“I Enjoy Being a…Racist?”

This is a test.  Treat it seriously.

To begin the test, click PLAY on the below video. For the duration of the clip, monitor your level of enjoyment as Nancy Kwan performs her famous towel dance in front of the three-way mirror in her bedroom in her “I Enjoy Being a Girl” number.

All done? Good. Now take the one-question test.

1. Did you find the performance to be an offensive stereotyping of Asians?

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

If you answered Yes, then you are safe. You can move along to other items.

If you answered No, then you, sir/madam, must be a racist like us.

We were quite shocked to learn this at the conclusion of last night’s airing of the 1961 film version of Flower Drum Song. TCM host Robert Osborne said that no one would stage the 1957 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical during the 1980s and 1990s because of its political incorrectness. Only once Asian playwright David Henry Hwang rewrote the storyline as well as some of the songs (!) did it recover its social acceptability and go on to rave reviews and nominations for a Grammy and multiple Tony Awards in 2002.

Good grief. You spend a couple hours being thoroughly entertained, and then at the end, you’re told you should be ashamed of yourself for it–by the people that showed it to you.

It seems that I’m a closet racist, because I love the old Flower Drum Song. It’s one of my favorite musicals, and I can’t imagine changing one note of its heart-snaring sweetness and sentimentality. It doesn’t belittle a single one of its characters. It caresses them like a mother stroking the cheeks of her sleeping infants–with evident love, compassion and gentleness. Even the most wayward of them is redeemed by the happy end.

I’ve always thought that the story–one of the first to feature Asians living in America and to be acted by a primarily Asian cast–really wasn’t so much about Asian culture as it was about American culture and the splintering of it in the war between traditionalism and modernism that our country was just being to undergo.

It wasn’t meant to be a documentary. Yes, it has hyperbole in its portrayal of Asian-American family and community life as the US enters the modernizing era of the 1960s (for all the ills that causes). But come on, people, this is Broadway. Exaggeration is its middle name.

I bring all this up because it was the second time in a single day that I was indirectly called a racist. As a Southern conservative libertarian, I can generally make it a week or so before my views are belittled with the racist/bigot slur instead of refuted with reason. But this was a rapid-fire one-two punch–and not due to something as all-important as ideology, but due to things that make me laugh and go “awwww.”

The first instance had occurred earlier in the day when I saw a @redstate tweet alerting me that I had been deemed a racist due to my adoration of Hallmark’s hoops&yoyo ecards, which bring email joy to thousands daily. Who couldn’t love these two quirky, ditzy pranksters? They’re as cute as puppies and kittens and cotton candy and rainbows, all rolled into one flash animation.

Look at this one perfect for a hot summer day. Or these Father’s Day ones. (Don’t look yet, Dad!) Or this Mark Steyn one. Or this one where Hoops & YoYo go all existentialist. Or…as anyone who has tried to select a hoops&yoyo card knows, this could go on all day–but you must see their coffee-drinking classic, if nothing else.

Apparently the world does have some hoops&yoyo haters, though, and they could be found at the NAACP’s Los Angeles chapter press conference demanding that the rest of us shun them, too–or at least, insisting that we never again laugh, smile or even look at the cartoon duo’s giant, sound-chip-embedded graduation card classic that’s sold in Hallmark stores.

The offense: hoops&yoyo tell the graduate that he is now ready to conquer the universe, be it Saturn’s rings or black holes. Some people with apparently wax-filled ears say they hear “whores” instead of “holes.”

You didn’t dare laugh at the various people holding the card to their ear to listen more closely to the taunt at black holes, did you?

Just for the record, here’s the complete transcription of the text and audio (obtained through viewing the two related videos in this posting).

The cover text of the card reads, “You’re graduating? Well, then, it’s time to tell the world what’s coming.”

Inside, YoYo, the green bunny, is shown shouting: “But not only the world, noooo! We’re talking the entire solar system! The world is yours, grad!” Hoops, the pink kitty, is depicted saying: “Watch out, Saturn, this grad is gonna run rings around you!” And their little blue buddy, Piddles, is taunting something we can’t see very clearly, but it appears to be along the lines of “Yeah, [take] that, [???].”

Thanks to the YouTube video below by Jasmyne Cannick, we can hear the entire card online, as well as view her transcription of the audio greeting. Here we reproduce it, making some minor punctuation changes and substituting her “ho’s?” with the correct “holes” that can clearly be heard.

“Hey, world. We’re officially putting you on notice. You better watch out, because this graduate here is kicking rear and taking names. This graduate is going to run the world, run the universe and run everything after that. Yeah. Whatever that is. And you black holes, you’re so ominous. [Laughter] Congratulations! Yeah! Have fun taking over the world. And you planets, watch your back.”

It’s funny that hoops&yoyo’s have been taking names and kicking a** (in a family friendly way, of course) long before Obama jumped on the bandwagon.

[Ed. note: Hey, it’s graduation season right now. What if Obama, after delivering a commencement, got a peek at this very same card given to one of the grads in attendance, and suddenly his whole new getting-tough-on-BP publicity campaign was born. Things are so strange these days, it’s actually a plausible scenario, isn’t it?]

The extended interview that Cannick conducted with Leon Jenkins, the chapter president, recounts the press flurry and store removal that his complaint to Hallmark generated. It’s quite fascinating in how it displays the intimidation power he wields, even when making a utterly preposterous charge of racism.

For more analysis from a different angle, see RedState‘s story, too.

So what’s a Flower Drum Song, Hoops & YoYo lover supposed to do these days? I’m girding my loins, because I just know that at any moment they’ll be going after other seemingly innocent favorites of mine, such as Cary Grant, Harold Lloyd and Bugs Bunny opera.

[Editorial inquiry to RS McCain: Would this qualify as a Rule 5 post?]

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Last Chance for Cinderella

The Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company of Milan, Italy, has been performing to full houses this Spoleto season at the Emmett Robinson Theatre on the campus of the College of Charleston.

Puppetry has been the family business for the Collas for over 250 years, so it’s a rare treat to see these masters at work. This is the second Spoleto that we’ve been fortunate enough to catch them.

Last time, we saw one of their operas. This time, we chose Cinderella, which is performed to a quartet conducted by Danilo Lorenzini without singing or dialogue. Occasional narration (in English) introduces characters and keeps the audience abreast of major events in the tale. The rest is expressively conveyed by the puppets’ pantomime. During our show, the audience was a mix of young and old, and the small children stayed engaged throughout.

The Cinderella that’s performed by the Collas isn’t the Disney version with all the focus on Cinderella and her mice. They use as the basis for their play the original Charles Perrault story, which he crafted for the court of Louis XIV in the late 1600s.

In this Cinderella, the prince is melancholy, only wanting to mope around the palace gardens, finding no humor in the antics of his troupe of court jesters. His concerned parents are at their wits’ end to find some way to cheer him up. Their court ministers suggest finding him a woman to marry, and so a ball is held.

The prince is not what you’d call a manly man. In fact, when Cinderella runs out from the ball, it’s his serving men that chase after her while he faints and has to be carried to his bed.

Once in his bedroom, he’s so exhausted by everyone else’s efforts to find his true love, that he simply must lay down on his chaise–which prompted a sweet little girl in the audience to say out loud: “Mommy, is he going to die?”

But no, Virginia, there is happiness and love and intricate puppet dancing still to ensue. (Think of all the strings that could become entangled.)

Out of the over 150 marionettes in the show, extra praise goes out to the lively cast of animals and the fireplace sparks that came to life. The scene-stealing star of the show, however, was the mean stepmother, the haughty Baroness.

Today at noon will be their final Spoleto performance of Cinderella. Seats are still available, at the reasonable price of $35 for adults and $20 for children. The program says the performance lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes, but the one we caught was nearly 20 minutes shorter, including an intermission.

We recommend it as a pleasant, memorable Sunday afternoon for you and the kids–or you and an aunt or grandparent. It’s family safe.

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Politico Falls for Phony Stats

As we write, the loser of the South Carolina Democratic primary for US Senate, Vic Rawl, supposedly has a team of volunteer academic experts conducting analysis on the votes that led to his unexpected defeat. His spokesman tells Politico that they may have found something to hang his battered hat on: absentee ballots.

Politico reports that the so-called experts (who don’t want to be named yet) have found “one potential red flag: A significant difference between the results of absentee and election day ballots.”

The story explains:

“The election day ballots all favor Mr. Greene. We don’t know what it means,” [Rawl’s campaign manager Walter] Ludwig said in an interview. “We did significantly better on absentees than Election Day, which is according to the mathematicians, quite significant.”

If David Catanese, the writer of the Politico story, had only bothered to check the official results himself, he could have found he was being led down the primrose path.

It is true, as Politico writes, that…

In Lancaster County, Rawl won absentee ballots over Greene by a staggering 84 percent [424 votes] to 16 percent [81 votes] margin; but Greene easily led among Election Day voters by 17 percentage points [863 votes to 602 votes].

But Ludwig’s trying to claim up is down, black is white, in this scenario. If anything, it’s Rawl’s freaky success in the absentee ballots that’s fishy as opposed to the more normal vote disbursement seen in Greene’s victory on election day. Who’s going to believe a relatively unknown political hack is going to exceed the landslide 80%+ vote percentages that only nationally known rock stars Senator Jim DeMint and Congressmen Joe “You Lie” Wilson and Jim Clyburn were able to attain.

After all, Rawl is from Charleston, on the coast in lower SC, while Lancaster is on the north-central border of the state. What reason has Lancaster to be wild for Rawl? Even in his Charleston home territory, he could only achieve 68% of the absentee ballots. He took the election day voting here by a lackluster 53% for an area where he should have had a ready-made GOTV operation staffed by his long-term supporters. Clearly, even where he is best known, he’s not as popular as he’d like to think he is.

Ludwig snookered Politico when he claimed that the absentee/election day ballot totals flip-flop “didn’t happen in any other races on the ballot.” Yet, in Rawl’s very own preferred example county of Lancaster, the Democratic governor’s race shows Robert Ford earning a whopping 72 absentee ballots [13.5%] to Jim Rex’s 36 [6.7%] (and winner Vincent Sheheen’s 426 [79.8%]). But on election day, voters’ 2nd place love for Ford became fickle. Ford garnered a measly 193 votes [12.1%] in comparison to Rex’s 283 [17.8%] and Sheheen’s 1118 [70.1%].

By not checking the data, Politico further failed to discover that the same phenomenon occurred in the Democratic primary for State Superintendent of Education, in which the alphabetically winning candidate Frank Hollerman racked up only 33.5% of the Lancaster County absentee vote, but scored 59.3% at the same county’s polls.

We do agree with Rawl’s campaign on the claim that something’s rotten in Lancaster County, but it involves the ballots that Rawl won on, not lost. Inspectors looking for voter fraud may want to take a look at the interesting numbers presented in the totals for the Democratic candidates for the Lancaster County Council’s District 2. This council district represents five of the county’s 29 precincts. However, a total of 530 out of the countywide 620 absentee ballots come from these precincts. [Out of the 916 total votes cast in the council race, a whopping 57.9% of them were by absentee. That’s practically implementing Oregon’s by-mail-only election system.]

Contrast the fact that 25.6% [or 505] of the total 1,970 votes cast in Lancaster County’s Democratic US Senate primary were done by absentee, whereas a minuscule 3.2% [or 89] of the total 2,809 votes cast in the corresponding Republican primary were by absentee. In the super-heated Republican gubernatorial race, only 95 absentee ballots were cast in the same county. Perhaps someone should be looking into the massive discrepancy between the absentee voting patterns of the two parties and the implications for potential fraud.

We don’t have enough staff to pore over the election results of every precinct in the state like Rawl’s three national teams. But Ludwig may want to consider hiring us to check the other  counties for him, as it seems that his teams of “experts” are drawn from a pool of SC Democratic voters.

That brings us to the experts’ second argument: “In Spartanburg County, Ludwig said there are 25 precincts in which Greene received more votes than were actually cast and 50 other precincts where votes appeared to be missing from the final count.”

The claim of 25 precincts having over-votes for Greene appears to be completely without basis. It doesn’t take a “national academic expert” to check the facts. Any fool, including us, can go to the SC State Election Commission website to view the certified official vote counts in each race in each precinct in each county. Check the vote totals in the Democratic primary for US Senate in Spartanburg County against the total votes cast on a Democratic ballot in those same precincts. You’ll find that not only do no Greene vote totals exceed the total votes cast, but never do the combined Greene and Rawl totals exceed them either.

As far as the number of votes cast for a Democrat to oppose Jim DeMint rarely–if ever–matching the total number of votes cast, virtually no race on any ballot ever has the exact same number of votes cast as the number of people voting. Voters don’t have to choose a candidate in every race. They are free to show up to help just one candidate and shun all the rest of them if they wish.

An experienced politician like Rawl should know these things. Could it be that Rawl is merely exposing the straight-ticket mentality of Democrats, in that they don’t have to know anything about who they are voting for, just as long as they vote for the candidates they are told to vote for? Perhaps that makes them particularly lost in a primary where everyone has a “D” next to his name, and they have to resort to alphabetical voting in the absense of any further guidance inside the voting booth–unless they’ve snuck in the cheat sheet that their union or ACORN or other group has provided them.

Too bad Catanese opted to just transcribe Ludwig’s junk hypotheses and garbage math instead of doing some simple addition, subtraction and division to test numbers.

Or he might have paid more attention to Ludwig’s description of their campaign tactics to get out the vote, which included 300,000 spammy emails and a quarter million irritating robocalls. That right there seems to explain a lot of votes not for Greene, but against Rawl.

One interesting tidbit to conclude on: The vote totals on the SC State Election Commission website aren’t the only thing that continues to taunt the Rawl campaign. In some county result totals, Rawl is accidentally awarded the “winner” ribbon next to his name.

Unfortunately, the winner ribbon graphic doesn't make it so.

Update I: The Rawl campaign has released more information regarding their vote analysis. They have identified one of their three expert teams, saying:

“One of the teams was Dr. Walter Mebane of the University of Michigan and Dr. Michael Miller of Cornell University. Dr. Mebane is a professor of political science and statistics and a recognized expert in detecting election fraud. As of August 2010, Dr. Miller will be professor of political science at the University of Illinois, Springfield, and specializes in the analysis of election data.  Neither is affiliated with the Rawl campaign.”

The press release says that “Dr. Mebane performed second-digit Benford’s law tests on the precinct returns from the Senate race.” After describing what in the world that is, Dr. Mebane’s findings are summed up thusly: “The results may reflect corrupted vote counts, but they may also reflect the way turnout in the election covaried with the geographic distribution of the candidates’ support,” Mebane said.” In other words, we tried our best to find something here, but at best, it’s inconclusive.

Dr. Miller’s role is described as having “performed additional tests to determine whether there was a significant difference in the percentage of absentee and Election Day votes that each candidate received.” He reiterates the key points of the absentee analysis presented in the Politico story–except that instead of saying the anomaly occurred in no other races, he says it occurred in one other: Robert Ford’s race, but in the opposite direction.

There’s nothing in the release regarding the Lancaster and Spartanburg fairy tales published in the Politico piece. Perhaps that bit of wishful thinking comes from another expert team.

The campaign concludes their analysis-to-date wrap-up with an expression of concern for their non-findings of anything provably manipulated by saying:

“These findings concern the campaign, and should concern all of South Carolina. We do not know that anything was done by anyone to tamper with Tuesday’s election, or whether there may have been innocuous machine malfunctions, and we are promoting no theories about either possibility.”

Update II: Welcome readers from Chris Haire’s blog at the Charleston City Paper, and readers from the comments at FiveThirtyEight.com, which has some superior, super wonky analysis of the Greene/Rawl votes–though the conclusions tend toward the Left. Still, wish we’d come across this treasure trove earlier.

Our reply to Chris Haire: @haireofthedog *semi*personal blog in seedling stage, but w/Columbia U masters in journalism & an extra accounting BAS if that adds any cred

Update III: The SC democrats continue to push the bogus “25 Spartanburg County precincts having overvotes” line. Instead of looking like an accidental mistake, it appears that the Democrats are going with the adage: “If you tell a lie enough times, it will become the truth.” In fact, the phony stats have already taken root in liberal blogs. Has no one else has bothered to check the data that’s easily available online?

Here’s the press release from SC State Senator Phil Leventis that bases their case on the “25 precincts.”

Update IV: Silly us. We called the winning Democratic gubernatorial candidate by the wrong name, identifying him as Jim Sheheen instead of the correct Vincent Sheheen. We have corrected the error. Our apologies to Mr. Sheheen, and our thanks to the commenter that pointed it out to us. [We did get Sheheen’s name right, however, in our endorsement of his opponent Robert Ford for governor on the Democratic ticket.]

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Alvin Greene: 2010’s Gladys Glover?

The 1954 movie It Should Happen to You featured mouse-voiced Judy Holliday as Gladys Glover, a blonde  (read dumb) girdle model who’d been fired because her hips were 3/4 of an inch too big. She meets Pete Sheppard  (played by Jack Lemmon in his film debut) in Central Park. She pouts over how long it’s taking to become famous; he tells her, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

On her way out of the park, she becomes transfixed by a giant, available billboard in Columbus Circle and thinks of Pete’s words. If she can’t have her name in lights, she’ll settle for it in two-story-tall paint. She heads to the ad agency with the $1,000  that she says (with all the innuendo a 1950s script can muster) she saved.

The ad man doesn’t want to give the time of day to this floozy in off the street, until she gets his attention by pulling the cash out of her purse in a huff. She pays $630 of her savings to put her name on the billboard for the minimum three months.

From the moment they begin painting the simple sign featuring just her name and a feminine border, she’s got her money’s worth from the thrill alone. (But first she does have to holler up to the painters that it’s “Glover,” not “Clover,” which they quickly repair.) She’ll find any excuse to go by her sign–including being driven round and round the Columbus Circle roundabout to view it over and over.

Gladys Glover (in hat) drives by her billboard in George Cukor's "It Should Happen To You"

In the meantime, the soap company that typically advertised in that spot is hopping mad that the ad agency didn’t automatically renew their sign. They surmise that the bimbo doesn’t have any real need for a billboard, so the big businessmen call the little lady in to make her an offer she can’t refuse: They’ll give her money back, plus an extra $500 to abandon the sign. She refuses.

They can’t believe it. Why on earth would she not want a handsome profit on such a silly sign? She has no explanation to give them, other than: It’s hers. She paid for it. She’s keeping it.

Desperate to get that sign back, they call her back into the office and offer her six signs around New York (including one in lights) in exchange for the one Columbus Circle sign. She agrees–and also accepts an evening “business meeting” with the soap company’s bachelor president (played by Peter Lawford).

Her fame explodes overnight. Everyone wants to know “who or what is Gladys Glover?” She starts appearing on TV and radio. People stop her on the street for autographs. She becomes the model for that soap company. Suddenly, she’s a national hero to some, laughingstock to others. To her, she’s just loving the fame.

Before we conclude the synopsis of this pleasant, harmless comedy, let’s fast forward to 2010 and take a look at the reality remake that is occurring this very day:

Enter a newly unemployed 32-year-old veteran. He’s recently been fired from his job in the military. Perhaps, like Gladys, it’s because his hips had grown too big, but we don’t know, because he and the military aren’t telling.

We do know, however, that he’s got a little over $10,000 that he says he has saved (and the media and establishment politicians have maximum innuendo dripping from their lips and pens as they utter “saved”).

For reasons he doesn’t explain, he goes to the SC Democrat Party agency headquarters to buy himself a giant space on the 2010 primary ballot. He too is rebuffed by the chairman. She tries to talk him out of it. He’s not going to be able to afford staff or anything to run a campaign. Besides, he’s got the wrong type of check. He’s determined, and not discouraged. He goes out and comes back with the right check and signs the papers.

Perhaps, like Gladys, he then just enjoys going and looking at the sample ballot online–or seeing his name printed in the newspapers in their candidate roundups, making sure that they spell it “Greene,” not “Green.” Who’s to begrudge him his dream? He has paid for it. He has said he thought about it during his service in Korea. Perhaps this is even something he had prepared for while getting his political science degree at the University of South Carolina. Perhaps he simply wants to make his ailing dad proud. Perhaps this is the quicker route to fame than trying to get cast on Survivor or Big Brother or The Pickup Artist. Whatever it is, he is now an official candidate in the Democratic primary for US Senate.

But like the mighty businessmen making an initial assessment of dum-dum Gladys, the party bigwigs figure he is just some stupid guy, and they don’t bother looking into him at all. It isn’t like he has taken the only billboard spot. He’s a nobody who will get no votes when matched up against their eminent, beloved crony. They have nothing to worry about. Their main concern is where to have a victory party. But the party turns sour as the returns pour in. The “himbo” wins. He doesn’t just win; he trounces their guy. These gobsmacking results can’t possibly be valid. Why, everyone knows that they are so powerful and controlling of their peon voters, it has to be a conspiracy against them.

As they rant and rave, his fame explodes overnight. Everyone wants to know “who or what is Alvin Greene?” He starts appearing on TV and radio. People, no doubt, stop him on the street for autographs. Better yet, fake websites and twitter accounts are created in his honor.

Now he has the one and only prime billboard space the party so desperately wants–the one on the voting machines in November. They can’t just give him his money back with a little gratuity to scrub his name off the ballot. But remember, he’s just a simpleton that surely will wither under pressure. They call him to ask him to resign. He has the effrontery to refuse.

They can’t believe it. Why on earth would he, of all people, want to stay on the ballot? He has no explanation to give them, other than: It’s his spot. He won it. He’s keeping it.

They harrumph and bluster. They call him a “plant.” They threaten and ridicule. They send “a party official” to his house to discuss his abandoning the race, all to no avail.

And so we’re now at the point where we’ll have to break out the popcorn, to wait and see what bigger, better things the party has to offer, to see if it parallels the rest of Gladys’ story. We do know that they can’t trade him six other ballot slots for the one they want, though the jobs that Sestak and Romanoff didn’t accept are still lying around.

But, like Gladys’ deal, any suitable bribe will have to fit with his unstated reasons for running in the first place. If he wanted fame, he has probably gotten more of it than he expected. If he truly wanted to be a US Senator, he has wildly exceeded any sane person’s dreams by getting onto the general election ballot. In any case, like Gladys, he has become a national hero to some, and a laughingstock to others.

To bring Gladys’ tale to a conclusion, her ride on the fame rollercoaster just had to play itself out until the thrill became ordinary and she risked losing the guy she didn’t know she wanted (Lemmon).

With Greene, the carnival ride has only just begun. This being South Carolina politics, it’s likely to be increasingly hair-raising and spine-jarring long before it becomes ho-hum. Greene may truly be wanting to “put his hands in air and wave ’em like he just don’t care” and have the joyride of his life. The story behind his exaggerated obscenity charge, however, hints that Greene would probably like to have a nice girl in his life, although it’s crystal clear that he has absolutely no clue on how to approach women.

Perhaps that’s the angle the SC Democrats need to take to bring our modern-day Gladys Glover’s story to the same conclusion: by laying off the vinegar and using some honey–getting him to withdraw with an offer of a tutor in how to be a gentleman and a membership on Match.com.


For a glimpse of the fabulous Judy Holliday, we recommend viewing this “It Should Happen To You” trailer until you can see the whole thing on Turner Classic Movies on June 21 at 4:15pm EDT:

Update: Smitty at TheOtherMcCain has identified a potential mate for Alvin Greene. Click the link to find out the mystery lady.

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Late Breaking: Nikki Haley for Governor

We’ll keep this one relatively short and then head to the polls.

Gresham Barrett lost our vote back in October 2008 when he flip-flopped and ending up voting for the disastrous slush fund known as TARP after first voting against it. We called and emailed his office, begging and pleading him to use common sense and logic–as did thousands of others. He went against his constituency and voted against their desires and best interests.

It’s worse than just going against the people you are supposed to represent, though. With his reversal vote for the bailout, Barrett proved that he cannot handle a crisis. When all around him panicked, he too became a chicken without a head. He freaked out and lost all ability to lead (as he had been doing in initially opposing the bailout).

The position of South Carolina governor may indeed be a weak one, but we need someone that can maintain a level head should swift and sudden tragedy ever befall our state. Gresham Barrett has clearly demonstrated that he is not that man–and even Dick Cheney’s endorsement of him can’t overcome that.

[Ed. note: Also don’t believe the insinuation on Barrett’s mailers that he’s been endorsed by Jim DeMint. Sen. DeMint has endorsed nobody in the primary. Click here for more details.]

Andre Bauer exposed himself as an opportunist with his political game-playing during the Mark Sanford “crisis.” But he completely lost our vote in a few short minutes at the beginning of the last gubernatorial debate when he couldn’t stop breaking into a grin every time he mentioned the press frenzy caused by his consultant’s unsupported accusations against Haley. Watch as he can’t even look at Haley as he speaks to her. We want nothing to do with this despicable, gutter politics that’s making our state a laughingstock.

Henry McMaster, the current SC attorney general, earned bonus points on our scorecard when he became one of the first state officials to take action against the monstrosity of ObamaCare. He proved he can lead, because he didn’t wait around to see what everyone else would do–and he didn’t go all wobbly once he had taken a stand. Instead he looked to get others onboard.

Unfortunately, McMaster’s positions don’t always line up quite so well with ours. For instance, out of all four Republican candidates, he’s the only one that opposes offshore drilling. (This position may seem level-headed today while the TV runs non-stop live shots of the gusher still ongoing in the Gulf, but it’s an unreasonable position when you apply cool reflection. We don’t quit flying when there’s a plane crash, and being dependent on oil, we have to get it from somewhere. Why not learn from the Gulf accident and take control of our destiny and our fortunes.) With everyone declaring themselves a conservative in this silly season, McMaster comes across as the more moderate conservative of the bunch. Overall, McMaster earns a solid second place in our ranking.

That brings us to Nikki Haley. We had been calmly evaluating her performance as a representative in the legislature and her political background. We were liking much of what we saw, but had a few areas of concern. Plus we felt her early advertising was a bit weak and lacking in substance, mainly showing that she could attend a Tea Party without being booed like Gresham Barrett–and her website didn’t have as much detail as we would have liked.

Suddenly, though, mud began being thrown at Haley from all sides, and we felt pressure to pick a side. Do we believe Haley or the men readily admitting to low morals? How do you continue to objectively size up a political candidate through that mucky prism? You can’t.

Fortunately, we had done enough research to already determine that Haley was the probably best candidate on the issues.

Since the foul attacks began, Haley has handled the unsubstantiated charges with calm, dignity and strength. With nothing more than baseless accusations and racial slurs and under-the-breath questioning of her religion, Haley’s opponents are engaging in what Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post aptly calls “political rape.” Haley has unequivocally flat-out denied ever being unfaithful to her husband, and it’s rather despicable that these men would pretend to withhold any evidence they have to the contrary.

We’ve watched Haley closely throughout this trying time, and we come down on her side. Her ability to maintain a pleasant, firm demeanor throughout these trials and carry on with her campaign’s agenda clearly shows she can handle a crisis.

Therefore, she’s our man for the job, and that’s why the Charleston Reader endorses Nikki Haley in the Republican primary for South Carolina Governor.

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Late Breaking: 1st District Congressional Toss-Up

The Low Country is cursed with a plethora of good candidates for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives: (in alphabetical order) Carroll “Tumpy” Campbell, Ken Glasson, Katherine Jenerette, Larry Kobrovsky, Mark Lutz, Clark Parker, Tim Scott, Paul Thurmond, and Stovall Witte.

We say “cursed” because having nine enthusiastic, able candidates is an embarrassment of riches, and unfortunately, eight of them aren’t going to make the final cut. When that happens, we fear we’ll lose some them in our collective efforts to take back our government.

If only some of these fine men (and woman) would consider running for (or in the case of Tim Scott, staying in) the SC State House and Senate where we desperately need to kick the “leadership” out and install strong, principled conservatives in their place. South Carolina’s massively dysfunctional government is more interested in backbiting and backstabbing than in unifying around conservative, Constitutional principles and making our state an unparalleled example of limited government and traditional values.

Honestly, most of these candidates would be a vast improvement over our current representation in the US House.

There’s a few we were able to agree to exclude:

Jenerette’s website was a bit disappointing because up front she has an “En Espanol” tab to translate her site into Spanish. A bit odd, since you are supposed to be a citizen to vote, and to be a citizen you are supposed to know English. Plus on her Issues page, the first item up is “constituent services.” Did we stumble onto Henry Brown’s old Republican Workhorse website instead? Does she really just want to go to Washington to be a bureaucrat? Her answer to fixing government is to answer the phone and hand out crumbs of government largess to us? Ms. Jenerette, you can do so much better.

Tumpy Campbell has a good pedigree, but in looking over his campaign centerpiece, his jobs plan, it looks more like he’s the son of Henry Brown, listing one earmark project after another. (Four of his 10 points are solely based on seeking federal funding for local projects, while the other points embed projects amongst his policy positions.) Yet, Campbell says he will support DeMint’s call for a one-year moratorium on earmarks. Guess that will give him a year to write up his requests. It’s great to send buckets of money home–but when 435 congressmen are competing daily to grab more money for their districts, we are committing national suicide. Even small schoolchildren know that America is drowning in debt. We aren’t going to be able to pay off what we already owe. Please don’t add to the burdens.

Clark Parker’s earnest platform to send a CPA to Washington just doesn’t resonate with us. He’s got many good ideas. We wonder if he isn’t seeking the wrong job, though.

Out of the rest, our favorites are Tim Scott, Mark Lutz, and Larry Kobrovsky…and Ken Glasson…and maybe Stovall Witte.

  • In their closing arguments at the USS Yorktown debate, the firecrackers were Ken Glasson and Tim Scott.
  • When Kobrovsky introduced himself to us by slipping a copy of the Constitution in our mailbox, he had us at hello; yet, in debate settings, it’s easy to overlook his smart ideas because he’s still learning how to become a polished speaker.
  • Mark Lutz presents himself superbly on his website–and is not too shabby in person either.

Ultimately, we can’t agree on the best candidate. You’ll have to fend for yourselves on this one.

You can view the Yorktown debate on Comcast’s On Demand under the Get Local/C2/Savage Report section. Then there’s a string of video clips from three debates at the YouTube account of Carolina Patriots.

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Late Breaking: Salisbury for Berkeley Coroner

It came as quite a surprise to us to learn that none of the candidates for Berkeley County Coroner have any medical degrees–and don’t even need any college at all to qualify for the position. (Apparently the main qualification is that you are breathing.)

In fact, the legislature just fought with Governor Sanford over a bill that will require an increase in the experience requirements based on the coroner’s level of education. For instance, a high school grad will need six years in the field to qualify for coroner, while a four-year college degree holder will only need two years experience. (Sanford vetoed it because without any provision to require the same of current coroners, he viewed it as an incumbent protection bill.)

That said, we went looking for information on the three candidates’ experience level. Post & Courier had a basic roundup of them, and fortunately, unlike the Berkeley County Supervisor candidates, the Coroner candidates had the professionalism to put together actual campaign websites instead of relying solely on Facebook.

Johnny Hill did a superb PR job in getting all the little papers to print his press release about how confident he was in the closing days of the race.

Sharon Shuler seems very eager and earnest in her desire to put her funeral director experience to work as coroner.

But Bill Salisbury has by far the most experience (with 15 years already spent working as deputy coroner) and a long list of training classes and seminars he attended during that time.

Therefore, the Charleston Reader endorses Bill Salisbury for Berkeley County Coroner.

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