By Sabrina Samone, Transmuseplanet
Well it was debate night in old Chuck Town and if Obama and Romney’s debates were as heated we’d still be laughing to this day. It’s no secret South Carolina is a red state, some even say it’s turning purple and could possibly be a tossup state by 2016, but most media outlets and papers are republican controlled and a true independent voice in politics in South Carolina is extremely hard to find, think Nazi Propaganda News and that’s about where we are. The Post and Courier of Charleston is holding on to its once respected independent voice with the skin of its teeth. The debate was sponsored by Patch.com and if the host was representing them he did a good job of keeping up the republican bias attitude. The host started off with what he must’ve thought as a joke by accusing most in national media as thinking this is a race between Jenny Sanford and Stephen Colbert and went on to even say with great fan fare from Mark Sanford’s camp, that this will be a debate about policy not personal. Ok let me get this right...so national media and the public are too dumb to realize who is in the race and you want us to ignore personal attributes that are distinct reflections of one’s character. Ok, just seeing where you’re trying to lead me already. Even when you go to Patch.com, the headline reads former South Carolina Governor and Stephen Colbert’s sister. Maybe it’s just me, but if someone would to introduce me as Derris Wood’s step sister, ignoring I’ve appeared in two independent films, works in nursing and is a writer, I’d be a little ticked off, but onto the debate.
Sanford was first on the stage and had a modest applause but the crowd went to its feet when Colbert was introduced and took several seconds to calm down. Elizabeth went first as she won the coin toss, but ten minutes in things seemed to heat up. Both were given the question of would they support our republican senators on their bill of a path to citizenship, introduced by Lindsey Graham (R). Sanford gave the usual dodge the answer most politicians do and only stated immigration needs to be looked into. Not so surprisingly, Colbert showed her moderate Democrat side by saying she would not support sending a 11 million people back home but believes in the pathway to citizenship, (Get a job, pay your fines and get in the back of the line to a pathway to citizenship).
Colbert criticized Sanford for being the only representative to vote against dredging and deepening at the Port Of Charleston. The 4th largest on the east coast, but was once third, but lost the 3rd spot to Savannah because it’s not deep enough. She went onto say that her opponent voted against the bridge and against deepening the Port. Sanford tried his best to demean Colbert and laugh edher statement off and continued to say, “I don’t think if that was the case you would have written me a 500 check to support me when I ran for Governor.” This finally gave the Sanford gang something, to temporarily applaud, but it was short lived. WCBD count on 2 anchor and one of the evening’s moderators, had to clarify with Mark Sanford statement by asking, is that; “your response”? Sanford continued then, to jab for applause by stating again, she gave me a 500 dollar check for my campaign then...and I see it bothers her now. It continued the short lived applause. Colbert, reminiscent of the last Obama/Romney debate, when Obama had to tell Romney to “please continue Governor”, went onto say she was glad Sanford brought that up and she had hoped he would. Colbert replied to Sanford, “you and I have known each other for years and you knew what my role was with governmental affairs within the company. You said you were in support of dredging the port, trade and all the things we needed, and you didn’t. You turned around and did the opposite.” The crowd went ballistic. Sanford went on to say, let’s think about this and before he could get you wrote me a check again out of his mouth the room went ohhhhh, almost a booo. Colbert went on to say, ok Mark next question. The patch.com moderator even looked disappointed in Sanford. And this was pretty much how the rest of the night went; Sanford just never seemed to touch with the audience.
When the Affordable Health Care act came up, Sanford was eager to say he opposed it and if he was in Congress now he would vote to repeal it. Something that’s wasted countless sessions and time in Congress already to no avail. Colbert supports Medicare expansion because it creates and saves health care jobs. When fiscal responsibility came up and both were asked, how they’d vote, Sanford gave a long overdrawn speech that had one moderator reminding him to stay within time so both candidates get the same respect. Colbert hit a near homerun when she said, “when the country is losing jobs and we all are tightening our belts that is not the time to take taxpayer money and take a rendezvous out of the country for personal reasons”. Sanford claimed he couldn’t hear the question and asked Colbert to repeat, where she then simply replied, answer the question. Sanford wanted to appease the republican audience by bringing up for a fifth time Nancy Pelosi. Someone then yelled out, she’s not here. Sanford, in many ads and in the debate, criticized Colbert for what he believed, her to be pledging her loyalty to Nancy Pelosi. After all that, Sanford admitted he would sign the Grover Norquist pledge, yes basically admitting he would make a deal with someone who is not in his district and is not affected by what goes on HERE. Colbert stated that her only pledge is to the citizens of the first district.
Finally the next big moment came when both candidates were asked, "are they are in support of Marriage Equality"? Colbert was the first to answer and said, “I’m a supporter of full equality and this is a matter of Civil Rights and equal protection under the law..that’s what this is and to quote Dick Cheney, “Freedom is freedom for everyone.”” Sanford; admits to voting for the defensive marriage act ,that his stance has been consistent and that marriage equality should be left to each state to decide. When asked that he, Sanford, who had voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton for infidelity. Would he do the same now? Sanford states a man should not be punished for the rest of his life.
But he should not be given the keys to everyone else’s bedroom three years later either. There was nothing new from Sanford, he really thought he could do some grand standing and get through the night, but Colbert showed she was no Jenny Sanford and that she was a strong, independent business women who means business and that’s what I saw. Several republicans that were watching with me also saw, and by the way have now changed their vote. Even being trying to be unbiased, Sanford just didn’t convince me he’s a man that cares about anything other than retaining power for his own self glory and Colbert did show that she is a business woman with the knowhow of fiscal responsibility to move South Carolina forward.
It’s was a much anticipated debate, but the big surprise was the toughness of Colbert not to back down. The facts remained the facts that we are already aware of and out of their own mouths our community got our answer. LGBT people now know who supports them and who doesn’t. The decision is now a no brainer.
I've enclosed the full debate
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Thurs. April 11, 2013
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