By Paul Gable
The second S.C. gubernatorial debate is history and, again, nothing happened to derail Gov. Nikki Haley’s ride to re-election.
That doesn’t mean Haley is the best candidate, or even a good one, but she has the “R” behind her name that virtually guarantees statewide office wins in South Carolina.
Watching Nikki Haley, you can almost see insincerity oozing out of every pore. Haley says what she believes she must say to toe the line on her unique brand of ultra-conservatism. Much of the time, however, Haley doesn’t look like even she believes what she says.
None of the other four candidates, Democrat Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Independent Republican Tom Ervin, Libertarian Steve French and United Citizens and Green Party candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves have any real fire in their performances either.
Defending her strong 2nd Amendment beliefs, Haley said she was happy her administration took away the ability to carry guns for “anyone that had been ordered by the courts to be declared mentally ill”, but for everyone else, including those convicted of domestic violence, it’s okay to carry a gun.
And you wonder why South Carolina leads the nation in the number of women murdered during domestic violence crimes?
Even more interesting was Haley attacking Sheheen for defending men charged with domestic violence. ” “This is a trial lawyer who has defended men who have abused women. This is a man who’s defended individuals who have abused children. So don’t talk to us about domestic violence…,”Haley said of Sheheen.
So let me get this straight governor. People, especially men, charged with domestic violence shouldn’t have the right to a defense in court, but, if they’re convicted, it’s okay for them to carry guns.
Haley’s statements provide an interesting interpretation of Constitutional rights. I’m sure there’s some kind of logic there, but, it escapes me.
The other candidates got some shots in on Haley.
In responding to Haley’s statement on trial lawyers, Sheheen said, “She’s hired more lawyers than any governor in the history of this state. … It’s not your lawyers that are the problem, governor. It’s breaking the law that’s the problem.”
Ervin told Haley, “Governor, you have trouble with the truth.”
French again had the best quote of the night when referring to legalizing marijuana use and better use of law enforcement, “We need to stop busting up ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ and start actually busting real criminals.”
French also said he would do away with the Department of Commerce, which he called a “Crony Capitalist Slush Fund.”
But Reeves really hit the nail on the head when he said, “But here we have two politicians (who) have been in office — one for 15 years, one was the governor of the state of South Carolina — and all of a sudden, you know, it’s everybody else’s fault. You keep voting on the same people and you want different results.”
Sheheen has only an outside chance of beating Haley and the other three have none. Regardless of whether it’s Sheheen or Haley in the end, nothing will change.
And that’s exactly the way the big money contributors want it.