Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lt Gov Andre Bauer refuses to apologize

South Carolina Lt. Gov Andre Bauer, photo from The Palmetto Scoop.

As you probably have heard, there is now a national firestorm over our esteemed Lt Gov Andre Bauer's "ill-chosen" remarks:

“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,” Bauer said.
He made the Washington Post, Jon Stewart and the Rachel Maddow Show! Bauer is famous at long last. ((sigh))

And locally, his reviews haven't been much better:

Bruce Ransom, a political science professor at Clemson University's Strom Thurmond Institute, called those words “shocking.”

“It’s obviously an attack on poor people,” he said.

Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, a Richland County Democrat who said he is a friend of Bauer, said the remarks would be disappointing coming from anyone.

“It appears crystal clear that Jesus has left the Republican Party,” he said. “The only comparison between animals and people that should ever be done is to say that they are all God’s children.”

Rep. Harry Cato, a Greenville Republican, said it sounds like Bauer “has gone overboard.”

“We do have a responsibility as adults, as Christians, to take care of the children,” Cato said. “They’re here, and it’s not their fault that they were not born into loving parents or a life that does not provide for them. Sometimes parents are just down on their luck.”

He added, “Maybe it sounds like the point we’ve all been talking about forever and that is how do you help people that are down on their luck? How do you break the cycle of those who are in a cycle? There‘s a lot of various cycles people get in, and they do seem to go from generation to generation.”

Ransom said he also thought that was the issue Bauer was trying to get at, using an old argument that has been made against welfare recipients on people receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Bauer was saying that poor people are costing the government more and more money, Ransom said.

“The argument is one that shows no sensitivity and no compassion, particularly in that the argument is one that makes the analogy to stray animals,” he said.

Ransom said it’s hard to tell how Bauer’s remarks will affect his run for governor. They will appeal to people who believe that “all these unworthy people out here who are not responsible for their behavior and are not raising their children properly” are a burden on the rest of society, he said.
The local NAACP and Democratic Party have weighed in, also:

South Carolina's Democratic Party chairwoman, Carol Fowler, asked Bauer to apologize for making the remarks.

Fowler released a statement, saying, "Andre Bauer's crude utterances once again reveal his immaturity and poor judgment. Bauer is a bachelor who has never once had to worry about feeding a child of his own. His notion of punishing children by not feeding them because their parents missed a PTA meeting flies in the face of basic South Carolina values."

In response, Bauer said he shouldn't have used the "stray animals" reference. However, he said he knows his comments are politically incorrect, and he does not feel that he needs to apologize. He said his critics have not offered any solutions to what he called a cycle of dependency on government programs.

In a release, Bauer said he feels "strongly that we can and should help our neighbors who are truly needy ... There's a big difference between being truly needy and truly lazy."

The Greenville NAACP isn’t calling for Bauer's resignation, or even for an apology. The group’s leaders say it's too late for that. But what they would like is for Bauer not to run for governor, and if he does, they want him to lose.

Greenville NAACP leaders said Bauer has proved he doesn't deserve to be South Carolina's next governor. They are upset because they said some of the people Bauer aspires to serve are lower income.

In a news release, Clarence Echols, Greenville NAACP president, said to Bauer: "Keep your foot in your mouth. If you do that, we won't be subjected to such stupidity."

Bauer said he regrets using the metaphor, but he stands firm on his main point. He said some people who don't need welfare take advantage of it, and it becomes a cycle passed down through generations.

Echols said, "To see another politician who wants to be a leader in this state step into that same quagmire of speaking before thinking, it disturbs me greatly."

Monday morning, Bauer spoke to WYFF News 4 and said, "If they wholeheartedly feel that there ought to be a discussion, then that's great -- if they think I'm wrong by bringing up a topic that I feel is important. The fact is that we're going to have to cut somewhere in state government. We're having to cut essential services to people that can't actually provide for themselves because we're taking care of people that are just lazy. I think it's a topic worth discussing. If I'm wrong, so be it."
And here is the official non-apology from Bauer's campaign:


JoJo said...

So is Sanford definitely out as your Gov. now? Paving the way for Bauer to run? Or is there a gubernatorial election in SC this year?

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

“We do have a responsibility as adults, as Christians, to take care of the children,” Cato said. “They’re here, and it’s not their fault that they were not born into loving parents or a life that does not provide for them. Sometimes parents are just down on their luck.”

Poor means their parents are not loving? Even the Republicans who mind Bauer horrid are horrid.

Anonymous said...

I think Andre Bauer should be applauded for finally saying what a lot of taxpayers think. Although it could have been said with more tact, it may not have been taken as seriously. As a taxpayer, I am tired of bearing the ever increasing burden of government programs. The initial purpose was to provide a hand up not a handout!
If we don't go back to the original premises this country was founded upon: work hard (not hardly work), pay our debtors (not rely on ever increasing credit), honesty among men (to include our court system), and back to basic beliefs, we have only ourselves to blame for the state of this country.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jojo, Sanford is possibly running for a congressional seat, according to the Palmetto Scoop... it would be likely be one of the beach cities; I've heard Myrtle Beach is what he wants. Bauer is running for governor.

Saints preserve us.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Anonymous commenter:

Wow, you really swallowed the Republican soundbite phrasebook, didn't you?

The initial purpose was to provide a hand up not a handout!

Then it would appear that employers aren't paying enough wages to make it worthwhile - the logical approach should be to increase the minimum wage massively to make it possible to live on the minimum wage!

If we don't go back to the original premises this country was founded upon:

Questionable suggestion - the premises I heard the USA was foudned on were "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are born equal, with certain inalienable rights; that among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." etc. But anyway...

work hard (not hardly work)

I refer the honourable gentleman (lady?) to the answer I gave recently on the necessity in a capitalist society for high unemployment. If no bugger will give you a job, then "work hard" is not a viable option.

pay our debtors (not rely on ever increasing credit)

Ooh, interesting - I take it, then, that you support a massive increase in taxes so that the USA can pay its debtors - most particularly, China - and keep a balanced budget?

honesty among men (to include our court system)

Some people consider honesty a weed. (Horticultural joke, bonus points to anyone who gets the murder-mystery reference.)

Seriously, honesty flourishes only when money is out of the equation - so I assume that you are opposed to the Supreme Court ruling that corporations get to spend as much as they like on campaign ads, for example?

and back to basic beliefs

As fictional President Bartlet pointed out in an episode of West Wing, the world is a complicated place. Basic beliefs aren't enough to handle the complexity of real life and the real life necessities that real people face. When a politician says "back to basics" what they really mean is "I can't cope with the real world, I want it to be nice and simple like it was when mummy and daddy ran everything for me".

sheila said...

I'm so glad Snowdrop Explodes jumped in here because I was ready to explode myself.

Great response to "anonymous". I echo that response. Especially the part about what this country was founded on.

What a shame it is that people would rather suffocate an entire portion of our society because they are an inconvenience. Who knows...maybe if we just respected all classes we'd find the people we need to actually make a difference in this country. Maybe we'd find future senators who experience what it is truly like in America. To base their votes on reality of life rather than who is bribing them to better their own.

Even after that beautiful speech last night, we'll see no working together on either side because they are all ass wipes.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

That picture of your so-called lieutenant governor doesn't fool me! That's just the Geico caveman with a shave and a haircut.

jovan b. said...

When you vote on November 2, keep in mind that Bauer and his conservative cronies have been in charge for the last eight years and they completely wrecked South Carolina's economy.

This election must be a referendum on the arrogant elitists like Bauer because they are the ones in charge of Columbia.