"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum"
-- James Louis Petigru, 1860.
While that famous quip was made in response to South Carolina's succession from the Union in 1860 upon the news of the election of Abraham Lincoln, the quip seems to be relevant again in 2009.
Exhibit A: South Carolina Mark Sanford (R). He rises to prominence by refusing stimulus money for his state that desperately needs and wants it. The Republican-controlled Legislature overrides his veto, he still refuses to allocate the money, contorting the bill to only authorize him to accept the money. The South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously disagrees, and orders him to comply.
And then he goes "hiking on the Appalachian Trail" to see his lover in Argentina, whom he has visited in the past using taxpayer dollars. The Legislature seems to have started floating trial balloons about impeachment.
Exhibit B: US Senator JIm Demint (R-SC)
When [Glen] Beck said that we are seeing “a fundamental transformation into a new system where the executive branch is almost if not all powerful,” DeMint replied:DEMINT: We’re just, we’re coming down to a matter of days. If we lose the health care battle, I think we’ve lost it all. [...]
And that’s why I’ve said strong things like Waterloo and other things. This is, the nation has to focus on this because the czars and other things are secondary in a way if we lose health care, the president’s going to be so emboldened, we’re going to see so much more of the growth at the executive branch level that, I don’t think we’ll be able to stop it. But if we stop him on health care then I think we have the opportunity to maybe realign the whole political system in our country.
DeMint then said that he doesn’t “care which party it ends up being,” but quickly added, “I hope it’s the Republicans.” Listen here:
Exhibit C: US Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) Yells out "You Lie!" during a joint session of Congress when President Obama says that his health insurance reform bill will not give coverage to undocumented workers. However, Obama wasn't lying and Sen. Baucus (D-MT) changed his bill to be doubly sure that no such persons could get health care.
And to tie it back to 1860, Rep. Wilson, while a state legislator in 1999, was one of only seven who voted in favor of keeping the Confederate flag flying over the state capital.
I rest my case.