When I saw the above headline this morning, I immediately assumed that the quote came from a Democrat.
Not that most Republicans in the Legislature wouldn’t have been peeved at the governor over her latest outburst. In fact, privately, they would probably be more perturbed than the Dems.
But there’s a protocol to these kinds of things. Most lawmakers of both parties may be ticked off, but the Republican response to their own governor will normally be more muted, in terms of on-the-record comments, while the Democrats will say the over-the-top stuff in an effort to, well, get quoted in a headline. Because there’s no political cost for them in doing so.
So my eyebrows rose considerably when I read this part of the story:
Speaker Lucas took to the House floor Wednesday — flanked by House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville, and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland — and called the governor’s remarks unwarranted and unprovoked.
The speaker said the governor’s comments were inappropriate when speaking of lawmakers who include military veterans and working mothers.
“I believe the comments of the governor were below (her) office,” Lucas said. “I believe these are serious times with serious issues, and they demand serious people with serious answers — not name calling, not middle-school insults that serve no purpose but to poison the well.”…
The governor has really outdone herself this time.
We know she never had a good relationship with the former speaker. But he’s gone now, and good riddance. And he’s been replaced by a guy with a reputation for trying hard to work constructively with everyone, including Democrats, and especially with the governor of his own party.
Given Lucas’ reputation, he must have reached the point of thinking things are pretty far gone to have gotten up and said something like that.
Not that he’s wrong. “Middle school insults” is pretty much dead-on. I was thinking just this morning that the way our governor uses social media reminds me of the “slam books” that used to get passed around campus when I was in junior high in New Orleans all those years ago. If you don’t know what a slam book is, boys and girls, it’s like a particularly virulent form of low-tech Facebook. It was a notebook that got passed around, and kids would write things “slamming” their classmates, competing with each other to see who could be the most insulting.
But he must have concluded that things could not be improved by walking down to the governor’s office and having a chat with her. And that, as I say, indicates a pretty bad situation, the kind Strother Martin would decry as “a failure to communicate.”
Which is bad in terms of our chances for sound policy to come out of the State House.
After a couple of years in which not much got done while Bobby Harrell underwent his political Götterdämmerung, I had hoped for a more productive atmosphere in the State House. This does not bode well…
Below you can see and hear the governor making the remarks in question: