The nation has been hugely entertained in recent months by the antics of South Carolina Governor Mark Sandford, who abandoned its business, on the pretext of taking a long nature walk, to visit his mistress in Argentina. He lied about it, and when that didn’t work, he defended his actions with a maudlin speech about how much in love he was—as if that had anything to do with his commitments and responsibility to the citizens of his state.
Such “logic” must work in South Carolina, though, at least to some extent. The man is still governor.
Then there’s Senator Jim DeMint, who might earn at least a couple of points for honesty. He’s the right-winger that declared that he and his cronies would “break Obama” over the issue of health care. With over 16% of the citizens of his state entirely uninsured and a child poverty rate that exceeds 20%, DeMint didn’t hesitate to tell the world where his priorities lay: in “winning” at political gamesmanship, while his people lose out on good health, prosperity, and security.
And now there’s Representative Joe Wilson, who emerged from obscurity last night to go down in history as the hysterical extremist who heckled the president of the United States during a joint session of Congress. In all fairness, it must be said that the apparent poverty of ideas on his side of the so-called health care “debate” must make it very difficult to listen to a lot of reasonable, constructive, and practical ideas from the other side. But just as on a playground, frustration is no excuse for infantile behavior.
These are not the kind of people I’ve met when I’ve been in the South. However, it seems clear that many more of the gracious, hard-working, reasonable, and responsible citizens of South Carolina and other Southern states need to get themselves out the door on voting day.