The movie Wall Street taught us that greed is good … for the economy, anyway.
But is gridlock good? For government?
In the GOP primary election for South Carolina’s first congressional district, one candidate says “yes.”
Congressman Mark Sanford recently told a “Republican” crowd in the Palmetto State’s Lowcountry that dysfunction in our nation’s capital was a good thing.
“I would respectfully submit this: You don’t want to end the gridlock in Washington, D.C.,” Sanford told a GOP gathering in Beaufort County, S.C. earlier this month.
The former two-term governor – who dramatically underperformed expectations during his last GOP primary battle – is facing a far more credible challenger in 2018 in the form of freshman state lawmaker Katie Arrington.
Arrington was in attendance at the Beaufort County event, and her campaign turned Sanford’s pro-gridlock comment into a pretty nifty thirty-second internet ad.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
According to Arrington’s web ad, “it’s time to end the gridlock, repeal and replace Obamacare, secure our borders and support president Trump to bring about more conservative reforms.”
Those are effective anti-gridlock arguments if you ask us …
As to the larger question … is gridlock good?
Honestly, it’s neither good nor bad.
If government (at any level) is endeavoring to pass legislation aimed at eroding liberty or prosperity then yes, gridlock is good. But if legislation aimed at enhancing liberty or prosperity is kept from becoming law, then gridlock is bad.
Arrington’s point seems to be that the brand of gridlock Sanford is endorsing is sabotaging Trump’s agenda … an effective argument to make against this particular career politician.
When U.S. president Barack Obama was in office, gridlock was undeniably good. The best that could be hoped for in that situation was keeping bad laws off the books. But there is simply no excuse for gridlock now.
“Republicans” were given the keys to the kingdom in 2016 and asked to do a few simple things. So far they have failed miserably … on all counts.
Against this broader backdrop Sanford finds himself in a tough spot. In addition to a lingering campaign finance scandal, Sanford has recently been ensnared by #NukeGate – a mushrooming political scandal related to state government’s abandonment of a multi-billion nuclear power project. In 2007, Sanford – then in his second term as governor of South Carolina – allowed a bill socializing the investment risk for this controversial project to become law without his signature.
The former two-term governor of the Palmetto State also finds himself in a partisan pincers.
In addition to emerging as one of the most prominent #NeverTrumpers in Congress, Sanford has found himself increasingly at odds with the GOP establishment he belatedly embraced upon his return to Washington in 2013 (click here, here and here for our reports chronicling his unfortunate evolution into an establishment “Republican”).
Sanford’s isolation from his GOP peers was on full display at the S.C. “Republican” party’s annual Silver Elephant banquet earlier this year. Not only was he the only member of the state’s congressional delegation who declined to sponsor a table at this event, he was the only one who didn’t get a shout-out from the evening’s guest speaker, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado.
Gardner found something nice to say about every other South Carolina “Republican” serving in Washington … but omitted Sanford from his remarks completely.
All of this has had a considerable impact on Sanford’s fundraising – which until now has been his political strong suit.
Oh, and in the meantime Sanford’s always oddball personal life keeps getting more bizarre …
Can Arrington translate all of this vulnerability into an improbable upset? We’ll see …
She’s certainly proving herself adept at recognizing and seizing opportunities to put the former “Luv Gov” on the defensive.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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Banner: Sam Holland for S.C. House of Representatives