Nikki and the neo-Confederates

“Nikki and the neo-Confederates”… Hey, THAT could be a name for my band! Kind of Katrina-and-the-Wave-ish. I wonder if Nikki would agree to front us?

Just though y’all might be interested in viewing the video of Nikki Haley and the other candidates seeking the endorsement of a group called “South Carolina Palmetto Patriots.” And who are the “South Carolina Palmetto Patriots” aside from folks with a certain affinity for redundancy? Well, by their agendas ye shall know them. To quote from the group’s “2010 Agenda:”

The Federal government has stolen our liberties and rights and nullified our ability to self govern as a state. It is the obligation of all people of our great state to restore unto ourselves and our children these inalienable rights as set forth in The Constitution of the United States of America.

Mind you, that’s the preamble to their 2010 Agenda, and not their 1860 Agenda. Don’t believe me? Here it is.

You think maybe I’m kidding when I say the GOP this year has spun so far out that the worst thing you can call a Republican candidate, in his estimation, is a “moderate?” All four gubernatorial hopefuls dutifully sat down and earnestly answered this group’s questions. Did they do that for any group that YOU belong to?

I didn’t watch all of it. I couldn’t. But if you want to here’s the link. And here’s the first clip from Nikki’s interview:

35 thoughts on “Nikki and the neo-Confederates

  1. Michael P.

    Brad, you bloggers keep trying to upset the Haley cart… but she’s still going to mop the floor with Barrett. Barrett could have save a ton of money buy throwing in the towel last Tuesday. At this point Haley could drop out and she’d still win on write-in votes.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Y’know, I have been traveling across the Northeast for the past three weeks, and got home day before yesterday. I was feeling so good about the decision to return to South Carolina twelve years ago after living in Maine–the courteous, friendly people, the slower pace of driving, even the ghastly heat (everywhere is air-conditioned, unlike up north)–so what if we have whcky politics….and now this. Ugghhh

    So, I still don’t know if SCV is part of the SC Palmetto Patriots cabal or not…..

    (And Palmetto is not synonymous with SC, btw. They do grow elsewhere, and a film named Palmetto was set in Florida. Patriots are found everywhere, too. Check out Boston.)

  3. Michael P.

    Kathryn – Why do you keep assuming things that aren’t true. If you spent as much time Googling your questions as assuming you’re right you’d have the answers you’re looking for.

    For a lawyer, you sure put a lot of faith in assumptions.

  4. Brad

    Actually, Michael, you beat me to the punch there. I was just about to add, “Don’t miss the first Gresham Barrett clip.” After I had posted this, I followed Michael Rodgers’ advice back here and looked at the first Barrett clip as well.

    Wow. Just… how does one describe it. The strong sense, as one watches, that something just a bit OFF is going on here, from the perspective of a mainstreamish sort of guy (go ahead, call me a “moderate;” I won’t complain). Sort of like when the woman in the movie starts thinking, “There’s something UNUSUAL about these Stepford Wives…”

    Nikki’s just happened to be the first one I called up, and the ONLY one I had seen when I posted this.

    Also, I thought “Nikki and the neo-Confederates” sounded better than “Gresham and the neo-Confederates.” As a band name.

  5. sorenkay

    “You’re missing the best part ”

    By “missing the best part” I mean they edited that video… someone who doesn’t like Haley(AlexJ315 on youtube) uploaded the part they cut out… I downloaded a copy before he took it down and made a mirror of it…

  6. sorenkay

    “The importance of watching that clip is this: It tells you what sort of people she was kowtowing too.”

    Yeah but, if you transcript it sounds like they do these types of interviews a lot… they mention talking to and “ousting” Hodges, Beasly, and Rick Quinn who have apparently double crossed them…

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    FWIW, Micahel P., I asked the question precisely because I was questioning my assumptions. Google just gives the same sort of stuff I might have based an erroneous assumption on, so I was hoping someone I respected on the blog would weigh in.

    I’m not sure where you got that I was assuming anything.

  8. Kathryn Fenner

    Wow, sorenkay–that’s one of those videos that makes me feel great sympathy for someone I deeply disagree with, akin to the photo of Rusty DePass in front of the NAACP.

    Do these guys realize what century we live in? Is this even close to the top 100 issues facing our state?

  9. Brad

    And thanks for pointing that out, sorenkay. Everyone SHOULD go listen to that clip especially. Not so much for what it says about Nikki, but to listen to her inquisitors. Michael has the transcript at that link, but the transcript doesn’t tell you NEARLY as much as their voices, their intonations as they refer to the “other side” as being the folks — you know, the black folks — who “got a big gaudy monument on the State House grounds.” Or when they refer to the SC NAACP as “Lonnie and his loonies.”

    Nikki’s answers are pure GOP boilerplate — I will respect the “compromise,” I will leave the flag alone. They all say that stuff. In fact, to her credit, there are a couple of places, such as when she says “Mmm-hmm” in the middle of being lectured about what the Civil War was REALLY about, when you almost get the sense of a sensible person thinking “Who ARE these people? Would they harm me if I got up and tried to leave right now?”

    The importance of watching that clip is this: It tells you what sort of people she was kowtowing to.

    And I’m not exaggerating by using that word. I am a veteran of hundreds of endorsement interviews. And believe you me, candidates really WANTED our endorsement (despite the sour grapes crapola you sometimes heard from the more petulant among those we did not endorse). But seldom do I remember a candidate being as meek and mild and eager to please and speak the lingo and say what we wanted to hear, as I see and hear as Nikki and Gresham try to get the support of these anachronisms.

    Anyone who doubts what I said about Jake Knotts speaking the truth about the GOP in the South must watch these videos.

  10. Susan G.

    Makes me very glad I voted in the Democratic primary, as this all is very sad, and I can now go on vacation next week and not think about it.

    I find the way the idea of being a Christian gets all tangled up in this in such bizarre ways is just sickening.

  11. Kathryn Fenner

    Yes, Michael Rodgers. I squirmed at how they were just dishing it out–I expected bright lights shining in her face. It was more an indoctrination–they started out asking leading questions, and then abandoned that pretense and just started “educating” her. It was creepy that these men with apparently older voices were ganging up on little Nikki. I think a lot of people, especially women, will have sympathy for her.

    It really bothers me that they seem to be fairly accurate about how much influence they have.

  12. Michael Rodgers

    The “interview” with Nikki Haley was more of an interrogation or indoctrination. I like Brad’s description of the neo-Confederates as “inquisitors.”

    What makes the Confederate flag issue so important is:
    (1) how much control of our state the inquisition has,
    (2) how menacing and how indoctrinated they are,
    (3) how the issue defines our state as “South Carolina, where the Confederate flag still flies,”
    (4) how South Carolina suffers under an NAACP tourism boycott and an NCAA tournament ban, and
    (5) how simple the solution to the problem is — 2007-2008’s H.3588.

    I could go on and on (and I probably have) but that’s enough for now.

  13. Michael P.

    I agree with you Michael, “that’s enough for now”… and just to let you know,because I realize you aren’t aware of it, the horse you’re beating is dead. Only you and the 2, or maybe 3 people who post to your blog even bother discussing it.

    Could you please explain how well #4 on your list is working out?

  14. Brad

    What gets me is the way they revel, so openly, so nakedly, in their own perception of their power. It’s so uncool. So ungentlemanly. So… well, I’m back to uncool. Tony Soprano would not threaten anyone that baldly. He would use euphemisms; he would imply — and not just because of the fear of wiretaps. He would be too secure in his own menace to resort to spelling things out.

    But maybe it’s a clue to the cognitive style of these people. They are very much into the LITERAL. They obsess about the LITERAL meaning of the constitution, and it is anathema to them to see the obvious ambiguities in it. They seize upon words of Lincoln’s that EVERYONE who has the slightest nodding acquaintance with history knows, and imagine that they have special knowledge that is some sort of big GOTCHA, when I see Lincoln’s words about the relative supreme importance of preserving the union as perfectly consistent with his opposition to slavery. They see words so simply, and literally, that they completely miss the richness of meaning that underlies them.

  15. Brad

    Oh, and Kathryn (way back up at the top): In South Carolina, saying “South Carolina Palmetto” is PAINFULLY redundant. It’s either “South Carolina Patriots” or “Palmetto Patriots,” not both. When you communicate the same thought twice, it’s redundant. And in South Carolina, “Palmetto” clearly expressed the idea, “South Carolina.”

  16. Michael P.

    So the Regional and Super Regional baseball tournaments over the past couple weeks are not to be included. A couple years ago there was talk of a football bowl game being held at Williams Brice.

    There has been a solution, you and the NCAA just haven’t been convinced of it yet. The only thing I see wasted is the time you stand out in front of the State House at rush hour thinking you’re doing some good.

    The flag didn’t seem to bother BMW, Honda, or Boeing. So for every dollar lost from the NCAA we’ll make up tenfold with Boeing. How many industries recruited for the Innovista have stated they won’t come to SC because of the NAACP boycott… ZERO.

  17. Kathryn Fenner

    Florida Palmetto Patriots doesn’t work for you, huh?

    University of South Carolina Gamecocks–now that’s redundant.

  18. Michael Rodgers


    You asked about the SCV. Here’s a video from cnn about them.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center says, “[W]e have been monitoring the group [the SCV] for a very long time becuase the organization is shot through with members of hate groups like the Council of Conservative Citizens and the League of the South — these are white supremacist groups.

    …the video continues…

    CNN describes Gilbert Jones, a former member of the SCV, “[T]he group is going through its own civil war, between moderates and extremists. Jones was a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans but left because he says it got too political.” Gilbert Jones says, “I’ve met some fine people with the SCV, and I’ve met some scum. Unfortunately the scum, like I said, tends to be more active in the group.”

    Hope this helps.



  19. Brad

    Indeed, Michael (Rodgers).

    But I must point out that I differ with Michael (Rodgers) on one small point. Or perhaps it’s not a small one.

    I object to his offering the NAACP boycott, or its marginal effects, as an argument. It is my firm belief that the absurd, ineffective NAACP boycott is one of the things keeping the flag up. It plays to the cranky white neo-Confederate’s sense of persecution. And it plays to the genetic predisposition of white South Carolinians (including those who could easily be persuaded to put the flag away otherwise) to never, EVER let anyone MAKE them do something.

    I have that genetic predisposition, so I understand it. Allow me to explain: If flying the flag at the State House is the right thing to do, then NO amount of economic pressure should EVER induce us to take it down. Coercion should be resisted at ever point along the line. The thing is, it is NOT right to fly the flag. But since the NAACP gets all the ink and has positioned itself in the mindless media (which is always all about a FIGHT rather than reason) as THE opposition to flying the flag, there is no way most white South Carolinians are going to go along with someone who is trying (however unsuccessfully) to HURT them into making them do its will. That fact, that the NAACP is doing its damnedest to try to hurt SC, obscures the wrongness of the flag for the white majority.

    We’re talking about the white MAJORITY instead of the wacky neo-Confederate activists. The majority that can take the flag or leave it alone, that neither weeps for the Lost Cause nor sits up nights fretting about the social injustice of flying the flag in the faces of black people who are also citizens of our state.

    The majority, in short, that needs to be won over. These folks don’t want to ally themselves necessarily with the people who play Confederate dress-up, but they don’t want to side with the people trying to hurt SC. And unfortunately, as long as the media continue to paint the issue as one off conflict between the extremes, the average person who just doesn’t want to spend time thinking about it wants to stay out of the whole thing, would prefer it not be brought up at all.

    For those people — and we’re talking about at least a plurality of people in this state, defined as having the above-described attitude — there is an all-too-convenient default position: Embrace the “compromise” that in the minds of intellectually lazy people “settled” the issue.

    And we’re never going to be able to deal with that problem as long as the NAACP continues to wage its farcical boycott. Unfortunately, I see little chance of the NAACP dropping it. It is an organization that, sadly, has become defined by conflict. Drop the conflict, and too many people in the group’s leadership would feel that they’d lost their raison d’etre.

    So we have a HUGE challenge before us — changing the conversation so that it is NOT about those people on the two sides of that conflict caricature.

    We need to move South Carolina to a more mature place. In fact, I’ve never seen removing the flag as the goal. I see the flag going away as a sure SIGN that the goal has been achieved. And the goal is a South Carolina that has decided, in its own collective heart and mind, that it has outgrown such foolishness. That we are bright enough to understand that relics of history — particularly such painful history — belong in museums, and should not be given present life at the center of our public, common existence. And that we are one people, with common interests and respect for one another, having outgrown the desire to wave defiance in each other’s faces.

    THAT’S the goal, growing up as a people. Once we do that, the flag will become a footnote of history.

  20. Phillip

    I couldn’t disagree more, Brad.

    “Drop the conflict, and too many people in the group’s leadership would feel that they’d lost their raison d’etre.” Well, not to be unkind, Brad, but “duh.” End all vestiges of racism and of course there’s not much reason for an NAACP or a Southern Law Poverty Center, etc. I think many people in the NAACP would be happy to lose their “raison d’etre.”

    Rather than the NAACP ending its boycott, other national organizations should JOIN the boycott. You’re dreaming if you think NAACP saying, ok, forget it, is going to result in the flag situation being resolved. Ultimately it is going to be resolved when the last remaining generations of the segregationist era die out, when their children and their grandchildren are more interested in economic growth than perpetuating racist mythology, when more out-of-staters and foreigners have moved into the state who have no stake in clinging to historical revisionism.

    Just curious, Brad, in talking about the majority not wanting “to side with the people trying to hurt SC,” how does that view influence your position on something like sanctions on Iran and the Iranian people?

  21. Michael Rodgers

    To get Boeing, we had to have Sen. Robert Ford lie to them and we had to pay through the nose to the tune of $900 million.

    I want my legislature to solve the Confederate flag problem, and they can do so by passing 2007-2008’s H.3588, which costs $0 and totally respects the Confederate flag, the Confederate Soldier Monument, and Confederate Memorial Day.

  22. Brad

    Phillip, FYI — I turned my above comment into a separate post…

    I almost didn’t post the comment here, because I didn’t want to distract from the madness of GOP candidates kowtowing to these people. We need to focus on that. But I thought the Michaels had brought up an important sidelight that needed to be addressed.

    “Important” because I passionately want the flag down, and am appalled at the NAACP’s approach, which would be the precise approach I would take if I were an evil genius looking for a sure strategy for keeping the flag UP.

    It’s important for those of us who truly want the flag down to differentiate ourselves from the NAACP. Otherwise, we are doomed to failure.

  23. Brad

    As for Iran, well, I don’t place a lot of faith in sanctions. You know me, Phillip. I’d rather bring out the guns than deny them butter.

    Frankly, I think the only thing that would have a chance of stopping Iran from getting, and quite probably using, the bomb, is a credible military threat. And the West is politically incapable of mustering such a credible threat, so Iran does as it pleases. Only the beleaguered pariah Israel is to be believed when it says it will not allow Iran to threaten its existence.

  24. Susan G.

    Well said, and a reminder that many if not most most of our societal problems cannot be solved by political means, and that if we really care about an issue our energies are often better be expended elsewhere.

    (I’m not advocating dropping out of the political process, but simply not expecting more of it than it can deliver).

  25. Michael P.

    “I want my legislature to solve the Confederate flag problem”

    What problem is that? There was a problem at one time which was resolved by the legislature, apparently you just don’t like the resolution.

    You can stand out in front of the State House protesting all you want, it doesn’t bother me. Maybe, if you’re lucky, one day people will start giving you the fame they gave the crazy anti-abortion guy with the dead baby necklace and the stroller. I’ve got better things to do, obviously you don’t.

  26. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Michael Rodgers–Thanks!! That was very helpful. The Southern Poverty Law Center even says they aren’t a Hate Group, although they have members who are members of other white supremacist hate groups (so does the Republican Party, for that matter). They seem to be mostly a “heritage/history” group that has a different take on what “history” is. The League of the South–did you know that a USC history professor is a member? I didn’t realize they were a hate group.

    I guess it’s a fine line between racism/white supremacy and simply looking back with reverence on a time when whites were supreme and blacks were chattel.

  27. Michael P.

    “although they have members who are members of other white supremacist hate groups (so does the Republican Party, for that matter)”

    Just to finish what you started, so does the Democratic party. Do you believe that the NAACP isn’t a hate group, that the Black Panthers aren’t a hate group, and that the majority of both are Democrats.

    Time to take those blinders off Katheryn.

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