South Carolina Lt. Gov. Compares Poor People to Animals
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The idea was always shallow and more about rhetoric than reality, but it looks like the notion of "compassionate conservatism" is officially dead. Take the latest rhetoric out of South Carolina, for example.
South Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said Saturday he could have chosen his words more carefully when he compared people who take public assistance to stray animals Friday. [...]
Friday, Bauer said giving food to needy people means encouraging dependence. It also gives the recipients a license to have children who will also be dependent on public aid, he said.
"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals," Bauer told a Greenville-area crowd. "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."
This is, by the way, not only the sitting lieutenant governor, but also one of the leading gubernatorial candidates in South Carolina this year.
"It amazes me how some Republican politicians claim a monopoly on Christianity and then go out and say and do some of the most un-Christian things imaginable," said Charleston attorney Mullins McLeod (D), who participated in a candidates' forum yesterday. He added, "Bauer's comments are despicable and the total opposite of the Christian values Bauer espouses."
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."