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‘Supermajority Blues’: South Carolina Republican Standoff Continues, Undermines New Leader

Which side will blink first?

A conservative revolt in the “Republican-controlled” South Carolina House of Representatives has given way to a lingering standoff – one which may not be resolved until state lawmakers return to the capital city of Columbia next month.

At issue? A loyalty oath which eighteen (18) members of the House “Republican” caucus refused to sign given the draconian restrictions it would have placed on their right to share information with their constituents.

Basically, GOP leaders in the S.C. House foisted the oath on the caucus in an attempt to its muzzle dissenting (i.e. conservative) members – a move which has exposed the fractured nature of the party as well as the impotence of some of its leaders.

Officially, the ruling party enters the 125th session of the S.C. General Assembly with a supermajority of 88 votes. That upcoming session – which kicks off on January 10, 2023 and runs through the fall election cycle in 2024 – is shaping as yet another colossal waste of time when it comes to the Palmetto State making measurable progress on a host of key outcomes.

Politicians in South Carolina are all about cementing their status quo legacies, aren’t they?

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, the state’s economy is not moving in the right direction (see here and here). Nor are its schools (see here). Nor its communities (see here).

Making matters worse? All these adverse results have come despite gargantuan new taxpayer investments in government … expenditures which have fueled the perpetuation of an antiquated, corrupt, duplicative bureaucracy which does all sorts of things government has no business doing (like running power companies, ports and hospitals, etc.).

Oh, and when it comes to eroding faith in our judicial branch of government, state lawmakers bear the brunt of responsibility for that … whether they admit it or not.

Anyway … as I noted in the latest edition of our popular ‘Week In Review’ program (above), anyone expecting real reform from the state legislature this year was already up against long odds. But the loyalty oath drama has capably reinforced how truly divided – and dysfunctional the GOP has become. Not to mention the extent to which South Carolina’s “governing majority” is in no way, shape or form even remotely congruent with the ideals it articulates on the campaign trail.

As we await a resolution to this standoff, there has already been significant fallout within the caucus over last week’s report. According to my sources, a so-called “extreme moderate” coalition of between 25-30 ostensibly “centrist” GOP lawmakers are pushing to have the eighteen conservatives who failed to sign the oath kicked out of the caucus. This group is reportedly being led by minority leader Davey Hiott, speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope, representative Jay West of Belton and representative Micah Caskey of West Columbia.

Meanwhile, a similarly sized group of lawmakers led by newly elected speaker Murrell Smith – the highest-ranking member of the chamber – favors finding a resolution with the “rogue” conservatives.

So far, Smith’s faction of moderates is not prevailing … which in addition to causing further fractures within the caucus is undercutting his nascent leadership of the chamber.

Where is all of this headed?

No one knows yet … but the new “Republican” supermajority is clearly imploding before it has even been officially gaveled to order. Cannot wait to see how it actually “governs.”



(Via: FITSNews)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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