A Mexican standoff in South Carolina

Two old bulls are facing off in the South Carolina Senate, and we’re caught in the middle.  One wants a gas tax, the other an ethics bill.  Neither one wants what the other does, and it takes 2/3 to do anything.  In order to force the issue, one of them, 85 year old Hugh Leatherman, is refusing to allow anything to pass, including our bill, which he doesn’t like anyway.  This impasse could last until the end of the session, and carry over to next year.  In which case we don’t get South Carolina this year, even though we have the votes.

Leatherman’s a piece of work.  He’s made a living, and a good one, being a State Senator for 34 years.  His income from his legislative salary is chump change.  He’s found other ways.  He’s really a Democrat. He just switched parties to keep his chairmanship when the Republicans took over the Senate.  No one has any influence over him, except fellow state senators.  I like to think that I’ve got a good imagination.  But I’m damned if I can think of what to do with Hugh Leatherman.  I’d give him his damn gas tax, but that’s not in my power.

On a brighter note things are looking up in Oklahoma.  We got out of the Senate committee 7-5 and will be on the floor in a week or two.  CoS has already passed there, so we should too.  Gary Banz, on the ground, is feeling better about his chances.  If we don’t get South Carolina this year, Oklahoma would be sweet consolation.

There’s a lot of presidential poll numbers floating around right now, and most of them are meaningless.  But one caught my eye today, from Colorado and a couple other purple states.  It’s from Quinnipiac, which means it’s non-partisan.  Asked if Hillary was honest and trustworthy, 38% said yes, and 56% said no.  That’s kind of amazing.  If 3/5 of voters don’t trust you, how in the hell do you get elected President?

One way, and one way only  — destroy your opponent, just like Bill Clinton did to Dole in ’96, and Obama did to Romney three years ago.  Whoever the Republican is, he or she will be smeared, libeled, and slandered.  Put it in the bank.  Just win, baby.  The Clintons are the Oakland Raiders of politics.  It will be ugly.

If they knew who the nominee will be, they’d be after him right now.  Without doubt they’ve begun opposition research on all that they think could win.

That’s why Hillary is going to run, in spite of the political problems a lot of people see in her path.  She’ll get the nomination, and she’ll win by running the dirtiest campaign in modern American history.  That’s why introducing the American people to Paula Jones is so important.  What the Clintons, and their allies, did to her, and tried to do to her, is absolutely disgraceful.  I get pissed off about it to this day.  If the American people hear her story they’ll understand who these pests are who wish to disgrace the White House yet again.

I’m 69, Dan Fleming is 68, and we still learn things about each other.  Dan’s always been a bleeding heart liberal, and I’m finally beginning to understand why.  It all came from his dad.  That was his dad’s politics, so that’s going to be his politics.  His father was a lot bigger, and a lot meaner, than Danny.  He was a professional basketball player and the President of a Teamster’s local.  This was at a place, and during a time, when it was helpful to be a huge and violent man, with a hair trigger temper.  And he was a professional Irishman as well, who would not fight in World War Two because he hated the English.

Danny and I have mostly stayed clear of politics on our camping trips.  He was a huge fan of Obama.  We went camping before the first Obama-Romney debate and he told me he couldn’t wait to see Obama clean up.  I told him not to be so sure.  A couple days ago we were at Steep Ravine on the Pacific Coast and he asked me who I was supporting for President.  He said he liked Rand Paul.

I was floored.  Danny has been very active in California Democratic politics his whole life.  He was served it at dinner.  He was a Sacramento lobbyist and political activist, involved in countless campaigns.  I know it’s just a straw in the wind, but if Rand Paul appeals to Danny, he may have something going for him.

I think I know why Danny likes Rand Paul  — he sees him as antiwar, which is what Danny, and his father, are, and were.  Danny hated Bush’s war in Iraq, and does not want to see another one.  He was right about that war, and I was wrong.  The older I get, the more I hate war.  I reminded Danny of Hillary’s vote in favor of that war, and what it said about her.  It was a completely political vote.  She voted for war because she thought it would help her politically.  She was willing for young Americans to go to the Middle East and die, in a pointless war, because it was good politics.  This woman must not be allowed near the White House again.

Article V is the goal.  Hillary will be collateral damage.

I love politics.

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