I hope all you urban types are voting today

I won’t be, because for reasons that continue to elude me, my own long-established subdivision — which is clearly a part of West Columbia — isn’t within the city limits. So I have my bucolic existence out here in the county. Maybe that explains why we don’t have sidewalks. It definitely explains why we pay double for West Columbia water.

But I keep getting reminders that you townies are voting today. Here’s my latest text, at right. I don’t know anything about Tyler, or about his opponent. Tyler must have something going for him, though, because my daughter has a sign for him in her yard — although I haven’t discussed him with her. But I have to say it’s distressing to get something about a nonpartisan election — which are far too rare, and to me, sacrosanct — framed in partisan terms. But I don’t blame Tyler, or his opponent. I’ve seen quite a few campaign communications such as this out of Columbia in recent days and years, and its a very disturbing trend, to me.

But what do I know about Columbia, now that I’m not longer paid to keep up with it?

I’m slightly, but only slightly — since I don’t get to vote on these things — more familiar with the contests on my own side of the river.

By slightly, I know how I would vote in at least one of these races, if someone suddenly told me before the polls close that I’ve somehow been annexed into Cayce. Based on very little recent research (but more than your standard name-recognition voter engages in, alas), I can tell you with confidence that in that situation, I would happily vote for Elise Partin.

Of course, I have long been in Elise’s corner, as you will see if you search for her name on this blog. My support extends to our having endorsed her at the paper, back when she was starting her commendable service as mayor. In fact, I see we endorsed her on the same day we did John McCain in 2008. She hasn’t disappointed me since.

I know little about her challenger Tre Bray, beyond what’s on his website. Oh, I can get a little critical about some things I find there. For instance, he complains that the town has been moving informally toward a “strong mayor” form of government (which I would love, of course, especially with an incumbent as strong as Elise)… and then he goes on to make promise after promise using “we will do this” and “we will do that” language. And y’all know I don’t like campaign promises of any kind, particularly ones stated in such definite language. But hey, who listens to me? Everybody does it. Well, almost everybody. I notice Elise’s site is more about what she and Cayce have done during her stint in office, which carries more weight with me.

And of course, that’s the traditional advantage of incumbency. But going by yard signs, Mr. Bray does have a lot of support. I don’t know what that’s about, so I’m holding myself back from assuming it’s just the revanchist sentiment of Cayce’s old power cliques, which have never fully adjusted to Elise. I just don’t know. Maybe some of y’all know.

Meanwhile in West Columbia, I know… even less. I know Iiked Tem Miles quite a bit years ago when I interviewed him for the seat representing my House district. But I liked Micah Caskey more. Beyond that, I know pretty much zip. Let me vote right now, and I’d back him — because I know a little about him, and it’s positive. But I have to admit that’s based on just a little more than name recognition.

I trust that if you live in West Columbia — or Cayce, or Columbia — you can do better. So please, get out at vote. There’s not much time left, so I’ll stop typing now…

21 thoughts on “I hope all you urban types are voting today

  1. Doug Ross

    Who is going to tell Joe Biden he’s not going to run again? I’m guessing it comes in a meeting with Barack after Thanksgiving… The polls combined with Joe’s inability to demonstrate he can muster up the energy to do his job (CNN poll today says only 25% of Americans say he has the stamina to be President). Another poll shows Joe trailing Trump among black males. The tea leaves are not looking good whether Trump runs or not. Somebody will figure out a plan for Joe to drop out soon.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yo, Mr. One Topic: You must have thought you were on some other post. This one’s about local elections — which, apparently, no one voted it. Which would be an interesting topic to address.

      As for the only thing YOU want to talk about, you might want to read this George Will column (if the Post will let you). He has the same problem you do. Both of you seem to like to go on and on about this topic, without addressing the only point that is in any way irrelevant to the world in which we live: Who would replace him, and win?

      Nothing else having to do with next year’s presidential election really matters, in these dire times in which we live.

      When I read Will’s column this morning, I got to thinking about a post to write, but I doubt I’ll have time today. When I get to it, you can post your comment then. In the meantime, you can think hard and come up with an answer to the one relevant question:

      Who could replace him — and “replace him” means being as qualified for the job as Joe — and win?

      Then, I’ll be interested in posting the comment.

      A lot of people will be grateful to you for performing that miracle. And the person who would probably be MOST grateful would be Joe Biden, who knows, as I do, that he’s the only one available. Which is why he ran in 2020, and will run in 2024.

      Anyway, Mr. Will was entirely unhelpful on this point. Try to do better.

      Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and ours, repeating the same gloom and doom over and over and over and over…

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    So, back to the topic — did ANYONE vote?

    I mean, besides my Mom, who lives within the town limits of West Columbia — less than a mile from me as the crow flies.

    Anyone else?

    In case you’d like to know who won the above-mentioned contests — information that would have been on your front page this morning back in the Age of Newspapers — here’s who:

    • Tyler Bailey for the at-large seat on Columbia City Council.
    • Elise Partin for mayor of Cayce.
    • Tem Miles for mayor of West Columbia.
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The thing I said about what you once found on front pages — I was referring to print.

      You can, of course, find that info on the Web, although you might have to poke around a bit.

      Changing to subject: I just looked at thestate.com, and experienced a shock:

      Beloved South Carolina naturalist Rudy Mancke dies after battle with liver disease

      I didn’t even know he was sick.

      That is indeed a tragic loss for South Carolina. Rudy was a treasure. He was certainly helpful to us here on the blog, as the ultimate authority about all living things around us.

      But that’s just the tiniest drop in the ocean of his value to the whole state….

      1. Barry

        I communicated with Rudy a few times over the years.

        Rudy was a camp staffer for a number of years at Camp McCall. It was special for him, and he was special to them. It’s a perfect place for someone like Rudy.

        Camp McCall is a summer camp owned and operated by the South Carolina Baptist Convention. It’s in Sunset, SC in Pickens County in the mountains of South Carolina. It’s a wonderful camp with a beautiful mountaintop chapel where nightly services are held while camp is going on, along with a nice camp lake, and many natural trails through the woods, etc along with a wonderful waterfall.

        It’s open for South Carolina Baptist churches to send boys and young men to during the summer for a variety of events and programs.

        Many boys return when they are in college as camp staffers. That was Rudy. The staffers are spiritual guides for the boys, do devotions, lead worship services at the chapel each night, etc..

  3. Barry

    I don’t vote.

    From the looks of a lot of the numbers across the state yesterday in some of the races, almost no one else does either. LOL

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, that’s nothing to laugh about.

      If people don’t vote, we’ve lost one of the most special things about this country.

      I’m particularly concerned in these cases that are so very important to governance right down on the level where we all live. People expend tremendous energy sounding forth on national affairs — usually on a simplistic, unhelpful level. But they ignore the elections closest to them.

      Very unhealthy…

      1. Barry

        Many people don’t care about politics at all. My 20 year doesn’t care a bit about politics- not in the least. He detests even thinking about it. I doubt he’d vote if you paid him.

        Then you have those types that listen to talk radio and cable tv and vote for the person the cable host or radio DJ tells them to vote for at any given time. These are the people that typically only vote in national elections. They really don’t care about local politics for the most part. Oh, they’ll reflexively side with someone that is local – but they likely don’t care enough to take the time to actually vote.

        In 2022, a few school board races near me had less than 900 people voting in the race. No one cares.

        2024 of course will have plenty of folks voting, because of Donald Trump. Those that hate him and those that worship him. Then you will have people like me that won’t vote at all. Even then, many of those folks won’t vote for local candidates or will automatically vote for the party nominee.

  4. bud

    As long as Democrats run on the abortion issue they’ll be fine. The SCOTUS gave liberals a gift that keeps on giving. The only race the Dems lost last night was in MS that featured an anti choice Democrat for Governor!

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, it’s very sad that there are people on both sides of that issue who vote solely on the basis of that issue. It’s tearing the country apart, because there is simply no communication across that line.

      Not that that is what happened in those cases. Every vote — not just every race, but each personal vote — is the result of a complicated web of motivations. Or certainly should be…

      But yeah, single-issue voting is a serious problem…

      1. bud

        The issue is bigger than just abortion. Increasingly, and justifiably, Republicans are viewed as the party that wants to take away basic freedoms. Our newly minted US House speaker once argued a court case that would restrict access to birth control. Republicans don’t go there for obvious reasons. But there is plenty out there to show their true colors if people just do a little digging. The same is true for LGBTQ+ rights. and even book banning is gaining traction as a good Democratic issue. Abortion is just the tip of the spear. But it’s a very sharp tip. The GOP has the inflation and crime issues, for now. But as gas prices continue to drop and mass shootings mount the basic freedoms issues will likely dominate next year.

    2. Ken

      Interesting that the vote in Ohio in August on changing the threshold for state constitutional amendments nearly perfectly mirrored — rather: predicted — the vote on the abortion amendment this week (as I suggested at the time). Because it was obvious what the Republican-driven change was aiming at. But it wasn’t a matter of single-issue voting. It was part of a broader concern about respect and dignity and maintaining a reasonable balance in how an issue is dealt with through public policy.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        It’s not just interesting, but tragic. It’s the ones and zeroes problem I keep going on about.

        Plenty of people who voted against the abortion thing should have voted against the threshold thing. There’s no way a person’s vote on referendum thresholds should be according to one’s view on some specific issue.

        Me, I’d have definitely voted against the abortion thing. But on the completely distinct issue of the threshold, I’d have been torn. The Republicans were trying to stack things, and I’d have been against that. But I am, as I’ve said many times, opposed to legislating by plebiscite. I’m very much for representative government, and strongly against direct democracy, for reasons I’ve explained often.

        BUT, if I’m to make an exception on that — and I’m big on exceptions, not being an ideologue — it would be for constitutional questions. On the other hand, since I AM opposed to governing by plebiscite, I’d want the threshold to be high, ESPECIALLY when we’re talking about the state constitution — despite the ill will being exhibited in presenting it.

        I would have had a terrible time making that decision — and everyone should. But too few do…

        1. Ken

          But none of that matters much.

          What matters is what happened on the ground in Ohio, and elsewhere. It matters because it restored a reasoned balance to public policy. (At least we hope so, since some Rs in Ohio are saying they won’t abide by the people’s decision.) Sometimes the public as a whole must be brought into decision-making directly in order to correct excesses by some of the so-called people’s representatives.

          That’s not a case of ones and zeroes. It’s the restoration of proper order.

    3. Barry

      I am not sure.

      I think you’ll see Donald Trump downplay abortion as an issue, and talk about how some republicans are too extreme on the issue. In fact, he’s already doing that some- angering some right wing groups.

      But of course he knows they don’t have anywhere else to go. They’ll support him anyway. He knows that. So he can run against the right wing extremists on abortion, make them mad, and know- as he always does- they’ll still vote for him.

      As he correctly said, he could murder someone in the street and his supporters will still support him.

      He doesn’t need a lot of Independents (who are mostly right wingers) to vote for him. He just needs a small amount of them. If he complains about right wing extremist abortion positions a little, and a few percentage points of Independents can stomach him enough to vote for him, he wins.

      Now- the Senate might stay Democrat and the House might flip – which would ruin his Presidency- which would be great.

  5. Barry

    Tuesday Observations:

    A Republican Senator, in a committee meeting, stood up and threatened to fight a committee witness. The witness didn’t back down. Bernie Sanders ordered the Senator to sit down, and reminded him that he was a United States Senator.

    A Republican Congressman accused the former Republican Speaker of the House of elbowing him in the kidneys causing him pain. The Speaker denied it. Former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has written that the former Speaker pushed him 2 separate times. Republican Ken Buck was asked about these issues and responded that the former Speaker is a known liar.

    I am confused about the Israel-Hamas war. Apparently, Hamas leadership is mostly living and operating from Lebanon. I understand killing Hamas fighters in Gaza. But if Israel wants to wipe out Hamas, why wouldn’t they target the leadership in Lebanon- which apparently their location is well known?

    Another interesting thing about the war is – I’ve been reading for weeks and weeks about how the “Gaza Hospital system is collapsing and down to just a few medical supplies and ventilators.” I have no doubt that it’s a mess. If it was “collapsing” weeks ago, how can it still be collapsing today with just a few medical supplies left? The story doesn’t seem to change.

    It was interesting to hear the new Speaker of the House this morning on CNBC. He was asked about Trump’s election denialism and he defended it by saying that Trump “sincerely believed” he lost the election. Apparently, the Speaker believes if someone “sincerely believes” a lie, they are excused from their actions. This is a strange stance from a self described “law and order Christian Conservative.”

    Of course, this avoids the reality of what we know – namely – that Trump told KellyAnne Conway and that she has mentioned before – that he knew he lost the election.

    In the car today, I listened to propaganda – Fox News. Guest after guest lamented public universities promoting anti-S- Semitic behavior and belief. No one told the Fox audience that this stuff was largely confined to a small number of colleges, mainly elite Ivy League type schools. Some guests went so far as to tell parents to not let your children attend college at all. What a ludicrous thing to say…… of course, no Fox cable news host offered a different perspective – (All hosts with college degrees- with many of them having their own children in these schools- but they don’t tell the audience that).

    1. Ken

      “if Israel wants to wipe out Hamas, why wouldn’t they target the leadership in Lebanon- which apparently their location is well known?”

      It is also well known that Hamas leadership also resides in Qatar. Would you like Israel to attack Qatar as well?

      “If it was “collapsing” weeks ago, how can it still be collapsing today with just a few medical supplies left?”

      That’s an xceptionally cynical view. Things don’t necessarily collapse all at once, but rather over time. Especially as people directly involved make sometimes heroic efforts to keep things running by whatever means they have at hand. Now, however, we see hospitals — and not just hospitals — in Gaza in total disarray. Just hope you never have to live under these conditions.

    2. Pat

      While you are observing, please observe and post some gleanings of hope I can hang onto. It would be most appreciated.

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