I’m just not believing this stuff from Henry

Shortly after I posted the thing about Henry’s “Vultures” ad, I came home, and in the mail was this flyer.

I’m just not believing Henry. He’s been such a sensible, grown-up attorney general after all those years of Charlie Condon’s pandering, and now this.

What office is he running for, anyway? Some office I’ve never heard of, some kind of super-sheriff to clean up Washington, and save it from Obama and the other godless commies?

“Our Founding Fathers Would Be Ashamed?” Yeah, I think maybe they would.

Let’s make the totally wild supposition, just for a moment, that the things he’s saying about Washington aren’t totally loopy. What on Earth does it have to do with the issues facing South Carolina?

Definitely not what we need in a governor.

I see that The State endorsed Vincent Sheheen Sunday, and made a good case. Presumably, that means the GOP endorsement will be this Sunday. The way things are going, I just don’t see how a credible case can be made for any of these folks. Not Henry, not in this mode. Not Nikki, the darling of BOTH the Tea Party and the Sanford crowd — and a sincere imitator of Sarah Palin. Certainly not Andre. That would seem to leave Gresham… who thinks we need an Arizona-style immigration law in SC.

I didn’t expect us to be here at this point. I figured by now, at least one of these folks would come across as acceptable, so that we could have a real choice in the fall. But most of them seem to be trying so HARD not to.

26 thoughts on “I’m just not believing this stuff from Henry

  1. Brad

    In one place, he says “Founding Fathers,” but in another, he uses the singular: “HENRY WILL RECLAIM OUR FOUNDING FATHER’S VISION.”

    I wonder which one he means?

  2. Karen McLeod

    Mr. McMaster campaigned the same way the last time he ran for office (gov., I think). It really turned me off then, and it does so now.

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    Some dude “Grimaud” has posters up all over Aiken with the tag “Citizen Congressman” –Steve quipped, “As opposed to the Illegal Alien Congressman?”

  4. Matt

    Brad, I thought you were hoping for a McMaster vs. Sheheen race in November…this way, you get your beloved political establishment candidate either way.


  5. bud

    Here’s the “bud” endorsement for GOP governor:

    The 21st century version of the Republican party continues to demonstrate it’s complete lack of integrity in dealing with the important issues faced by our nation and state. This is exemplified by the various distorted and mean-spirited ads that are being run by each of the GOP candidates for governor. But the lack of integrity is only part of the problem. What really concerns me is the lack of competence and credibility that continues to eminate from this once respectible party. To continue to suggest, as all the candidates have, that the so-called “Washington radicals” are responsible for the severe problems we face in South Carolina illustrates just how far they are removed from reality. If any one of the four candidates would show some common sense vision for dealing with economic and social issues then I could endorse him or her in next weeks primary.

    But the choices faced by the voters is really no choice at all. All four candidates not only espouse their “true conservative” values but flaunt this failed philosophy. The failure of modern conservatism cannot be exagerated. It is a philosophy that has led South Carolina straight to the bottom of all measures related to quality of life. Compared to modern, liberal countries in Europe and Japan South Carolinians can expect to die about 5-7 years sooner. This is no accident. The conservative notion of health care is to deny it to many and make it expensive and complicated for the rest. Only the very rich benefit from this disasterous arrangement. Yet that is what is pushed by all the GOP candidates for governor.

    All of the candidates speak of efforts to lure jobs to SC. Yet they all support the policies that have led to the 3rd highest rate of unemployment in the country.

    They all support (or at least have in the past) drilling for oil off our coast. The disaster in the Gulf proves what a bad idea this is.

    And on it goes. South Carolina does not need a governor who embraces a failed political philosophy such as modern conservatism any more than it needs a governor who would bring back slavery or serfdom. We need to move forward, not backward into a bygone era of elitist rule for the benefit of the wealthy. For these reasons I cannot endorse any of the GOP candidates for governor.

  6. Burl Burlingame

    Perhaps McMaster can show the “Washington Radicals” how to overrule the laws of physics and stop the BP oil leak.

    His blurb announces that he will “never give in to special interests.” Is that because this campaign already panders to special interests?

  7. Wally Altman

    I see The State endorsed McMaster. I couldn’t help but notice they omitted any mention of his absurd crusade against “Obamacare”, though.

  8. Brad

    I knew they’d be endorsing somebody today, and while I didn’t know which one it would be, I knew it would be either Barrett or McMaster.

    And I knew that no matter who it was, I wouldn’t be pleased.

    If I’d still been there, I think I would have pushed toward a decision not to endorse any of the Republicans. It would have been radical, and I can hear as I type that the arguments to be used against such an idea. But these are extraordinary circumstances. All of the Republicans have tried really hard to portray themselves as too extreme to be trusted in office.

    But there was no one left there to push for something that unprecedented; no one else could have done that but me. In fact, my own past influence — I was always the one who insisted we had to endorse SOMEBODY — probably kept them from doing it even if someone thought of it. Only I could have said, “never mind what I said before; this is different.”

    So under the circumstances, they did the best they could.

  9. Brad

    I just read back over the piece. Cindi did a good job, making a logical argument on the basis of factors that frankly I had forgotten.

    Indeed, the foundation of this endorsement lies in placing faith in Henry based on what he has done in the past, rather than on what he’s saying NOW. And that explains why Henry and now Barrett. With Barrett, there’s no track record to go by; you’d have to give more weight to what he’s saying now. And none of the Republicans are saying anything now that would encourage you to support them.

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    How can you trust a candidate who panders and/or waffles as Henry has? Is he the worthy AG who took on criminal domestic violence, or the one who panders to his base (as Judge Currie said in the license plate decision)?

  11. Bart

    South Carolina is one of the cogs in the nation known as the United States of America. What happens at the state level does affect what happens at the national level.

    However, the job of the governor is to be an effective administrator or executive, making good decisions, and above all, be an effective, honorable, and encompassing leader. Not just the leader of his or her ideological base but of the entire spectrum of the citizens of the state.

    There are good conservatives just as there are good liberals. I refuse to take the stand that ALL liberals are bad and it is a failed philosophy. Each side has merits and if our so-called leaders on both sides were to do in public what they do in private, it would be a much better environment.

    They remind me of the old cartoon about the sheep dog guarding the flock and the wolf trying to grab a meal. Both do their respective jobs from 9 to 5 but when the 5 o’clock whistle goes off, they punch out and go out for a drink, friendly adversaries. Years ago, I spent many an evening in the Washington area. You would be surprised just how many political “enemies” during the day were sitting together, dining and drinking after work. Acting as if they were the best of friends, no animosity at all.

    There is an excellent article written by Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard in the current issue about how Canada addressed and has solved most of the problems they faced in the mid-1990s. It is worth the read by anyone who is actually interested in liberals and conservatives working together for the common good of the country. And, yes I know, it is a conservative publication.

    Here is a sample from the article.

    “”One lesson from Canada is that major fiscal reform requires bipartisanship, with the initiative better coming from liberals than conservatives. It was the left-of-center Liberal party, facing what Frum describes as “nightmarish debt and deficits,” that led the way with an austere budget in 1995. Conservatives, divided at the time, were supportive.

    There’s a simple explanation for the need for liberal leadership. If conservatives propose to cut spending and downsize government, reflexive liberal opposition can be expected. But if liberals advocate a similar approach, they’re likely to be supported by many of their liberal allies and by almost all conservatives.

    At least that’s the way it worked in Canada, with impressive results. In Washington, however, the liberals in charge—that is, President Obama and Democrats in Congress—are moving in the opposite direction. Rather than retrench, they want to spend and borrow more. America “seems stuck in sterile partisanship,” says Brian Lee Crowley, one of the authors of The Canadian Century.

    Or perhaps it’s because the United States hasn’t reached the dire situation that Canada faced in the early 1990s after years of breakneck spending and borrowing. Government and public debt combined reached 53 percent of GDP in 1992, and Canada’s future looked grim. The d-word was increasingly mentioned—default.””

    The article goes on to further clarify what steps were taken by BOTH sides, not dictates from one. Their Social Security was put on a solid foundation along with almost every other program in existence except for the health care program. They are still working on that one.

    The simple fact is that we saw what could happen when we had a balanced government, a sensible president, and a willingness to work together, although somewhat forced, under Clinton. There were some very positive things and some not so positive. That is the nature of politics.

    At this particular time in our nation, we are on the precipice of radical change. Either for the good or for the bad. Without input from all sides and a meeting of the minds that is inclusive of all, the good will never come about.

    Maybe we should be looking to the North for a model to emulate, not South or to Europe.

  12. Elizabeth

    Henry’s ads offend and scare me. What is his point? No matter what the point, he never has demonstrated much intelligence to figure out the problem and take appropriate action. Just a good ol’ boy who remembers his frat. parties and forgets time as marched on.

  13. Brad

    Thanks for sharing that, Bart. We need all the good examples we can find. Of course, Barnes has to get in his own ideological licks. He says, “In Washington, however, the liberals in charge—that is, President Obama and Democrats in Congress—are moving in the opposite direction. Rather than retrench, they want to spend and borrow more.”

    He says that as though they just WANT to spend, willy-nilly, and are doing so perversely in the face of all reason to the contrary. It completely ignores the Great Recession, and the need that forces on the country (if you believe in Keynesian theory) to jump-start the economy with extraordinary spending. Given a different set of circumstances, they might be doing what Clinton did, returning us to balance after the overspending of the Bush years.

    Maybe the Keynesians are wrong, or maybe this is the wrong stimulus, improperly designed and spent. But at least they have a rational reason to be doing it. Meanwhile, the “conservatives” are reflexively reacting to the spending based entirely in ideology. Why? Because they believe they can win power back that way. So their rhetoric makes you think that our excessive spending is a CAUSE of our economic woes, rather than a rational (right or wrong, still rational) response to them.

    I find that a lot with the WSJ writers. They make a lot of good observations, then ruin the effect by jamming in their Sanford-style ideology. With them, it’s always the liberals’ fault. And that’s no basis for fostering trans-party cooperation.

  14. Bart

    Brad, as I mentioned, I know Barnes is a conservative and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take his shot at Obama.

  15. Doug Ross

    “Maybe the Keynesians are wrong, or maybe this is the wrong stimulus, improperly designed and spent. But at least they have a rational reason to be doing it. ”

    If it turns out the stimulus was wrong in either design or execution, then what would be the rationale for keeping the politicians who voted for it in office?

    Unfortunately, we won’t see the true impact of the stimulus for several years when the huge deficits have to be covered either by raising taxes or by much higher inflation. By then, the career politicians will rely on the short memories of the electorate.

  16. Kathryn Fenner

    Good comment, Bart. Henry does have a reputation for running the AGs office as a tight ship–a bit ridiculously in the case of the attorneys–it’s like when you add a tip for larger parties–my attorney friends actually end up paying less than their usual 20%+. Same with working–reputedly Henry strictly times arrivals, lunch breaks and departures, and suddenly everyone who isn’t a true workaholic actually works less time than they did before (which may be quite healthy for them, but is not the result I think Henry was going for).

    Like Brad said, every liberal isn’t just dying to spend money, and every state employee isn’t dying to shirk. (shut up, Doug 😉 )

  17. Kathryn Fenner

    The rationale for keeping politicians who backed a (heretofore hypothetical) failed stimulus in office (meaning, I assume, that you are suggesting they not be re-elected, as opposed to impeached) could be (1) that they made the best call under the circumstances, which were not of their making, and they have otherwise done an excellent job in office; or (2) that they, despite their (heretofore hypothetical faults) are the better choice (think Sanford vs. Andre, maybe)

  18. Matt

    It strikes me that Haley is the Republican candidate who is talking the LEAST about Obama, or running against the Washington socialists, etc. She’s certainly using less of that kind of rhetoric than McMaster or Barrett.

    Brad, this *should* win her points with you. You’ve clearly made clear that you are frustrated with candidates who run for governor by talking about Obama and Washington, DC–two things they have little say over.

  19. Brad

    Matt, I’m afraid I can’t give Nikki a pass on that. A main thrust of her campaign is being the darling of the Tea Partiers, and you know what has THEM riled up.

    And Nikki goes a step further. She condemns South Carolina Republicans as being insufficiently right-wing, which suggests an ideological extremism that goes beyond that of those who simply decry the liberals in Washington. There’s a certain convenience in decrying Washington. You can do that to get elected, and then turn and work with people here on the state level. Nikki is paving the way to being another Sanford by burning any bridges that may remain standing even between her and her own party here in SC.

    By the way, at the Tea Party rally I went to recently, I missed Nikki’s speech. But I did catch Sheri Few’s, which was as intemperate as anything Henry says, and it was all aimed at Anton Gunn, whom she condemns for not only supporting Barack Obama, but being a “community organizer” (hiss! boo! goes the crowd). Any other surface similarities between Obama and Gunn, of course, are left for you to infer.

  20. Susan

    Did anyone else get a “personal” robo-call from Dick Cheney last week endorsing Gresham Barrett? (Or am I just special?) It makes the most sense to me for Barrett to be Washington-oriented, since that’s where he’s most recently been. (And so I read the bill he brought up in the House this year re immigration, and it did help me decide early on whether to consider him or not).

    And Brad, are you going to do interviews with the candidates for any of the other races? Voting for governor is a pretty easy decision for me this year, but a lot of the other races I just don’t know much about the folks running. I find your interviews really helpful.

  21. Brad

    The short answer is NO. I managed to talk to two of the candidates for Richland County council in Dist. 5, and I shared that. But I realized early on, as we left the mayoral race behind, that I wouldn’t even have time to get to all of the gubernatorial candidates before this primary was behind us. And if I DID talk to just SOME of the candidates, which ones? I had so much else to do (earning a living and all), I didn’t get very far.

    It had been my ambition to interview top candidates on “The Brad Show,” but my all-volunteer crew is at least as busy as I am, so I didn’t get far.

    Soon as the primaries are over, I hope to develop a workable plan for the general. I realize that’s way late for some of the races, since with many the primary IS the election, but we can’t always get around to doing everything we want to do.


  22. Kathryn Fenner

    “it was all aimed at Anton Gunn, whom she condemns for not only supporting Barack Obama, but being a “community organizer” (hiss! boo! goes the crowd).”

    I saw a bumper sticker before the last Presidential election that said, “Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor.”
    Take that, Sarah Palin.

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