“South Carolina, too small to be a republic, too big to be an asylum.”
– James L. Petigru, after the state’s secession from the American Union, 1861
On Saturday, I mentioned Senator Lee Bright’s head-scratching gun control bill and it reminded me of some other…shall we say…”interesting” moments.
Although not the most egregious example, Bright’s proposal is certainly another instance of “Are you kidding me??” moments in our state’s recent political history. By the way – the most egregious example would have to be when SC Representative Preston Brooks “savagely beat” Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in Congress back in 1856.
In honor of this latest proposal, here is a list of my “favorite” South Carolina political snafus:
- Shortly after the shooting in Newtown, Rep. Phillip Lowe (R-Florence) proposed a bill that would allow school employees with concealed weapons permits to bring their firearms into their respective schools. Lowe claims he has been working on the bill since 2007, so it was not a “knee-jerk” reaction to what happened in Connecticut.
- Alvin Greene. Enough said.
- Who could forget that time former Governor Mark Sanford went missing for about 6 days and pretty much no one in the government knew where he went. A spokesman said he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” As we all know now, he was actually with his mistress in Argentina.
- Rep. Joe Wilson (above) showed his maturity and class by screaming “You lie!” at President Obama during a 2009 Presidential address. Even his fellow Republicans would not defend him.
- Two years ago Senator Jim DeMint said openly gay people and unmarried women who are sleeping with a boyfriend shouldn’t be teachers. To make his comments even more baffling, he had made similar remarks in 2004 and apologized after the backlash.
- Just recently Governor Nikki Haley and her team displayed their complete lack of competence and compassion after the SC Department of Revenue was hacked. Their response to the disaster would be laughable if it didn’t adversely effect so many people. From the laziness of the SCDOR to the defensive press conferences by Haley, this was one of the state’s most embarrassing moments.
- Oh, then another state agency’s website was hacked. You know, because they learned their lesson the first time.
- Five Republican state representatives recently proposed a bill that would criminalize “Obamacare.” Under the bill, anyone implementing Obamacare could face jail time.
And those are just the ones I remember..