Republicans Are Not Quite Right In The Head

Notice the constantly shifting realities. Republicans, when confronted with an indisputable fact, simply create different "facts." It's not that we're in the grip of a worldwide recession and the numbers of unemployed people are tapping out the state unemployment funds, it's that that government workers are simply wasting the money!

It seems the good governor is often mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012. I predict at the very least, this particular flavor of libertarian wingnut will go far with his visionary thinking:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just hours before the unemployment benefits fund was to run out in South Carolina, the state with the nation’s third-highest jobless rate, Gov. Mark Sanford relented Wednesday and agreed to apply for a $146 million federal loan to shore it up, after weeks of refusing to do so.

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina announcing Wednesday that he had applied for the $146 million federal loan that would ensure continued unemployment benefits in the state.

The governor’s position had drawn rebukes even from fellow Republicans in the Legislature, one of whom denounced Mr. Sanford as “heartless,” and from newspaper editorial pages. On Wednesday, The State, the daily newspaper here in Columbia, accused the governor of playing “chicken with the lives of the 77,000” who are unemployed in South Carolina.

For weeks, Mr. Sanford, newly elected as head of the Republican Governors Association and known for being a fierce free-market foe of government spending, stuck to his stand, questioning the probity of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission and demanding a new audit of the agency.

He has said in the past that he did not trust the commission’s calculation of the state’s unemployment rate, though a spokesman at the Bureau of Labor Statistics said it was calculated the same way as in every other state.

Mr. Sanford is now demanding that South Carolina’s Commerce Department, whose director he appoints, be given access to the state unemployment agency’s numbers, including where applicants are from, their ages, genders and occupations.

The back-and-forth dueling between the conservative governor and the unemployment agency has gone on for weeks, and its executive director, Roosevelt T. Halley, warned that he would have to stop issuing benefit checks to the jobless beginning Jan. 1 if Mr. Sanford did not back down and ask the federal government for the loan.

“It’s absolutely unheard of, it’s insane, for a governor of any state not to request those funds,” State Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, a Republican who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said last week. “I can’t believe anybody would be this heartless, and create such a heartless act on these people.”

On Wednesday morning, at nearly the last minute, Mr. Sanford relented and said at a news conference in his office at the State House that he would request the money. South Carolina is one of three high-unemployment states, along with Michigan and Indiana, to ask for a loan from the federal government to ensure the unemployed continue to receive benefits.

“We will not punish the unemployed for this agency’s incompetence,” the governor said in a statement. But Mr. Sanford continued to insist that he would demand another, more stringent audit of the unemployment office, though Mr. Halley noted that the agency was audited every year by an accounting firm and had been given a clean bill of health.

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