In a letter to the editor of the Times and Democrat this weekend, two South Carolinian GOP county chairs defended Republican senator Jim DeMint from accusations that he wasn't sufficiently bringing home the bacon from Congress.
"There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed."
Ah yes, the old saying about penny-pinching Jews. Good call on that one, guys. What a completely appropriate reference to make in a letter to the editor.
This is what is most vexing about the continued bigoted shenanigans of Republican political officials, many of which hail from South Carolina. It's not even that some people harbor prejudiced opinions about blacks and Jews it would be naïve to think otherwise. But how oblivious to modern-day social norms do you have to be to keep saying them out loud? Well, Ulmer, at least, is now beginning to understand what is acceptable in 2009. Barely. Last night, following the outcry from his comments, he released an apology:
In one of the paragraphs which I wrote, I quoted a statement which I have heard many times in my life, truly in admiration for a method of bettering one's lot in life.
I admit that perception is indeed reality to many and that I could have certainly worded that sentence much better. I sincerely apologize for this great error. If I had quoted that great man from Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin, using his, "A penny saved is a penny earned," I doubt I would be writing this note.
Now you're getting the hang of it! Old adage about saving money: good. Old "adage" about Jews saving money: bad. It's all very confusing.