Gov. Grinch doesn’t care

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Gov. Mark Sanford loves his political masturbation ritual — he does something because of “principles,” accuses his opponents of “defrauding the taxpayers” and revels when his plan is shot down.

This is a man who clearly could not give two shits about your everyday guy (or gal), trying to pay his bills and hoping that his job won’t be gone tomorrow. The fact is, South Carolina needs help. We have no money for the unemployed. National unemployment figures are the worst they’ve been since 1982.

But the Hooverite in the Governor’s Mansion doesn’t care. It ain’t harming him none. Shit — his wife is an heiress, and he’s not doing too bad himself. In any other time, it would be fine for Sanford to do his Ayn Rand/Grover Norquist/19th Century economist circle jerk, but right now is when we need real leadership, not someone who governs like he is at a late–night CR session of brandy and cigars.

One of today’s LTEs in The State puts it perfectly:

’Tis the season for goodwill toward our fellow man, unless you happen to be Gov. Mark Sanford. I was deeply troubled by the Dec. 18 article in The State, “State jobless benefits running out.”

It reported that Sanford is threatening not to apply for federal loan money necessary to pay unemployment benefits to 77,000 South Carolinians until the Employment Security Commission capitulates to his demands. Sanford wants an audit — but the commission is already audited annually. He also want additional data collection — the commission is willing to comply, but needs new tools to collect that demanded data.

Even if Sanford’s demands are reasonable, his decision to hold South Carolina’s neediest families hostage in order to advance his bureaucratic agenda is not reasonable. Sanford has frequently chosen ideology over pragmatism and people, but this would outdo “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.”

Sanford is quick to espouse his Christian beliefs when he’s out talking to voters, but cutting off desperately needed unemployment benefits this holiday season in the middle of a recession smacks of hypocrisy.

I hope the governor will take a page from his platitudes and recall that he will be judged by his actions toward the least of those among us.

Thursday’s Letters to the Editor [The State]


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