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From the May 7, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

Here’s a message from the South Carolina Board of Tourism: From the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the cobblestone streets of historic Charleston, the Palmetto State is waiting for you.

So maybe it’s time you explored South Carolina’s greatest tourism attraction: our bottomless supply of duplicitous, double-talking, political tea-bags.

From our beloved and racist senator, Strom Thurmond, who fought against segregation while secretly fathering a child he had with the family’s black maid — I’m sure it was consensual — to our beloved homophobe and long-time bachelor Sen. Lindsey Graham. From politician Joe Wilson screaming “You lie!” at America’s first black president during a State of the Union address, to Sen. Jim DeMint opposing the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act before quitting his post to be a lobbyist, to Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer comparing starving poor Americans to stray animals that breed too much.

In South Carolina, we’ve got a proud heritage of putting our faith in soulless fascists who feed us empty lines about the Bible, patriotism and fiscal responsibility, and that pride flies as high as the flag of the anti-American, enemy nation that rests majestically atop our state’s capitol.

And nowhere are our values more evident than in the political resurrection of former governor and newly elected congressman, and deeply repentant Christian, Mark Sanford, who South Carolina voters have returned to the House of Representatives, where he previously served three terms, in a special election tonight.

Now, lots of politicians commit adultery. But only one voted to impeach Bill Clinton while he was in Congress, then became governor and abandoned his post to visit his Argentine girlfriend — using taxpayer funds to subsidize the trip — while lying about his whereabouts to his staff, his wife and the entire state. Talk about a multi-tasker.

And after he was charged with breaking 37 state ethics laws, was unanimously censured in lieu of being impeached, violated his court orders and child support agreement, publicly humiliated the mother of his children and trespassed into her home to watch the Super Bowl.

Yes, this man brought sleaze to public life and remained faithful and true to it in the private sector, too.

This same governor did all he could to keep federal stimulus funds from helping South Carolina’s unemployed folks and our crumbling public education system, and then used taxpayer funds to pay for family vacations and book-signing travel. All this while we ranked No. 2 in unemployment and No. 11 in child homelessness.

But he did the right thing. He told us that Jesus forgave him and said mean things about Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare, proving that it’s OK to be a horrible Christian as long as you’re a good Christian.

So, come on down to South Carolina. And if you’re a lying, cheating, swindling, heartless, hypocrite, political empty suit who tells us what we want to hear — we just might elect you to office, too.

And if you ever make a real mistake — like working with Democrats — well, we’ll give you a chance to mend your ways. Take Lindsey Graham, America’s sweetheart. Lindsey used to work with the Democrat party on issues like immigration and climate change, so we censured him twice as public humiliation, and now he’s like an obedient, right-wing Tennessee Williams heroine who can’t stop screaming, “Benghazi!”

And while we may be ranked the fifth worst state to make a living, ninth lowest median household income, ninth highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line, second worst graduation rate, second worst in women killed by men, and worst in the so-called union at reprimanding bad doctors — we’ll never hold our Republicans responsible, because they tell us who to blame, and hate the same people we do.

Because from being the first state to quit America so we could keep slaves, to cutting our state’s entire HIV/AIDS budget, we’ve got a breathtaking history of being manly men with a manly devotion to man’s inhumanity to man.

Our politicians believe Darwin was wrong, and we here in South Carolina are here to prove it.



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