Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Friday, December 05, 2008

If by Transparent you mean Opaque and by Change you really mean Status Quo then you must be talking about South Carolina politics

Speaker Bobby Harrel commands the House with an Iron Fist - can the Autocrat survive his own egotism and lust for power? - Photo from The State.

The Low Country Planter elites have maintained their stranglehold on South Carolina Politics again this week in the face of back country opposition to the Byzantine practices of Ben Tillman's government in the 21st century.

Lexington Representatives Nikki Haley and Nathan Ballentine led the Charge of the South Carolina Lite Brigade against Prime Minister Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell. Politburo Chief Will folks broadcast the subsequent failure and martyrdom on his blog throughout the week, whipping up a backlash against the low country despot. Other conservative blogs took note as well.

Transparency in government is a hallmark of democracy, and the lack of transparency is a hallmark of South Carolina's lack of respect for notions of democracy, increasing irrelevancy and continuous clinging to delusions of past grandeur. It's even more indicative of the corruption and inefficiencies that pervade not only the halls of the State House but also is prevalent throughout the state agencies and political subdivisions.

What's sad is that this issue has become yet another weapon in the internecine civil war that is the South Carolina Republican Party. One would think that with the leaders of the transparency movement being Republicans that it would automatically indicate that their opposition was a democrat. That could be no further from the truth than what it already is. In this instance, Haley, Ballentine and their supporters who generally hail from the Whig (libertarian) wing of the Republican Party [we should note we're not a fan of their cheerleading mascott the current Governor Mark Sanford and a lot of the policies they espouse] have as allies the Democrat ultra-minority - and have found no better friend than potential gubernatorial candidate James Smith and the perennial target of Republican (and Whig) ire, Gilda Cobb-Hunter.

[aside: Wouldn't it be interesting to see the Whigs and the democrats try and coalesce like the Canadian opposition parties did against Steven Harper's government? After all people elect Representatives, not political parties. Much like the Canadian coalition, it's doubtful that it would govern well - but would send an important message to the current detente leadership. Speaker Harrell though is an autocrat and though he couldn't shut down the General Assembly like Mr. Harper has done to the Canadian Parliament - he has managed to scare the piss out of most of his opposition both inside his own party and from without]

It's the genteel planter class -the Charleston elites like Prime Minister Speaker Bobby Harrell and Lord Senate President Glenn McConnell along with their Republican Sycophants and Democrat Uncle Toms who buy in, and perpetuate, the notion that things must be done the way that dear old Ben Tillman intended less the fortunes and power that they built for themselves crumble like sand castles into the sea. Why afterall, let a little democracy get in the way of tyranny?

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