South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer now says he regrets comparing poor people to stray animals. (AP Photo)
Those good old boys in South Carolina sure know how to cut to the chase, especially when they're chasing poor people. Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer made national headlines after warning lawmakers and citizens at a town hall meeting a few days ago not to give food to poor people or they'll breed like stray animals.
“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.”
Bauer later said his remarks were taken out of context, but context only makes him look worse. Bauer said he was talking about "breaking the cycle of dependency" on public assistance. Yet he, as a child of divorce, was raised on free lunches and is now among the frontrunners in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary race, according to the Associated Press.
His callous remarks reveal his hypocritical, un-Christian hatred of people who, like his mother, must sometimes seek help in order to feed their children. His attitude is particularly despicable in South Carolina, where 12.6 percent of the population is unemployed, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's among the worst in the nation; only three states have higher unemployment rates (Rhode Island, Nevada and Michigan -- two of them have Republican governors).
Bauer wants to be governor, so he is trying to pass the blame for his state's poverty onto the victims themselves. And why shouldn't he? It's standard Republican procedure: Blame unemployment on the unemployed. And if that fails, blame the Democrats.
It's time for the GOP to grow a pair, stop blaming other people, and start creating real solutions rather than purportedly proving their patriotism with ignorant, hateful comments on right wing talk shows, political websites, and town hall meetings. Shut up and help.