Wednesday, January 25, 2017

South Carolina State Senate Shenanigans

       I have been a serious observer of politics for 25 years or so. If you are feeling generous, I can be classified a student of politics since the beginning of my studies towards a BA in political science in 1995. I have seen many interesting and peculiar things in all that time. I dare say a majority of those interesting and peculiar things I witnessed because I have, for all but three three while exiled in Virginia, enjoyed a front row seat for the farce that is the sate government of South Carolina. The Senate happening's earlier today are a prime example.
       First, a little background: Gov. Nikki Haley, who unwisely hitched her wagon to Marco Rubio before sheepishly declaring support for Donald Trump days before the election, resigned her office in order to become Trump's ambassador to the United Nations. Her resignation allowed Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster to be sworn in as governor. So the Lt. Governor's office was left vacant. State law automatically elevates the Senate President Pro Tempore to the position.
       But wait...Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman does not want the job. He has far more power in the position he currently holds and is not interested in boosting his prospects for becoming governor. (Not that he has any in the first place, but I digress.) So what is a guy supposed to do? Why, hatch a plan worthy of Lucy and Ethel to hold on to his power, of course.
       Leatherman resigned his position as Senate President Pro Tempore. The Senate than elected Sen. Kevin Bryant to the position. Then, as Senate President Pro Tempore, Bryant was elevated to fill the vacant Lt. Governor position. The Senate then held an election for the now vacate Senate President Pro Tempore position. The new turned out to be the old. Leatherman was reelected Senate President Tempore. So both Leatherman and Bryant wound up with the jobs they ultimately wanted.
     You should draw your own conclusion as to whether this political game of bait and switch was brilliant maneuvering or a greedy power play. I lean more towards the latter, but I am amused enough by the entire scenario t does not bug me. Stuff like this is definitely a key reason most people hate politics.

No comments:

Post a Comment