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    What Is It About South Carolina?

    by | 26 | Jan 24, 2010

    The other day, South Carolina Lite Gov. Andre Bauer (a Republican candidate for governor) compared people who take public assistance to stray animals.

    “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals,” Bauer told a Greenville-area crowd. “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.”

    Now, you are probably thinking, “Gita, that can’t be right! Andre Bauer is a good Christian man. It’s part of his campaign to be a Christian, and that statement didn’t sound either Christian or intelligent.”

    Please. Allow me to explain. Two hundred years ago, the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina made a pact with Satan. They asked that the white rulers of the state all be so stupid that they’d eventually self destruct.

    In return, Satan made them promise to develop an exquisite cuisine that he could enjoy any time he dropped by South Carolina for a little R and R.

    “You can keep your souls,” the Lord of Darkness said. “I’ve already got enough souls from the Deep South, what with the cotton plantation owners in Mississippi and the future oil barons in Texas. You just busy yourselves with perfecting shrimp bisque.”

    And so it was that South Carolina brought forth Mark Sanford, of the Restless Penis Clan, and Strom Thurmond and Andre Bauer, of the False Christian Clan. Also came Bob Jones (the man and the campus), pioneer of Christian branding and marketing. And even though the white rulers have not yet blown away in a hurricane, each new day brings them closer.

    ###
    Gita M. Smith

    Gita M. Smith

    Gita M. Smith is a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer who covered Alabama -- yes, the whole state -- for the paper's national desk where she fell under  the dangerous influence of Keith Graham and Ron Taylor.  She writes flash fiction at 6S, Thinking 10 and fictionaut.

     

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    • Cliff Green

      I love South Carolina. It keeps Georgia from being on the bottom on the political heap. However, if some of our progressive legislators get their way, we will soon be able to tote our guns to church, school and into all our airports. Not even Gamecocks can match that.

    • Grace Liem

      Oh gita -- very funny. Yeah, us North Carolinans feel so dadgummed superior to the south Carolinanis at times. Especially that in-bred Mark Sanford and Andre Bauer. I really believe they married their cousins. Oh and Strom too. Take a look at all of their families -- they all look like each other.

    • Gita

      Oh stop being such a ‘fraidy cat.
      Arizona already allows guns everywhere and nothing has changed. You are showing your liberal bias.

    • Gita

      My previous comment was addressed to Cliff, not to Prof. Liem.

    • James

      Wow! I live in Texas, and even our Republicans aren’t that stupid. At least they keep that kind of talk private — you know, in their country clubs, in the limos provided by the lobbyists, and of course on their ranches.

      The problem, of course, is race — as it has been since the first slaves were brought to the new world. Buaer’s words were just thinly disguised as attaccks on blacks and Hispanics. LBJ knew he was delivering a “solid south” to the Republicans when he passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, and boy was he right. The oh-so-Christian right has found sanitized ways to talk about race while maintaining plausible deniability — like Bauer’s reference to “them” breeding if you feed them. What color person do you think he envisions breeding upon feeding? I’ll bet they have a little darker tan than even the ladies at his country club…

      When are fair-minded and moral people going to speak up and stop this creeping Klan-like mentality from controlling virtually all deep South political offices? When are the white preachers who know what their Bibles say about “Gentile and Jew alike” and know it means (in the language of the early church’s world)that God is the God of all people, going to tell their smug Sunday morning constituents that racism, indifference to the condition of the less fortunate and greed are the very things the New Testament (and sometimes the Old) tell believers to turn away from? That’s where you can reach these people who have a majority at the ballot box: their churches and among their peers. Rush and worse are their leaders now. Maybe if we turn the clergy first, we can give them so new leaders to look up to. Let’s start with the preachers.

    • Lori

      When I was growing up in the Baptist Church (in the North), Matthew 25:31-46 was absolutely central to what Christian faith was all about. This verse has been completely abandoned, or perverted, by conservative fundamentalists in the South. It makes me ill to see it.

    • WENDELL BROCK

      Well done.

    • Ross from Pawleys

      I love the lowcountry! But there must be something in the swamp water these days. You forgot that wonderful well-spoken South Carolinian from around Beaufort -- Joe Wilson. It seems that lately I have been quoting often that patriot, brewmeister, and, yes, surprisingly a Yankee, Sam Adams:

      “Neither the wisest consitution
      Nor the wisest laws
      Will secure the liberty of a people
      Whose manners are universally corrupt.”

    • Brenden

      The Democrat answer to South Carolina’s problems?

      “Robert Ford: Video Poker to Save Our State”

      http://www.robertfordforgovernor.com/

    • C Smith

      James lets start with Preacher Jeremiah Wright!

    • Charles Seabrook

      Dear Grace Liem:
      From all of us South Carolinians: Say hello to Jesse Helms and John Edwards and Jim Baker and Tammy Faye for us.

    • Gita

      Let’s set aside the race views or party affiliation of this candidate for a moment. Let’s look at the question of governance.
      Doesn’t it stun that, in these economic hard times, Andre Bauer doesn’t realize how many middle class, formerly employed citizens are receiving public assistance?
      How tone deaf is he?
      And if the mo-fo does NOT understand that public welfare is keeping thousands of newly unemployed families alive right now, should he be governor? This is Economics 101, people.

    • Ross from Pawleys

      Not sure Brenden and CSmith that this has much to do with someone’s political bent. It is merely a matter of good taste, good manners, and good sense. As I said to you before, Brenden, just relax and enjoy a Sam Adams. Enjoy yourself. I’ll just leave it at that.

    • Brenden

      Economics 101:

      GDP = C + I + G + (X -- M)

      C = household consumption expenditures / personal consumption expenditures
      I = gross private domestic investment
      G = government consumption and gross investment expenditures
      X = gross exports of goods and services
      M = gross imports of goods and services

      Substituting video poker (VP) for I, G, X and M; substituting public welfare (PW) for GDP yeilds:

      PW = VP

      Video poker = public welfare. Vote Ford!

    • How could your leave Lauch Faircloth off your list? A pig farmer with the worst attendance record in the history of the Senate, he paved the way for Edwards. Thank god we still have ABC here in NC so our monumental political screw ups (can you say $12k dinner from a major liquor distributor -- http://www.charlotteobserver.com/408/story/1181612.html) can be carried out at the local municipal level. Let’s not leave all the fun for the gang at the State House and in Washington!

    • jingle

      Gita, I’m speechless. Thanks for keeping us informed about the insanity loop.

    • C Smith

      Ross from Pawleys check with “James” about politics and race.

    • Ross from Pawleys

      CSmith: He makes some good points. I do disagree that racism is only “controlling deep south offices”. I have lived and traveled all over this country, and have unfortunately found a degree of racism in every nook and corner. But having been born here in South Carolina too many years ago, I can say that there has been tremendous progress. I don’t see the need to bring up Reverend Wright time and time again, as I don’t see the need to bring up President Bush in every argument -- it does get old (although Ronald Reagan talked about Jimmy Carter forever well into his second term). It seems to me that the President, no matter what is policies may be, is a strong family man with fine values in spite of the pulpit that he sat in front of. What I do care about is the nature of the debate and the lack of class that this passion can bring out. Again, no manners, no dignity, and no respect for an opinion which may differ from your own. Today on both sides it is all about self, and self, and self.

    • austin

      Wait a minute. George Will was quoted recently saying “Congress continues to extend eligibility for unemployment benefits, apparently oblivious to the truth that when you subsidize something you get more of it.” ( http://www.newsweek.com/id/231124 )
      …and got only a modicum of chiding. One salvageable attribute of mean spirited Sandlappers is… an odd sort of unconscious honesty. George Will uses platitudes disguised as soft science to jeer at those he perceives as products of “inferior breeding or schooling”. Relative to Will and his incessant pedantry, it’s rather refreshing to see such unwashed bigotry as Bauer’s .

    • Rebecca McCarthy

      As a native South Carolinian living for many years in exile in Georgia, I would like to point out that ain’t none of us in the South got a lot of folks in office to write home about at the moment.My congressman Paul Broun, Jr., is the guy who accused Obama of being a Nazi and a Marxist. He’s about as unhinged as you can get, and he’s from Athens.

    • Brenden

      Must all conservative political speech be reducible to your false accusations of racism? Were there no lessons learned from advancing politicized fictions from the whole fake global warmingism kerfuffle? It’s downright Pavlovian with you folks, “Republican says….” and then you all start to drool until someone finally scribbles, “Racist!.” Then the little bell rings and you get a reward.

      What is the reward, by the way? One of Ross’ beloved Sam Adams? A bong hit? Tofurkey sandwich?

    • Gita

      A bong hit??? Is someone doing BONG HITS as a result of my blog??
      Why weren’t Keth and Ron and I invited???? Who is Bogarting the bong??

    • Ross from Pawleys

      Actually, Brenden, I prefer Coors Light and fill Republican coffers each time that I consume one . . which is rather often. Cheers and Prost. :)

    • One of the really wonderful things about Andre’s speech is he is a prime example of its being false. Andre, by his own admission, received what he calls “reduced lunch,” that is, subsidized food at public school when he was a tad. In spite of that subsidy, Andre, for whatever reason, has never married nor bred.

      Forgive me Brenden, I am unable to express this irony in mathematical terms.

      Never the less, by the example of Andre’s own life it is clear that babies are not caused by subsidized lunch programs. This misunderstanding on the part of conservatives may be why abstinence only programs do not work. There must be conservatives who believe “abstinence” refers to a boycott of the “free” lunch program.

    • Wake up, Brenden. You’ve slipped into a dreamscape … in a classroom, wearing no pants, and we can see your junk.

      I have no doubt you read your Bible the same way you read this blog posting. You saw what you wanted to see and ignored everything else. This isn’t a commentary about the candidates for governor of South Carolina. It isn’t about the beautiful state. The post addresses one populist’s bigoted remarks — bigoted in the sense that he’s preaching to the haves about the sins of the have-nots, a tactic not uncommon in the South.

      Not all Republicans are Bible-thumping racists. Not all Democrats are pot-smoking tree-huggers. This isn’t about party. It’s about a doofus. Okay, make that several doofusses. Okay, so she didn’t list ALL the members of the Restless Penis clan in her very amusing essay. But, hey, there’s plenty of room for the John Edwards sex tapes next month.

      Doofishness (doofushishness?), like many politicians, knows no boundaries. So put your pants on.

    • Brenden

      I realize that author’s intent was not directly to point out that Bauer is a racist. However, whenever someone quotes any utterance whatsoever issued by a GOP politician, inevitably a commenter posts something about “He’s a racist!” sure as night follows day. Then someone else posts something else irrelevant about the politics of of the early 1960s — yes, FIFTY effing years ago as if Rosa Parks had just bought her first MARTA pass. Then a bit of kibble rolls down from the experimenter’s reward cache and you all lick your genitals.

      Granted, we ought not to look to the animal realm for guidance on how to run our human civilization. Yet regarding Bauer’s comment, he makes the fairly obvious point that if you feed strays they become dependent and perpetuate their dependency to their progeny. That is certainly true. But there is nothing in his statement (quoted here) that equates animal behavior and U.S. minority human populations directly. It’s you noble liberals posting here that make that connection, which I find very ironic. It is you posters to explicitly link animal behavor to that of South Carolina’s minorities.

      I don’t support Bauer’s human-animal comparison because it’s a retrograde appeal. But it’s quite probable that he meant it to extend to the entire mass of welfare-dependent South Carolinians. I think you all presume way too much of South Carolina and Americans of European descent if you believe none of both classes subsist on welfare in that poorest of American states. This presumption likely a result of your own bigoted views, which again is very ironic.

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