The race to be the craziest

THE RACE TO BE THE CRAZIEST…. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has said he’ll reject some of unemployment insurance from the federal stimulus package. Not to be outdone, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) said he’ll not only reject unemployment insurance, but will also “not take $42 million in funding for green buildings.”

Yes, because there’s nothing worse than paying construction crews to make buildings more energy efficient.

There’s apparently a race among some far-right Republican governors — all of whom are already eyeing the 2012 presidential race — to see who can be slightly crazier than the other. Jindal is clearly a contender, and Sarah Palin and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour are obviously in the mix, but Sanford seems especially driven to get out in front of the pack.

It’s leading him to make unusually ridiculous decisions affecting the people in his state, while making truly odd policy prescriptions.

Sanford, asked about the stimulus, said he would probably reject some of the funds. “I think it’s a bad idea,” he said of the package. “Period. Exclamation point.”

“Good medicine to the wrong patient ultimately makes the patient sicker,” Sanford continued. “What we’re dealing with here is a fundamental misdiagnosis of the problem.”

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) told the WaPo, “I think people will … understand that it’s political posturing and you’re playing with people’s lives, and that’s a very, very dangerous game.”

That’s true, but for Sanford, it’s a dangerous game he can win by losing — he “wins” by currying favor with unhinged Republican activists, while “losing” as his state’s economy deteriorates and his constituents suffer.

As for Sanford’s notion of a “fundamental misdiagnosis,” what does the South Carolinian believe is the wisest course of action? “When times go south you cut spending,” Sanford recently explained. “That’s what families do, that’s what businesses do, and I don’t think the government should be exempt from that process.”

It is Neo-Hooverism in its most obvious form.

Sanford added, by the way, that supporters of the economic recovery package are “the real fringe” in American politics. Got that? The “fringe” includes the popular president, a majority of the Senate, a majority of the House, a majority of the governors, labor unions, the Chamber of Commerce, and 60% of the American people.

Perhaps it’s best to assume that whatever Mark Sanford says, the opposite is true.