"I so want drug testing. I so want it"

"I so want drug testing, I so want it"

by digby

Arthur Delaney reports on the latest GOP method to torture the unemployed:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) wants the jobless pass a drug test before they can receive benefits, but she seems to have an exaggerated sense of drug use among the unemployed.

"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."

Haley said scads of job applicants flunked a drug test at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation along the Savannah River.

"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.

"That's what we have in South Carolina," she continued. "We don't have an unemployment problem. We have an education and poverty problem."

Let's assume for a minute that she's even remotely sincere. Does she really believe that drug use is a matter of education and poverty? She must think those Wall Street guys she parties with are just extremely energetic workaholics.

Of course, the whole thing is nothing more than a coded racist dog whistle anyway --- and a complete lie on top of it:

Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the River Site, told HuffPost he had no idea what Haley was talking about with regard to applicants flunking a drug test.

"Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test," Giusti said. "At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive."

The River Site doesn't even test applicants. "We only test them when they have been accepted," Giusti said.

A spokesman for Gov. Haley did not respond to requests for comment.

The unemployment rate in South Carolina, which recently trimmed benefits for the jobless, is 10.9 percent.

According to the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group, no state has ever instituted mandatory drug tests for the jobless to receive unemployment benefits, though Wisconsin and Indiana have passed laws that disqualify the jobless from benefits if they fail a prospective employer's drug test.

NELP opposes the policy, noting its dubious constitutionality and impracticality -- not to mention the huge indignity it would inflict on the jobless.
Oh, who cares about that?

This one's right up there with Tom Coburn's insistence that lesbian middle schoolers were molesting so many girls in the bathrooms that the girls were forced to go in pairs.

It's very telling what these people are willing to believe, isn't it?