Should Mark Sanford Reject the Stimulus Money?
Paul Begala picks a fight with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on CNN.com: If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's ...
Paul Begala picks a fight with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on CNN.com:
If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money. After all, if you think all that federal spending is damaging, there are easy ways to reduce it: Don't take federal money.
Gov. Sanford can lead the way. South Carolina should decline to accept any federal funds for transportation, education, health care, clean energy or any of the other ideas President Obama is advocating to fix the economy. And the rest of the GOP can follow suit.
I want to frame this debate a little bit differently. Forget for a moment whether Sanford should reject the stimulus money out of intellectual consistency. Should he reject it for the sake of politics?
Sanford is thought to be mulling a 2012 presidential bid, but he faces significant obstacles. He doesn't have the preexisting network of supporters that previous candidates such as Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee possess. He doesn't start out with the star power of Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal.
What Sanford does have, though, is a reputation as a fiscal conservative who actually stands by his principles. Could there possibly be a better way to further that reputation -- and to introduce himself to a national audience -- than to say no to the stimulus money?
Such a move could turn Sanford into a conservative hero and a leading voice of opposition to the Obama administration. It would also almost certainly enrage a lot of people in South Carolina -- and not just Democrats.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
GOP Senator Proposes Letting States Decide Whether They Keep Obamacare3 hours ago
U.S. Abortion Rate Lowest Since Roe v. Wade, But Rising in 6 States2 hours ago
Texas, and 13 Other States, Sue Feds Once More Before Obama Leaves1 hour ago
Minimum Wage Ruling a Small Win for Missouri Cities Seeking to Raise It1 hour ago
Opioid Addiction Declared a Public Health Crisis in New Jersey40 minutes ago
Michigan Mayor Refuses Calls to Resign Over Alleged 'Chimps' and 'Ugly Hag' Comments20 minutes ago