Yep, I’m supporting Micah Caskey

Here’s the sign Micah put in my yard, and I’m fine with it. But I wish he’d picked a spot where my lawn looked better.

Ken misunderstood something earlier. He said the presence of the Micah Caskey ad you see at right was “apparently an endorsement.” No, no, no. That’s just an ad.

An endorsement would be, well… something like that sign I have for him in my yard, shown above. I didn’t put it there. But I did ask Micah recently when he was going to have signs available, and then one day earlier this week, this one appeared. And I’m fine with it. In putting it up, he was just doing what I would have done myself.

Not the same as the endorsements I used to do in the paper, but close enough, given my present circumstances. In the old days, I wouldn’t have endorsed him without talking to his opponent — or at least trying to (some people — like Hillary Clinton in 2008 — decline to come in).

This time — well, I’ve yet to see a lot from Micah’s opponent one way or the other. I had looked at her Facebook page, and as I was writing this, I finally looked again and saw a link to her campaign Facebook page, which led me to her actual campaign site. I don’t know why my usual approach — Googling “Melanie Shull for House” — didn’t work. Maybe she hasn’t had a lot of traffic. Anyway, I don’t know the lady; I haven’t met her. I just haven’t seen any reasons to support her over Micah. And I have seen some reasons not to. But I’m still looking, and listening.

My support for Micah goes back a ways. I’m not talking about the fact that Micah’s grandfather and great-grandfather were good friends with my mother and her family in Bennettsville long before I was born. Although that’s true enough.

I just mean — well, the stuff I’ve told y’all in the past. If you’ll recall, I briefly considered running for this seat myself when Kenny Bingham left it. But in doing my due diligence first, I met Micah, and decided not only that I really liked him and agreed with him on a bunch of things (in fact, on most things we talked about), but that he was a way stronger candidate than I would have been. I also liked his strongest primary opponent Tem Miles, although I preferred Micah.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of interactions with Micah, and have been pleased — mostly by the intelligent, straightforward way he approaches whatever subject we talk about, and his evident desire to serve all the people of South Carolina, not just this or that ideological clique. Do I agree with him on everything? Nope. And as the Republican Party has gotten crazier, and he has tried to keep his seat in spite of it, there have been more things I disagree with him on — such as the guns legislation last year. I went into that with him, and with y’all, in some detail at the time.

Ken mentioned some other things today. As did Doug. Well, I might disagree with Micah on some, but not all, of those things, too…

Interestingly, when I was at this point in writing this post last night, I got a phone call from a number that called itself CASKEY4STATEHOU. It was a sort of cross between a poll and an appeal for support. I think. The connection was very poor — which might be the fault of my hearing aids, or something — and I asked the guy to hang up and call back. But I didn’t hear from him again.

One of the few clear parts of the conversation was when he asked me whether I’d consider putting a sign for Micah in my yard, and I said, to put it the way John Cleese would, We’ve already got one.”

Anyway, after that call, I called Micah and we talked a bit. We spoke a little about the medical cannabis thing. I heard nothing one way or the other on that to make up my mind.

We talked more about this contested primary race he’s in. He didn’t have a lot of info about his opponent to share, although he did send me a video that he said was of her speaking at a “Moms for Liberty” event. In the video, she alludes to her reasoning for running. She doesn’t really have anything bad to say about Micah, beyond an assertion that he is not sufficiently “for the people.” Which I take to mean he fails to be ideologically pure, although it’s not entirely clear.

She is clearer about her strong opposition to Satan and his doings in the world. I’m with her on opposing that guy, but I fail to see what that has to do with this election. I think you have to be fully on board with her views of the world, and her own definition of what it means to be “Christian,” to get it. I believe she’s very sincere about her beliefs, but they are not the same as my own, so there’s a gap there.

To give you a sampling of her views, the latest post on her campaign Facebook page declares:

I will fight to halt the creeping and insidious integration of Critical Race Theory into SC’s education system. No child should be taught that they are defined by their skin color or ethnicity.

I completely agree with the second sentence of that. I could probably write a book on the first sentence. I haven’t really gotten into it here on the blog because I would pretty much have to write a book to explain what I think, as opposed to the ones-and-zeroes debate over CRT that is consuming so much oxygen these days. It’s gotten to be about enough fun to talk about as abortion.

On her campaign website, she says:

Melanie will be a voice for the silent majority suffering at the hands of cancel culture, government overreach, and progressive policies which threaten our freedom, our values, and our families.

That’s from her “issues” page. Anyway, I’m planning with an undivided mind to leave Micah’s sign up, and I plan to vote for him in June. And no, I don’t plan to give him his money back for the ad, either….

Of Micah, I say what I have for the several years since I met him. He’s a smart guy, and a fine American. He’s a good representative, one of the best. Some of y’all don’t like some of the stands he’s taken, but I actually admire him for some others. Here’s one where I was particularly proud to have him as my rep. And, of course, I’ve always appreciated his having served his country in combat as a Marine officer. To me, he’s very much a representative “for the people” — for all of us.

And now, you’re seeing him face something that the few reasonable Republicans left in our country are wise to fear — someone running to the right of them in a primary. (Cue another discussion of how gerrymandering is ruining our republic.) Here’s hoping he gets re-elected anyway. Because he’s a good guy, and a good rep.

Here, by the way, is Micah’s website. The ad also links to it.

Here’s that video he sent me of his opponent, in which I think (the audio is poor) she says she is at Maurice’s BBQ joint speaking to Moms for Liberty. By the way, if you saw this post last night and didn’t see it later, that’s because I realized just before going to bed that the video, which I mentioned above, hadn’t posted. So I switched it back to draft mode, then this morning added the video, and did some editing of the sort of free-association prose that was here originally…

69 thoughts on “Yep, I’m supporting Micah Caskey

  1. Doug Ross

    Does he support legalizing medical marijuana or not? It isn’t mentioned on his website anywhere… Why did he vote to kill the bill using a cheap procedural trick after months of debate? Let’s see how much of a stand up guy he is. Get him to write a blog post explaining himself.

    On his Issues page he says this under the topic of Transparency:

    “Government is not meant to take place behind closed doors. South Carolinians should never be left out of the loop, especially when it comes to legislation that could affect their livelihood. The state legislature must take action to ensure that the government maintains an open and honest relationship with the citizens of South Carolina. :

    Let’s see him match his words with actions. I want to hear why he voted the way he did and tell us if he had ANY conversations with other legislators about his vote. If he can’t do that, he’s just another politician.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I would say he doesn’t, based on having touched briefly on the subject last night, but I can’t swear to that. You can ask him, since you’re highly interested. His email is

      Since you’re not a constituent, I don’t know how high a priority your question will be, but you can say you’re writing as a reader of this blog, and that might help.

      I don’t know. He’s in the middle of a primary election…

  2. Ken

    Your membership card for the “vital center” of American politics is being revoked. Because that’s not where Caskey stands. And the argument that someone opposing him in the primary may be even further from it does not alter that fact.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      NOW you’re getting to the heart of the matter.

      The only choice we voters have in District 89 is between Micah and this lady. I clearly prefer Micah.

      What are you proposing? That I sit here and wish for some perfect candidate while gerrymandering does its work an elects another extremist? Really?

      By the way, you keep saying “vital center” in quotes. I don’t object to it, but when did I use those words? They seem more memorable to you than to me…

      1. Ken

        Skip that race. Or write in someone else. You are not required to vote for one or the other.

        “Vital center” is shorthand for your independent from and above all parties position, the political centrism you’ve embraced innumerable times. As well as a less pejorative term the both-siderism you’ve often expressed.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh, yeah, it definitely describes me. And I appreciate you throwing in the “vital.” I just thought you were quoting something specific, and I couldn’t think what it was.

          As for “skip that race…”

          First, it’s the only race I’m aware of where I live. There may be others, but I haven’t heard about them yet. I don’t think the ballots are out yet, where I can tell for sure. But based on the way things have gone in recent years, this may be the only situation in which I’m given an actual choice.

          Second, this one is essential. If I don’t vote in this one, in which the thing I’ve deplored all these years — the radicalization of our politics by gerrymandering — seems to be happening so clearly and dramatically, what on Earth would be the point in voting on anything?

          This is where one encounters the real world, as opposed to the abstractions of ideology. This is where you get a choice between a reasonable, acceptable representative and someone who’s running against him because he’s not extreme enough.

          You DO understand that where I live, only a Republican can be elected — right? And I get to vote for one of the best people in the Legislature who fits that description. This is reality.

          I wouldn’t miss it…

  3. Doug Ross

    The old “least worst” option. When you say he’s reasonable and acceptable, is that based on any specific policies he believes in or just because he’s a nice guy? What are the specific issues that you align with him on? Because that’s what people should vote on, issues that our elected representatives support…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Most things, really. As you know, unlike you, I don’t keep lists of things I like and don’t like about people. I DO judge candidates on their character, which of course you find contemptible. Rather than judging them on this or that issue, I try to decide over time whether I would trust this person to deal with issues that haven’t even come up yet. I’ve explained this a ridiculous number of time.

      But let’s see — I specifically praised him for standing up for fixing our roads and calling out McMaster for his craven cowardice on the issue. But that won’t impress you, because you don’t agree with him on the issue. Do you? I don’t recall.

      Anyway, between the two of us, I’m the only one who lives in this district and will be voting in this race. And as I said yet again, I don’t keep score the way you do…

      1. Doug Ross

        So he was for fixing the roads and that turned out to be another failure. Seems like he doesn’t have such a great ability to address issues if he gets something like that wrong.

        I have an easy scorecard: If someone says they are going to do something, I expect them to do it. If someone like Micah posts that he is all about transparency, then I’d like to see him prove it. If that’s not a test of character, I don’t know what is. I know you always reward the words over the outcomes and actions. That’s what gets you Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          One of these days, we’re going to find a political figure that meets Doug’s standard, which requires having absolute power to get the legislative body to do his or her will. Because in Doug’s world, if you promise to work toward a thing, and the rest of the people in office don’t go along with you, you’re a liar.

          God Almighty could meet the test. But he’d have trouble getting elected, since I can’t imagine him choosing to run as either a Republican or a Democrat. Oh, you think he’d MAKE everybody vote for him? I don’t think so. He’s pretty much stuck with the Free Will rule up to now…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            A parenthetical passage from the first post I wrote about Micah, back in 2016:

            (I nodded when he said that. As you know, I am no fan of campaign promises. Tell people who you are, describe your experience and your overall interests in running. But don’t say exactly what you’re going to do, because you don’t know what you’ll be dealing with into office, and you don’t want to trapped by promises into doing something that turns out to be dumb under the circumstances.)

            Of course, that should have been “in office,” not “into office.” If I had the money, I’d hire an editor for this blog…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              And of course, that parenthetical linked to another post from 2008, which began:

              George H.W. Bush’s “no new taxes” pledge was a watershed moment for me. It was an idiotic thing for a reasonably bright man who knew better to say, and we know why he said it, right? To charm the Reagan revolutionaries, who might otherwise have listened to all that “wimp factor” talk.

              But it was more than that to me. It caused me to become permanently disenchanted with campaign promises in general. No one knows what kinds of decisions he will face in office. There is something very phony about pretending to know, and presuming to predict what you will do. You end up with such absurdities as the latest George Bush spouting against nation-building, then spending most of his time in office trying to do just that (although botching it badly enough, for most of that time, to convince us he was never that into it)….

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I could do this all day. Which I think is wonderful.

                Of all the gifts the Web has brought us, I think the HTML link may be the most wondrous — eclipsing even the magic of Google Maps.

                Of course, part of this is because of all those years I spent in the newspaper business. Not only were we severely limited on space, but say you did manage to negotiate with the desk for 30 inches. Then what? Well, then you frequently had to spend a huge proportion of those 30, sometimes even half of them, on background rather than on the breaking news itself.

                No more. Now you can just link the reader to the last story, and the one before that, on and on as deep as they want to go.

                The downside, of course, is that too many people don’t bother with clicking on the links…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  And of course, my clicking back through the past just now showed me that I said that HTML was even greater than Google Maps at least once before, in 2013:

                  I continue to believe that Google Maps is, next to HTML code itself, the most amazingly absorbing thing I’ve ever encountered on the Internet.

                  This is the discouraging thing about having written thousands of posts and having them readily available. You feel like you can’t say anything new, and you give up trying…

          2. Doug Ross

            I want them to TRY to do what they say they are going to do when they ask for a vote. TRY and fail is better than SAY and don’t TRY.

            One of the reasons there are few politicians I admire is because the job itself depends on lying to get it.. and even more to stay in office.

            I trust people like Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Ron Paul.. people who aren’t part of the collective party factions.

            Micah Caskey is a nobody politically. He has no power, no proven ability to lead while in office… a grunt soldier in the Republican good old boy network. But if he says he’s for transparency in bold letters on his website and he’s not open and honest about his vote on this subject, he has then revealed his true character: politician.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I’ve never, ever, known Micah Caskey to be dishonest about anything. And unlike you, I actually know him.

              What on Earth do you think he failed to be transparent about? That cannabis vote? I told you that I asked him about that, and he was completely frank about it. Of course, I didn’t write down everything he said about it, because unlike you I’m that that interested in the matter.

              Basically, he described it as a procedural vote that had to do with the fact that bills that levee taxes are supposed to originate in the House. But he also said that he thought it was a pretty fair indication of where people are on the issue itself.

              Which was all I wanted to know. Even more than I wanted to know. I moved on to other subjects.

              Micah is the kind of guy who will go out of his way to answer your questions. Haven’t you found that in all your interactions with him? Oh, wait, you haven’t interacted with him, have you?…

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I’m not sure I understand. Are you asking whether he, as a state legislator, went out of his way to take a stand on a congressional issue that was not a part of his job, just so that he could be sure to alienate every Trump voter in his district, thereby pretty much guaranteeing that he would not be re-elected, ever?

                  No, I don’t think so.

                  Now, to look at an entirely different situation, Tom Rice did — because it WAS his job, his duty, to take a stand on that matter, and he stepped up and did it. And I wish I could go vote for the guy, even though I’m sure I disagree with him on a LOT of things…

                  It doesn’t matter that I disagree with him on a lot of things (assuming I do; I haven’t really researched it because I’m in no way obligated to keep up with him). One thing I know for sure is that under the present circumstances, anyone who would replace him would be worse. Much worse…

              1. Barry

                Micah is wrong- and he’s a bit of a jerk on social media defending his error. He should do better or wise up and quit playing silly games.

                He’s on the wrong side of this and he will lose this fight because the great majority of South Carolina citizens want this legal.

                The state supreme court has already ruled on this – that for purposes of legislation, to be a “revenue raising bill” the “primary purpose” of the legislation has to be to raise revenue.

                That CLEARLY is not the primary purpose of a bill that is designed to provide sick and suffering people with the option of a medically controlled cannabis.

  4. bud

    The ONLY reason to vote for a Republican right now is to pick the easiest candidate to defeat in the general election. I will stick to that as long as Donald Trump remains the head of the party. Has Caskey denounced Trump? If so that should be a prominent focus of his campaign. If not, or worse, he says he’d vote for Trump if nominated then he cannot be supported. Here’s a short list of parties I would not consider:


    I would consider these:
    Bull Moose
    an independent

    Party affiliation matters

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, that plan worked really well for us in 2016, didn’t it?

      How many times did I tell you that year that you never, ever bet on a major-party nominee not winning the election?

      You don’t cheer for the worst candidate in a national election, because it’s a tossup which nominee will win. It always is.

      And you DEFINITELY don’t do it in a district that’s been drawn to guarantee that whoever bears one party’s label will win.

      This is not complicated. We’re talking about the obvious, undeniable dynamics of politics…

      1. bud

        Ok, you win. Let me amend my comment. Under NO circumstances should you vote for a Republican for ANY office. As long as a candidate remains in that reprehensible party they are enabling Donald Trump. Therefore do not vote in the GOP primary.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          See, now that’s a more defensible position.

          But what do you do if you live in District 89? Not vote? I don’t even know if there’s going to be a Democratic primary. I certainly haven’t heard of any Democratic candidates running for anything. And if there were, they probably wouldn’t have opposition. It would usually be just one lonesome sole standing up to be crushed in the fall.

          I have an obligation as a voter. And when I’m offered a choice between a reasonable human being and someone who is running on the promise of being a pure ideologue, and I don’t like the ideology (of course, I don’t like any ideologies, but I really don’t like the Trumpist one), I have an obligation to vote for the reasonable human being.

          I just can’t imagine how people talk themselves into seeing it any other way…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            So you don’t like Republicans? Neither do I these days, generally speaking.

            So what’s your solution? To just stand back and let the most extreme Republicans win? Because that’s what’s going to happen. It’s the only thing that has even the slightest prayer of happening in these districts, if you don’t help better candidates beat them…

            1. Bill

              I will give up my integrity,dignity and virginity and vote for him if he’ll get me a date with his brother…

  5. bud

    Let me ask this. Would you vote for a member of the Nazi party if they were a person of good character. Let’s say you live in a district that only elects Nazis. Candidate A says he fully supports the “final solution”. but candidate B suggests that goes too far. Instead he suggests labor camps would serve the cause better by ensuring a steady supply of workers. This sounds absurd but by supporting a candidate for a house district that has not stridently condemned Donald Trump including impeachment and jail time then you are indirectly supporting Trumpism. That to me is vulgar.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, it does sound absurd.

      Nope, I wouldn’t vote for a Nazi. If the Nazis were running things, I’d leave the country or join the underground.

      Thank God I don’t live in a place like that.

      I do live in a wonderful country that’s trying awfully hard at the moment to fall apart. And consequently I need to do everything I can to elect the better candidate in every race that appears on my ballot…

      1. bud

        See how easy that is. The Republican Party is taking us down a path that is incredibly dangerous. Trump is the head of that party. Micah Caskey is a foot soldier in Trump’s army. It is so disappointing that you can’t connect these dots. You ask what I would do? I’d get behind whoever is running as a Democrat or perhaps an independent. There are some progressive to moderate areas in Cayce/west Columbia. With all that student housing perhaps a strong, likable, moderate Democrat running on a platform of medicinal cannabis might have a shot. But you’re conceding that a Republican WIIL win this district. Caskey won last time with 62% of the vote. A solid win but hardly a hopeless cause. Just this past week a Democrat won a special election in a MI house district that Trump carried by 30 points. This is too important just to concede that one Trumper who is a little less extreme is the only option. That just makes you an enabler. Take your yard side down and get behind a candidate who actually believes in American values. It’s too important not to go all in against Trumpism. Micah Caskey is clearly not up to that job.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          “Take your yard side down and get behind a candidate who actually believes in American values.”

          And who is that? Once you point me to that better candidate seeking Micah’s seat, I’ll run right out and do those things.

          See how I’m trying once again to get across a rather simple and obvious point? Or what seems to me a rather simple and obvious point, anyway.

          I was just thing earlier today that some of my readers just like to yell and complain about things, without any regard to having an actual PLAN for making things better.

          This seems like a good example of that.

          You might say this is your plan: “I’d get behind whoever is running as a Democrat or perhaps an independent.”

          First of all, I don’t know it if there is such a person. Perhaps such a person is out there and in hiding and will emerge later; I don’t know.

          But however good that candidate is (and he or she would have to be REALLY good to be better than Micah), there is one fact that I want you please, please recognize.


          So the choice for me, as someone who wants to have a good representative, is to decide which of those seeking that nomination is the best candidate.

          Because that’s the choice I have here…

          1. bud



            Whoever wins the Republican nomination is favored to win this seat.

            In a year when an 80-1 long shot just won the Kentucky Derby anything is possible. Besides with Roe about to disappear the Democrats just might get a bit of a bounce.

            1. Doug Ross

              Roe is a baked in voting preference… doesn’t matter what happens.

              It’s the economy. Plain and simple. If inflation and interest rates keep rising over the next six months (and they will), no amount of Roe distraction will matter. It will be a bloodbath for Democrats. Prepare for Mitch McConnell antics again…

              Biden had time to make the case for Democrats and what did he do? Botched the Afghanistan exit, didn’t have any real plan for COVID (more people died on his watch), and didn’t make any effort at all on the things he claimed he would do: no public health option, no school loan relief, no movement on legalizing pot… they trot him out every few days to read off a teleprompter and then he disappears.

              1. Bart

                It is more than the economy; it is much more. Parental involvement with their children’s education and subjects taught in school that should be left up to the parents to teach, not schoolteachers. Too much to list but it is long and will be much more important come November.

                Democrats are overplaying their hand on this one. They are taking the draft and expanding it to include everything possible. Reversal of voting rights; outlawing gay marriage; outlawing interracial marriage; equal rights for gays and lesbians; etc., etc., etc. The fear mongering is astounding and is a losing tactic. Then the verbal and actual attacks on the Catholic Churches across the nation will not sit well with the average voter.

                In the end, the voters will vote on legitimate kitchen table issues like the economy, inflation, cost of living, and all of the actual essentials of everyday life for the average citizen of this country. It will not be a one issue election referendum; it will be an across-the-board election reflecting the actual concerns of the voters that hit home, their homes and their family’s welfare.

                1. Doug Ross

                  Add another micro-issue that could potentially damage Democrats further: baby formula shortages. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. High gas prices, rising food prices… it’s not a matter of IF Democrats will lose the House and Senate, it’s only whether it will be a massive 1994 style wipeout.

                  Meanwhile, Joe Biden signed off on $40 billion to go to Ukraine to help kill Russians. Thanks, Joe!

                  1. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Actually, the U.S. House of Representatives did that, at the president’s urging (and they gave him more than he asked for). And the Senate is expected to go along. After that, Joe will be able to “sign off” on it.

                    But hey, I like the “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” At least, I like it better than Carville’s version. One advantage of your version is that it’s harder to argue with…

                    1. Bart

                      Legitimate question.

                      Is the U.S. using Ukraine as a proxy to engage in an arm’s length distancing war with Russia without involving American troops on the ground in Ukraine?

                      I do support the Ukraine in the heinous and inhuman war being waged against the country by Putin but at the same time, asking myself if the countries bordering or close to bordering Ukraine are doing enough to assist in the war. My question does not take into account the massive refugee influx of Ukrainians fleeing from a war they didn’t start; it is directed at the engagement between two of the three world superpowers with an implicit siding of the third power with Russia.

                      Does anyone have thoughts about the potential to be drawn into the conflict directly based on the actions of our government and the almost 100% support of the American public?

                    2. Brad Warthen Post author

                      Yep. It’s a very dangerous situation Putin has created.

                      And the U.S., and NATO, are very, very carefully doing what they can to both help Ukraine save itself, and avoid World War III. And every step we take — or fail to take — is fraught with danger. Since no one has an infallible instruction booklet, mistakes will be made. We just have to hope they are mistakes we can afford. Because we don’t have the option of not making these decisions.

                      Have you read Tom Friedman lately? Check out “The War Is Getting More Dangerous for America, and Biden Knows It.” Here’s hoping that the president can’t stop these leaks bragging about helping Ukraine sink the Russian flagship, and kill Russian generals. Those are extremely dangerous under these circumstances.

                      We need to help Ukraine win, and not go around bragging about it…

                    3. Brad Warthen Post author

                      But as to your question about “the potential to be drawn into the conflict directly based on the actions of our government and the almost 100% support of the American public…”

                      I don’t think we’re going to get to where WE, because the American people are all stoked up, start any direct military operations against the Russians. I don’t read the situation that way at all.

                      What I worry about is what Putin decides to do with his back against the wall. He doesn’t exactly have a habit of checking with us before he does crazy things…

  6. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, since a lot of y’all care deeply about the cannabis issue, I thought I’d share this Tweet from Mandy:

    Yes, Tom is definitely a class act, and a good guy…

    1. Barry

      It seems he’s a good guy fighting against a lot of people that aren’t good folks- and aren’t all that honest either.

      Imagine if someone like Micah Caskey or another Republican, in all the debates on the bill in the House and Senate had decided to introduced virtually the same bill in the House to make sure it passed this sudden, out of the blue, constitutional concern that GOP leaders in the House suddenly care about (odd, they don’t seem to care about it with regards to other issues).

      We have a situation where folks like Micah Caskey realize this bill is very popular with citizens- that a majority of his own district likely overwhelmingly supports it, and he doesn’t want to actually take a stand on the bill, so they find a gimmick.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Here’s a thought for you: You care a lot about the cannabis thing, right?

        Maybe you should check with Micah’s opponent and see whether she would have voted for it. Maybe she’ll respond with an impassioned defense of the bill, and a thorough criticism of Micah for not supporting this measure of supreme importance.

        Then again, maybe she won’t…

          1. Barry

            sounds like she wants to run for Pastor of South Carolina.

            That said, I’m not sure Micah Caskey would vote any different than her and at least she’s consistent.

            and these folks always hate “social- emotional learning” which is always so odd when you know what it is

            Self-awareness: The skill of having knowledge of one’s own emotions and developing a positive self-concept – self confidence

            Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s own emotions and monitor one’s own behaviors – self control

            Social awareness: The ability to have awareness of the emotions and social situations of other people- empathy

            Relationship skills: The skill to foster relationships and communicate within them- listen to others

            Responsible decision-making: The ability to solve problems and hold one’s self accountable

            I am not sure what they really want. I mean I know they want their own religion taught in schools, their interpretation of the bible taught to school kids in public school. But that’s not going to happen.

            1. Ken

              “I’m not sure Micah Caskey would vote any different than her”

              Yes. And that should be the whole point. They may take a different tone, but they likely would vote very similarly. This is where Brad Warthen’s tone over substance gets in the way of clarity and precision.

        1. Doug Ross

          I’d rather hear Micha explain why he and the rest of the Republicans waited until the last minute to kill the bill… one might think that was the plan all along. But that would require transparency.

          When did Micah decide the tax portion of the bill was the problem? Did he figure that out himself or did someone else tell him? Will he support a new bill that is exactly the same that is created in the House?

            1. Barry

              sounds like she wants to run for Pastor of South Carolina.

              That said, I’m not sure Micah Caskey would vote any different her

              and at least she’s consistent.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Yep. And the “consistency” you like is what I abhor. I want people who will come into a situation and THINK about what to do. I don’t like people who come in thinking they already KNOW what to do…

          1. Barry

            Caskey won’t do that because he realizes they used a procedural trick to kill a very popular bill and weren’t honest about the way they went about it.

            He’s a politician playing political games.

            He’s change his tune in about 2 seconds if he had a child suffering immense personal pain from a condition that could be eased.

            But some people do not have the ability to put themselves into anyone else’s shoes and Caskey can’t do that here. But we also know he’d take the opposite approach if it impacted him.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              “But we also know he’d take the opposite approach if it impacted him.”

              Barry, you don’t know any such thing. You really, truly don’t. I don’t even see any reason for you even to think it, much less say you “know” it.

              Of course, there’s a big difference between us here. I know Micah, and you don’t. But that shouldn’t matter. No one, friend or stranger, should be treated the way you treated him when you said that…

              1. Barry

                Of course I know it Brad.

                I don’t care if you and Micah take morning swim lessons together holding hands. It’s irrelevant.

                It takes no real insight to realize that a man who voted against what is as benign a cannabis bill that is possible would vote differently if he was staring his own child in the face every day who was in immense pain

                and you can’t tell me differently under any circumstance. You just can’t. That’s a promise.

                People change their tunes when their own loved one is in immense pain – that could be alleviated by a substance that is MUCH, MUCH less harmful than the prescribed medication that they are taking that isn’t really working.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Not everyone thinks it’s benign.

                  I think it probably is, but I’m not completely convinced. I’m sorry that bothers y’all so much.

                  If I were a libertarian, I wouldn’t have to think about it, would I? But I don’t automatically lean toward legalizing drugs. In fact, I lean against. Instead of needing a mountain of evidence to ban it, I need a super-strong argument to legalize it.

                  I think we have enough legal drugs. Too many, really. Such as some of the ones you’re referring to.

                  People like to make the argument that alcohol is more dangerous. I agree. But we tried banning that, and failed. This one’s already banned, so convince me to unban it.

                  I think it’s possible that you can. I don’t think I’m that far from being convinced. I’m just not there yet.

                  This thing about it being a painkiller is, for instance, a fairly new one to me. In the past, I usually heard that it did miraculous things with regard to nausea, and of course in treating various mental states.

                  I’d like to know more about that. Is it better in killing pain than, say, laudanum? There are a bunch of reasons we don’t use laudanum any more, and cannabis seems relatively innocent of those problems.

                  But how does it compare in effectiveness? I don’t know…

                  If I were an elected representative voting on a bill like Tom’s, I’d put in the hours studying it before choosing how to vote. I might end up where Micah is. I might end up on the other side. I don’t know…

                  1. Barry

                    You’ve explained more about your thoughts on this issue in 2 sentences than REPRESENTATIVE Caskey did in totality.

                    Instead, he relied on an inconsistent procedural gimmick and then said he was “tired of talking about it” when he hadn’t talked about it to anyone except possibly you on a phone call.

                    I would expect a lot more from my Representative, but that’s me.

                    The strange the thing about your position and those like Rep Caskey is that the people abiding by medical cannabis restrictions now are folks like Jill Swing whose child has thousands of seizures that are only controlled by using cannabis. People that are going to abuse drugs are already using it, smoking it, etc.

                    The number of people using marijuana in South Carolina is off the charts high, and folks are worried about sick people with serious illnesses using a non-smoked version to alleviate pain or seizures.

                    But this is pitiful South Carolina where logic isn’t used.

                  2. Bill

                    Go to bed now I can tell
                    Pain is on the way out now
                    Look at the way the domino falls away
                    I know it’s hard looking in
                    Knowing that tomorrow you’ll be back again
                    Hang your head and let me in, I’m waiting
                    So long
                    I was staring into the light
                    When I saw you in the distance, I knew that you’d be mine
                    Am I moving back in time?
                    Just standing still?
                    I met a man with a broken back
                    He had a fear in his eyes that I could understand
                    I can’t even shake the hand
                    Without breaking it
                    I’ve been pulling on a wire, but it just won’t break
                    I’ve been turning up the dial, but I hear no sound
                    I resist what I cannot change
                    And I wanna find what can’t be found
                    I’m aware of the time we lost
                    Like a demon in the doorway, waiting to be born
                    But I’m here all alone, just begging
                    Pull me close and let me hold you in
                    Give me the deeper understanding of who I am
                    Yeah, I’m moving back again, I’m waiting, yeah
                    I’m just pulling on a wire, but it just won’t break
                    I’ve been turning up the dial, but I hear no sound
                    I resist what I cannot change, own it in your own way
                    Yeah, I wanna find what can’t be found

              2. Barry

                “Of course, there’s a big difference between us here. I know Micah, and you don’t. But that shouldn’t matter. No one, friend or stranger, should be treated the way you treated him when you said that…”

                and don’t think I ignored this comment here whereby you are actually excusing his actions in ACTUALLY preventing other parents from relieving the pain their children are facing right now.


  7. Doug Ross

    Which is a longer shot? Rich Strike, who won the Kentucky Derby at 80:1 odds, or Mia McLeod’s campaign for Governor? She tweeted out an endorsement from Sen. Brad Hutto, the lawyer who defended the creep who raped 3 young women and got a slap on the wrist (and just got arrested AGAIN for disorderly conduct)… and then had to delete the tweet when there was backlash. Nevermind that she can’t raise any money (and was the only candidate to not report her Q1 fundraising on time).. nevermind that she wears masks as performance art… She could do everyone (especially SC Democrats) a favor by dropping out before the primary so Cunningham can save his money for the general election.

    But — that won’t happen.. because political consultants NEED jobs.,.. and local media NEEDS campaign ads (no matter how futile they are). People will try to convince her she still has a chance.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, that’s a pretty good analogy between Rich Strike and Mia. It would be just as surprising for her to win as it was for the horse.

      Although, of course, I don’t think we can calculate the odds in a way that means anything.

      The odds against Rich Strike were 80 or 81 to one. No doubt about that. But that’s not citing a law of the universe. It’s a statement concerning what the oddsmakers THOUGHT were the facts.

      The thing is, as you can see from watching the video Rich Strike was flat gonna win that race. From the time he started his move on that last turn, it’s almost like the others were walking. Especially during his kick at the end. (Or whatever you call it in horse racing. When I was on the track team in high school, we called it a “kick.”) He had what it took that day, in great abundance.

      The oddsmakers just didn’t know that.

      We can’t express Mia’s chances in a number, either. But her chances are very long, and I’d be really shocked if she turned out to be that kind of a kick. She sort of needs Joe, and definitely Henry, to fall and break a leg. Which happens in politics. I just wouldn’t count on it…

  8. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, since I like Tom Davis, and a lot of y’all like his cannabis bill, I thought I’d share this.

    Several days ago, Mandy brought to my attention this resolution that passed overwhelmingly, which would prevent people with disabilities from being paid less than our very low minimum wage.

    Here’s a story about it, and here’s something Tom said in the story:

    Sen. Tom Davis called the loophole bad public policy.

    It “reflects values or thoughts that were widely held in the 1930s when people with disabilities were thought of in certain ways. Ninety years later, I can’t imagine something like this passing today,” said the Beaufort Republican.

    “Individuals with disabilities have the right and should have the right to be treated the same as everyone else in employment,” he added. “Employers ought not to have a special right to look at this group and say, ‘Aha, maybe I can pay them this.’”…

    1. Barry

      Hold on Brad…….

      Mandy thanks a state senator for working on this.

      Did this originate in the Senate?

      is this actually constitutional since prohibiting companies from paying people with disabilities less money will obviously result in increased taxes paid to the state (revenue generation)?

        1. Barry

          It isn’t at all.

          The reason the House voted down the cannibis bill was their statement that is raised revenue in a backdoor way which was unconstitutional in South Carolina.

          Ignoring the fact that the House has passed legislation in the past that they were told was unconstitutional and was later upheld as unconstitutional………

          the state supreme court has already ruled that it’s only unconstitutional if the PRIMARY PURPOSE of the legislation is to raise revenue.

          Obviously, that wasn’t the primary purpose of the cannabis bill but they felt on the sword anyway and said since there was a possibility of revenue being raised, it was unconstitutional.

          If the same House vote on Senate led effort to prohibit companies from paying people with disabilities less money, that will obviously result in increased taxes (state taxes withheld from their paycheck will increase which generates more money for the state through taxes) ) even if in a backdoor way- just like the cannabis bill.


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