Mick Mulvaney’s Tortured Confederate Flag Stance

AND WHY IT MATTERS …  || By FITSNEWS || In politics, if you’re explaining … you’re losing. When votes or policy positions don’t speak for themselves, statements need to be crisp, compelling and laced with facts – preferably facts which are demonstrably true (or difficult to argue against). U.S. Rep….


|| By FITSNEWS || In politics, if you’re explaining … you’re losing.

When votes or policy positions don’t speak for themselves, statements need to be crisp, compelling and laced with facts – preferably facts which are demonstrably true (or difficult to argue against).

U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, however, has decided to go the Mark Sanford route.

Earlier this week, Mulvaney released a 648-word statement in which he said he was “disappointed” by an untimely and “divisive” debate about the Confederate flag, the symbol embraced by 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof in connection with his murderous rampage in Charleston, S.C. last week.

From his statement …

I will admit that I have not been as quick to call for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds as some others. I remember that the flag is where it is as the result of something that is becoming all too rare in politics: compromise. Indeed, moving the flag from the dome to the grounds in 2000 – and the concomitant establishment of the African-American monument – could be considered as a high point in South Carolina politics: a time when people got together and worked through their differences in a way that all could accept with pride.

And my initial reaction to calls to summarily remove the flag was that such an action would be tantamount to admitting what is not true for many South Carolinians: that the flag is a symbol of hate. Yes, it was for Dylann Roof. In fact, for him it was something even more evil than just hate. But we typically do not allow such people to define what our symbols mean.

Mulvaney ultimately got around to something resembling a position, though …

But in speaking with many people over the course of the last few days, it has become clear that the flag does in fact mean different things to different people in our state. And I blame myself for not listening closely enough to people who see the flag differently than I do. It is a poor reflection on me that it took the violent death of my former desk mate in the SC Senate, and eight others of the best the Charleston community had to offer, to open my eyes to that. And because of those very different — and very valid — impressions of what the flag represented, I admit that the flag has become a distraction: something that prevents us from talking about all that is good about South Carolina. It strikes me as particularly disappointing, for example, that we have spent more time talking about the flag for the last few days than we have talking about the extraordinary display of faith, love, and forgiveness shown by the families of the victims of the shooting in Charleston. If the flag has become an excuse for people to ignore things like that, then perhaps time has come for a change.

Or, maybe …

Perhaps those who are now trying to focus attention on the flag are spending their time on the wrong things.

Hmmmm …

Why the waffling?  Well, Mulvaney represents the fifth congressional district – where polls show support for the flag is much higher than in other regions of the state.

Complicating Mulvaney’s conflicted stance on the flag?  His top political operative is one of the 170 people who will actually vote on its future.

In fact that operative – Eric Bedingfield – was one of ten lawmakers who bucked the trend and voted not to bring the flag’s removal up during an extended summer session of the S.C. General Assembly.

Bedingfield told The Washington Post his vote was “in no way reflective on whether or not I think the flag should be removed. I simply wanted to take this up in regular order, vet different proposals, hear from differing perspectives and attempt to craft a solution that best fits the people we represent.”

Mulvaney distanced himself from Bedingfield’s vote.

“I don’t tell the folks who work with me how to think,” he told the Post.

Why does the national media care what the operative of a congressman thinks about the flag?

Well, Mulvaney and Bedingfield are the tip of the spear for U.S. Senator Rand Paul‘s 2016 presidential campaign in early-voting South Carolina.

And according to the Post Mulvaney is a man on the move in Washington, D.C. – which as we noted in this column may not be a good thing.

He’s also one of the leading contenders for the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial nomination in South Carolina.

“Mulvaney, is a rising Republican star in South Carolina who swept into office during the 2010 tea party wave and represents one of the more conservative parts of the state,” the paper reported.  “Mulvaney is talked about as a future statewide candidate, perhaps for governor in 2018 when (Nikki) Haley will be term-limited.”

Ah yes, Nikki Haley.

So … how does all of this impact Mulvaney’s future political aspirations?  That remains to be seen … but it’s safe to say he didn’t exactly distinguish himself in responding.

In these situations, positions must be taken clearly, unambiguously.  And in lieu of taking the “right” position, politicians should adhere to the maxim of Bill Clinton – who once famously said that “when people feel uncertain, they’d rather have somebody that’s strong and wrong than somebody who’s weak and right.”


Related posts


SC-5: Winners And Losers


South Carolina Senate To Amend Its Schedule In Response To Coronavirus


Follow-Up File: New Allegations Against Upstate SC Councilman, Duke Energy Employee

Will Folks


TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

While you are probably right that the electorate in general likes “clear” positions, I credit Mulvaney for having a thoughtful, nuanced view on the topic.

The probable fact that having such a view doesn’t make one successful in politics shows why the system is dysfunctional.

Bible Thumper June 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

The above sounds indefinite because fits left the most important sentence.

I hope that the Legislature can do the same thing now that they did 15 years ago:  take the time and effort to fashion a compromise that removes the flag in a way that all South Carolinians can rally around with pride and respect — 

TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 11:03 am

…he left that out?

I’ll tell ya, I really loved coming here to read the latest happenings in our state government, specifically the uncovering of corruption, malfeasance, etc.

I felt like Folks was doing the job that the MSM wasn’t…and he was for a time….I’m not so sure anymore.

Bible Thumper June 26, 2015 at 11:23 am

Yep. He hasn’t reported on the last two months SC employment data either or the 1st quarter personal income. He also hasn’t report ed that SC finally paid it’s $977,000,000 debt to the federal unemployment insurance fund. Back when we incurred the debt, he reported it.

TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 11:34 am

agenda’s…..everyone has got one. The questions is always how badly you fight reality to maintain it when it’s clear that it’s not fitting.

It’s very tough to be truly objective…for everyone.

Bible Thumper June 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

I may be paranoid, but the last time he reported on SC employment, it was good news and he buried under a bunch of other stories. It was only in the Carousel for about an hour before being booted to the lower tier.

TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 11:59 am

I have no doubt that Will is at times influenced by commenters, for better or worse. What he does surrounding that influence is a mystery to most of those here, with the obvious exception being his inner circle.

People like to make fun of “conspiracy theorists”, but you would have to be a fool to think conspiracies don’t exist, and further, one should always inform themselves on the active efforts that even our own gov’t(Fed) have engaged in to smear anti-war protesters and others that speak out against its agenda/”security” interests.

So with all that in mind, I’m fairly certain that I had some ‘adversarial’ comments in regard to Trump removed…there’s always the chance that Disqus, which is flaky at times…was the culprit…but when Will is getting a check to feed his family and it’s possible that a comment of mine might put that in jeopardy I can’t help to think he’d nix it.

It’s his prerogative to do, it’s his site. But there’s a certain degree of success the site has(IMO) in the “free market of ideas”, that was built around a relatively edit free comment section.

I guess we all have some paranoia….the question is whether it’s justified or not.


CNSYD June 26, 2015 at 11:22 am

Captain Renault is shocked to hear that Folks would modify a statement to suit his agenda. Shocked I tell you.

Bill June 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Except that never happened 15 years ago. That agreement did not satisfy anyone. In fact the argument there was actually an agreement among anyone other than a few legislators is bogus.

Bible Thumper June 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

The above sounds indefinite because fits left the most important sentence.

I hope that the Legislature can do the same thing now that they did 15 years ago:  take the time and effort to fashion a compromise that removes the flag in a way that all South Carolinians can rally around with pride and respect — 

Stephan June 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

Position of most South Carolinians – “take down the flag.”
Position of may South Carolina politicians – “the flag means many things to many people, and many people have many feelings, and hate is not derived from a flag, but from inside a person, and we don’t support hating anyone, and many people have a heritage of peace and tranquility, and I’ve spoken to a lot of my constituents and they have strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and we are a tolerant people, and we love everyone, and we need to allow the process to work these issues out…………. and I’m having a fundraiser at Datil Pepper BBQ next Sunday – ya’ll come.”

louie June 26, 2015 at 10:53 am

To remove the American flag? That is really what this is all about.

Roseanne June 26, 2015 at 10:51 am

Wait–he didn’t realize until the last few days that the flag means different things to different people? He is even dumber than I thought.

CNSYD June 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

The only thing “on the move” about little Mulvaney is his bowels.

Krazy Kat June 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

“Some of my friends are for it and some of my friends are against it and I am standing with my friends.”

Fecal Matters June 26, 2015 at 11:08 am

It’s a lot easier to change a flagpole than it is to change people.

allison gilliam June 26, 2015 at 11:19 am

I think his only concern regarding the flag removal is his concern regarding how many votes are at stake. And yes, the flag is no different than a Nazi symbol, a hate symbol. I believe that SC should not only remove the flag, but make it illegal to display a Confederate flag, a hate flag, a stir the pot flag. May the families of the nine that died be given the strength to make it through, but also to realize their loved one’s deaths helped to change things for the better.

Original Good Old Boy June 26, 2015 at 11:25 am

Please stop with this ridiculous analogy of comparing a nation bent on conquest and genocide with a nation seeking independence while clinging to an immoral form of labor beyond its historical expiration date. It is truly apples to oranges.

TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 11:32 am

Not only that, but said nations was warred upon supposedly for having the immoral institution of slavery by another nation that also had it…lol

Che June 26, 2015 at 11:56 am

The CSA was bent on keeping slavery as its economic base, break the Union and establish other pro-slavery states. Nazis used slave labor in their weapons industry and intended to rid the world of Jewish people .
In Germany you are arrested for displaying the maxi flag – period – move on you lost !

TroubleBaby June 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm

“The CSA was bent on keeping slavery as its economic base, break the Union”

Could you explain to me how CSA slavery would break the Union economically?

Original Good Old Boy June 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

If the only thing you have to compare Nazi Germany with the South is that they both used slave labor, then you have what’s called a weak-ass analogy. I guess history books should now say things like “The Romans and Greeks were not much different than the Nazis.” Or “colonial America is just like the Nazis; they both used slave labor.”
It’s a ridiculous analogy only used by the uninformed.

CNSYD June 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Where is the US in 1860 were the mills located that converted cotton into cloth? What would happen to those mills if they were no longer able to get the raw material? So your “base” was an entire system that covered the North as well as Europe particularly Great Britain. Read the editorials of the Northern papers when SC seceded. It was not about slavery but about the loss of tariff income to the US. Remember that there were no income taxes in those days.

Bible Thumper June 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

The Supreme Court ruled that neonazi skin heads can March with a swastika through a Jewish neighborhood in Illinois. I don’t think your proposal has a chance.

nitrat June 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

It’s too late. All rebel flags should have been outlawed in 1865 on the basis of the treason they represented.
The chance was missed. It’s all conflated with free speech now.

scyankee June 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm

This all could have been avoided with the simple task of lowering it to half mast upon the Governors decree. It didn’t because of the law in place. It was a slap in the face to see the Flag waving so high and proud when all the other flags were lowered to honor the people murdered.

Then to not be lowered again out of respect as the fallen Senators body was displayed in the rotunda is the final straw. Good ridence to something so defiant in the face of pain.

Good Ridence

Original Good Old Boy June 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

It has never been lowered in the past. They can’t even lower it physically because the pole is not designed that way. Had they lowered the Confederate flag to half mast, it would have generated more controversy by people saying “how dare they use the Confederate flag to honor this man.”
Face it, people just wanted to be outraged. And one of the silly things they chose is “they didn’t fly it half mast.”
By the way, it’s spelled “riddance.”

Wilson June 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Well, let’s be honest Mick….Dylan wasn’t the first, the only, or the last.

JoeThePimpernel June 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

More than 1,600 Whites are murdered by Blacks each year. Blacks murder Whites at 18 times the rate Whites murder Blacks.

About 1 million Whites were murdered, robbed, assaulted, or raped by Blacks in 1992. In the last 30 years, 170 million violent and nonviolent crimes were committed by Blacks against Whites in the U.S. Blacks under 18 are more than 12 times more likely to be arrested for murder than Whites the same age.

Some 90% of the victims of race crimes are Whites. Blacks commit 7.5 times more violent interracial crimes than Whites, although they comprise only one-seventh of the White population.

On a per-capita basis, blacks commit 50 times more violent crimes than Whites. Some 27 million nonviolent crimes were committed in the U.S. in 1992 alone. 31% of the robberies involved Black offenders and White victims; only 2% involved White offenders and Black victims.

1.3 million of the 6.6 million violent crimes committed in the U.S. each year are interracial. Between 1964 and 1994, more than 45,000 people were killed in interracial murders in the U.S., compared to 58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam and 38,000 killed in Korea.

nitrat June 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Oh, yeah, you live on that same site as Roof, right?

JoeThePimpernel June 26, 2015 at 6:47 pm

You and Jared Loughner are peas in a pod.

Soft Sigh from Hell June 27, 2015 at 8:28 am

“Blacks commit 7.5 times more violent interracial crimes than Whites, although they comprise only one-seventh of the White population.”
This dullard is too dim to notice that this is about what you would expect from a random–nonracial–selection of victims.

erneba June 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Trying to walk the thin lie. The Beasley syndrome strikes again.
Knowing his district, I say for all practical purposes, he did as well as can be expected. Mulvaney is is no rocket scientist, but he does possess adequate political acumen to know better than to get caught with his pants down, with a political blonde in the back seat of a ’57 Chevy on Saturday night.

JoeThePimpernel June 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

The campaign to eliminate the Flag of Southern Heritage is really just a thinly-veiled campaign of ethnic cleansing.

The Buzzman June 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm

“White”, though, is not really an ethnicty, a race, or even a culture. It’s some made-up bullshit, foisted on the public by a bunch of European immigrants in the late 18th Century, to complete the cultural genocide against American Indians, and to keep the black man in shackles — along with the darker-hued Indians and Indian-mixed people who could not pass for “white.” The shackles were real up until Emancipation, including for some Indians — then meaphorical after that, especially after the imposition of Jim Crow laws.

It’s all an historical fraud of the worst kind. Unfortunately, so many people believe themselves to actually be “white” that, for all intents and purpsose, that’s what they are.

I’m not “white”, have no desire to be “white”, and don’t give a damn who thinks I am. But I do recognize I have more privileges and even rights, in reality, than those deemed to other than “white” by the dominant society. “PC” talk calls that “white privilege.” Not all that’s “PC” is valid, but that certainly is. What we’re seeing now is a massive freak-out over a major roadblock set up to the “white” supremacists letting their unearned privilege run roughshod over all others.

JoeThePimpernel June 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Spoken like a rabid, hateful bigot.

Original Good Old Boy June 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Congratulations on your self-hate and guilt. Do you feel the same way about “black culture”?

Jack June 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm

So your theory is the Republicans who run this state are trying to kill off all the white people? Wow that is is scary.

JoeThePimpernel June 26, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Admit it. You’d put global-warming heretics in prison if you had the chance.

Jack June 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

I don’t know, what are global warming heretics?

Jack June 26, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Further, what does that have to do with a Republicans conspiracy to kill off all us white guys. That’s the story i am interested in.. I saw Kingsmen, and that was a black guy, so I could see how that could happen.

ThanksRevPres June 26, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Watched the Sermon. I’m a 60 year old white guy, SC native. I’m reasonably certain that I’ve never been as specifically proud of a President of the United States as I am at this moment. But, can you imagine being an 8 year old boy having to sit through that entire service Iin a tie and wool pants!?! (The horror…

nitrat June 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm

It was good and gutsy in its numerous topics. It’s what the funeral audience needed and wanted to hear and he gave it to them.
The country needed to hear it too. But, they might not want to hear it as much.
To stay off topic, our Emanuel 9 victims’ families are so much better human beings than the 2 victims (the one young man was the exception) of the Boston Bombing I saw the other day after Tsarnev’s sentencing. They are already on their way to professional victimhood 2 years post bombing. Our people will move on and do good for others and continue to inspire us all. The Boston victims will just whine about their ‘unseen wounds’ as Tsarnev sits on death row for decades.

nitrat June 26, 2015 at 4:54 pm
Where the foreign manufacturers are located help you understand why SC, MS, AL, TN have been jumping so fast.
And, that explains the political waffling.
The first response from the politicians was to pander to their right wing voting base. Then, their real masters in the business community jumped in with both feet.
That is the only explanation.
These Southern states will do what BMW, Mercedes, VW, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volvo and Hyundai tell them to do.


Leave a Comment