Sanford presumes to speak for us

You don't want that stimulus. Really. Take my word for it. Now put it down, right this minute...

You don't want that stimulus. Really. Take my word for it. Now put it down, right this minute...

My Wall Street Journal subscription The State paid for has expired — I got the third notice recently — but the last few editions are still coming. So it is that I had the privilege of being appalled at this op-ed headline:

Why South Carolina Doesn’t Want ‘Stimulus’

So you see, it’s not just our governor who keeps embarrassing us with his antics who doesn’t want the stimulus. Seems that we don’t want it, either. Did you know you didn’t want it? Came as a big shock to me, I can tell you.

Of course, the piece was written by Mark Sanford. And you know, it raises the scary possibility that he actually and truly believes that “South Carolina,” defined by him, doesn’t want the stimulus. Which means that he is only talking to, and listening to, that slice of our state that is crazy enough to agree with him that we should not get to stimulate our economy with a stimulus that we will be paying for.

This was beyond ridiculous when it was just Mark Sanford doing his solo act, his Horatio at the bridge, his boy standing on the burning deck. Trying to include us in his bizarre behavior takes this to a whole new level of absurdity. I liked it better when he was trying to dramatize his lonely specialness. This claim that he speaks for the multitude is most unsavory.

7 thoughts on “Sanford presumes to speak for us

  1. brad

    It occurs to me that perhaps the headline of that piece is meant in this sense: Maybe it’s like when a parent or other authority figure speaks in a way that tells a child what he wants and doesn’t want, as in “You don’t want that candy.” To which the child naturally says (or at least thinks) in surprise, “I don’t?…”

    Except that we’re not talking about candy here. We’re talking about an infusion of vital, life-giving blood into our state economy. And the governor is telling us we don’t want it. And we are not children.

  2. Pat

    Brad, glad to see you here.
    It doesn’t surprise me to see a Sanford article in the WSJ. They appear to be cozy. Remember WSJ was where the articles advancing Sanford for vice-president kept showing up as if he was on a “short list” or something. Why is he writing articles for a NY paper? Why isn’t he out visiting Dillon, and talking to people showing up for the job fairs and standing in lines at the Employment Security Commission. Why doesn’t he get to know ANYBODY in South Carolina?
    What really bothers me is that very 1st sentence, “America’s states are laboratories of democracy.” Emphasize “laboratories”. This is just a big game of manipulation and philosophy from the likes of Sanford, Rich, and the legacy of Ayn Rand. The last six years has shot SC in both feet.

  3. Birch Barlow

    I am a Mark Sanford skeptic. I do believe he, like nearly all others in positions similar to his, plays politics with our state. And you are absolutely right to say that Mark Sanford cannot speak for us. No more can our President speak for our nation or a religous leader speak for those that follow his religion.

    With that said, Sanford has put forth his idea that this $700 million coming into our state that he is rejecting is detrimental because it would create a future unfunded obligation. And I agree. A temporary problem (the recession) should not be solved with permanent government expansion. If more is needed to fund unemployment benefits in SC, let that matter be decided by our state legislature during a debate over unemployment benefits and not in Washington in a debate over recession spending. And yet Gov. Sanford claims he sought the middle ground with his debt service plan. Surely he is aware that debt service is not in line with the spirit of stimulus. If he truly sought the middle ground he would have proposed spending the $700 million on stimulus of a non-ongoing nature thus meeting his own concerns and following the spirit of the bill.

    Essentially, both sides have presented us with unacceptable options in my view. Either we hastily accept a solution that could have harmful side effects down the road due to its lasting nature or we reject dollars that we (and when I say we, I do not mean you wise, aged folks reading this and perhaps not even the younger ones like myself, but instead the children and the unborn) as South Carolinians shall be responsible for paying back anyway.

    I wholly reject the rhetoric and political games our leaders engage in which are detrimental to our state and nation. One can only hope that the parties of which Gov. Sanford and President Obama are so much a part of and the politics they represent fall away and are replaced by something to which much more reasonable men and women can belong.

  4. Ralph Hightower

    Only six hundred and sixty-one days to new leadership in South Carolina.

    The question is:
    Do the other forty-nine states want Sanford to do to them what he has done to South Carolina?

    Sanford is a danger to our nation. If he can’t work with South Carolina’s General Assembly, what does he expect to do in DC? More governing by press release and theatrical stunts?

  5. Randy E

    You guys are being too hard on the Governor, afterall he’s losing his house as well – albeit for ONLY $3.5M. As he said, SC has to bite the bullet for a while until the economy gets better. At least he’s praying for the unemployed…

  6. Karen McLeod

    We do need that stimulus money for several reasons. The first is most obvious: to provide jobs. The second reason should be obvious: to repair our infrastructure. If we don’t do that soon, there won’t be any jobs because no one will be able to drive across town without falling into a pothole, much less cross a river. The third reason is not so obvious to those who don’t have a family member or a friend who is mentally ill, or mentally retarded, or very frail, but is very definitely there: we must repair our social safety net. It now has gaping holes, in part thanks to Mr. Sanford’s tenure. You put the forth reason well in your editorial today: we must improve our schools. That is the only way ultimately to attract desirable business to the area (mega dumps and mega pig farms need not apply). We have too long been a culture that has wanted lots of political “bling” without wanting to pay for it. Now, like a reformed wastrel, we must borrow to achieve the wherewithal to survive, and to build the capital to have any chance of paying anything back.

  7. Lee Muller

    We should not take any more money than we really need.
    Right now, revenues will be as much as they were in 2005, which was a time of excessive expansion of the state government, so it is hard to argue that the state needs any more money. They just need to reallocate it to pay for increased spending on unemployment benefits.

    We should not take any money we need to repay with future taxes.

    We should not take any money which requires us to match it with state funds, because that means more taxes.

    We should not take any money for projects which are not absolutely vital, which we already had as a budget priority.

    We should not take any funds which create new programs or expand any social welfare programs, or build new roads and bridges which future taxes must maintain.

Comments are closed.