Gina reported a minute ago that Speaker Harrell was “overwhelmingly re-elected, 112 to 5, over Ralph Norman.”
As we expected.
But that’s not what interests me today. What interests me is the sort of rhetoric Norman was using going into this vote:
“In 2011, if (House members) give lip service to conservative values but don’t follow through, I’m going to be part of pointing it out and recruiting candidates to run against them,” said Norman,who defines conservative values as funding core services like law enforcement and education while making cuts elsewhere and dismissing “feel good” legislation.
“I’m planting the seeds and willing to put my name on the line with it,” he said.
What sort of person says things like that? Particularly when everyone knows he has no support. Has he no sense of irony? Has he no decency? Does he really think he sounds like anybody any sensible person would want to follow, talking about how he’s going to make the General Assembly — the same General Assembly that is rejecting him and his “leadership” — conform to his almighty Will?
This takes me back to that Nikki Haley/Sarah Palin rally that depressed me so. Nikki gets away with saying such obnoxious things because she has a pleasant voice and pleasing face and because, let’s face it, she’s a dame. Put enough sugar on it and it doesn’t sound so bad (unless you actually listen). But that doesn’t mean the things she says — such as the fact that established politicians are “scared” is “a beautiful thing,” or that she will “burn” lawmakers if they don’t obey her — are any less ugly. (As I said at the time, “What’s the difference between ugly good ol’ boy populism and Palin/Haley populism? Lipstick.”)
This mode of expression, this obnoxious, chip-on-the-shoulder attitude toward other human beings, is a distinguishing characteristic of this political trend with which Mrs. Haley, and Mr. Norman, identify.
And you know what? It is probably the one thing that bugs me the most about them.
Couldn’t they advocate the things they advocate without this hostile attitude? Is it really essential to who they are and what they stand for?