Here’s what I would have done with regard to Occupy Columbia, had I been the governor of SC

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!
With solidarity,

Occupy Columbia

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.

24 thoughts on “Here’s what I would have done with regard to Occupy Columbia, had I been the governor of SC

  1. j

    Brad, you’re rational. I haven’t seen the same type approach from Trikki Nikki, but she has time to grow up as she’s only 39. Unfortunately, SC pays the price for her immaturity and poor judgment through her decisions to not walk her talk.

  2. martin

    She could have let the mayor handle it – mayors have been in charge of the situations at other sites.

    If she weren’t so bound and determined to grandstand and make Fox News…

    If we are now recognizing that something other than just politician ego is what afflicts Newt, then we need to recognize it in Nikki ’cause she is quintuple the hyped up he is.

    If you paid attention to the campaign, you know that. But, as usual, the SCGOP electorate was mesmerized by the party sound bites and not paying attention to the bizarre, hyped up manner in which they were delivered.

  3. Juan Caruso

    Tempest in a teapot?

    Judge made public happy, SC Legislature made Nikki happy.

    Too bad if the law students masquerading as OWS protesters are a little stewed right now. They need to get accustomed to more disappointments as they, if they ever mature.

  4. Steven Davis

    martin – how many other cities have Occutards squatting on state property? Benjamin has no say in the matter here in Columbia.

  5. martin

    Steven Davis, you sweet thing, I don’t know how many of the scores of OWS events across the country have been held on state property. Seems like some have.

    I see your point. But, on the other hand, if OWS/C had camped out at state agencies like DSS, DHEC or the Commission for the Blind, wouldn’t Columbia PD be the LE agency involved, since they are in the city?

    It just seems most governors have wanted to stay above the fray of dealing with these demonstrators, which is essentially a local problem with traffic control and zoning type concerns.

    But, not our Nikki. She lives to pander. She craves the camera the way some people crave chocolate…unless someone asks her a question she doesn’t want to answer when one is pointed at her.

  6. tired old man

    Wow, adult leadership! What a concept!

    (Actually, Steven Davis, Mayor Benjamin DID have a say in the matter here in Columbia, when he declined Trikki Nikki’s kind invitation to join her in jumping off the cliff.)

    All this reminds me of the story of the old bull and the new bull. Adult leadership has tremendous advantages over knee-jerk, self aggrandizing political opportunism.

    Nikki may be 39, but her key advisors were just coming out of diapers when she was getting out of high school.

    And, yes, Kathryn, the term Occutards is offensive. It is offensive anytime you attack an opponent’s worth by degrading their gender, race or sexuality. And it is doubly offensive because you cannot provide a meaningful argument to neutral observers as a substitute for your name calling.

  7. doug ross


    The bottom line for me is that in several months they have done nothing, accomplished nothing, and have no plans to do anything. It’s the laziest protest in U.S. history.

  8. j

    With wisdom we shall learn liberality. ~ Henry David Thoreau

    After wisdom comes wit. ~ Evan Esar

    To the fool, he who speaks wisdom will sound foolish. ~ Euripides

  9. Debbie McDaniel

    Just my 2 cents:
    A peaceful protest is nothing for Mz Haley to get her panties in a wad about.
    I also find any term with the word “tard” in it highly offensive.

  10. Ralph Hightower

    This new Budget and Control Board resolution banning the cooking of food on State House grounds will cripple promotion of South Carolina products.

    A few years ago, Department of Agriculture held a “Experience South Carolina Produce” on State House grounds. Chefs and companies were invited to set up shop on the grounds and serve produce and meat from South Carolina.

    The good thing about this crazy resolution is that perhaps we can bust the lobbyists that ply our legislators with free food served on the State House grounds.


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