Not one Democrat has entered the race for the US House of Representatives against Joe Wilson. The party has entirely failed to recruit or field a candidate for a national office against a man who is an absolute disgrace to this state. They also have not responded to my inquiries as to why they’ve failed to do so. This shows not only a flagrant disregard for the state, but also a complete failure of priorities.
Normally when I am embarrassed at politics in my home state of South Carolina, it is because an individual Republican politician has done something that makes me cringe. They disappear on the Appalachian Trail, say women don’t care about contraception, or scream “You lie!” during the State of the Union. I am a generous person and I’m willing to allow that it’s really none of my business that Mark Sanford was having an affair, though there were some legitimate governmental interests involved in that story, and maybe Nikki Haley really meant to say women don’t only care about contraception, but other things as well. But there is nothing about Joe Wilson’s outburst that is forgivable.
I care deeply about the truth, but there is a time and a place for pointing out perceived falsehoods and if a Democrat had screamed “You lie!” during one of George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses, I would have condemned them as well. There is a rebuttal aired immediately after the address just for such claims! You’ve got a platform that doesn’t require being rude!
Of course, caring deeply about the truth, I should also point out that Joe Wilson was monstrously incorrect when he claimed that President Obama was lying. If you’re going to be completely unnecessarily rude, at least get your facts straight first!
There’s nothing about Joe Wilson’s political career that redeems him from this behavior. He is a supporter of keeping the treasonous rebel flag on Statehouse grounds. He’s repeatedly voted to limit the rights of his gay constituents and of the country, he’s voted to make the PATRIOT act permanent and to remove our fourth amendment constitutional right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure, he does not support scientific research, he does not support women’s rights, he consistently votes against education in a state that desperately needs better education, and he is a religious fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in separation of church and state.
The filing deadline has passed and I wish someone with any basic decency had taken the opportunity to use the public platform to bring some truth and dignity to the race, rather than more of the cowardly lies that Joe Wilson has to offer. I wish I’d had $3,500 dollars and any knowledge of how to run a campaign or join a race because he’s the representative of MY district and I am mad as hell. Perhaps Dick Harpootlian, the SCDem chair, should spend more time trying to get Democrats elected and less time insulting women, accusing Republicans of being gay, and schmoozing with Stephen Colbert.
South Carolinians deserve choices when it comes to sending a representative to Washington DC, but it looks like the 40% my district and of the state that votes blue is going to continue to be disenfranchised by a failure of the party and a failure of the system.
I watched the entire two hours on CSPAN so you don’t have to. I have to say it’s interesting how completely defensive the witnesses were, both on the Republican (anti-immigrant) and Democrat (pro-immigrant) sides. I get that people have a point of view and an argument they’re trying to make, but when someone has a valid question you only make yourself look wrong by dodging it. The dissembling was worse on the Republican side, but only because it seems like the Dems asked tougher questions and the Republicans tended to just espouse a POV rather than ask questions.
Colbert’s statement was funny, and a little bit silly, and stated, “I endorse all Republican policies without question.” He had a couple zingers, but most of his testimony had genuine heartfelt and legitimate concerns behind it. This was part of his statement:
But maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants who, let’s face it, will probably be doing these jobs anyway. And this improved legal status might allow immigrants recourse if they are abused. And it just stands to reason, to me, that if your coworker can’t be exploited, then you’re less likely to be exploited yourself. And that, itself, might improve pay and working conditions on these farms, and eventually, Americans may consider taking these jobs again.
The best part of the night was in response to why he cared about this issue, I found it incredibly touching.
I like talking about people who don’t have any power. And it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come in and do our work, but don’t have any rights as a result. And yet, we still invite them to come here, and at the same time, ask them to leave. And that’s an interesting contradiction to me, and um…
You know, “whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers,” and these seem like the least of our brothers, right now. A lot of people are “least brothers” right now, because the economy’s so hard, and I don’t want to take anyone’s hardship away from them or diminish it or anything like that. But migrant workers suffer, and have no rights.