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February 22, 2009

Bury Us Not On The Lone Prairie

sanford horse and buggy.jpg

Equally recognized for his theatrics, his blind fiscal conservatism and his presidential ambitions, last week Governor Mark Sanford galloped onto the national stage by threatening to reject $2.8 billion in federal stimulus dollars for S. Carolina even though his state’s unemployment rate is third highest in the country.

Last February, Jim Morrill at Standard.Net offered this background on the Gov when Sanford was being talked up as McCain’s running mate:

Many Republican legislators remember with disgust the time in 2004 when Sanford carried two pigs — “Pork” and “Barrel” — to the legislature. With pig droppings falling onto his suit and shoes, he criticized lawmakers for passing a budget with too much of what he considered frivolous spending.

“Anybody who was here when that happened, they’re still incensed about it,” said state Rep. Carl Gullick, a York County Republican. “The governor is popular with some members of the legislature. He’s very unpopular with others.”

In 2005, Time magazine called Sanford one of the three worst-performing governors in the country. That same year, he rode a horse and buggy to the General Assembly to complain about its failure to adopt his government restructuring plan. And time and again, he’s vetoed legislative budget bills, only to have lawmakers from his own party vote to override them.

It is interesting Sanford’s point behind this demonstration — staged in front of the S. Carolina statehouse almost four years ago — was to symbolize obstructionism. Today, with the economy (especially South Carolina’s) deep in the ditch, leaders like Sanford, in his self-serving ideological primitivism and his prairie-style resistance, risk setting the country back a couple of hundred years.

(image: 3/2/2005 – South Carolina Governor’s Office. caption: Governor Sanford brings horse and buggy to SC Statehouse)

  • Joe Thomas

    Despite it coming from a friendly source, this photo seems pretty rough on the Gov.
    First off, isn’t it tough to avoid both the ideas of out-of-date/touch and “blinders on” in this image?
    Also, notice the way the capitol building is “two-toned,” with the bottom ten or so steps looking dramatically different. It gives the sense, to me, that the statehouse is just a backdrop/prop, which heightens the general surreal sense of the photo.

  • central texas

    Somehow I doubt that the governor, whatever his pretensions, can set the country back at all. He can, perhaps, set South Carolina back; not a couple hundred years, but rather about 150 or so. The evidence is that the state prefers that period in any case, so what is the harm outside the state? Once it is in the sole possession of the mossbacks, we can watch the implosion from a safe distance.

  • anonymous

    Governor Schwarzenegger will take the money from Governor Sanford
    Schwarzenegger – Stimulus Package Is Terrific

  • gmoke

    Sanford looks like an arrogant SOB, very pleased with himself. The white guy is holding the reins and why is the black guy there?
    Saw Sanford speak at a Republican Governors’ Conference on CSPAN awhile ago. He is going to be running for President in the next go-round.

  • yg

    i find fascinating that courthouse front steps, or other government buildings, is where they used to auction off slaves.
    like this one, the greendomed building in the background:
    wonder if this building had a similar history. this kind of history shouldn’t be allowed to grow obscured.

  • yg

    “What a dollar of stimulus puts back into the economy when spent on…”

    3 of the top 4 catagory republicans routinely describe as “pork” is the very thing that is going to kick start this economy. talk about blinded by ideology.
    it’s true what rush says, republicans want the country to fail.

  • yg

    even money for infrastructure development gets ridiculed and discounted. see michael steele:
    “Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job.”

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