I missed the televised GOP gubernatorial “debate” last night, but I was much gratified to read about one of the questions that was asked of the candidates. It’s one that, going forward, should be asked of all Republican candidates in our state, namely: Are you a Lindsey Graham Republican, or a Jim DeMint Republican? I think every voter in South Carolina deserves to know the answer to that question.
So it was that I was somewhat disappointed that the story I read in The State didn’t tell me, in detail, how each candidate answered that question. And I was deeply disappointed that Henry McMaster dodged the question entirely, cloaking himself in ersatz Ronald Reagan partisan piety. That’s a black mark, to my mind, against a Republican I would expect to give an answer that would please me: Specifically, that he’s a Graham man. I say that because, back in mid-2007, when everybody else was saying it was over for John McCain, Henry and Lindsey and Bobby Harrell were about the only ones in the state still willing to stand up for him. I admired that steadfastness, that willingness to stand against more destructive elements in their party.
So I was sorry that he was unwilling to stand up for the kind of sensible conservatism that McCain and Graham represent, and against the “Waterloo” seeking fringe values of the hyperpartisan, ideologically extreme elements that they stand against.
Meanwhile, I’m grateful to Nikki Haley for standing up and saying right out that she’s a DeMintor. Nikki is making me feel less and less bad about opposing her candidacy. She’s still got that admirable frankness that I’ve always liked in her, but almost every time she employs it these days, it makes me more and more certain that I do NOT want her to get anywhere near the governor’s office. Note that she is the ONLY one of the candidates on the stage whose views are so extreme that she would have voted to censure Lindsey Graham for the sin of being a rational, pragmatic United States Senator working for the good of the country, instead of the wingnut that the less presentable elements of the party want him to be.