Some contributors have accused me of picking on South Carolina.  You know, I just don’t think I do.  I think they dangle it out there for us to poke at.  That state is the gift that keeps on giving.  You don’t even need to remember what they did last…there always seems to be something new.

The latest set of incidents is much like the Twelve Days of Christmas.  First you have a woman running for governor of the Palmetto State, NIkki Haley.  Nikki has been accused of having an affair with a blogger named Will Folks and a lobbyist named Larry Marchant.  Nikki was born a Sikh.  She converted to Christianity. 

(Is it getting good yet?)  Nikki is also a Tea Party Person.  The blogger has said he had a physical relationship with her and the lobbyist insists he had a one night stand with her in Utah.  Sarah Palin endorses her and Governor Mark Sanford’s wife defends her.  A state senator has called her a ‘rag head’ because her parents immigrated from India.  Nikki says she is a Methodist. 

According to the Charlotte Observer:

Haley has vehemently denied allegations of inappropriate relationships with blogger Will Folks and lobbyist Larry Marchant, and she said Friday that she would resign if she is elected and anyone finds proof she had an extramarital affair.

She refused to say what would constitute proof, calling that moot. Her campaign declined an interview request Friday.

Folks wrote on his political blog that he and Haley had an inappropriate physical relationship when he worked for her in 2007.

More recently, Marchant, a former lobbyist for one of Haley’s opponents, said he had a one-night stand with her in a Salt Lake City hotel room during a school-choice conference.

On Thursday, state Sen. Jake Knotts used an ethnic slur to refer to Haley, whose parents immigrated from India.

“We’ve got a raghead in Washington, we don’t need a raghead in the Statehouse,” Knotts said on an Internet political talk show. He later apologized, saying the remarks were a joke.

Haley, who was born a Sikh and describes herself as a Methodist, called it another shameful attack.

It’s not clear whether the flaps are damaging the married mother of two, who has been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her rivals had said internal polls show her leading going into Tuesday’s primary.

The allegations come a year after Gov. Mark Sanford, Haley’s political mentor, famously ditched his security detail to rendezvous with his Argentine mistress and returned to confess.

Sanford’s ex-wife, Jenny, who divorced him over his affair, also defended Haley on Friday.

“I have watched with revulsion the spectacle that is now surrounding the governor’s race. Our state is better than this,” she said in a statement.


Virginia politics seems so clean and boring after checking out South Carolina. Politics as usual? I certainly hope not. No wonder we can’t get good people in office. This is far better than any soap opera. Some of these good ole boys will stop at nothing, will they?  Oh and the ‘raghead in Washington’ comment made by Senator Jake Knotts was referring to the President of the United States.  Good grief!  Chivalry is definitely dead.

44 Thoughts to “South Carolina, the Gift that Keeps on Giving”

  1. Wolverine

    Man, you’ve gotta be a street fighter to get into South Carolina politics!!

  2. Former Carolinian

    South Carolina is a difficult place to understand if have not lived there, and even if you have it takes a while to understand. They are “the gift that keeps on giving” for the following reasons:

    1) They don’t care what the rest of the country thinks of them. Honestly. Almost all of the rest of the US has the “please like me” disease. SC does not.

    2) They mostly just want to be left alone. This means that they are not especially involved in the politcal process, which makes it easy for aggressive politicians from either party to have far more power than they should, since the SCarolinians don’t pay much attention to politics. This makes the stakes far higher for those with the power.

    The ones accusing Nikki of various things are NOT going after the “Indian lady,” as this column states. They are going after the person who threatens their fiefdoms. Nikki represents Lexington county, which is overwhelmingly white. She won her last election there with 83% of the vote.

    A very difficult thing for most of the country to understand is that blacks and whites have been living together in SC for hundreds of years. There are a large number of black folks in SC, and they have a very strong and distinctive culture, unlike those who live in the rest of the country (outside the South) which, by comparison, is lily-white. This leads to a far more complex and subtle relationship between blacks and whites than the comic-book version taught in most of America and presented in the media.

    As an example, I have known a white person who said “damn N-words” constantly about black people around him. But, when he learned that some white “yankee” transplants were doing things that threatened black locals’ businesses, he spent a huge amount of his own time and money organizing the local black laborers to show them how to fight back against the whites and they ended up winning some important cases in court.

    I could go on with dozens of examples like this, but the point is that to a typical South Carolinian, the words and names don’t matter. The actions do. In other words, your sincerity is based on what you do, not what you say.

    It seems that among all northern/western left-wingers I have met, the opposite is true. What you do simply does not matter. If you say something that can be construed as a racial slur, you are automatically a racist, period. It seems that they can do what they want, take advantage of others, lie, cheat, and steal–as long as they profess not to be racist, it’s OK.

    It’s a paradox, but think about it: the very same group of people elected both the person who called Nikki a “raghead,” and the “raghead” herself.

    The simpleton’s view of South Carolina is to say that since a politician called someone a “raghead,” that it’s a racist state. But the fact is that the “raghead” is the one in the lead. the one the people are most interested in.

    [ed.note: word removed from above so comment would go through]

  3. marinm

    -R or -D it seems that the political establishment rails on women when they want high office.

  4. I think South Carolina just has a political world of its own.

  5. Thanks for the insider’s perspective, Former Carolinian.

  6. Lafayette

    Moon, if you’ve been accused of picking on SC, I’m sure glad I don’t reveal my honest thoughts on that state. Oh, I love that Utah is included too. My two least favorite states in the Union. Everyone I’ve met from SC, and especially the natives are the most left leaning loons on the planet.

  7. Left leaning loons? How funny. Everyone I have met has been potential John Birch material. No centrists there?

    Utah is a beautiful state. It has some of the most interesting geology in the entire world. I can’t say much for its politics though.

  8. Lafayette

    I know I’m not one to name call, but sometimes it’s just appropriate. I stand firmly on my statements.

    I would like to see Utah, but have no desire to even spend the night in that state. I have family that lived in UT for a while and the beauty was the ONLY positive thing they had to say about the state.

  9. Poor Richard

    – “God have pity on those born outside the holy city.”

    – “Charleston – where the Ashley and the Cooper come together to form
    the Atlantic Ocean.”

    – “Throughout the ‘aristocratic’ South there is a desire to connect ancestory
    with Old Virginia except in South Carolina – they don’t feel the need.”

  10. bubberella

    Former South Carolinian

    So let me paraphrase:

    1. We don’t care what people think and they want to be left alone.
    (That they don’t care what people think is pretty obvious now, though I fail to see why this is an admirable trait.)

    2. They’re lazy ignorant dupes. They can’t be bothered to pay attention to politics, so they’re pawns for bizzare political figures.
    (OK — and they’re somehow the victims here?)

    Y’all don’t know our blacks — but we’ve been living with them for hundreds of years (since they were brought there involuntarily) We’ve developed complex coping mechanisms like being overtly racist.

    I know a guy who frequently curses blacks and calls them “n*ggers” to their face, but he still likes his n*ggers bettter than those damn yankees.

    People get all upset and call us racists when we say overtly racist things. It doesn’t matter if we don’t act like a racists (burning crosses and having lynchings and whatnot), we don’t get credit for it, even when a very white district elects a raghead.

    OK, FC, I think I get the picture.

  11. Lafayette

    Nice work. I think you summed it up quite accurately. 🙂

    Seriosly though, do South Carolinians even bother to vote? Or if they do…do they just go blindly to the polls and vote? At this point I’m no longer surprised about anything I read about SC politics.

  12. Poor Richard

    Charleston SC is one of America’s great cities and Joe Riley is one
    of America’s great mayors. To hear him share his experiences
    about promoting quality affordable housing, a lively vibrant downtown
    and even site a baseball stadium not at the cheapest spot,
    but at a location “worthy of community” can be inspirational for anyone
    in local government.

    Wish I was back again this week for the rightfully famous Spoleto Festval.

  13. Lafayette

    @Poor Richard
    Don’t you have a train festival to attend in the “shining city on the hill”? 🙂

  14. Utah is a gorgeous state but I sure don’t care for their politics. Each area is different. The mountains are spectacular. The canyons amazing.

    South Carolina seems sort of heavy-aired and mosquito-ridden by contrast.

  15. Poor Richard

    Lafayette, That we do and it is fantastic – going back down in a few moments.
    Alas, the RR festival in Old Town of Manassas is only today 10-4. Spoleto
    is a week long celebration of the arts, music and international culture.
    (OK, I’m not big on SC state politics – but I had to chime in on my love of

    – And do any of you remember shag dancing at Mrytle Beach?

  16. Shag dancing? The Austin Powers sort of shag?

    Too bad it is always so hot on Rail Road Heritage Day.

  17. Poor Richard

    Amazing to see the same VRE that adults trudge to on weekdays suddenly
    become the magic attraction for hundreds of children and their parents/
    grandparents. The special RR festival trip is from Manassas to Clifton
    and back and one senses from the excitement that this is the first train ride
    for many kids. Warm, but thousands are having close-by inexpensive
    family fun.
    (Google “Carolina Shag Dancing” and click some of the films. A great couples
    dance – shouldn’t go to Mrytle and not try it – part of the beach experience).

  18. kelly3406

    Lafayette :
    Everyone I’ve met from SC, and especially the natives are the most left leaning loons on the planet.

    This statement as to be categorized in the bin known as POT.CALLING.KETTLE.BLACK.

    Northern Virginia is NOT exactly paradise.

  19. Emma

    Utah is breathtaking–I was just there last month, marveling over what a great country WE have. It’s sad in a way to look at the states through narrow prisms, assuming that high-profile people really are representative of the intellect or open-mindedness of the general population.

  20. Lafayette

    I didn’t say No. Va. was paradise, but it’s far better cry for education and employment opportunities.

    Why is it YOU seem to think you know so much about me. I don’t align myself with either political party. I’m like any other native of any state. We all think ours is best. Have you no friends from Texas or Pennsylvania? Talk about loving their state.

    Geesh, Kelly did I hit a nerve? Are you a South Carolinian? Sorry, if you are. Again the ones I’ve met are total effing nut jobs. Sorry if that offends you.

  21. PR, I was more of a Bill Deal and the Rondels sorta girl. No shagging. 🙄

  22. Kelly, I don’t think that Lafayette is a left liberal loony. You must be thinking of someone else.

    She did preface it with people she knows…she didn’t say everyone.

  23. kelly3406

    Fine. Maybe I do have her confused with someone else. But I have friends from South Carolina who lost their lives while deployed downrange. I do not appreciate an entire state being stereotyped by a few bad headlines or acquaintances, especially on a blog which preaches against stereotyping.

    1. She said the people she knew from South Carolina.

      The one person I knew well from SC died in Vietnam. That doesn’t make the entire state sacrosanct and inviolable.

      And actually it was I who said that the state, politically speaking, was the gift that keeps on giving. A great deal of political irregularity has come out of SC recently. And frankly, I didn’t stereotype. I stated the situation. I certainly didn’t say all the politicians remind me of Strom Thurmond or anything even close to that.

  24. Poor Richard

    Some of the lowest public education performance levels, plus poorest public health
    system and highest unemployent and proverty rates in America and what is the
    big SC question this week?

    Ok, how many guys have had affairs with the raghead?

    (Note the state senator invoked local SC rules – if you call someone a
    derogatory name, even on radio, while you are drunk in a bar
    it doesn’t count. So there.)

  25. Lafayette

    Kelly I didn’t refer to the entire state. Just the idiots I’ve met that are natives from there. You definately have me confused with somebody else. Unless you are the same useless POS I was talking about. They have thing I’m a racist right wing extremist. hahaha.

    I’m an avid believer in the death penalty, a secure border, no birth right citizenship, our right to bear arms….those aren’t not things that leftists believe in for the most part. Every political quiz I’ve ever taken has pegged me as a moderate/centerist. I belive in fiscal conservatism.

  26. Lafayette

    @Poor Richard
    They have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation too.

    I missed the RR Festival for the first time in about 10 years. I’ve been the family shuttle today. I was just over in the city to take my mom to Osbourn’s Class of ’55 Reunion and I saw many people still milling around at the end of the festival. It looks like it was well attended as always.

  27. Lafayette

    oops They have *think* I’m a racist right wing extremist. hahaha. And you on the other hand seem to think I’m a leftist loon.
    That’s thing about being in the middle you have to take crap from both sides.

  28. kelly3406


    I stand corrected. I mixed you up with someone else. Sorry.

    If you believe in all the principles you listed above, what are the issues that move you to the center and away from the right?

    The high unemployment rate in South Carolina is due in large part to the loss of the textile industry to overseas competitors. Their situation is not too different from Michigan which has experienced large unemployment due to declines in the auto industry or job losses in southern Virginia associated with the furniture industry. Northern Va tends to be fairly arrogant about its economy, but many of its jobs are related to the federal government which has little effect on real economic growth.

  29. Darn, now I want to know who Kelly thinks you are, Lafayette.

    Some of us believe in secure borders (whatever that means), the death penalty, and right to bear arms with some modifications. I believe the 14th amendment is exactly how it reads, rightly or wrongly. It will take a Constitutional amendment to change it.

    What brings many of us to the center? Reproductive rights, stem cell reseach, right to die issues, and those sorts of things. Then there is the size of government stuff….and realizing that states rights became much more limited as a result of the Civil War.

  30. Add to that: I don’t care if we amend the Constitution to change how citizenship is granted. However, it says what it says. For right now, Citizenship is granted by where you are born.

  31. Emma, I think that Utah is probably the most diverse state in the Union in its geological beauty. All those national parks display their own uniqueness. Not sure I would want to live there but I could sure stay for a while.

    I have not been to Arches or Canyonland. But the others will be in my memory forever.

  32. Lafayette


    Another loss of jobs in southern Va. is Hammermill. I believe there will be or has been a job loss of 1,100. There’s no way around the fact the federal government is what keeps are unemployment rate low. As a child of a federal worker, I’m very grateful for their presence. It sure kept a roof over my head, food on plate, clothes on my back, and shoes on my feet.

    What moves me away from the right is the fact that I’m an avid believer in the things Moon listed above. I have very strong feelings that it is NOT the government’s place to inflict laws on my( or another’s) person. Having had numerous Alzheimer’s patients and terminally ill members in my family, I believe very much in right to die issues. It is a shame that in this country we treat our pets more humanely than we know our own flesh and blood. Sad, very sad state of affairs imho. 🙁

  33. Wolverine

    You can slam South Carolina politics all you want. But you should take another look at the photo accompanying this thread. One of the leading candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination is a woman — and a woman of color to boot.

  34. marinm

    +1 to Wolverine’s comment.

    “I believe the 14th amendment is exactly how it reads, rightly or wrongly. It will take a Constitutional amendment to change it.”

    Wouldn’t that be great if people would treat the 1st and 2nd Amendment the same way?

  35. George S. Harris

    I would hardly call the status of people of color in South Carolina as “living together for hundreds of years.” I suppose that slaves technically did “live” with their owners, but GMAB. I suspect they would have rather been doing something else–even today.

  36. The first and the 2nd amendments have been around longer and have more ‘history’ tied to them.

  37. Not one person has commented on the state senator calling a candidate, calling ANYone a ‘raghead.’ Geez. That should have jumped out at all of us.

  38. – “God have pity on those born outside the holy city.”

    Isn’t that Richmond, VA? The way people around here act, one would think so….

    Everyone north of I-10 are yankees.

  39. Rick Bentley

    “Raghead” or non-“raghead”, she looks pretty hot in pictures. On youtube she isn’t that startling though.

    Women are making inroads in the GOP. Jan Brewer is making a name for herself. And of course that quitter from Alaska has a high profile.

    Knotts probably did her a huge favor with that comment. I’m sure she realizes this. She’ll be sending him a Christmas card this year, for sure.

  40. What is wrong with people saying calling names like that in public. Home? That’s one thing. Public? Something else.

    I always heard Mississippi and Lousiana had questionable politics. Seems normal compared to South Carolina.

  41. marinm

    Compared to Chicago politics? Try voting republican and see if your trash ever gets collected, ever.

    I don’t really think any place can say they are ‘clean’ in terms of politics.

  42. Probably not. Ask bear about NY politics.

  43. Elena

    How can an elected offical say “raghead” and remain in office. What a disgusting human being.

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