Skip to comments.Mark Sanford: A Lone Voice of Reason
Posted on 02/02/2009 8:52:01 PM PST by rabscuttle385
Republicans would often say that no matter how far their senators, congressmen and latter-day president strayed from real conservative values, it was the various state governors who were gloriously holding the line against taxes, spending and other big government initiatives that originated from the left but were cheerfully adopted by the right.
That is, until this week. GOP governors from all over the country have begun lobbying for the passage of Obamas $819 billion spending plan and, naturally, demanding their own cut. And these arent just wishy-washy moderates such as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Charlie Crist, but even those conservatives regaled as the future of the Republican Party: Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, and yes, Sarah Palin.
But amid the cacophony of begging, if you really listen, there is one voice of reason decrying the insanity: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
Sanford is a fiscally responsible Republican who has built his career and reputation around opposing unnecessary spending, both as a congressman in the 90s and as a governor since 2002. His outspoken opposition to his own Republican-dominated state legislatures spending programs such as the admittedly theatrical act of bringing a live pig into the legislatures chambers to protest pork-barrel spending earned him distinction as one of TIME Magazines three worst governors of 2005. This, which undoubtedly perturbed the both of TIMEs remaining, dedicated subscribers, showed the rest of us a principled man who was not afraid to stand up against the idiots who unfortunately surround him. Since then, he has vetoed hundreds of spending plans and fought continuously for lower taxes.
On the state bailouts, Sanford deserves not a gold star, but at least a silver one. He pointed out how the idea of bailing out state governments is basically one huge welfare system scam that the fiscally prudent states are forced to pay for the mistakes of profligate California, Massachusetts, and their ilk. If the spendthrifts are going to sink, it is their own fault, and the rest of the country shouldnt have to pay the costs of increased debt and inflation just to cover their dumb mistakes.
And he practiced what he preached sort of. Sanford categorically stated he would accept no bailout money for South Carolina, which made him a target for much vitriol from his own states parasitic class, who called him a heartless ideologue for forsaking the needs of poor South Carolinians in the name of his personal economic principles. But eventually Sanford caved to the pressure, accepting $146 million in federal money for state unemployment benefits. This raises the question: will his current stand for sound economics just end in compromise again?
There was also Sanfords vocal support for John McCains candidacy last fall, which showed more than a little bit of economic cognitive dissonance. On foreign policy, theres no indication that he isnt a McCainiac himself hes never really let his true beliefs be known which is also somewhat unnerving.
Alas, Ron Paul he is not. But I guess thats just part of getting ahead in politics. Its a game that rewards the unscrupulous while pushing the principled and virtuous to the periphery. If Sanford has to parlay with a few less-than-reputable characters in order to become a potent enough force to give his limited government principles some clout, who am I to complain?
I like to think that hes just keeping his Paulian military non-interventionism under wraps so as not to scare off the hawkish party base. After all, as a congressman, he did oppose military appropriations for a base in his own district, which borders on treasonous for the bomb em all Republican base. But the military and its overseas commitments make up the largest government program in existence, so if Sanford is consistent, I think my hopes might have some grounding.
The Republicans will be needing a new leader, one who can clearly articulate the basic, timeless conservative principles, and they will need him soon. Sanford has his blemishes and inconsistencies, but the Republicans could do much worse. (Just a glance at their 2008 primary lineup is a whos who of the much worse category.) Hes not perfect, but when 2012 comes around and we are faced with four more years of Barack the bailer, the spender, the inflationist well, hopefully we will have Mark Sanford around to take a stand for sanity. Go, Mark, go!
Kelse Moen is a College senior from Sharon, Mass. He is president and co-founder of Emorys Young Americans for Liberty.
Mark Sanford ping!
At least until many people find him to be too libertarian on some issues, is still having problems getting along with the state legislature Republicans, and until the MSM keeps bringing up over and over again his dismal performance on MTP last year. If he can successfully get past all of these negative things about him, then his future political chances for victory will really increase.
Sanford is the real deal. See what he will do when he has real support.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is not a conservative.
I live in South Carolina.
Mark Sanford truely is the real deal. We are very fortunate to have him as our Governor.
He is the future of the Republican party!
Gov. Mark Sanford Ping!
Want on or off this ping list? Just FReepmail me.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.