—former South Carolina Congressmember James L. Petigru on the proposed secessionist “Republic of South Carolina”, 1860
As the Washington Post notes this morning, it’s still true..
“Mark Sanford, Jim DeMint and Joe Wilson. Boy, that’s a trinity isn’t it?” said Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and longtime resident. “South Carolina is filled with crazy [expletive], excuse my French.”
He forgot Strom Thurmond. Maybe it’s just that South Carolina is the most conservative state in the Union (the latter despite its wishes).
I can think of a few South Carolina politicians whom I respect: former Education Secretary Richard Riley comes to mind. But they are rare. Just go back a few more decades and you get the likes of egregious white supremacist Pitchfork Ben Tillman and reactionaries like Cotton Ed Smith.
Maybe we should have let it secede: the US would have been a more progressive country, and the Republic of South Carolina would have been another backwards, oppressive, impoverished, corrupt dictatorship. of course, getting rid of slavery was worth having to put up with these kinds of politicians. But it really does show how right Sherman was.