Talk about being Ms. Bossypants…

One of the women in my household took it back to the library, so I didn’t get far enough in Tina Fey’s Bossypants to find out what happened after she hit puberty, but that’s cool. The part I did read was pretty funny.

What is not funny is the Gov. Bossypants we have over at the State House, who did this today:

Gov. Nikki Haley ordered lawmakers back to Columbia next week after they failed to pass a key piece of her legislative agenda on the legislative session’s last day, sparking dissention among legislative Republicans and howls from Democrats.

Haley wants lawmakers to return at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider bills creating a Department of Administration, allowing the governor and lieutenant governor to run as a ticket, allow the governor to appoint the secretary of education and a bill merging the Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole into the Department of Corrections.

“Pick any two,” Haley said, asking lawmakers to voluntarily forfeit the $250 daily pay they are due, a total of $42,500 a day….

In other words, Do my will, and don’t get paid for doing it.

What a supreme mix of autocratic egoism and faux populism. The perfect Tea Party mix, steeped so as to make the maximum Palin-style impression.

Of course, she did allow them to pick two out of four, which I suppose Her Bossiness would consider to be magnanimity.

Here’s the problem with that: I would gladly vote for three out of the four (if her Bossiness could deign to condescend to do so, I would, were I a lawmaker, have to ask her to explain the virtues of combining the D of PP&P with Corrections). You know why? Because I am one of South Carolina’s most monotonously persistent advocates of giving the executive branch the ability to effectively administer the executive branch and be accountable for it.

But this kind of presumption of dictating to the legislative branch plays straight into the hands of those lawmakers who want to mischaracterize such proposals as a case of executive overreaching: See? She’s trying to FORCE lawmakers to pass the laws she wants. She should advocate strenuously for her positions, but there is a world of difference between advocating that a coequal branch of government do something, and using the power of one’s own branch to FORCE an issue that is the prerogative of that other branch.

The latter is not cool. Which, to turn full circle, brings us back to Tina Fey — a standing prop of her comedy is that she is not cool, not by a long shot.

But when Gov. Haley does the Bossypants routine, it’s just not as funny.

34 thoughts on “Talk about being Ms. Bossypants…

  1. Brad

    I like the headline on John O’Connor’s piece at “Summer School for lawmakers.” Reminds me of two things: First, the governor’s presuming earlier to GRADE lawmakers according to whether they did her will or not.

    The second is a scene I witnessed at my little niece’s 4th birthday party over the weekend: Her older sister, who is six, sat on a chair in front of where the other girls were sitting on the floor, and began to instruct them from the text of “Hop on Pop.” The Twins were rapt, listening happily. (As cousins, the rules of sibling rivalry didn’t apply. And they love to listen to a good book.) The birthday girl, by contrast, said “I don’t want to play this game.” She was not overly thrilled that her sister had appointed to herself the role of teacher…

  2. Lynn T

    Everyone who voted for this woman should be deeply ashamed. The evidence was there that she was completely self-absorbed and lacking in any of the skills needed to serve as governor, but they ignored it and voted for the R after her name. Well, I think she has just had her piglets-in-the-Statehouse moment. Of course, like Sanford, she doesn’t really care about her relationship with the General Assembly, it is all about Fox News appearances.

  3. Steven Davis

    Considering that we paid these same legislators to spend two days discussing the state vegetable, I don’t have a problem with them being called back on their dime to discuss these issues.

    You have a 4 year old and a 6 year old niece??? What is there 30 years between the ages of your siblings?

  4. Barry

    Unreal. Governor Haley is a piece of work.

    You should see her facebook account – tons of “You go girl”

    and “make them pay” comments from typical South Carolina voters that don’t have a clue in this world how it works at the state house.

  5. Barry

    Here is a typical comment from her account

    “My mama use to say why put off to tomorrow what you can get done today. Wanna go on vacation, earn your keep. Vacations are not a right it’s a privilege”

  6. Doug T

    On The State’s website poll I’ve already graded Ms. Haley 37 times with all “F”s.

  7. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)


    There is another problem with her “ordering” legislators. That has about the same level of effectiveness as bringing piglets–just less of a photo op. Our legislators are now far less likely to pass her (worthy) agenda.

    Perhaps she can put them up in the Governor’s Compound. Pillow fight with Jakie!

  8. Karen McLeod

    She has just about guaranteed that these orders will be disobeyed. Do you think that maybe she is secretly against gov. restructuring, and has used this means to sabotage it??

  9. Doug Ross

    Yeah, let’s just talk about reform rather than getting the people who are elected to do something about it actually DO SOMETHING.

    Once again, we see who has the power in South Carolina. Haley gets the blame when nothing happens while Harrell and Leatherman run the shadow government. It’s a perfect system of power without accountability.

    These jokers had time to discuss vegetables at $250 a day. I think they owe the citizens (their employers) a few days of real “work”.

    Results, Brad. Doing stuff. Making decisions. That’s how you make progress. Not talking about it.

  10. bud

    Why are you checking out books from the library? Get a Kindle and it will pay for itself on the gas saved.

    As for Governor Haley’s demand to pass her legislative agenda (or at least bring it to a vote) that raises some interesting constitutional questions. Does she actually have the authority to do this? If she does then frankly it’s hard to be critical. The General Assembly needs to address the Governor’s priorities during the regular session. If they don’t AND the constitution allows her the latitude to call them back into special session for ANY reason she sees fit then I say go for it girl. If the general assembly doesn’t like it then pass an ammendment to ban the practice.

    Brad has always lobbied for a stronger governor yet when she exercises what little power she has he bitches about it. Go figure.

  11. Karen McLeod

    I am convinced that she has been planted in our state by someone(s)who want to ensure that SC gets nowhere. However worthy her agenda might be, she is ensuring that she gets no cooperation from the legislature. I think we need some major investigative reporting on this situation.

  12. Tim

    I have followed the push for accountability in the Executive for many years, and appreciate the arguments in its favor, but given our electorate’s inability to install even marginally acceptable, and increasingly irresponsible executives, it is a very hard case to make to grant them more power. Is it in vain to hope that we can ever elect a grown-up, or is demogogue-ic populism our doom for the foreseeable future? Maybe we should move to a Parliamentary form of government here.

  13. Cicero

    This latest move of hers is particularly astounding given that she served in the Legislature for six years. Either she knows her “order” will be disobeyed or she’s utterly tone deaf.

    After witnessing the first few months of her administration, I’d have to go with the latter. What a fiasco.

  14. Rose

    “My mama use to say why put off to tomorrow what you can get done today. Wanna go on vacation, earn your keep. Vacations are not a right it’s a privilege”

    Boy, howdy! Don’t she sound like one a them good ol’ boys!

  15. Sally

    One word: Infantile. Perhaps Webster’s should place her photo beside the definition. My 3 year old has better manners and already recognizes that pitching fits does not get her anywhere. Pity our governor failed to learn that lesson early in life. I’d like for them to return to pass a recall law. Given that she wants to expand the power of the governor, it seems there should be a balance system in place to deal with a governor abusing his/her power. I never thought I would say this, but I miss Sanford.

  16. bud

    Everyone is making good points here but the main point has been missed (except by Doug). Why on earth did the General Assembly fail so utterly to consider these measures???? Seriously folks as long as the GA spends time on foolish nonsense like the state vegitable or naming roads after reckless drivers then damn it they deserve to spend some time doing work without pay.

  17. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    She didn’t snub ALL Dems, and also snubbed some Republicans. Her spokesweasel said it was her husband’s party and he can invite whoever he wants to.

    Yeah. Tracy Fleck has nothing on our Mean Girl governess!

    I guess you had to get a good grade on your report card to earn a right to attend the cookout. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege.

  18. Steven Davis

    It’s a good thing they spent days discussing the selection of the official state vegetable.

  19. Lynn T

    To be fair, the G. A. didn’t spend all their time elevating the lowly collard to greatness. They spent plenty of time to try to disembowel the public school system with private school tax credits. They worked at length on making the Act 388 property act situation worse by bowing to the cries of woe from their real estate campaign contributors, despite the lack of any actual data or sound logic supporting their claims of distress. This suggests that Steven is right — contemplating the collard is one of their safer pastimes.

  20. Brad

    Oh, about the library book thing (Steven mentioned it)… no, I don’t check out books from the library, and this is why — you have to take them back. And I’m very acquisitive when it comes to books — if I invest the time to read it, I want to have it always. But my wife gets lots of books from the library — and reads them quickly, and moves on with her life, rather than reading them over and over obsessively like yours truly — and so do some of my kids.

  21. Ralph Hightower

    What a spoiled brat! SC guv’not Nikki Haley doesn’t get her way, so she yells “FIRE!”

    She didn’t get her way with the General Assembly in passing her agenda.

    Mind you, she has to keep up with appearances to buff up what the nation thinks of Haley.

    From what I’ve read, she fought legislation to move the Budget and Control Board to a Department of Administration; her preferred legislation was a weakend B&CB with a DOA; probably so her acolyte could keep her job as head of B&CB.

    People outside of South Carolina don’t care about the mechanisms of their state government. She could say “I reformed South Carolina’s government” and people in the other 49 states would believe her.

  22. tired old man

    Whoa, whoa, whoa!

    The Senate took five weeks to pass a budget because her fellow travelers (Tom Davis, Senator Not-Bright, etc) held up the state’s biz to talk about abortion!

    Second, that legislative party was paid for with our taxes. It was at the mansion, the mansion chef cooked, etc. She and her little fancy pants first gentleman can invite whomever they wish into their sandbox, as long as THEY pay for it.

    Third, not one of these items constitutes an emergency. Two require voter approval, which cannot occur before November 2014.

    Fact of the matter, there is no support for giving Nikki Haley control of the state’s personnel process, its retirement program’s billions or its state health plan.

    Last, does anyone care that her much-valted inspector general did not last 90 days on the job ferreting out waste and abuse because she micro-managed the process?

  23. bud

    Tired old man makes some good points. Didn’t realize the cookout was on the taxpayers dime. Seems like it should be done away with altogether in that case.

  24. Scout

    There is an article in the state that says one reason the Senate took so long getting things done is tea party senators Davis and Bright proposed so many amendments to the budget that had to be discussed and voted on individually. With Nikki’s new transparency law in the Senate voting is by roll call which takes longer when you have 50 billion thousand amendments to consider and vote on individually. They are apparently proud of slowing things down – fewer bills passed per session means less government. I guess Nikki should have a chat with them since her pet bills were the victims of their scheme.

  25. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    WEll, actually, I read that the, uh, beverages were donated by Ben Arnold–out of the goodness of their hearts, expecting nothing in return..uh huh.

    The State reported that 14 legislators out of 124 didn’t get invites. Yowsa. I haven’t seen something like this since junior high,

    C’mon–an intimate private party with most, but not all, of the legislators…sure…

  26. bud

    Even though the General Assembly had the better constitutional argument I was hoping the Governor would prevail in this fight. The GA really should do it’s damn job and consider legislation important to this state rather than waste time on frivilous nonsense.

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