“Run away! Run away!”
No, this isn’t a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s the scene that’s unfolding at the S.C. State House after several “Republican” lawmakers got their hands caught in Barack Obama’s cookie jar.
Several SCGOP lawmakers are now fleeing a bill they previously sponsored that would have established a government-run, Massachusetts-style “health care exchange” in South Carolina – as mandated by Obama’s new socialized medicine law.
Thirteen Republicans – Reps. Rita Allison, Liston Barfield, Doug Brannon, Danny Cooper, Nelson Hardwick, Bill Herbkersman, Jenny Horne, Chip Huggins, Jay Lucas, Dwight Loftis, Phil Owens, Steve Parker, Mike Pitts – were originally signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
That was before the S.C. Tea Party got involved, however.
“Tea party supporters will not stand idly by while this legislation is shoved down our throats,” a March 18 missive from the Spartanburg (S.C.) Tea Party noted. “The Republican party scored huge victories in November promising to protect our liberties and our tax dollars from Obama’s socialist assaults. It is now time for them to honor that commitment – or prepare to be replaced by lawmakers who will.”
Upon hearing that the Tea Party was mobilizing against the legislation, Allison, Herbkersman and Horne withdrew their sponsorship two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, the floodgates opened. In response to Ways and Means Chairman Danny Cooper pulling his support for the bill, most of the remaining RINO holdouts withdrew their sponsorship as well. According to the House Journal, RINO Reps. Jay Lucas, Chip Huggins, Phil Owens, Steve Parker, Nelson Hardwick, Liston Barfield and Doug Brannon all quietly removed their names as co-sponsors on Tuesday.
Among the House “GOP Caucus,” that leaves only Dwight Loftis and Mike Pitts – a pair of Upstate RINOs – with their names attached to the legislation.
Will they stay on the bill?
Also, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has vocally opposed Obamacare, but earlier this month her office signed an executive order creating the “South Carolina Health Care Exchange Planning Committee,” an entity that is funded with Obamacare dollars.
Will she continue to get a hall pass from the Tea Partiers?