Guy who ran to extreme right of Bob Inglis is shocked, SHOCKED, by the polarization in D.C.

I’m really scratching my head over this one today:

Frustrated Trey Gowdy says he may not run again

He says polarization in Washington surprised him

SPARTANBURG — After six months on the job, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy said he has come to the jarring realization that politics doesn’t necessarily mean clarity and, while he is inclined to seek re-election next year, it isn’t a certainty.

“I really did not have a frame of reference because I’ve never served in the Legislature before,” Gowdy, a Republican and former solicitor, told “I come from a system where there’s a referee and a jury that gives you immediate feedback on whether or not you have won the argument.”

In Congress, the system is different, he said.

“There is no referee,” Gowdy said. “There’s more fairness in a court proceeding than there is in politics. There’s more civility in a criminal trial than there is in politics. So it’s been an adjustment.”

He added, “The issues are challenging. The country is divided. And I miss home. I think that’s probably the best way to put it.”…

No, I did not make that up. Follow the link.

I liked this part, in which Gowdy mentions the meeting I covered here:

At a Rotary meeting in Columbia, he showed a PowerPoint he called “fact-centric, fact-based”

Afterward, Democrats came up to him and said, “‘Look, I don’t agree with what you said, but I appreciate the manner in which you laid it out,’” Gowdy said. “It wasn’t hyper-partisan.”

OK, Kathryn and Rick — did y’all really say that?

25 thoughts on “Guy who ran to extreme right of Bob Inglis is shocked, SHOCKED, by the polarization in D.C.

  1. Brad

    You know, I’d love to think Mr. Gowdy is sincere, that he’d really like to deal with the nation’s problems without all the dishonest nastiness — that he’s UnParty material.

    But I keep thinking about the campaign he ran last year…

  2. `Kathryn Fenner

    I didn’t stick around to hear him.I was feeling sick, and didn’t trust myself to make it through his presentation. I will say that lots of people can sound very reasonable when they aren’t challenged and when they have the last word, as in a Rotary presentation.

    I believe his apparent naivete speaks volumes about what is wrong with know-nothing newbies who throw wrenches in the works, and our country under the bus…..

  3. Ed Madden

    Sounds like the Mick Zais presentation last year to Leadership South Carolina… so reasonable and non-partisan….

  4. Ralph Hightower

    Gowdy is surprised that Washington is polarised?

    There’s more fairness in the courts than in politics?

    Geez, when did this guy wake up?

    @Kathryn, you called him right! “noob!”

  5. Kevin

    “… and no, I did not watch that campaign closely. But of the limited news I heard about it, nothing was good.”

    Which of course makes you the perfect guy to opine on this subject. Trust me, you often don’t need to add these addendums.

    Gowdy didn’t run to the “extreme right” of Inglis. There were two tea party candidates in that primary, and Gowdy was not one of them. Those of us who know Trey personally (as I do) know that he is pretty much your typical Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, civically-minded conservative guy.

    He’s basically the kind of public servant people like you always harp about needing more of. Now you’ve become the guy wh can’t take yes for an answer.

  6. Brad

    Thanks for your perspective, Kevin.

    And I include such addenda in order to be honest with my readers. Most blogger bluff it out, acting like they are past masters on topics they know little about. I know that all men’s understanding is limited, and wherever I can SEE where my own limitations are (we are not always aware of them), I try to point them out.

    I state my thoughts based on the information I have, and invite elucidation from my readers.

  7. Brad

    Kevin, I’m sure you’ll be disappointed to learn that your email address isn’t working. I tried to send you a notice that I’d answered your comment (I just started doing that some today), and I got “The email account that you tried to reach does not exist.”

  8. Mark Stewart

    Well, in any event it’s just deserts.

    If the choice was between three candidates to the right of Inglis, then Spartanberg got what it wanted: ideology over substance. Politics is a blood sport; more like being a defence attorney than a(n) (assistant) solicitor. I do respect that he has admitted he is in over his head in Congress. Really. But a bit late…

  9. Bart

    Mr. Gowdy, welcome to the world of politics inside the Beltway. It is a three ring circus with an established heirachy and freshman members of congress are seldom included in the tight circle of oversight and influence.

    We wish for the ideological saviors to run for office and go to Washington to straighten out the mess but in reality, the scenario is only lived out in a cinema fantasy world. “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” is good film entertainment but that is about as far as it goes.

  10. Brad

    Bart, if you’ll recall, some of Mr. Smith’s most endearing characteristics were that he was humble, unassuming, and deferential. He didn’t think he was God’s gift to the country.

    And he was NOT an ideological savior. In fact, the one initiative he pushed, ever so humbly, was what opponents might call a “boondoggle” — building a youth camp.

    Those are characteristics you’re unlikely to find in today’s freshmen. They’re like the proverbial Generation Y types who think they should be in charge the moment they arrive…

  11. Brad

    How do you mean? Elaborate, please. Polarized between what and what? Describe the poles.

    I’m having trouble following your point, and I’m interested in hearing your argument…

  12. Andrew

    Gowdy wasn’t running to the extreme right of Inglis. If anything, he’s more moderate than Inglis.

    That primary had two TEA party types, a state senator, Gowdy & Inglis. One of those TEA Party candidates is running against the state senator next June: Lee vs. Thomas.

    Deal is, of the five candidates, Gowdy was the only one from Spartanburg, and he carried that vote about entirely. The other four split Greenville, with Inglis winning Greenville. In the run off, the other voters all turned their fire on Inglis, as the point of that primary was just about defeating Inglis, and Gowdy was the least objectionable, most electable one.

    He’s voting nearly exactly as Inglis would have, and did last year. Inglis has had local, Greenville area, primary opposition from the far right since at least the 1998 Senate campaign primary, and he finally ran out of free lives.

  13. Brad

    Of COURSE he’s voting the same as Inglis would do; nobody’s going to be more conservative than Inglis in real life.

    But the way people run often bears little resemblance to reality. And the most bizarre thing about this campaign is that the label “liberal” was actually applied to Bob Inglis.

    Inglis is not alone. There are a number of true-blue, real-life Republicans in the Upstate under attack by Tea Party types for being insufficiently “conservative” in their eyes. After the nearly-successful assault on him in last primary, Dan Cooper just decided the hell with it; he’s got better things to do with his life.

    But back to Gowdy…

    I was talking with ex-Gov. Jim Hodges the other day, and mentioned having seen Gowdy at Rotary, and that he had connected well with his audience, and Hodges had good things to say about him. He had dealings with Gowdy years ago as governor, and found him a good guy to work with. He said he believes Gowdy to be much more moderate than what he ran as last year.

  14. Brad

    Well, I’m sorry that’s your impression of this blog.

    What you just described is MY impression of MOST blogs, and I try to provide a forum here that transcends that pattern. It’s not always easy. I’m never quite satisfied with the results, even in the best of times.

    Since you aren’t satisfied either, why don’t you stick around and be part of the solution, as we work on trying to make this a better place for MEANINGFUL political dialogue?

    We’d appreciate it. Or at least, I would.

  15. Mab


    @ Julian Harrison:

    “Gowdy is saying even if you get in you still can’t get anything done…”

    And he is right because his ‘hands are tied.’ Deliberately and mercilessly, until he proves his loyalty to the correct branch of this double-headed monster. A vs. B…D vs. R…this vs. that — but both sides are corrupt.

  16. Julian Harrison

    All comments seem to be intended to shut down forward progress. Little seems positive. In fact any guy who starts out and would have a doubt need not voice it for fear of the more experienced nailing them for doubt.

    Politics is entertainment – who’s is doing what to who. It has little to do with policy and nothing to do with ethics. 2012 like all entertainment, will simply be re-runs at the time, expense and future of the American people.

    All I am saying is this Gowdy guy has a doubt and the thread indicates he is dumb for having a doubt. If he was certain he would be dumb for being certain.

    It took a massive move to un-root Bob Inglis, Gowdy is not in my SC district 5 but he has the right idea. One or two terms and go home. The entire House and Senate should be only one or max two terms.

    The problem not being newbies but those entrenched within party lines. Only blame game simply re runs.

    Gowdy is saying even if you get in you still can’t get anything done so what are we as Americans outside to expect we can do? The CEO of Starbucks said it right – do not fund campaigns until this mess is fixed. You take the money out and maybe it starts a bad trend for the Elected.

  17. Brad

    As for “those entrenched within party lines.”

    The answer isn’t newbies, especially when they’ve run farther out on the extreme wings of either party in order to take out the incumbents in a primary.

    What we need is more people outside the party structure. And it would be great to see a critical mass of such people gain seniority. As long as, you know, they were UnParty types…

  18. Bart


    I used “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” as an example only in the sense that as a new member of congress, he was able to win out over the “establishment politicians”.

    Again, only in the movies will a humble person like the one portrayed in the movie be victorious. But then, noble ideas and the reality of politics are not symbiotic relationships at all.

    Hope my comments are not construed as intended to shut down forward progress. Frank discussions with diverse opinions offer us the best chance of progress, whether the comments are positive or negative.

  19. Julian Harrison

    Let’s talk in general. An honest man or woman goes to DC, honest and ready to do good work. They get turned. Then they become beholden then they become entrenched. Charley Rangle was elected to clean up a corrupt seat. Seems he is still there, July 25, 2011 “I support Majority Leader Reid’s plan which would allow America to continue paying its bills through 2013, and keep the full faith in the credit of the United States.” Then this: Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is brewing up a boycott of contributions to the campaigns of Washington politicians as a way of breaking the ongoing stalemate in D.C. politics. Home Depot CEO: Marcus: They are all tied together. If we don’t lower spending and if we don’t deal with paying down the debt, we are going to have to raise taxes. Even brain-dead economists understand that when you raise taxes, you cost jobs.

    Our entrenched elected officials are not listening to voters and they are not listening to the people who are donating to their campaigns. Who are they listening? I do not know.

    Paulsen said it best!

    Pat Paulsen 1968

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