Monday, January 25, 2010

Andre Bauer Apologizes ... To Animals?

In my roundup yesterday, I noted comments by South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer which compared poor people to stray animals (both apparently will breed if you feed them). Today, he issued an apology ... of sorts:
"I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before opting for a kinder animal metaphor: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

Noting that he has raised money for a group that protects animals, Bauer also said he is "not against animals."

Okay, what? First, note that he apologizes for an animal comparison by proceeding to make the comparison again, with stray cats. But then, in the coup de grace, he makes it clear that he has nothing against animals. And you have to feel bad for the poor animals -- subjected to the indignity of being compared to poor people! It's rather horrible. And rather sociopathic of Lt. Gov. Bauer.*

* Okay, that was out of line. I'd like to apologize to the sociopath community; they don't deserve to be grouped with Bauer (see what I did there?).


joe said...

I think the point is he is not against animals, poor people are animals, therefore he is not against poor people.

Why must you make it sound slightly more horrific than it actually is?

Rebecca said...

If that's what he meant, why didn't he say it? His "apology" makes it sound like he thinks people will be offended on behalf of animals by the comparison. He should have said that human beings aren't animals and that we don't talk about people "breeding."

joe said...


The thing about language is it depends on interpretation to give it meaning. And heck, it's not like I was defending the guy.

Also it's quite possible my first comment could be interpreted as tongue-in-cheek.

Superdestroyer said...

But shouldn't someone ask the question of why the birthrate of the poor is higher than the birthrate of the rich? Look up the birthrates during the great depression. They fell compared to preceding decades.

Shouldn't the first thing that poor people do is avoiding having children?

Why not ask the hard question instead of mocking the person who actually tried to ask the question.

Cory Gross said...

It is well-known that the best form of birth control is a strong social safety net. Without healthcare, welfare, pensions, etc., more children become more hands that can work and more people to take care of you when you're old (well, the ones that make it, also with poverty come higher infant mortality rates). When poor, children are a net economic asset.

However, when you're wealthy and have a good social safety net, children are a net economic loss. They are expensive and unnecessary. They become a luxury lifstyle choice and you have the option of only having one or two if that. The existence of birth control methods helps that. That is why the birthrate of progressive nations in Europe is so low.

So if whatshisface really wanted to do something about poor people breeding like rats... sorry, stray animals... sorry, cats... whatever... then maybe he should support a strong social safety network, universal healthcare, generous welfare, and guaranteed pensions.

joe said...

Superdestroyer, your comment is besides the point, since Bauer's thesis is that being fed ==> higher birthrates. Cory probably said it better but it's been my impression that places where starvation is a real issue have very high birthrates.

Superdestroyer said...


The feeding was an allusion to giving money and support to poor people breeds more poor people. Also, the idea could be that letting them skate on parental obligations.

Why shouldn't the parents be expect to act like parents if the government is paying them to be parents?

Sarah said...

I liked Robert Ariail's take. (Ariail was the cartoonist for The State newspaper in SC from before I was born through last year.)