Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2009

SANFORD'S SENSE OF TIMING.... Solidifying his role as the nation's most radical and irresponsible governor, South Carolina's Mark Sanford (R) followed through on his grandstanding yesterday.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the first governor to reject some of his state's share of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus money, spurning $700 million that he said would harm his state's residents in the long run.

Sanford, a Republican who served in Congress in the 1990s, made his announcement at three sites across South Carolina in a daylong flight tour that fed speculation that he's eyeing a 2012 presidential run.

Nice timing, gov.

South Carolina has the fastest growing unemployment rate in the country, and economists do not see an end to the cycle of job losses spreading across the state.

Between January 2008 and January 2009, the state's unemployment rate increased 4.7 percentage points, which was the largest jobless rate increase in the country, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yes, it's the perfect time to turn down federal stimulus aid.

Sanford's ridiculous grandstanding will not, however, penalize families in South Carolina. State legislators have already indicated that they intend to accept the federal funds despite the governor's objections. South Carolina's General Assembly has a Republican majority, but it has no use for Sanford's nonsense.

As for the takeaway for the governor, this is probably the ideal resolution -- he gets to tell 2012 presidential primary voters about his courageous opposition to economic growth, without having to worry about the real-life consequences of his actions.

Pressed on whether his position was influenced by his presidential ambitions, Sanford said, "I've got a 15-year pattern of doing exactly this kind of thing."

Oddly enough, he meant that as a defense.

Steve Benen 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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New DNC ad headline: "Sandord to SC: Drop Dead!"

Posted by: Pan on March 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

As for the takeaway for the governor, this is probably the ideal resolution -- he gets to tell 2012 presidential primary voters about his courageous opposition to economic growth, without having to worry about the real-life consequences of his actions.

Hasn't this been the underlying assumption of the Republicans -- especially in Congress -- all along, though? Wail and scream about irresponsible spending knowing very well that the stimulus would pass anyway and two or three years down the road, they could then turn around and share in taking credit for a recovery while shouldering none of the risk if it went wrong.

Very brave patriots, those Republicans.

Posted by: jonas on March 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

South Carolina took a lot of mill work jobs from New England because they didn't have unions and the people would work for lower wages. Now, a lot of those jobs have moved to China and Thailand because (all together now)

they don't have unions and will work for lower wages

I don't understand why people thought it was acceptable to move from New Hampshire to South Carolina but it is terrible to move from South Caroline to China. What's good for goose is good for the gander

Posted by: neil wilson on March 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Or (gasp) it might be because he actually believes that the idea of government spending is actually harder on his state in the long run.

Seriously, if the stimulus is so popular and this guy is politically grandstanding for 2012, then he will be out of office anyway.

It will be seen whether he wants to stick to these principles or not.

Posted by: Orwell on March 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Party in SC needs to be hammering the governor on this issue; make him bleed. The crass nature of this purely political ploy is sick and wrong in this crisis; he ought to suffer for this politically and I hope that organizations move into South Carolina (and LA and AK if those governors follow Sanford's path) and weaken him politically.

Posted by: Rhoda on March 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I predict a Sanford appropriation of "So I said, 'Thanks, but no thanks!'" on the campaign trail.

Posted by: Mike on March 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I sure hope that wasn't a private jet he used for his flight tour...if there's one thing I've learned, it's that private jets are B-A-D ;)


I haven't posted in a while, but it's nice to see Orwell/Eric Blair is still here plugging away...after all, the world needs trolls :D

Posted by: neilt on March 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I was hoping someone would bring this up.

What we've got here is clearly as a case of a right-wing governor playing the part of Marie Antoinette vis-a-vis his own state.

I'm not quite sure what office he thinks he's going to be running for after this.

Posted by: leo on March 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I see the calculation, but I still think its a pretty dumb one. In 2012 just having bragging rights that you opposed the stimulus simply isn't going to cut it. People are either going to be relieved not to be in a hugely deep depression and will remember this original debate only vaguely. Or we will still be deep in the shit and people will be looking for new solutions. I think it highly unlikely that "tax cuts for unemployed people and large corporations" are going to get people's voting juices flowing. Right now unemployment is high but most people are just afraid that they *will* lose their jobs. If we are in a depression in 2012 people will have been unemployed for almost four years and anyone wanting to run on the Republican ticket is going to have to do some pretty dramatic shit to get back into the publics good graces. In fact, they are probably going to have to demand *further* federal aid because that will be all there is.

So, look for Sanford to grandstand now and at Republican party events and then for the entire party, once it has browbeat Obama and the dems into stopping stimulus spending, to turn on a dime and demand a full blown works project for unemployed white people while arguing that the earlier stimulus was misspent on black and urban people and that they *money never got* to the "real america." The talk of deficits or of local state's rights issues will be dissapeared and we will simply have a populist/nativist/white ressentiment argument.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on March 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hey---we're talking about South Carolina. If "someone" were to casually "suggest" to South Carolinians that "recalling a stupid twit of a Governor" is really just an inside-out version of "secession"---then I'd bet the farm that a grassroots movement to dump Sanford would rise up within a matter of days.

Posted by: Steve W. on March 12, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Texas Governor, Rick Perry, is about to do the same with an announcement in Houston, today.

Posted by: colin on March 12, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious he is merely posturing and hoping to win a spot on Joe Francis' new venture "Governors Gone Wild!" It's coming this fall.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on March 12, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sanford knows just how tough South Carolinans are, and he simply wants to help them toughen up a bit more by having them suffer unduly as we move into this Great Depression II.

With Sanford's line of thinking, South Carolina will have no money and a multitude of unemployed - at which point every citizen of Sanford's state tacitly knows if they accidently cut themselves they can alway spit on the wound and hope it coagulates! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 12, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think these twits are falling into the same mindset that the dumbass Dems did with the war. Voting for the war on future political considerations (I don't want to be called a pussy at election time) Look where that got them

Posted by: John R on March 12, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think these red state governors are trying to get the unemployed to flee their states. Their "unemployment" numbers will go down and their costs of welfare, too. They're looking for another Grapes of Wrath-type exodus, only this time it won't be the Dust Bowl that does it, it will be intentionally done by these governors.

And no, I'm not kidding. This is a win/win for them.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on March 12, 2009 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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