“Ruins, Ruins” by Walter Rhett

With the appointment of Tim Scott to the Senate to fill the seat after Jim DeMint resigned to accept an appointment as Director of the arch-conservative Heritage Institute, a Washington think tank, Tim Scott's House seat will be filled by a March special election. Scott, an AfricanAmerican, becomes SC's first black senator. His House seat was once held by Rev. Richard H. Cain, an AME pastor at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church, elected during Reconstruction. Former SC governor, Mark Sanford, who also held the seat (and slept in his office!) has promised not to run if his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford gets in the race. (They divorced when Stanford to Brasil to carry on an extramartial affair while he was supposedly hiking the Appalachian Trail!) But what we are witnessing in South Carolina is a sea-change, instructive as a forewarning to the rest of America.

“Ruins, Ruins:” Charleston's Civil War Chant
From Cole Blease, who in the 1890s publicly advocated lynching, to Strom Thurmond (and Cotton Ed Smith who opposed women voting in between, in the 1920s), South Carolina's senators and national leaders wielded power and called their own shots. Any plans within the state,

“Ruins, Ruins” by Walter Rhett
sometimes the nation, were approved by them; they marched to their own tune. (Who remembers Thurmond foiling Abe Fortas' Supreme Court nomination by setting up closed screenings of adult films in the Capitol to review Fortas' community standards? Or Thurmond wrestling a senator outside of a hearing room, the winner getting to vote? Or him reading his grandmother's biscuit recipe into the record in the Senate's longest filibuster? Or Thumond's presidential run in 1948 as a third party Dixiecrat? Or him invoking cloture when NC's Jesse Helms tried to filibuster the King Holiday Bill? Or Thurmond tanking Reagan's first run at the GOP nomination at the convention?) Today's crew (which includes Scott), through reactionary, follow marching orders. They are told what to do by an elite, monied, internetworked cabal. (Since when do 6 SC representatives worry more about budget deficits than tax cuts puting money in the hands of a state 47th in income?) Their ideology is the beck and call of the oligarchs.Thurmond got paid. These guys are bought. Money trumped power. Ol' Strom would have never let that happen. Power was his coin.

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