National conservative leaders affiliated with the State Freedom Caucus Network issued a statement this week slamming leaders in the “Republican-controlled” South Carolina General Assembly for expelling sixteen members of the state’s “Freedom Caucus” from the GOP supermajority.
“We call on you, as party leaders in South Carolina, to assist the South Carolina Freedom Caucus members in doing away with this loyalty oath to the party and to refocus the South Carolina House Republican Leadership on using this unique time in history to pass the conservative policies that your constituents expect of them,” the letter from twenty-six (26) conservative leaders noted.
The letter cited the South Carolina Republican creed, which states that GOP officials should not “trade freedom for beneficence, nor (their) dignity for a handout” or “cower before any master, save my God.”
“This is very clearly trading freedom for beneficence,” the letter from DeMint, Meadows, et. al. noted. “This is not thinking and acting for oneself. It is not being unafraid. The people of South Carolina expect their representatives to uphold and promote their values, not sign-up for a political self-protection racket.
In case you’ve missed our coverage of this issue, GOP majority leader Davey Hiott of Pickens County and S.C. speaker pro tempore Tommy Pope of Rock Hill have been attempting for weeks to force an incumbent protection racket on twenty conservative members of the caucus. Specifically, they have been pushing a rule (.pdf) which states that no GOP lawmaker “shall engage in campaign activities of any kind against any other caucus member in good standing.”
The impetus for this proposed rule? The recent defeat of several influential “moderate” GOP leaders during the 2022 GOP primary elections last June.
As I noted in my prior coverage of this issue, the loyalty oath is “a clear effort on the part of GOP leaders to insulate left-of-center establishment ‘Republicans’ from credible conservative challengers next year.” It is also a brazenly transparent bid “to prevent those on the right from gaining additional seats within the caucus.”
DeMint has previously weighed in on this subject, slamming GOP leaders in the left-of-center state legislature for imposing a “blood oath pledge” on conservative members.
“The swamp water has traveled downstream from the Potomac and has entered the Broad River,” DeMint wrote. “And in it, the moderate establishment is working to alienate those who are committed to draining it.”
“Republicans” occupy 88 out of 124 seats in the House – or 70.9 percent of the of the chamber. The S.C. Senate – which is on the cusp of a GOP supermajority – was not on the ballot in 2022. Its members face voters again in 2024.
Unfortunately, GOP rule has not resulted in the adoption of fiscally conservative policies in South Carolina. If anything, the opposite has been the case – one reason the SCGOP-controlled General Assembly has ranked as the most liberal “Republican-controlled” state legislature in America three years running.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
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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