By AATTP guest contributor, Rob Ellsworth
Dear South Carolina:
What a Tuesday! Congratulations on sending disgraced former Governor Mark Sanford back to Congress on a platform of “limited government” and “traditional values” while simultaneously voting 65%-35% on the same ballot to protect the sanctity of marriage from gay people.
You are the best case for federalism I’ve seen and I’ve been to Mississippi. If left unsupervised for more than a month, I’m pretty sure 2/3 of your population would be eating through straws.
We all know that you detest Washington and love those sweet, sweet “states’ rights” (BTW, “states’ rights” in a civil rights context have historically been an excuse to limit rights of people living in said states by codifying slavery and homophobia, justifying separate water fountains and restrooms, paying women 70 cents on the dollar without legal recourse, and punishing the poor in the name of “liberty” and “freedom” — I digress). But, I’d like to remind you that you’re also a debtor state sucking on the teat of the federal government.
Oh Yes South Carolina, while y’all are a bastion of “We Built It” conservatism, y’all receive $1.35 back from Washington for every $1 y’all pay in taxes. That’s a better ROI than Charles Schwab will deliver for you in the private sector (just an FYI).
But let’s be clear, without billions in federal assistance, you would be in debt up to your eyeballs and unable to educate, transport and care for your people. You better praise Uncle Sam and our Good Lord a little harder. And don’t forget to send an additional thank you to Yankees like me who now pay a tax rate around 40% to help subsidize you hypocritical, right-wing, (to borrow Paul Ryan’s favorite term) “takers” in Dixie while giving me lectures about how “intrusive” the federal government is on your wallet and personal freedom. Wow, CRY ME A RIVER (a river that you will inevitably pollute the shit out of with no regulations or oversight).
Nah, scratch that. Just give us our damn money back and go it alone. Or maybe South Carolina can just marry Texas? Because if Obama lets the gays marry, pretty soon it will be “man on dog” or “state on state.” I’ve heard it’s a slippery slope…
‘Yes’ to Mark Sanford, and ‘No’ to marriage equality on the same ballot? You’ve gotta be kidding me, South Carolina. Please tell me you’re playing a joke on the rest of America because I’m not kidding. I’m 9 kinds of pissed off.
While serving as your pro-limited government, pro-family values Governor, Mr. Sanford disappeared to Argentina to visit his mistress for a week (at taxpayer expense) without even bothering to make up an excuse to his wife of 20 years, his four children, the state law enforcement officers paid to protect him, or his staff. In fact, he missed 15 calls from his chief of staff (I promise you this, an elected official might skip a call from his mother, but never from his top aide). Governor Sanford was later censured by the State Legislature for “misusing taxpayer funds” to pay for these sexcapades with his side-piece in South America (at least he could have opened a new credit card and paid for this smut himself).
Once the press realized this wasn’t an isolated incident, Sanford admitted to “a handful” of inappropriate relationships with women other than his wife during their marriage. In man math, a “handful” of other women does not mean 4 or 5, it means “as many women as he could get his hands on” (see Woods, Tiger and Waitresses, Denny’s).
Now, you might be thinking, “this is a double standard, Rob, what about Democrat Bill Clinton?”
Listen dip-shits, no one ever voted for Bill Clinton on a platform of fidelity, family values or restoring America’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage (…wasn’t part of the stump-speech in ’92 or ’96).
Nor did Bill Clinton ever call for a politician’s impeachment while committing the same adulterous acts as then Congressmen Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford did to Clinton in the 1990’s (oh yea, this ain’t “Congressman” Sanford’s first rodeo in Washington).
Look, if you want equal footing on the blame game, I’ll let you in on a little secret: NO ONE expects good behavior from Democrats because Democrats never promise it in the first place! Get with the program.
(Additional sidebar: y’all also picked Newt Gingrich as your President in last year’s GOP primary. This is a man who has been married a “handful” of times and cheated on one of his wives (who had cancer) with a Congressional staffer while serving as the Speaker of the House trying to impeach the President for having an affair.)
“Family Values” Republicans who commit these acts deserve to get beat up a little more because you preach that which you do not live. You claim the moral authority and ownership of the Bible and Constitution while knowingly, purposely and recklessly ignoring them. And, without any sense of irony, you use the government (something you hate) as a weapon to restrict other people’s rights and liberty (something you purport to hate when it involves money) all in the name of “freedom” and “God’s Word” (please read the 1st and 14th amendments followed by the “Golden Rule” and get back to me).
Finally South Carolina, while I’m disappointed that you further devalued the Office of U.S. Representative by sending Mr. Sanford back to Washington, now that I think of it, I’m actually glad 65% of you decided on the same ballot that marriage should only be limited to a man and a woman. This is progress for you, because maybe it will keep your new Congressman from engaging in another marriage between a man and a “handful” of women.
Rob Ellsworth is co-founder of the Washington DC-based think-tank, The Majority Group