Tag Archives: South Carolina

Hey, Hillary . . . it’s time for a message


Chris Hayes is a smart young analyst who works for MSNBC.

Last night he offered a most interesting assessment of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign.

It’s that she lacks a message.

Hayes noted that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ big win in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday came because of his clear mantra: He intends to break up the big banks and drive relentlessly for income equality.

I’m not endorsing or condemningĀ Sanders’ overarching theme. It’s clear as a bell, however.

Hayes’ assessment of Clinton’s message? It’s that she’ll do a good job and that she’s well-prepared to be president of the United States of America.

“That’s not a message,” Hayes said.

Bingo, young man!

She now finds herself playing catch-up with Sanders, who walloped Clinton among young voters who — I should add — appeared to actually turn out Tuesday to vote for their candidates.

It wasn’t Clinton.

Should Clinton be in panic mode? I’m thinking she has time to pull it together.

South Carolina is the next stop on the presidential primary parade route. The former senator/secretary of state can harvest plenty of votes there from a huge African-American base. Here is where she needs to enlist some serious help from her husband, the 42nd and unofficial “first black president” of the United States.

Clinton can paper over all she wants about the expected outcome in New Hampshire. The truth is she got walloped.

Chris Hayes had it right. She lacks a coherent message that resonates with voters who have a serious gripe about what they perceive is wrong with the political system.

Oh, I know too that she’s got those other issues hanging over her. Those e-mails, Benghazi, a perceived lack of authenticity . . . blah, blah, blah.

This once-invincible candidate is now looking, well, a lot less formidable.

Are you standing by, Vice President Joe Biden?


Strike the rebel flag in S.C.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has done what she had to do.

She signed a bill that brings down the Confederate battle flag that flew in front of the statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

Yes, it’s a mere symbol. However, it’s a powerful symbol … of hate, bigotry, tyranny and enslavement.

The South Carolina legislature debated the issue passionately, but decided ultimately to do what it had to do.

It needed to come down. The context, of course, is the horrifying massacre in that Charleston, S.C., church in which a gunman killed five African-American church members — including its pastor. A young man, Dylann Roof, has been accused of the crime and what we know about young Roof is that he is an avowed racist who waved the Confederate battle flag proudly as a demonstration of his intention to start what he called a “race war.”


The flag is down and I’m glad about that.

However, one can take this campaign too far. I think it’s starting to veer into some tricky territory. TV Land has stopped showing “Dukes of Hazzard” reruns because the car that Bo and Luke Duke drove in the show had a battle flag emblem on its roof.

Now comes talk of removing Confederate military figures’ statues.

There is a certain historical significance in many of these monuments. These individuals were answering a call to duty. Yes, they were fighting to break up the Union. It’s good, though, to remind ourselves of our nation’s dark moments.

I have no problem with the battle flag coming down in places like South Carolina, where the Civil War started in 1861. The flag has become the emblemĀ of hate; you see it flown at Klan rallies. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles banned the flag from appearing on license plates, and the Supreme Court upheld the state’s right to issue that prohibition.

The flag is a hateful symbol. But not all monuments dedicated to the Confederacy conjure upĀ the same level ofĀ intense loathing among so many Americans.

So, let’sĀ seek to dial backĀ the knee-jerk responses to other symbols that carry historic significance.


Yes, Mitt … remove the rebel flag

Mitt Romney has added his important voice to the cries of those who want South Carolina to take the Confederate flag down from its statehouse grounds.

Not all the leading politicians in this country have taken up the cause. This should be a no-brainer.


The 2012 Republican presidential nominee said once again that the flag symbolizes hate. Indeed, that symbol has overshadowed the “Southern pride” heritage that many still proclaim.

As Romney spoke out in the wake of that terrible Charleston, S.C., church massacre, other pols continue to hold their tongue.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and presidential candidate, said the decision must rest ultimately with South Carolinians. Sure thing, senator, but South Carolina doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It is one of 50 united states, yes? Thus, it is totally fair for all Americans to express outrage that the state hasn’t taken down a flag that symbolizes — in the eyes of millions of us — the kind of hatred that produced the carnage in the Charleston Bible study classroom.

Another GOP presidential candidate, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, calls the flag “part of who we are” as Southerners. Oh, please. Hasn’t he seen that flag waving at Klan rallies where participants say those things about their fellow Americans who happen to be of different races?

I’m with Gov. Romney on this one.

Take down the rebel flag.

Now it's Sen. Graham thinking about '16 bid

Oh boy, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for the upcoming presidential campaign.

The potential Republican field just got another name to ponder: Lindsey Graham, the senior U.S. senator from South Carolina.


Why is this such an interesting development?

Graham is a noted conservative from a deeply conservative state. He and fellow Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona take turns bashing the dickens out of President Obama, particularly on foreign policy — which is understandable, given that the domestic economy is starting to rock along. Heck, sometimes Graham and McCain are singing together.

However, Graham has had this annoying tendency — if you’re a Republican — to say nice things about some of the appointees the president puts forward to fill key administration posts. While many other GOP senators were slamming Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general, Graham said she’s a solid pick, highly qualified and he indicated his intentions to vote to confirm her when the time comes.

This is the kind of thing that’s going to make him a target among other GOP White House contenders when they line up to debate —Ā if Graham decides to run, of course.

He’s a sharp lawyer. Remember when, as a member of the House, he managed the Republicans’ successful effort at impeaching President Clinton? Well, the Senate decided correctly to acquit the president of those “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

So, as he told “Meet the Press” today, he’s thinking seriously about a presidential bid. He told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he has ā€œset up a testing-the-waters committee under the IRS code that will allow me to look beyond South Carolina as to whether or not a guy like Lindsey Graham has a viable path.ā€

Just one request, Sen. Graham, if you take the plunge: Stop referring to yourself in the third person.

What about the 'Three Rs' in South Carolina?

South Carolina legislators want to teach public school students there a lesson about the Constitution. They want also to require teachers spend three weeks each school year teaching students about the Second Amendment, the one that deals with gun ownership.

Three weeks on one amendment to the nation’s founding document?

And it’s the one dealing with guns?

What kind of craziness is occurring over yonder in the Palmetto State?


Take a look at this: “As Ian Millhiser at Think Progress points out, that’s an enormous chunk of the school year, especially given that some South Carolina schools devote just two weeks to slavery and a week and a half to World War II.”

OK, that comes from Mother Jones, a publication not exactly friendly to the issues favored by the National Rifle Association. But Millhiser makes a good point about educational priorities.

Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has an A+ NRA rating. Both legislative chambers are controlled by Republicans. Of course, the Second Amendment is arguably the favorite amendment among the GOP, right along with the 10th, which lays out powers that states can assume when they aren’t covered by the federal government.

South Carolina’s public school students don’t need to be required to study one amendment — even if it’s the one that allows Americans to “keep and bear arms.”

That’s more important than the that guarantees free speech and freedom of religion? Or the one that guarantees all citizens “equal protection” under federal law?

As Mother Jones reports: “‘Even amongst a conservative constituency in South Carolina, I think they can rate that they have more abiding problems than this,’ says DaveĀ Woodard, a political science professor at Clemson University who’s long served as a political consultant to Republican candidates in South Carolina.

“‘Most people are more concerned with math and science, and the fact that historically, South Carolina’s rankings in education have been abysmal. Nobody, I think, would say ‘The best way to improve education is to have a three-week segment on the Second Amendment. Boy, that’ll move us up in the national rankings!'”

The idea is nutty.


Mark Sanford's back in the public eye

Mark Sanford had dropped off my radar. Indeed, I thought he was gone forever.

Until now.

He’s back. The reason has something to do with why he was such a notorious character in the first place.


Back when he was the Republican governor of South Carolina, he famously disappeared for a few days. He told his staff to put the word out he was “hiking on the Appalachian Trail.” Turns out he was cavorting with his mistress — way down yonderĀ in Argentina.

He lied to the public about his whereabouts and as AWOL from his elected duty as governor of the Palmetto State.

What a goofball.

Well, he later got engaged to his “soul mate,” Maria Belen Chapur, after his wife, Jenny, divorced him. He then got elected to Congress, where he served before becoming governor.

Now the nutty guy says he’s calling off his engagement to Chapur, apparently because of continuing difficulties with the former Mrs. Sanford, the one on whom he cheated with Chapur.

“No relationship can stand forever this tension,” wrote Sanford in a Facebook message to Chapur. He alluded to possibly getting re-engaged if his situation with Jenny Sanford calms down. There has been trouble over visitation with one of the couple’s children.

According to MSN.com: “His Facebook posting comes after attorneys for Jenny Sanford last week asked a family court judge to limit the lawmaker’s visitation with his youngest child. They also want Mark Sanford to undergo psychological tests and take anger management and parenting courses.”

Let’s remember that Mark Sanford once slept on his couch in his congressional office so he could be sure to get home every weekend to be with his wife and their children; he cited his belief in strong “family values.” Then he cheats on his wife, lies to his constituents, gets engaged to his mistress, and then breaks off his engagement while lawyers try to get this goober to undergo “anger management and parenting courses.”

Go away, congressman. Please?