Which of these 3 things is most embarrassing to you as an American and a South Carolinian?

mcmaster trump

I leave it up to you. Which is most embarrassing to you as an American (or a South Carolinian)?

  1. ABC : Pres. Trump says NATO countries have taken in “many billions of dollars more than they would have had if you had Crooked Hillary Clinton as president.” As David Frum noted, he said this “In front of leaders of allied nations,” meaning leaders from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
  2. BREAKING: President Trump says he wants to use military to secure US-Mexico border until wall is built, calls it ‘big step’. It’s a big step, all right. You know what else was a big step? Caesar crossing the Rubicon — the world’s greatest republic collapsed, and we didn’t see another one for a thousand years. This may not be as big as that, but give the guy credit for trying.
  3. Henry McMaster trying to persuade people to elect him governor by boasting — yes, boastingthat he was the first Republican statewide elected official in the nation to endorse then-candidate Donald Trump. We may not have McMaster to thank for Trump, but he’d very much like us to think so.

The choice is entirely up to y’all. I can’t make up my mind. Such riches to choose from…

29 thoughts on “Which of these 3 things is most embarrassing to you as an American and a South Carolinian?

  1. Doug Ross

    On an embarrassment scale of 0-10, I’d give them:

    #1 – 2
    #2 – 1
    #3 – 3

    And McMaster’s campaign pitch is nothing compared to the embarrassment of a local prosecutor who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and family members still being in office and declaring he’ll run again. That’s a 7.5… If he wins, that story is a 9.5 on the embarrassment scale. But then, I’m more concerned about actions than words.


    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      So spending counts as action, then, but words and ideas (the main things politicians deal in) don’t? Alright, duly noted.

      Yep, that guy’s VERY embarrassing. I agree totally. He’s also small potatoes. I don’t even get to vote against him; nor do most people in SC. If I could, I would…

      1. Doug Ross

        “(the main things politicians deal in)”

        Not true. Not in the least… That’s your focus. What affects citizens is what politicians do, not what they say.

  2. Jeff Mobley

    I’d say #1 is most embarrassing, followed by #3, and then #2.

    As for the local prosecutor Doug mentioned, that’s in the hands of local Democrat primary voters now. I expect he’ll be ousted, but I don’t exactly have a proven track record of accurately predicting such things.

    1. Doug Ross

      Wouldn’t it be helpful to ensure that Johnson doesn’t get re-elected if local Democrats would denounce his behavior publicly? Have I missed where people like Steve Benjamin, James Smith, etc. have spoken on this?

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Hmmm… that’s not normally a thing politicians do, unless motivated by partisan animus. You might see a Republican going out of his way to trash a Democrat in trouble, because he wants to make the larger point that you shouldn’t elect THOSE PEOPLE. But you wouldn’t usually see someone in the same party getting on the case of someone who is not even a part of the same entity to which the commenter is elected. And it wouldn’t occur to me even to ask for a reaction.

        I mean, if it’s a member of the Legislature, it would make sense to ask James and other lawmakers for a reaction. If it was a member of city council, you’d want to know what the mayor thinks. If a politician reaches over to comment on someone in another part of government, your first thought would naturally be, “What’s he trying to do, commenting on this?”

        This will only disgust you, of course, but you do realize that these people know each other, as actual people, right? The local solicitor of your party is someone you know, perhaps someone who has in one way or another supported you at some time. And while you may be disgusted by his stupid wasteful spending, he is not an abstraction — he’s not just “that idiot in the news” — to you. He’s an actual person. So in order to attack him, you have to have a good reason to do so.

        You, and most consumers of news, see these folks as names in the news. If you knew them — you’ll probably disagree with me on this, but I’ll say it anyway — unless your public position somehow required you to take a position or do something, you’d probably prefer not to pile on as the public figure is going down in flames, and just let things take their course.

        At least, most people would. And that doesn’t make them bad people…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          An example…

          You know how I reacted to the Marguerite Willis video about Trump? That it seemed out of context, and I felt like she needed to explain why she, in a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, was addressing Trump’s racism?

          On a smaller scale, that’s the way my mind would work if a guy running for governor went over and kicked a local solicitor while he was (due to his own fault) down. It would just seem kind of like a non sequitur…

          Of course, I haven’t even looked, and maybe there’s a quote out there about Johnson from Benjamin or Smith. But I wouldn’t expect there to be, and what I just tried to do was explain why…

        2. Doug Ross

          Disagree completely. If I was one of the leading members of a political party in the state, I would assume it was my OBLIGATION to comment on the bad behavior of another party member so that my silence would not be interpreted as support. They should be calling on Johnson to resign.. not just let things play out. The fact that he is still in office (and now using tax dollars to hire an accountant to figure out his own financial transactions because he says he can’t afford one himself) is ridiculous. And all it might take would be for people like Smith and Benjamin to call for him to resign to make it happen.

          If Smith or Benjamin are holding their tongues, it’s for political reasons. Smith can’t be seen as attacking a black man, right? Every action he takes from today forward is guided not by doing what is right but by doing what helps him have a better shot at winning in November. That’s too bad.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Doug, imagine my surprise that you disagree.

            I wouldn’t call it “holding their tongues.” I’ve seen no reason for the mayor of Columbia or a member of the House (and gubernatorial candidate) to comment on the stupid shenanigans of a solicitor. I haven’t seen where their responsibilities or interests have in any way overlapped.

            No one’s holding back. There just hasn’t been any reason for them to say anything (although they may have and I’ve missed it). It’s not on their plates in any way.

            Now if the mayor or House member were Doug Ross, he’d probably rush to the nearest microphone to say something about it, even if the solicitor were in another state — because your own political ideology holds that most people in public life are corrupt, and it’s very important to you to seize upon examples of that.

            It would very much be in your wheelhouse to say something.

            Now, if for whatever reason someone decided to ask Benjamin or Smith to comment, and he felt that he had to, he’d probably say something like what I’d say under similar circumstances: These are disturbing revelations, and Mr. Johnson needs to come up with some really good explanations. If he can’t, and he hasn’t so far, well, conveniently we’re having an election this year….

            I liked Cindi’s column on the subject a couple of weeks ago. At the time, she was concerned that it might be too late for Johnson to get opposition. Well, now he has opposition. That’s a step in the right direction…

            1. Doug Ross

              As I said, they are the faces of the Democratic Party in SC. They should act that way. You can go the easy way with your hypothetical statement that doesn’t really say much or you can say exactly what it is – a guy ripping off taxpayers for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do you seriously think he is going to have a legitimate excuse for all his spending? The facts are obvious.

              I think you think politicians deserve some sort of special treatment based on their position. I think they deserve to be held to an even higher standard. When they steal, they steal from every taxpayer.

  3. Mr. Smith

    I’d have to go back further to find the thing that is the most embarrassing to me as a South Carolinian.

    It would be the boost that South Carolinians gave the “David Dennison” campaign by putting him on top in the primary.

  4. bud

    Driving west on I-26 between I-20 and Harbison Blvd is pretty embarrassing. And dangerous. That section of road is literally crumbling, with pebbles flying up and hitting my windshield every time I drive it. The EPA is rolling back standard after standard on things that dramatically affect our air and water. Both embarrassing and sickening. Why don’t we stop worrying so much about style points and focus on real, actual concerns. All 3 of these are silly stylistic pieces of nonsense. But they’re not substantive, just bloviating.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Sending the U.S. military to patrol the border and keep poor people from coming to pick our vegetables is very substantive.

      I don’t know what it is with you and Doug. The president of the United States slashing out irrationally here, there and everywhere is an EXTREME cause for concern, as is our governor’s desire to tie himself to him.

      This is not about “style.” It’s about irrationality. It’s about having no sense of proportion, and no sense of the difference between being president of the United States and the head of a banana republic.

      “Substance” and “doing something” are not things we can ignore until he explodes a nuke somewhere. It’s extremely important to note all the signs, day in and day out, of how unstable this guy is before something physical like that happens.

      You guys just floor me. The man has made a complete joke of the presidency of the United States, the position held and graced by Washington, Lincoln and FDR. He is trashing this essential institution of our country. This stuff is PROFOUNDLY important…

      1. Doug Ross

        He’s still ahead of Nixon, Bush, and Clinton in my book based on reality, not words. Subject to change as events go forward. But if he makes it through four years with a decent economy and no additional wars, then he ends up ahead of the three of them in my view.

        Trump is what America is. Self-centered, brash, thin-skinned… What he is proving is that the Presidency ISN’T “profoundly important”. Life has gone on pretty much as usual for everyone except some ICE targets. The inertia of 300 million people isn’t controlled by Donald Trump.

      2. bud

        I get it. Trump is disgusting, crude and a gropper. His tweeting really is inappropriate. But to focus exclusively on his tweets and outrageous comments misses the bigger, more important picture. His policies are having long-term effects. His talking about “Pocahontas” not so much. You focus on style which is terrible. But his actual deeds are more relevant.

          1. bud

            Here’s a good policy issue we could address – the various teacher strikes. This is spreading and could impact SC at some point. This goes to income inequality as well as education quality. Seems like at a time when Paul Allen can buy a yacht big enough for a helipad we can pay teachers a living wage. Silence from Betsy Devos. (But since Trump hasn’t tweeted about it I suppose it won’t come up here)

      3. Barry

        While Trump continues to distract the ignorant In our nation by using his racist dog whistle regarding the Mexican border, he continues to do almost nothing to stop illegal narcotics, etc. from coming into the country where it matters- the ports.

  5. Burl Burlingame

    Immmm — the Posse Comitatus Act “outlaws the willful use of any part of the Army or Air Force to execute the law unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or an act of Congress”

    1. Bart

      Agree with your post but unfortunately, Bush and Obama both sent troops to the border. The precedent has been set and unless someone can come up with a legitimate reason, troops are going to be deployed. If I am not accurate, let me know.

        1. Bart

          Based on the WaPo, Trump is sending national guard troops, not the regular army. By acting in a support role to free up border patrol agents and not an active patrol or enforcement role, they are not violating the Posse Comitatus Act.

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