The state of South Carolina has turned into one, big, sick joke. You see it in the state’s politicians. You see it in The State newspapers reporting, or more importantly, lack thereof. It was bad enough that the state of South Carolina continually ranked near the bottom of every category, to include unemployment and education, the level of poverty in the state, among other issues. It was bad enough that for decades, without fail, the electorate continually allowed the Republican Party to stay in power despite its inability to deal effectively with these issues. Now, like the Republican Party itself, the state of South Carolina has simply devolved into a national joke.
It started with State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel’s arrest for buying and distributing cocaine at parties as “party favors”. The City of Charleston police department pushed the investigation off onto the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). SLED, consequently, pushed the investigation off onto the FBI to deal with, and, deal with it they did. Thomas Ravenel was arrested and charged under federal drug statutes and sentencing guidelines. That was quite a boon for Mr. Ravenel since the federal mandatory sentencing was far more lenient than state drug statutes. But, the circus didn’t stop at that point. The State newspaper refused to investigate just who it was at these parties given by Thomas Ravenel who was doing cocaine as “party favors”. Was it other GOP politicians? Was it young college Republicans? The State didn’t ask, and, the citizens of the state of South Carolina never found out.
When one of the state commission’s “lost” $50 million dollars of taxpayer money, The State never investigated where that money disappeared to, and, because of it, nobody has ever found out. It seemed that SLED was just as ineffectual in finding out. While members of the commission were “embarrassed”, nobody was ever charged with a crime. The money was never found. It was simply allowed to disappear down the rabbit hole and the state of South Carolina was the worse for it.
When The State was given emails between Gov. Mark Sanford and his mistress in Argentina, The State sat on the story for six months, only “breaking” the story once Gov. Sanford disappeared for a week leaving nobody in charge of the state. Once the questions about the Governor’s whereabouts started, The State then decided to “break” the story. Once that cat was out of the bag, and after it was reported that The State had the emails in their possession, did The State publish the emails. To add insult to injury, it took the Associated Press investigating, not The State newspaper, for the citizens of South Carolina to learn that the Governor illegally used the state aircraft for personal trips. To this day, Governor Sanford refuses to resign, and, The State newspaper still refuses to call for his resignation.
Then, when President Obama decided to address the school children, the GOP and its supporters called the action “indoctrination”. The State newspaper “reported” that “other districts” were doing it, and, let it end there. This was despite that Ronald Reagan address school children, George H.W. Bush addressed school children, and George W. Bush was reading My Pet Goat with school children the morning of 9/11. No, because there were “concerned parents”, ie, a bunch of ideological bat-shit insane parents that didn’t want their children to hear a Democrat President, school districts in South Carolina decided to let parents keep their children home and The State newspaper’s Editorial Board was silent once again.
The latest joke is South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson who called President Obama a liar during his address to a joint session of Congress. Rep. Wilson’s rudeness was the least of his transgression, though, since the issue on which he called the President a liar was that the health care reform bill would allow coverage to extend to illegal aliens. In fact, the health care bill specifically states that no federal funds can be used for illegal aliens, making then, Rep. Joe Wilson not only a classless, rude individual, but, the one who is the liar. But, to read The State newspaper, Rep. Joe Wilson’s action is just another “he said/she said” situation as it was “reported” that the reaction to Rep. Joe Wilson’s action was “mixed”. The State’s Editorial Board is, once again, silent.
It is because of the actions of the GOP these past eight years that the GOP has been relegated to being a regional political Party that is only good to play obstructionist. It is because of its lies that seniors have been terrorized, being told that Democrats wanted to “kill grandma” and health care reform would institute “death panels”. It is because of the GOP and its astroturfing organizations that Town Hall debates turned into screaming matches in which the people spouted these lies despite the facts. It is because of the lack of journalism done by The State that the citizens of South Carolina still do not know the facts, of anything, that has happened in the past, or, that is happening today.
Rep. Joe Wilson has made a video trying to raise money off of his classless, rude, factually incorrect outburst. He claims that he will not be “muzzled” by Democrat’s as if he was right to call the President a liar, or, that he was right on the issue itself. Obviously, this video was done by Rep. Wilson because his challenger Rob Miller has raised over half a million dollars from his one outburst. Rob Miller did not have to beg for donations, however, as Rep. Wilson is doing.
In fact, the GOP, its operatives, and its organizations, have called for people to show up to Town Halls to create disorder. They have called for people to show up to Presidential events armed. They have pushed lie after lie trying to terrorize the populace and create a culture of fear. Outside of the 20% that still calls itself Republican, these actions are reprehensible. Inside that 20%, and inside of South Carolina, these bat-shit insane lunatics are still being treated as serious, concerned individuals. The violence that has already erupted is not lost on the rest of us from the attack on the holocaust museum, to the officers shot and killed in Pennsylvania.
Republican’s believe that these actions will somehow propel them back to power. The reverse is true; they lost power in 2006 and they lost even more in 2008. The people of South Carolina, one of the bastions of conservatism, have turned from solid Republican to a mere majority of Republican’s. Yet, The State newspaper continues to play apologist for the GOP’s actions. It still refuses to act in a responsible manner. It continues to be nothing more than a GOP shill rag even as the GOP lose its support even in South Carolina.
I have lived in South Carolina for 20 years. This state has simply gone from being one of the worst to being nothing more than a national joke, all thanks to Republican politicians and The State newspaper.