And now, the Democratic response to Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the State speech:
In case you missed it, the Democrats' rebuttal to the governor's Wednesday night speech was the best disaster shown on public TV since that Titanic documentary. The party put poor ol' Sen. Brad Hutto in front of the ETV cameras to fall on the sword and, well, it was not exactly must-see TV.
Bottom line: If you ever wondered why the Democrats are permanent back-benchers in this state, there was your answer.
In the course of a few short minutes, Hutto took a few easy shots at the GOP and managed to give even fewer specifics than Haley (if that's possible). Then he tried to swipe her "accountability" issue, which is really the South Carolina Policy Council's issue. But that's another story.
Couldn't they find a better idea to steal, one that might save us a few bucks?
Even some Democrats were left muttering something about a train wreck. And it was.
Haley set the bar ridiculously low, and the Dims still couldn't get over it.
Need more GOP
Nothing against Hutto -- he was just forced to read what he was given. But can't those guys do better than that? They picked the low-hanging fruit, pointing out Haley's fiscal hypocrisy of paying her young staffers (who worked on her campaign) far more than Gov. Mark Sanford paid his. That's more than fair, but it went downhill from there.
They put in a subtle, oh-so 2009, dig about Sanford's Appalachian Trail fiasco. Then the Democrats pointed out that the state has fallen apart while completely under Republican rule.
Well, yeah. Everyone knows that.
But in case these guys haven't noticed, the voters' response to the idea that Republicans messed up the state is to elect different Republicans. This is a team sport, and the home team does no wrong. Why can't the Dims get that and give up?
Oh yeah, it sounded like that's exactly what they've done.
Some theater, please
The Democrats would have been better off to make a case for their own plans, if they have them, and then explain -- in English -- how the Republican-controlled Legislature actually led South Carolina into the fiscal wilderness.
They could have listed all the less-than-essential district projects the state funded in the past decade and named the lawmakers who pushed those measures through the General Assembly. They could have pointed out that the Republicans fouled up the lottery legislation so bad that now it costs more to go to college with a scholarship than it used to without one. Pure genius.
And they could have told how the GOP kissed up to the most affluent voters by shifting much of the state's tax burden to the sales tax, which is what led to much of this $829 million budget deficit.
It would have been great theater, listing all the people who voted for that tax plan. Of course, then the Democrats would have to admit that some of them went along with it too, since their whole strategy for a decade has been to out-Republican the GOP.
And clearly that's not working out too well for them, or the state.