Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Mark Sanford and his: what a waste
Mark Sanford has been tone deaf to the South Carolina General Assembly from the first day he took office. He, his wife, and his associates, ex staff members, and groups that back him all have taken pot shots at General Assembly members, got in their races, and thus created a rancor that has resulted in the Governor being all but irrelevant in getting most of his agenda completed.
Now, out of want of revenge or just being plain politically tone deaf, the Governor is calling for the General Assembly to meet between now and Election Day to deal with budget cuts due to the state's decreasing revenues.
Perhaps the Governor will call them and perhaps the General Assembly will deal with the potential cuts. However, one thing is sure to result: the increasing irrelevancy of Mark Sanford.
It is one thing to be principled and make stands. It is another thing to be so bull headed you alienate the people who can help make the things you think the state needs happen.
I have long said that any governor should spend his first year in office arranging to meet with each and every member of the General Assembly privately. In that private meeting, let that member voice his wants and concerns. At the end of the meeting, let that member bring in a few prized constituents for a photo or a handshake. In other words, give each and every member of the General Assembly respect as a fellow elected official.
What do we get now instead? Political loyalists who check to see how a district voted, how a member voted and who gave what money. Forget the publicity stunt that is the open door session from time to time. If you really want the Governor's ear, vote his way or write him a check. Don't vote his way and he'll find some money to bank someone against you.
After six years of operating that way, the Governor and his people wonder why his agenda does not get passed and why his vetoes get summarily overridden.
Chances are the Governor will have his dramatic press moment calling the legislature back into session. South Carolina will spend tens of thousands of dollars to have them back. Chances are the Governor will not get what he wants, and will be left to complaining.
The really sad part is that the Governor has some really good ideas. Yet, the Governor and his staff are inept at how to deal with human beings. I suggest they all take time to read some old Dale Carnegie books. I know one of his supporters will probably laugh at the suggestion and offer some woman with big boobs on his website with a note about Dan Cooper's eggtooth. Fair enough. But, still, not a damn thing gets done that really matters. Mark Sanford and his: what a waste of potential.