Commentary: Political lunacy makes S.C. tough to love

The Charlotte ObserverJune 8, 2010 

So let's pretend for a second. Go back to 1861, when Confederate forces fired on the Union base at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. As you know, those became the first shots of the Civil War.

Let's say, though, that the Union replied by drawing a line around South Carolina and saying: We'll fight for the rest of the South, but, boys, you can have this part.

The question is this: Would South Carolina politics be any nuttier than it is now?

You should know that the person who came up with this idea is my editor, who has lived in the Palmetto State for many years. I've lived in South Carolina myself — two different times — and I've got kinfolk around the state. I love the place. But man, sometimes it makes itself hard to love.

If you plan to vote in Tuesday's primary for governor, be sure to arrive at the polling place with steel-toed boots and a jug of Purell.

Two S.C. political operatives have announced that they've had affairs with Republican front-runner Nikki Haley, who is married with two kids. One operative, Larry Marchant, happened to be a consultant for the campaign of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who's running against Haley. Marchant resigned from Bauer's campaign. Makes sense. His work is done here.

Haley is also the daughter of immigrants from India, which is where another Bauer supporter — state Sen. Jake Knotts — comes in. Knotts, speaking on an Internet talk show, called her a "raghead." (He called President Barack Obama the same thing, completing an Idiot's Daily Double.)

This is probably a good place to note that Haley is a Clemson graduate, on the board of Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington, and married to a member of the National Guard.

When you call a person like that a "raghead," you have three real options:

A. Claim that you downed 17 Jager bombs before going on the air.

B. Admit that you're so dumb, your aides tap you on the shoulder to remind you to breathe.

C. Apologize so profusely that BP ends up hiring you as a company spokesman.

To read the complete column, visit

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