"I so want drug testing. I so want it," Haley said during a Thursday question-and-answer session at the Lexington Rotary Club. She noted that the government had to make sure it would be feasible: "We have to make sure this works. We have to see what the return is on it. And, we have to see federally and legally if we can do it."Now I understand that maybe I read a little too much into things, but one has to wonder why she wants it so bad.
Is it because it's an effective policy that deals with a real problem? No, because "we have to make sure this works." (It should go without saying that drug testing the unemployed is ridiculously redundant. Employers do that already.)
She doesn't even know if she has the authority to do it!
It helps to sell the policy, of course, when you just flat-out lie:
"Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them -- this was back before the campaign -- when we sat down and talked to them, they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn't read and write properly," Haley said.Turns out Haley's exagerrating by, oh, 49%. Not only that, but she's so confused about the drug test procedures "down on River Site" that maybe she shouldn't opine about them.
"Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test," [Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy] said. "At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive."See, Governor Haley? Employers recognize a limit as to when they should, and should not, be collecting cups of pee. Why can't you?
The River Site doesn't even test applicants. "We only test them when they have been accepted," Giusti said.
I'd also like to highlight this particular quote, which I think provides a window into the Republican mindset. Haley says in what's probably a throwaway soundbite:
"We don't have an unemployment problem. We have an education and poverty problem."The unemployment rate in South Carolina is 10.9%. Um, you most definitely have an unemployment problem, Governor.
If you have an education and poverty problem, too, well...good luck with that. Because drug tests won't help.
(There have been many times over the last couple of years that I have thanked my lucky stars I live in Colorado. We've got our ideological kooks too --Tom Tancredo, Doug Bruce-- but they're kind of where they should be...on the fringes. They are not, as in FL and SC, in the governor's mansion.)