Carry on, South Carolina – from Mark Sanford to Andre Bauer
South Carolina is a perfectly fine place, I’m sure. The Palmetto State no doubt has beauty and local color in spades. However, its recent political history has been talk show cannon fodder. Gov. Mark Sanford went on his soul-searching trip on the Appalachian Trail (aka Argentina) with Maria Belen Chapur. Now Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (he of the “Andre Bauer for governor” campaign) has searched his soul and made a startling admission: “Poor children are stray animals,” referring to those who take public assistance.
Will Andre Bauer need payday loans like the rest of us soon?
In his infinite wisdom, Bauer said this during an interview with local South Carolina newspaper The State. Yet in decrying government handout culture, perhaps Andre Bauer was attempting to take on an issue that in fact needs reform. “In government, we are too often giving a handout instead of a hand up,” he told the newspaper. But then he went on to tell a little story that couldn’t possibly help his public image:
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.
“You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
12.6 percent of South Carolina is out of work
Thus, the timing of Andre Bauer’s comments – from the campaign trail, no less – could have been better. Fellow politicians have called for him to formally apologize for his comments, but Bauer has refused so far. Interestingly, Andre Bauer is a child of divorce who once qualified for reduced-price lunches.
“This is out of love and compassion,” he said. “If I have to take a hit, then fine. … I will take short-term pain for long-term gain.”
Does charitable work cover up mistimed political statements?
The State and other media outlets indicate that Andre Bauer participates in a variety of charity actions. However, in the world of politics and the media mirror of public perception, will Andre Bauer’s proclamation that “poor children are like stray animals” sink his career and bring even more shame to South Carolina? Boy, if I had payday loans for each mile of that Appalachian Trail!