‘She seems like a decent person’ isn’t enough

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013

After an eventful news week in the first congressional district race, what I keep hearing from friends about this race basically goes like this: Many Republican voters cannot forgive Mark Sanford and don’t intend to do so in this election. To them, it’s an intensely personal thing. Women especially feel that if Sanford gains any redemption, it gives license for unacceptable male behavior. It has nothing to do the political issues of vital national concern, or the crucial signal this trend-setting congressional race will send to the 2014 battle to keep Nancy Pelosi from turning congress into an Obama rubber stamp. Again.

On the other hand, those Republican voters who are most concerned about the national issues, rather than the Charleston County Family Court docket, express no concern voting for Sanford. As for my Democrat friends, they are solidly on board for Colbert Busch.

The most common comment I hear is, “She seems like a decent person and will do a good job.” Never mind that she’s running a stealth campaign using vague terms like “jobs.” What candidate ever ran on a platform opposing jobs? Colbert Busch has the luxury of making this a referendum on Mark Sanford, not a debate on the issues. No one seems the least bit suspicious of why she mysteriously cancelled one of her few face-to-face forums with Sanford just before the news of his trespassing charge broke.

The events of the past week proved again that once the shocker headlines are written, the narrative is set. After the trespassing headline, The Post and Courier reported this tidbit about Colbert Busch:

In November 1988, Family Court Judge Mendel Rivers Jr. issued an order saying they (Elizabeth Colbert Busch and her ex) had “failed miserably” to resolve their differences in the children’s best interest and ordered them both confined to the Charleston County jail for 24 hours.

Wait a minute – ordered to jail for not acting in her children’s best interest? Where’s the background on that? What were the circumstances? I’m sure she has a perfectly good explanation, the details of which are not the issue here.

The issue is that in this race, only Mark Sanford has explaining to do. Colbert Busch continues to get a pass and talk about “jobs.”

Women voters will most likely decide the outcome of this election. If they are more concerned about a candidate who sat watching the Super Bowl with his child than they are or about a candidate whose party sits watching the debt clock run out of control on their own children, then Colbert Busch will surely win.

The family we all need to be concerned about is our own, especially if we want our children to be able to have jobs in the Lowcountry.

There’s one candidate in this race who has taken big money from the union that tried to stop Boeing from locating here, and Boeing is the biggest new job producer to locate here in decades.

Perhaps women voters think the unions are bankrolling Colbert Busch because she won’t vote their way.

Colbert Busch tries to separate herself from the platform and spending habits of Democrats in Washington. And yet they are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into this campaign. Perhaps they are doing that because they expect Colbert Busch not to vote with them.

But there I go getting off track and talking about the actual issues again. How silly. After all, the headlines have already been written, and I suspect the one for the day after this election has already been written too.


Will Haynie has published more than 400 oped columns as a feature columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News. His niche is as a humorous conservative.

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