You know, I hardly know what to say about the story in today's paper about the emerging consensus that DHEC should be a Cabinet agency, except maybe, "Duh."
Yes, as we've been saying over and over with great vehemence for a really, really long time, DHEC — and the state DOT, and the state Department of Education, and every other EXECUTIVE agency in state government — should be directly accountable to the person ELECTED to be the chief EXECUTIVE of the state, instead of answering vaguely to an unaccountable board, or a separately elected executive, or whatever.
We've only been pushing hard for this for about 18 years. Before that — before the "Power Failure" project that I led here at the paper that launched this long advocacy — a string of independent studies since 1945 had concluded that yes, the state should indeed make its executive agencies accountable by instituting a Cabinet system. It had not happened because too many elements in our society, from lawmakers jealous of executive power to insiders who knew how to game the byzantine system to their advantage to people who just didn't understand the issues involved, were unwilling to let the change happen. Or lacked the will to push hard enough, even when they were sold on the rather obvious idea.
So while it is but a piece of the puzzle, and it's been far too long coming, I will applaud and cheer loudly for this latest initiative, and hope that this time, the rational thing actually happens.
Just give me a moment. I'll get duly excited about this… I mean, Otis Rawl and Phil Leventis agreeing with John Courson on this is very, very encouraging.