South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who hopes to take over for Gov. Mark “hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford, created a bit of a national stir with harsh judgements made on the working poor during a recent speech.
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
Interesting that Bauer would feel so comfortable making those comments in a state where roughly half the kids qualify for lunch subsidies. Perhaps Bauer is unfamiliar with that statistic? (Tsk, tsk, if that’s the case.)
Also interesting, though, is that it was revealed today that Bauer himself was a beneficiary of free lunches as a child. Bauer now says he regrets his comments, “because now it’s being used as an analogy, not a metaphor.” (Not because he could be seen as a big hypocrite, though.)
“Do I regret it? Sure I do. I wouldn’t have to be taking this heat otherwise.”
He did, however, try to clarify his remarks and provide context, saying the concept was more about penalizing adults:
“Look folks, if you receive goods or services from the government and you don’t attend a parent-teacher conference, bam, you lose your benefits.”
Bauer conveniently ignores that it’s difficult to make an impact on adults without also affecting kids. No additional information was immediately available about the circumstances of Bauer’s upbringing, but it’s profoundly sad that he can’t see the parallels between what was ostensibly not the easiest childhood thirty-odd years ago that brought him to his prestigious political position, and the children in similar circumstances- ones who may struggling at home because Mama or Daddy has to choose between attending a low paid job and not getting fired or keeping their supplemental food benefits.