Actually, they didn’t believe in factions, period

I have to take issue with this Independence Day message put out by Vincent Sheheen:

Independence day is a time to remember what our forebears fought for and believed in.  They believed in an independent country where citizens could join together in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.   They did not believe in a government dominated and controlled by one faction.

Unfortunately, that’s what we have here in South Carolina.  And all I can say is – a government controlled by one party dominance in the Governor’s office, House, and Senate does not work.


Instead of working on improving public schools, these people are fighting to take away public money and send it to private schools.

Instead of fighting to protect the environment, these people are working to undermine it.

Instead of trying to bring the citizens of South Carolina together, black and white, rich and poor; they are continuing to divide us.

While regular people have been struggling to make ends meet, our state government has been using public taxpayer dollars and time to fly all around the country and world.

Instead of seeing honest leadership, South Carolina has continued to see scandal at the highest levels of government.

Nothing will change unless we change it.  Let’s all work together, Democrats and Republicans, for common sense solutions.

I am still a believer in America and South Carolina.  Happy July 4!

Actually, Vincent, they didn’t believe in ANY factions. In other words, the “healthy” two-party system you seem to be invoking here was not their aim.

Of course, they turned right around and, practically in the same breath, created two parties that ripped into each other with a viciousness that we would recognize today.

But, in terms of what the Framers thought right for the country (before Madison and Hamilton became the driving forces behind our first bout of hyperpartisanship), they wanted as much as possible to limit the influence of parties:



AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular Governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular Governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. The valuable improvements made by the American Constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our Governments are too unstable; that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true…

Thus spake “PUBLIUS.”

Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. In fact, it SO didn’t work out that way that it’s a bit hard to believe that James Madison, who would so soon be the chief hatchetman of the Democratic Republicans, wrote those words.

Oh, as for wishing us all a happy Fourth: One of the Founders I regard as most consistently sincere in despising faction, John Adams, thought we’d celebrate on the 2nd, which after all is when the Congress voted for independence. Which makes sense. But I suppose I’m picking nits here.

11 thoughts on “Actually, they didn’t believe in factions, period

  1. Silence

    Since we are talking about older (but great) sitcoms today, does Vince Sheheen remind anyone else of Corporal Max Klinger? Is it just me?

  2. Brad

    Maybe a little (although it would never have occurred to me). What we might be seeing is shared ethnicity. They are both of Lebanese extraction. But I think Jamie Farr probably looked more like Danny Thomas (yet another Lebanese-American) than like Vincent.

  3. Brad

    Now see, that’s pretty brutal. And inaccurate.

    I can see the Jamie Farr resemblance, although it would never have occurred to me. I can also see Danny Thomas looking like him, which suggests it’s an ethnicity thing.

    Speaking of which, to bring things full-circle — Andy Griffith’s small-time sheriff character first appeared on an episode of the Danny Thomas show…

  4. Brad

    Personally, I’m starting to feel a twinge of resentment that y’all are picking on guys with big noses…

    And yes, I realize I used “picking” and “noses” in the same sentence. Don’t be gross…

  5. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    Body-snarking is exactly what it sounds like–snarking on people’s bodies–like Vincent Sheheen’s nose–not that Brad was, but the rest of youse guys.

  6. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    Umm, folks aren’t comparing his appearance to, say, Brad Pitt, or other people generally considered good-looking. Commenting on people’s appearance, at least insofar as it has not been artificially altered (it may be okay to comment on Botox, plastic surgery, bad hair dye….) is body-snarking.

    I had friends, emphasis on “had”, one of whom looked a lot like Naomi Judd and one of whom looked like Christopher Reeve. My husband has a certain resemblance to Brendan Fraser. They kindly suggested I looked a lot like Kathy Bates. Like I said, “had.”

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