South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford seems to be the new GOP flavour of the moment right now, which is fine by me because I’m a fan. Any guy who shows up to the legislature with two pigs to protest their “pork barrel politics,” that’s some change I can believe in right there; I don’t care what you say.
Of course being flavour of the moment means increased attacks from the Democrat Party because he dare questioned Dear Leader (and offense that open minded and tolerant progressives like Stephanie Miller has insinuated should be punished by death), but that’s that game.
Where Mark Sanford really scores with those of us that have a (R-State) is that, in a time where the Republican Party is looking to “get back to its roots,” Sanford has a degree of credibility other’s don’t because he never drifted from those roots in the first place. I give you Reihan Salam from a recent Forbes Magazine article…
Unlike John McCain or Mitt Romney, Sanford goes far beyond criticizing earmarks. In the face of a severe recession, he has refused to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid. Recognizing that the military establishment represents an enormous slice of federal spending, Sanford has also declared that he opposes pre-emptive wars, like the invasion of Iraq. In short, Sanford is the real deal. He is the candidate Rush Limbaugh and countless others who embrace the cause of shrinking government have been waiting for.
But the real test is whether Sanford is willing to put shrinking government ahead of cutting taxes. The evidence suggests that the answer is yes. Earlier on in his tenure as governor, Sanford made a serious effort to gradually eliminate the state income tax. Yet he ultimately came to terms with the fact that he’d have to raise another tax, like the much-despised property tax, to make up for the lost revenue, and so he ultimately abandoned his plan. Rest assured, other Republicans, including George W. Bush, wouldn’t have had the same scruples, as evidenced by the state of our public finances.
I highly suggest reading the whole piece, especially for some of the Barry Goldwater comparisons. Keep in mind, Reihan isn’t a far-right ideologue. He’s a moderate who along with fellow moderate Ross Douhat wrote the recent book, “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” He’s a reformer that tends to get behind other reformers.
But if Mark Sanford’s message is one that is appealing to both moderates and those who are a lot further to the right, it puts him in a very interesting position…hence the reason the D’s are looking to take him down and take him down now.
And as much as I hate speculating on 2012, except when I speculate on 2012, while I agree with some of the Goldwater comparisons, the more I think aboot it the more a Romney-Sanford ticket sends a tingle down my leg.
UPDATE: Yeah, we need help…
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