Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Beating Mark Sanford

You may remember state representative Jenny Horne from the passionate speech she gave after the Charleston shooting in which she pressed her fellow House members to vote to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.

I am happy to say that she plans to announce that she will run for the US House of Representatives, challenging good ole boy and dirtbag Mark Sanford.  Sanford, despite being a mediocre and not well liked governor, even after abandoning his post as governor for an illicit dalliance without informing staff -- or family -- of his whereabouts, was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2013.

Sanford is entertaining, true, but that he should be the only option on the republican side has even made South Carolina republicans turn up their noses.  Jenny Horne's primary challenge should be a welcome relief.

Here on the other side of the aisle, I read a few days ago that Elizabeth Colbert-Busch might step up to run as the "Democrat" against Sanford.  You may recall that she ran as a "Democrat" in 2013 against Sanford.  The quotation marks are because, although she had many good plans for education and business, she performed the SC two-step to avoid entirely issues that might get the other side riled up, like women's rights.  She actually had a 9-point lead in the polls soon before the election, despite a push poll alluding that she had had an abortion.  Some of us wonder about where that lead went, and assume that there well might have been some voting booth irregularities going on.

Mark Sanford, a stupid man who nonetheless is astute in advertising, chose to ignore Colbert Busch, at one point "debating" a poster of the evil Nancy Pelosi on the sidewalk outside MUSC.  In the actual debate there is a moment that I think sums up the contest. Colbert Busch finally got around to mentioning Sanford's going AWOL, which he pretended not to hear and then proceeded to talk past.  And when I think of Colbert Busch at the debate, all that comes to mind is, who on earth convinced her to wear that dowdy dress?

Which brings me to her stand on women's issues, which is basically, let's not talk about it.  She might have been a strong, intelligent woman who fought for issues that have been neglected too long in South Carolina; instead, she did the dance of the southern Democrats, the one where you try not to upset the other side and hope they might not notice.

Such a disappointment.

If this time around Colbert Busch decided, what the hell, let me run as a Democrat, she might prove a real challenge to Horne.  Because, while Horne has been on the right side of important issues like taking down the Confederate flag and even updating sex education in the schools, she has voted for the pending bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, as well as the bill that became law allowing guns in bars and restaurants.

I doubt that there will be that kind of contest.  If Colbert Busch decides to run, it is unlikely that she would say anything controversial.  She would bring little new to the race, and the same people who stayed away in 2013 will stay away in 2016:  young women, African Americans, Latinos, members of the LGBT community.  She would not be a new voice, merely an opponent echoing those same safe issues:  I'm good for business, I will improve the schools.  Not even a choice here in SC.  If you are running as a women who won't pose a threat to the status quo, they will eat you alive.

I hope I am wrong.  I would love to see a strong Colbert Busch, a woman who would really represent all the people who have been ignored here in SC for too long.  I would love to see her speak out for the rights of those many who are underserved, low income workers, people without health care, students who go to school in impoverished areas, women whose bodies continue to be on the auction block at every vote and every election.

So I guess we'll see.  To say Horne is an improvement over Sanford, well, that's an understatement.  But wouldn't it be swell if a Democrat got up and argued for all of us, and maybe didn't win, but gave Jenny some food for thought on some of those issues.  Of course, she has to beat Sanford first, and in that endeavor I am fully behind her.

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