OK, Micah, NOW you’ve gone and disappointed me

At least he's not in the picture the Templeton campaign sent out! Maybe it's not true!...

At least he’s not in the picture the Templeton campaign sent out! Maybe it’s not true!…

How’s this for irony? Just as I was sticking up for my representative today — again — this release was going out — and I just now saw it:

SC Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, State Reps. Bill Hixon, and Micah Caskey & Military Vets Endorse Templeton
Momentum Keeps Building for Templeton

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  Conservative buzzsaw and Republican candidate for governor Catherine Templeton secured a long list of major endorsements Tuesday. State Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R-Aiken), Representative Bill Hixon (R-Aiken), and Representative Micah Caskey (R-Lexington) all threw their support behind the buzzsaw at two separate press conferences in Aiken and Lexington….

AAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

Take a breath… count to ten…

I was talking with a mutual acquaintance over the weekend who speculated that Micah had early on wanted to support Ms. Templeton, but just hadn’t been able to do so on account of, you know, the campaign she has run.

What happened?!?

What happened?!?

I almost yelled, “Shut your mouth!” But then I realized that Micah is a freshman who has boldly confronted his party’s governor, so of course he would want an alternative to Henry. He’s made a semi-powerful enemy.

In any case, I left the conversation pleased that of course, of course, Micah wouldn’t endorse the “buzzsaw.”

And now this.

As I read it… I had skipped the headline… I first read “Shane Massey,” and I thought, wow, I’ve had a lot of respect for that guy, so this is disappointing… (Shane, come back!…)

And then, WHAM! Right between the eyes.

Whatever… Do y’all remember when Micah first ran two years ago? How I had been thinking of running myself (on the UnParty ticket), but decided not to when I met him because I was so impressed with him? I’ve told that story a number of times, and each time I recall that there was only one topic that came up during our conversation that we disagreed on (which is phenomenal; I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I know in politics I can say that about) — and I couldn’t remember for sure later what that one thing was.

Well, I don’t have to. From now on, I can say this is the thing we disagree on. And it’s a biggie.

Oh, I’m not going to take the sign down. He’s still a great representative. Just not as great as he was this morning…

Caskey wadding up the governor's veto message and throwing it away last year.

Caskey wadding up the governor’s veto message and throwing it away last year.

27 thoughts on “OK, Micah, NOW you’ve gone and disappointed me

    1. Phillip

      Meaning, he can’t openly endorse Smith but feels that Crazy Lady would be more likely to lose?

      Reply
      1. Richard

        I can tell you right now it’s going to be a McMaster vs. Smith race with McMaster coming out in a landslide win.

        Reply
  1. Doug Ross

    Politicians going to politic. It;s all strategy and games to ensure a current and future position.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Doug says that like it’s a bad thing. Yes, a prerequisite of holding office is that you do and say things that make people want to vote for you, and not vote against you.

      The best person in the world has to make that calculation daily, if he is to be elected.

      The only way to change that is to do away with democracy altogether.

      For Micah’s part, he’s shown more courage and judgment than one has reason to expect from a freshman lawmaker, He was THE face of the GOP-dominated House’s repudiation of his party’s governor on the roads bill, and has been on the governor’s enemies list ever since.

      It appears he has calculated that, on the eve of a Republican primary after having so openly opposed the Republican governor, he needs to be seen as supporting SOME Republican candidate — lest GOP primary voters suspect he really prefers fellow veteran James Smith (and I know the two vets have respect for each other). And he seems to have decided that fellow Marine Warren is coming from too far out in right field.

      The trouble is that the GOP field, while crowded, doesn’t really offer mainstream, sensible alternatives. He wasn’t going to go with almost-lifelong Democrat Yancey McGill, or with hard-right ideologue Kevin Bryant. And Warren has been way too aggressive with his silly “I’m qualified because I’m not qualified” shtick.

      So he went with Templeton. I think he was wrong to do so, but then I’m not trying to win a GOP primary…

      Reply
      1. Claus2

        ” Yes, a prerequisite of holding office is that you do and say things that make people want to vote for you, and not vote against you.”

        It’s called being two-faced.

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          No, it isn’t called that. You must have misread what I said.

          You can’t hold office without being elected. You can’t get elected unless voters like what you say and do. This is neither a good or bad thing. It’s just a fact.

          Actually, I take that back. It’s a good thing. People are not forced to vote for people they don’t like. That’s a good thing.

          So you don’t tell the voters to go to hell. Unless you’re Fritz Hollings.

          I also take it back because on further reflection, this can also be a bad thing. You can deliberately play to all the worst impulses you perceive in the electorate. You know, the way Donald Trump does…

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            To explain what I said about Fritz. Immediately upon winning re-election in 1992, he said the following:

            “I don’t have to get elected to a bloomin’ thing. And I don’t have to do things that are politically correct. The hell with everybody. I’m free at last.”

            Of course, he ran again six years later, and won again. Partly because people forgot. Or because they remembered, and kinda liked that about Fritz…

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              As long as I’m quoting Fritz, Doug would like this one:

              Our friend, the famous pitcher, Denny McLain in Detroit. He took over a company when he got out of baseball and paid down the debt with the company’s pension fund. He was convicted of a felony. I said: If you can find the jail where he is serving … tell him next time to run for the U.S. Senate. Instead of a jail term, you get the Good Government Award.

              Reply
              1. clark surratt

                And when he ran for president, Fritz even insulted voters in other states: “Down in Alabama, they think a nuclear freeze is something you buy at Dairy Queen.”
                “New Hampshire voters thought Fritz Hollings was a German moving company.”

                Reply
          2. Claus2

            So if I tell bud that I agree with him to get his vote and then tell Doug I agree with him to get his vote, it’s politics and not “two faced”?

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              That would be two-faced, if you were lying. Which I assume you’re saying you would be.

              But when you emphasize to voters the points on which you actually agree with them, that’s not two-faced….

              Reply
      2. Barry

        Also found it refreshing that warren called out Henry to his face regarding his talk about how he could remove DOT Commissioners (warren pointed out Henry hasn’t done it) . Henry seemed stunned

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          What got me was the way Henry kept bragging on a power he had that was granted to him by a bill he vetoed:

          He seemed so proud of this thing that would not be law if he had not been overwhelmingly overridden…

          Reply
      3. Doug Ross

        If Caskey believes Smith is the best candidate for Governor then he should say so. Any other endorsement means he is playing politics. If he supports Templeton but doesn’t think she is the best person for the job, he’s doing his constituents a disservice.

        Being a party loyalist is what gave us the government we have today.

        How about Caskey endorses Smith and Smith endorses Caskey? Let’s see some real cross the aisle leadership.

        Reply
      4. Doug Ross

        I think you devalue the word “courage” when you apply it to voting for a tax bill. What did he risk?

        Reply
  2. bud

    Let’s not over think this. Maybe Mr. Caskey just happens to believe Ms. Templeton is the best candidate for governor and that’s all there is to it. Until I see some actual evidence to the contrary I’ll take that as the truth. Since Mr. Caskey is a Republican this makes sense. This supports my contention that the Republican party is broadly reprehensible and needs to be defeated as a group. This business of voting for the person and not the party is not a logical way of taking your vote seriously. As a general principle of bettering our country never vote Republican. If the Democrat happens to be unacceptable then just don’t vote at all.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      “If the Democrat happens to be unacceptable then just don’t vote at all.”

      Please forward that message to Nancy Pelosi’s district.

      Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      “This business of voting for the person and not the party is not a logical way of taking your vote seriously.”

      Actually, that’s the ONLY way of taking your vote seriously. The only way. Any other way, and you’re handing off your obligation to discern and decide to other people, and that’s unconscionable.

      I know it’s easy to fall into such lazy habits for people who are actually able to look at one of the two parties and think, “Yep, that’s for me! I agree with them 100 percent, all the time!”

      I can’t imagine that. I’m far too alienated by both parties to imagine having that attitude toward either. But even if I clearly liked one better than the other — even if, to set forth a wild and impossible hypothetical, every single candidate I had EVER liked in my life was a member of party X — I would still take a hard look at each candidate of Party X AND the person from Party Y before deciding how to vote.

      Anything else would be irresponsible.

      Reply
    3. Brad Warthen Post author

      Another way to put it, bud:

      Any set of assumptions that causes you to assume that Micah Caskey is “reprehensible,” when you haven’t ever met him, is an extremely flawed worldview…

      Reply
    4. Mr. Smith

      There is only one way to vote in the fall. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin:

      “If you believe in the rule of law, democratic norms and institutions and decent public debate, Republicans must pay a heavy, heavy price for indulging Trump. I am compelled to agree with [Benjamin] Wittes and [Jonathan] Rauch: ‘The goal is to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.’ (That’s small ‘d’ democratic.) Whether you think the GOP is salvageable or not, to reelect this crew in the midterms is to complete the capitulation to Trump’s anti-democratic brand of politics. All Americans are compelled to stop this.”

      Anything else would be irresponsible.

      More from dedicated non/anti-partisans (i.e. genuine independents) Wittes and Rauch:
      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

      Reply
      1. Doug Ross

        During which President’s tenure did we have “decent public debate”? I don’t recall it during my lifetime. Too much recency bias in everyone’s belief that things are so much worse today than they were in the “good old days” of Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, LBJ… 1968 was worse than 2018 politically.

        Reply
      2. Barry

        Agree. I’m avoiding republicans in almost every race this time around.

        My 17 year old will be 18 by November and he’s in the same boat with me. He rightly sees most all Trump supporters as hypocrites. It’s influencing his choices even on the local level.

        Reply

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