care (indeed the extra income tax needed to fund a single payer system would be less than most people are already paying in deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses (except for the very rich)). We’re obligated to provide acute care for everyone, even the freeloaders. In a single payer system, we get the money up front. Currently, to extract money from freeloaders, hospitals hire collection agencies and then lawyers to seize assets, both of which reduce the hospital’s take. I’m having trouble visualizing the sort of system you’re hoping for. You say you want private insurance but in our system it’s the private insurance companies that have the higher overhead. Medicare’s overhead is less than 5% because it has no high paid CEO and executive staff and no stockholders. Blue Cross’ overhead is > 20%.
    Health savings plans are only an option for those who have lots of disposable income. The poor struggle with rent, food, transportation, etc. they would be unlikely to put money into such an account. Plus, they pay so little in taxes that the tax advantage of a health saving plan is miniscule. Also, the high-deductibles associated with HSAs would likely discourage preventive care and lead to poorer health outcomes.
    And countries with universal health care can still be innovative. The CT scanner was invented in England. Laparoscopic gallbladder surgery was pioneered in Canada.
    What you are describing is a system of health care for the affluent who wish not to be beholden to their less fortunate neighbors.

  34. Herb Brasher

    And I might add what American doctors said back 20 years ago, when we were considering an eye operation for one of our children. The German doctors had pleaded for us not to have the operation when we were back visiting in the U. S. (They don’t know what they are doing–they operate too young, they told us.) But we asked an American opthamologist, anyway. His answer? “The study of opthamology began in Germany, and they are the cutting edge right now; I’d say you are in good hands.” We had the operation done in Germany, at much less cost, and we’ve never regretted it.

  35. Dave

    Paul, if there are 200,000 subscribers to Community Care in SC, some simple extrapolation of that nationwide tells me it could be 10 to 15 million. Keep in mind that we will always have the loonies who just dont want health insurance, even if it is in their best interests. A while back WIS interviewed a dozen or so homeless in Cola. Almost all had cell phones, worked on the side tax free, etc, but preferred to live under bridges and in cardboard boxes. One even owned an apartment if I recall. The do gooders of society want to FORCE these mentals to have a home, and the same concept is now being applied to health care. Ve vill make you take da healthcare!!!!! The health care Nazis live on.

  36. Herb Brasher

    Dave, I am sure statistics cannot show the number of people who are way over their heads in debt, who have maxed out several credit cards buying stuff they desperately want, and who of course have no interest in paying for health insurance on top of that, because heck, they feel fine! You don’t need health insurance until you get sick, right?
    I think it is pretty obvious that, at some point, the government has to protect these people from themselves. Not to the point of taking away private initiative, that is certainly true, and not to the point of making them responsible for their actions, but surely there is some way of having a very basic plan that everybody has to pay into.
    We both want the maintain the fabric of American society to be able to sustain itself, but we differ totally in what that means. I can’t see that American society can continue to survive if the gap between the haves and have nots continues, and we do not help the weak, which includes those who have never learned how to budget the meager income they have. I do not mean to speak condesceningly of them; I was blessed with parents who worked my little rear end off, and made me appreciate the value of every dollar I earned in outside jobs. Credit cards weren’t allowed (actually, they weren’t really around, and I got rejected anyway when I tried to get my first one), and just because I was in college didn’t mean I had to have a car.
    But other folks have not had that privilege. As St. Paul said, we don’t possess anything that, ultimately, we weren’t entrusted with by someone else. So looking down the nose at anybody is off limits.
    There has to be some kind of balance between this “let them eat cake” (even if Marie didn’t say it) approach to the populace that you seem to advocate, and taking away personal responsibility on the other hand.

  37. Herb Brasher

    That second paragraph should have a “not” in it, “. . . of not making them responsible for their actions”, or perhaps what I should have written: “. . . and not to the point of taking away all the consequences of bad choices, but surely . . .”

  38. Lee

    How many people has the government put on the street through oppressive taxation and regulations which destroyed their jobs?
    Many of the homeless are psychotic personalities liberated from institutional care by ACLU lawsuits in the 1980s. Thanks again, liberals.

  39. Factfinder

    Um, Lee…check your facts. While there are many homeless who suffer from mental illness, most of them are on the street thanks to Ronald Reagan’s de-institutionalization of mental health (and additional de-institutionalizations carried out by his disciples). Turns out that there weren’t sufficient state and local government resources, or community resources, to handle the burden. Can’t really hang that one on liberals – you should blame the “patron saint of the GOP” instead.

  40. Dave

    Herb, you are preaching (which is fine) to a guy who earned just about every single penny I own. I got a job at age 13 and never stopped working from there. I worked my way through college like many do. Now I am blessed in many ways with my successful kids and material goods and I know part of that success was because I had to work for it. That was the motivation. Unfortunately, we have a government that specializes in demotivation. Want drugs, we have methadone, want food and utilities, make babies and you will get it, want health care, sure. New York state is documenting $500,000,000 a year in Medicaid fraud, and receiving $40 billion a year from the Feds in Medicaid payments. This has all gotten out of hand thanks to the socialist dogooders. Vote for me and I will give you this and that. It has to stop. To the poor and mentally ill, this is the most generous place on earth. Why do you think the Mexicans are flocking in here? But it cant last at this rate. Jesus had no use for freeloaders. Count on it.

  41. Randy Ewart

    Why do you think the Mexicans are flocking in here? But it cant last at this rate. Jesus had no use for freeloaders. Count on it. – Dave
    Please cite the verses in the bible where Jesus classifies the poor as either “freeloaders” or those deserving of help. He speaks more on poverty than any other topic so you should have many examples.
    This appears to be more of your personal interpretation of Jesus’ teaching. Previously you referred to Angelina Jolie “whoring around”. Jesus spoke up in defense of a prostitute and forgave her. He didn’t dismiss her as a “whore”. Interesting how you take the role of Judge, when THE Judge contradicts you.

  42. Herb Brasher

    Good words, Randy. I’d just like to remind us that forgiveness goes along with repentance, and “go and sin no more” is the next word Jesus said to the men and the woman caught in adultery. There’s a lot of cheap grace around nowadays.
    It’s really troubling for me, because we really don’t seem to understand what Jesus had to say about wealth, the poor, etc., and we, at least in the Protestant church in this country, have too often allied Jesus with American militarism and materialism. It almost reminds one of Rasputin and the Czar.
    By using both above terms, I’m of course throwing the baby out with the bath-water. God doesn’t condemn possessions, per se, nor do I wish to dishonor those who honorably serve their country. But it’s interesting how we can make Jesus fit what we want him to fit.

  43. Dave

    Randy, I think everyone in SC may be amazed to learn it was former Hollings and Hodges Democrat worker who contrived the entire Mark Foley episode as an election caper. Pretty sick and demented work really. This is just coming out. The Dems have to be proud of this guy.

    Foley’s Phony Blogger Named
    Radar has learned that the anony-blogger behind StopSexPredators—the bogus blog that first posted the Mark Foley e-mails and got the ball rolling on PageGate—is a former Democratic Senate staffer named Lane Hudson. The New York Times reported today that the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization, had fired an unnamed “junior staff member” after discovering that he was behind the blog. The Times article described the staffer as an organizer working in Michigan that HRC had hired last month.
    According to sources in Michigan’s gay activist community, the Human Rights Campaign has placed only one paid staffer on the ground in the state—a get-out-the-vote organizer named Lane Hudson. Susan Horowitz, the publisher of Between the Lines, a gay weekly newspaper in Michigan, said Hudson arrived in Michigan on September 30 and had been attending get-out-the-vote events as recently as yesterday. When Radar called HRC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters today, the person answering the phones said Hudson was no longer working with the organization. E-mails sent to Hudson’s HRC address were bounced back as undeliverable.
    Hudson, a onetime staffer to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and former Democratic South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, is 29.
    Calls to the HRC and to Hudson were not returned.

    And Randy, when the Lord walked the earth, if a healthy person sat around all day waiting for the “gubmint” to feed, clothe, educate, and care for him or her, while others worked their fingers to the bone eeking out a meager existence, it wouldnt be long before the freeloader would have have a nice stoning party on his behalf. It would not have been tolerated. Plain and simple. Yet, today, we have an entire industry of people who spend their careers looking for ways to give free stuff to lazy, shiftless, slothful, do nothings. Tough love would work a lot better. And Jesus would approve of that. At least I can conjecture that thought.

  44. Lee

    Hodges was the sleaziest governor of SC in decades. He stole money from the retirement fund to buy teacher votes, partnered up with the gambling industry, and his aides and advisors keep being caught in scandals, some of them going to prison.

  45. Doug

    Herb and Randy,
    Can you please connect the dots from the teachings of Jesus to implementing government programs to provide money and services to those in need?
    My view is that using the government and its associated taxation and bureacratic overhead is the least efficient way to assist people. I know my chuch does a lot of great work to help people and the overhead is basically zero. People GIVE their time, talents, and money freely. If I paid less in taxes, I would give more to the church because I can see the value and there is the opportunity to change peoples hearts and minds in the process. All our government system does is create a culture of dependence… it’s a trap that very few can break free from.

  46. Herb Brasher

    Doug, what you are asking requires a whole treatise, but that indicates something of the problem. These are very complex issues, especially the relationship of theology to politics. How far does a Christian go in her/his expecations of a secular state? Or to put it another way, how much do you demand of those who make no pretense of being disciples of Christ, when most of the New Testament is written to disciples? Some would say, not at all, but that ignores a basic truth for the Christian: Jesus is Lord of all, including Lord of secular governments. See, for example, the prophet Amos. He addressed God’s word to the heathen nations almost as much asa he did to the people of God with the temple worship. And John the Baptist didn’t mince words in telling a heathen king (Herod) that it was not lawful for him to steal the wife of his brother.
    If that is true, then at least some of the principles in the New Testament have some application to secular people. Principles that, by the way, are not really capitalistic. Excessive accumulation of wealth is considered a sin in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus told us not to collect treasures on earth ,i>at all. Most understand that as an absolute for the relative sort of statement. But even so, it has clout. I really don’t see how a CEO can call himself any sort of Christian, and give himself an 8 digit compensation figure. But then the CEo doesn’t answer to me, thankfully.
    What I find more troubling, and I have said this before, is the naive view of human nature that is inherent in on both sides of this question. The one side thinks that the government should do nothing; the other side thinks that the government should do too much. The one side thinks that people will do the right thing if you just leave them alone, the other side thinks that the government is the savior of the world. The truth is, I think, somewhere in the middle.
    Doug, it is also naive, I am persuaded, to believe that the church can do everything that is needed. Churches are commissioned, biblically (see Galatians chapter 6), to primarily take care of their own members (those of “the household of faith”). I think that the emphasis upon faith-based initiatives in the last few years has been good, though I am not by any means an expert on the matter. But it is simply not enough. And because I am firmly convinced of what the old Calvinists called “Total Depravity” — which does not mean that every action of man is totaly depraved, but that mankind naturally tends towards selfishness in everything it does — it does not surprise me that even church members focus primariy upon themselves. I am guilty as well. If you don’t think so, analyze your own prayers (if you are a praying sort of person) sometime. I find mine very often totally selfish. And by the way, Jesus reinforced the depravity of man when he said, “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” He knew that we primarily love ourselves; that is a given.) So church people can do something. But don’t expect too much. And don’t make Jesus into a capitalist. “If any man will not work, then neither should he eat,” wrote St. Paul, who was directly commissioned by Christ. But concern for the weak is just as much a part of the teaching of Christ and his apostles. The early church was characterized by “having all things in common.” No one called anything private property. That isn’t capitalism, although it was certainly voluntary. But again, the key word is balance.
    Having said all that, I don’t think the Bible anywhere lays out exhaustively what the role of government is. It just says that we are to pay taxes if we owe them. That doesn’t preclude working to lower taxes, if we think we should, and we have that opportunity. However, the Bible does say that government does exists in order to prevent chaos (and the governments that exist are ordained by God, which is one reason I as a Christian don’t feel comfortable ridiculing government leaders–I have the feeling that we are getting the government that we deserve, probably in some cases better than we deserve) and I fear greatly that chaos will be the result of too little government intervention, just as tyranny will be the result of too much.
    So, before this becomes a treatise (with numerous rabbit trails), I quit. This is poorly written, I realize, but I have little time, and the less prepared a preacher is, the longer he/she will ramble on and make new rabbit trails, that you can count on.

  47. Dave

    Lexwolf – The mainstream media is working overtime trying to figure out how best to ignore the perverted writings of Senatorial candidate Webb. We won’t see demands for any Dem leader resignations, won’t see demands that Webb withdraw from the race, won’t even see any demands for Webb to do the honorable thing here. And Randy, and people like him, will still claim that its the GOP that is morally bankrupt. Yes, the blinders will be on but thanks to the Internet the public will find out how much of a pervert Webb really is. And he also wrote racist things about orientals and blacks. Again, the coverup is on.. The good thing is this basically ensures Allen keeps his seat, and the Senate doesnt go to the loony left.

  48. Doug

    My prayers are pretty simple… they are “Thy will be done” and “Thank you”.
    I don’t share your interpretation of the Bible’s government policy… but that’s fine. I look at government no different than I look at a restaurant. I don’t like paying for steak and getting hamburger.

  49. Randy Ewart

    Doug, Jesus came into play because Dave made a comment the illegal aliens followed by another suggesting Jesus condemns “freeloaders”. I take issue with the skewing of Christianity to fit personal political beliefs.
    Unlike Lexie, I have criticized and have supported people from both parties. I don’t blindly drink the koolaid, which apparently involves supporting a child predator.
    won’t see demands that Webb withdraw from the race, won’t even see any demands for Webb to do the honorable thing here. And Randy, and people like him, will still claim that its the GOP that is morally bankrupt. – Dave
    Dave continues to justify the Culture of Corruption by pointing out malcontents in the democratic party. I guess he thinks two wrongs make a right. I take issue with anyone, REGARDLESS of party, who betrays our trust. While I criticize Jefferson and Reid, Dave calls Foley “honorable”.

  50. Randy Ewart

    Lexie, you want me to do all the work for you? Sit by your computer and wait. I’ll send you an email.
    How small of you to call others names.

  51. Herb Brasher

    Doug, if you are talking about faith itself, then simple is the key. Come to think of it, unless we come to God like a little child, we don’t even get into the Kingdom.
    But if you are talking about how your faith is to be lived out in everyday life, then it becomes incredibly complicated, as complicated as man is and can make life, and that is pretty complicated. Reducing that to simple slogans is ultimately dangerous. Of course, each one of us can only do a little part that God may have called us to do (and that only very imperfectly), which is why I find it ludicrous that people on this blog criticize Brad for not being Mr. Superhero.

  52. Dave

    Randy, you say you criticize people from both parties but now ignore Webb of Virginia. How convenient that is for you. Especially compared to your nonstop blogging about Foley Foley Foley for several weeks. You are just as phony as the liberal media which contrives with the Democrats in the double standard to magnify any wrong behavior from conservatives and minimize or ignore liberal behavior. I had to laugh Friday night when I watched (for the first time) Couric’s evening gig and her coverage of the Va. Senate race. She spent two minutes, never noted what had just been exposed on Webb, and said the mudslinging is picking up. What a joke. No wonder no one watches the network news nonsense. But your reaction fits right in with the drive by media.

  53. Randy Ewart

    Dave, I have criticized Reid, Jefferson, Clinton, and Studds among others. You have criticized…Reid, Jefferson, Clinton, and Studds. You started throwing Webb into the mix this week, but you have adamantly supported Allen. MORE HYPOCRISY.
    I keep brining up Foley because you have yet to condemn him but have no trouble . He’s your boy so he can do no wrong even though he admitted to his dispicable acts, but you call him “honorable” while you attack anyone on the other side of the aisle – drinking that koolaid.
    Here’s a simple question Dave. Are you willing to acknowledge the ills of the GOP or can you do little else other than mindlessly criticize the “anti-semetic left”? Let’s see if you can respond without mentioning Clinton, Webb, Reid etc.

  54. Lee

    Everyone here has criticized Foley and anyone who enabled him to continue, including Democrats and homosexual activist groups who sat on the information for months.
    So deal with the truth, Randy.

  55. Dave

    Randy, Foley was destroyed for sending emails and chat messages. A Dem staffer, gay bashing gay dude, destroyed Foley in a cynical pre-election stunt. There was no concern for the safety of the pages or young kids. Your dem buddies make me nauseous. I want all predatory homos out of the GOP, the sooner the better, including Foley, who was immediately dumped. The Dem party celebrates and approves of these kinds of people. That is a fact. It pains you to know it, in spite of your facade of political neutrality.

  56. Randy Ewart

    including Foley, who was immediately dumped.
    Read the news Dave (and Lex). Foley was outted by ABC News. The republicans kept his actions a secret. There is an investigation on the republican leadership. Boehner and others CONTRADICT Hastert. Dave, the Emperor has no clothes.
    The Dem party celebrates and approves of these kinds of people.
    Dave, your partisan rationalization is getting worse. You really lose all credibility when you make statements like this and refer to the “anti-semitic left”.
    I’m not neutral. I lean democrat largely because this party reflects the diversity of our country while the “big tent” of the GOP is wishful thinking if not faulty marketing. BUT, I have conservative beliefs, take issue with some democratic positions, and have no problem crossing party lines. I don’t blindly drink the koolaid.

  57. Dave

    I see now Randy, you know the inside results of the Republican investigation of their leadership before it is concluded. Great detective work. Let me ask you this. You have students. Lets say one of them is sending porn emails or chatting with a pedophile. Are you expected to know what all of your students are emailing and chatting? And if some other student came to you months ago and said, Johhny asked Billy for a picture of himself. So you talked with the parents of Billy and they said, forget it, its not a big deal. According to what you wanted the GOP leadership to do, on the basis of that action, Johhny would be evicted from school and prosecuted. What a joke. That is basically waht has been reported as having happened. But yet, where is your call for Dem leadership to resign because of Webb’s porn writings? Where is your outrage now? I cant hear it from you. You are still Foley obsessed and we know its partisan. So be it.

  58. Randy Ewart

    I bring up Foley because what he did was dispicable and contrary to Jesus’ teaching and morality yet others defend him. How can a self-professed Christian like yourself defend Foley?
    The parents did NOT say “it’s no big deal”. Why did they bring it up in the first place?
    The REPUBLICAN majority leader, Boehner, CONTRADICTED Hastert publicly. So have others. Explain that. Explain why it took an ABC report to stop Foley. There’s no behind the scenes look necessary, the leadership ADMITTED there was no investigation into Foley because they “didn’t know” about his actions.
    It’s silly of you to call Foley “honorable” then to take issue with the literary writings of Webb and Lynn Cheney…oh, you conveniently ignore her writing. So Foley salaciously writing to MINORS is ok, but Webb salaciously writing a book is not – talk about partisan.

  59. Lee

    Nancy Pelosi celebrates publicly with advocates of legalizing child molestation. Look up the articles for yourself in the San Francisco Chronicle, of her with Harry Hay and his groups at the so-called “Gay Pride March”.
    Democrats defended Barney Frank when police busted a homosexual prostitution ring being run out of his house. Barney claimed he didn’t know about it, but every Republican should have known the contents of Foley’s e-mail.

  60. Dave

    Randy, what office is Lynn Cheney running for? What next, comparing Webb’s writings to Rush Limbaugh.. Where is your logic if you are a mathematical person. But I am surprised at the Democrat’s gay bashing. Who woulda thunk it?

  61. Randy Ewart

    Gay bashing? That’s lame.
    Lyn Cheney is a public figure. If she were a democrat your partisanship would turn to criticism.
    So let’s get this straight. Foley writes salacious material and sends it to MINORS and you call him “honorable”. Webb writes salacious material for adults in literary fashion and you have a problem with it? Yes or no Dave?

  62. Jeff Jarrett

    Voted in 1996 to continue chain migration
    Rep. Sanford in 1996 voted for the Chrysler-Berman Amendment to H.R.2202. It was a vote in favor of a chain migration system that has been the primary cause of annual immigration levels snowballing from less than 300,000 in 1965 to around a million today. Rep. Sanford supported provisions that allow immigrants to send for their adult relatives. Then each of those relatives can send for their and their spouse’s adult relatives, creating a never-ending and ever-growing chain. The bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission recommended doing away with the adult-relative categories and chain migration (begun only in the 1950s) in order to lessen wage depression among lower-paid American workers. The House Judiciary Committee agreed with the Jordan Commission and passed H.R.2202, which would have effectively ended chain migration. But on the floor of the House, Rep. Sanford helped kill the reform by voting for the Chrysler-Berman Amendment which stripped out the legal immigration reforms. Rep. Sanford’s vote was important; the reformers were only 28 votes short of approving the end of chain migration. Rep. Sanford helped continue a level of immigration that the Census Bureau projects will result in a doubled U.S. population in the next century. The Chrysler-Berman amendment passed the House by a vote of 238-183.
    Nearly doubled H-1B foreign high-tech workers in 1998
    Rep. Sanford helped the House pass H.R.3736. Enacted into law, it increased by nearly 150,000 the number of foreign workers high-tech American companies could hire over the next three years. Although the foreign workers receive temporary visas for up to six years, most historically have found ways to stay permanently in this country. Rep. Sanford voted for more foreign workers even though U.S. high tech workers over the age of 50 were suffering 17% unemployment and U.S. firms were laying off thousands of workers at the time.
    Voted in 1998 to allow firms to lay off Americans to make room for foreign workers
    Before the House passed the H-1B doubling bill (H.R.3736), Rep. Sanford had an opportunity to vote for a Watt Substitute bill that would have forbidden U.S. firms from using temporary foreign workers to replace Americans. Rep. Sanford opposed that protection. The substitute also would have required U.S. firms to check a box on a form attesting that they had first sought an American worker for the job. Rep. Sanford voted against that. The protections for American workers fell 33 votes short of passing.
    Tried to create massive new foreign agriculture worker program in 1996
    Rep. Sanford voted IN FAVOR of the Pombo Amendment to H.R.2202. He was voting for a massive new program that would have allowed agri-business to import up to 250,000 foreign farm workers each year for a period of service of less than a year. A bi-partisan congressional commission working with the Bush Administration (1989-93) had concluded that there were at least 190,000 farm workers already in America who were out of work at any given time. The federal commission said the oversupply of farmworkers was a major reason why farm workers’ real incomes had fallen by almost half over the previous two decades. Rep. Sanford rejected the recommendations of the commission and took the side of growers who asked for a larger labor supply. The amendment — which had no provisions for ensuring that the temporary workers did not stay in the U.S. as illegal aliens — failed by a 180-242 vote.
    Tried to continue foreign nurse guestworker program in 1996
    Rep. Sanford supported continuing a guestworker program for foreign nurses through his vote IN FAVOR of the Burr Amendment to H.R.2202. Those favoring the amendment said many rural areas had a shortage of nurses and needed the foreign workers. The 262-154 majority, however, let the foreign nurses program end, contending that there are more than enough Americans trained in nursing to do the job if the pay and working conditions are appropriate.

  63. Dave

    Randy, I have yet to ever defend Mark Foley. He is a scoundrel and pervert but even a scoundrel and pervert can perform an honorable act. Let me know the next time Ted Kennedy does something honorable in regard to character. As for Webb, he wrote about pedophile incest and you have no problem with that. Salacious, hahahahaha, what a euphemism. Jay Leno tells salacious jokes, pedophile incest is way beyond that. Keep sugarcoating it, Webb is done now anyway. Webb also publicly stated his lack of respect for women in uniform. The “salacious” description of the woman slicing the banana with her you know what also shows a complete disdain for women. Then, where also is the outrage for referring to blacks and Vietnamese as monkey-faces? Yes, Webb wrote all these things, and got paid to publish them, no denials are necessary. Can anyone even imagine this guy serving in the US Senate? Yuck.

  64. Lee

    Legally, Lyn Cheney is not a “public figure”, because she has not inserted herself into the public eye, as a politician does.
    Therefore, she cannot be slandered with impunity, the way a politician can. Demcrocrats have no respect for her privacy or rights – that is why they have used her to hurt her mother and father.

  65. bud

    Right now the ethical misconduct score is GOP – 21, Dem – 4. GOP wins in a landslide as the more corrupt party. From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Congress:
    The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress
    Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)
    Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN)
    Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
    Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
    Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
    Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)
    Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)
    Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL)
    Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)
    Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
    Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)
    Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
    Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
    Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA)
    Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
    Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
    Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
    Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC)
    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
    Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA)
    Dishonorable Mentions
    Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT)
    Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
    Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
    Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
    Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA)

  66. bud

    And this doesn’t even include the scoundrels who have already departed: (Delay, Cunningham, Foley, etc. etc. etc.)
    Basically the GOP has deteriorated into a corrupt cess pool of pedophilia, coverups, money laundering, bribery, lies and perhaps worst of all, incompetence. And yet the koolaid drinking faithful continue to defend their behavior. Sounds like a collective case of denial.

  67. Dave

    Bud, are you for real. Hillary isn’t on the list. Teddy K. not on there. Harry Dingy Reid and his crooked real estate money. That list is truly laughable. And you dont think Sen. Sheets Byrd steering all that pork to WV isnt corrupt? Thanks, I needed a good howl.

  68. Lee

    bud put a lot of Republicans on the list who have not been found to have done anything unethical.
    Then he omits homosexual brothel landlord Barney Frank, rapist Bill Clinton, DIU killer Ted Kennedy, and the others removed by voters or jury after being caught with their hand in the money jar… Tom Foley, Tom Daschle, Rostenkowski, John Glenn, etc.


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