Apparently — and surprisingly — the Occupy Columbia folks haven’t been getting enough attention from our governor. This came in an hour ago:
Tent March to the Governor’s Mansion at 4pm Tomorrow
ACTION ALERT: We are calling on all Occupiers and supporters to join us tomorrow for a march with our tents from the State House to the Governor’s Mansion. Once there, will deliver a special present to Governor Nikki Haley.
Please join us at 4:00pm at the State House and bring your tents!
I have no idea what this “special present” is, or why they’re taking their tents. Not knowing that, my mind turns to other, vaguely related, matters…
You know what I would have done over the last few weeks had I been governor? I’ve been thinking about this since the Budget and Control Board meeting the other day. I would have ignored Occupy Columbia.
Well, not ignored, as such. I think I might have gone out of my office and strolled around and chatted with them from time to time, totally low-key, in a nonconfrontational manner. I would have adopted a sort of traditional Hawaiian attitude — Burl should appreciate this. I would say things like, “Ain’t no big thing, bruddah,” and “We get ’em later…”
Beyond that, I would have left the situation alone, either until the Occupiers got tired of their shtick or until the Legislature came back. And if the Legislature wanted to pass legislation affecting the use of the State House grounds, they could do so.
Because the Legislature — the source of all power in South Carolina — has made it pretty clear that it is jealous of its authority over the State House and its environs. Witness its decision back in the 90s to make flying the Confederate flag — first on the dome, then starting in 2000, behind the monument — a matter of law, to make sure that no governor took action on the matter.
Even in a state where the Legislature doesn’t dominate as this one does, I would have understood that I couldn’t simply make up rules as I went along, enforcing “laws” never passed by a legislative body.
If lawmakers, such as Harvey Peeler, didn’t like the Occupiers, I would let them pass a law, and I would, within whatever executive authority allowed me, enforce it. If the solons wanted me to act more independently, then they could grant me power to do so in the future.
In the meantime, I would just be cool, and not go all Dean Wormer on the kids.
That’s what I would do.