James Louis Petigru, Nullification and Hypocrisy

By Paul Gable

“South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” James Louis Petigru

The quintessential statement by James Louis Petigru, after South Carolina voted for secession in December 1860, is just as true today in a state that never seems to learn the lessons of history.

After the close of the recent legislative session saw a nullification bill on the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare if you wish) pass the House and nearly receive second reading in the Senate, South Carolina’s state legislators were virtually dancing in the aisles in celebration.

While this whole waste of legislative time and effort is merely political grandstanding, some legislators actually see the bill as leading the nation in an effort to nullify a form of national healthcare coverage.

Of course, this was the same state that was going to whip the Yankees in a couple of weeks and bring a gloriously victorious Southern Republic into being. That didn’t work out so well.

But give those 1860 legislators credit. They weren’t selfishly protecting their position in the Union while leading their neighbors to secession. They were all in the fight together.

Such is not the same in the healthcare nullification effort. While the state’s legislators are protected by an excellent government healthcare plan, funded by everyone’s taxes, they suffer no pangs of conscience denying citizens of the state the opportunity to participate in Obamacare if they wish.

Maybe calling such actions political grandstanding is too kind. It’s absolute hypocrisy.

I’ll bet no more than three of the 46 senators and 124 representatives in the General Assembly have ever even heard, much less know anything about, James Louis Petigru.

Unless and until the General Assembly is willing to repeal the state government employee healthcare plan, it has no right making decisions for or against government healthcare programs for any of the citizens, especially the many who have no health coverage at all.

State legislators can obfuscate the issue with talk of Federalism, State’s Rights, nullification, secession, or any other utterance they wish. It’s still nothing more than hypocrisy and a sense of entitlement on their part.

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