WASHINGTON — Gov. Mark Sanford might not have even known he was in the
wrestling ring when U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn delivered an emphatic
smack-down from Washington.
The State Newspaper, January, 30th, 2009
Whooo - go Jim Clyburn!
So before I get ahead of myself, let me pause and reflect. Mark Sanford, the economic conservative mouthpiece of the GOP, doesn't care about the unemployed or the under-employed, and certainly doesn't have a grasp on reality.
This is the man, who has been trouncing the Employment Security Commission, threatening not to sign a loan from the U.S. DOL (which he had NO choice but to sign - go ahead and call DOL, they'll tell you) to pay benefits to the unemployed in one of states suffering the worst from unemployment.
So U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn from South Carolina, the third most powerful Representative in the House added a last minute amendment, that bypassed the mouthpiece,and got the money to the SC Legislature.
After 6 ineffective years as governor, Mr. Sanford has choosen to grandstand on the backs of the unemployed, instead of getting his own house in order. The reasons that South Carolina suffers can be traced all the way back to the Civil War, but the lack of leadership and no efforts at bipartisanship have left the state in a shameful position.
Chose a ranking and watch how SC stacks up (all the latest stats available):
Infant Mortality - 3rd in the nation (U.S. Census, 2005 )
Most Dangerous - #4 (In sub-categories, in Assault, SC is #1, murder #4) (CQ Press, 2008)
Unemployment - 4th Highest (U.S. Census, 2007 )
Persons below poverty level: 11th Highest (U.S. Census, 2006 )
Traffic Fatalities: 3rd Highest (U.S. Census, 2005 )
Wow, talk about a state needing a Federal hand! And our Governor, who is well-off and married to a well-off woman would like nothing better than to spite South Carolina's collective face by refusing to take bailout money.
But our willy fox, Jim Clyburn knew the ways the political winds would blow and did an end-around our lame duck gov. Money desperately needed to repair roads and bridges will be making its way to SC DOT; children may get to go to class in safe schools; and the elderly will have cut programs restored.
It is time for South Carolina to take a hard look at itself. It's current government structure is not working for the benefit of the taxpayer. Yes, the Federal stimulus package is a quick windfall that may not be repeated ever. But South Carolina can make changes that would vastly improve the state of the state. And save it boatloads of money.
I think Sanford's idea of consolidation a great one - just why hasn't it happened? Why does it seem like he has more enemies on his side of the aisle than the other? Whatever happened to building politcal bridges as well as physical ones?
The statistics above point out a very sad fact about South Carolina - it's dysfunctional. Top to bottom and inside out, South Carolina suffers because no one has given a big enough damn to make things right. Poverty and lack of education and opportunity leads to violence and despair. And worse yet, people have convinced themselves this is how it is supposed to be that acting ignorant is okay; pollution acceptable; and the way things were are good enough for the next generation.
I am hopeful that a new crop of leaders will be inspired to try to make a change in South Carolina. If we can just carry some of the enthusiasm that sparked the nation to make a change, South Carolina may stand a chance. Amen.