Duncan Hunter’s South Carolina Folk Art Politics


Like one of those roadside folk art displays, all garrulous reds and yellows, with out-of-proportion figures bearing crosses and speaking with tongues of fire, California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter’s presidential campaign just keeps painting those fence posts. This week he named two of South Carolina’s more colorful politicos to his paint team: Horry County Auditor Lois Eargle and former South Carolina School Board member Dr. Henry Jordan.

On Wednesday, Eargle gave a press conference over at the Statehouse, and wouldn’t you know it? The press showed up. She called Duncan Hunter “another Ronald Reagan,” and told this heartwarming story of her concern for a Hispanic immigrant from Horry county: “Yesterday I had in my office a young lady who has been here for seven years, could not speak a word of English. Had three children by three different men. Came in because one of them had been abused. She asked me could I take her to a lawyer who would represent her free. I told her the best thing for her to do is to get back to Mexico.” (You can hear Ms. Eargle’s comments here.)

Dr. Jordan, whose tenure on the state school board included his futile attempts to post the Ten Commandments in South Carolina schools, is best known for his “Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims,” comment during a 1997 state school board meeting. Just to make sure that we would understand his views clearly, he added, “And put that in the minutes.” The Board didn’t, but the tape was rolling. The good doctor also once wondered whether or not the Harry Potter books would create another Columbine in South Carolina. And during his ill-fated run to unseat Andre Bauer last year, he told the Associated Press, “I mean you’ve got to be stupid to believe in evolution, I mean really.” Really.

Political art of this level is worthy of the Guggenheim.

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