For once, just for a few days, we didn’t look like the dumb Carolina.
While our neighbors to the north — along with Georgia and Mississippi — were fooling around in the toilet with legalized discrimination, making national news for all the wrong reasons, South Carolina looked downright sane by comparison.
In the past week, big businesses have threatened to boycott North Carolina, and some have already pulled out, after the Legislature there passed a law to segregate bathrooms by gender.
It’s been embarrassing. Well, for them.
This is the latest fad in right-wing legislatively mandated discrimination. The target this time is transgender people who allegedly want to use bathrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificates.
Yeah, that’s an epidemic problem. Of course, the people who see this as a threat are the ones who think armed robbery is so common at their local restaurant that they should carry pieces in there to help out.
It was a glorious week for us, while it lasted. For perhaps the first time, we looked like the least stupid state in the Confederacy.
But then Sen. Lee “Not-So” Bright had to step in.
On Wednesday, the state senator, best known for giving away an AR-15 during his last campaign, introduced a bill to stop local governments from allowing transgender people to use whatever restroom they want.
So now we have to pull out our T-shirts that say “I’m with stupid.”
Bright, R-Roebuck, says his constituents have been concerned about this disturbing issue since hearing the scuttlebutt from across the border.
And pandering to rubes is Job 1 for Bright.
Did he not see the hot seat the North Carolina governor has been on since signing that state’s bill into law? PayPal pulled out of Charlotte as a result, and the film industry threatened to go with them.
Has he not noticed that Georgia’s governor was recently forced to veto a “religious liberty” bill that would allow companies to deny service to people — and fire employees — who didn’t share their same narrow faith?
Yes, Gov. Nathan Deal incurred the wrath of God-fearing activists for caving on this Neanderthal bill after two economic development projects fell through and the NFL threatened to yank Atlanta’s upcoming Super Bowl.
Mississippi’s governor signed a similar bill into law this week (he doesn’t have an NFL franchise to worry about).
How is this “liberty” anyway? It’s really just sanctioned discrimination for anyone who isn’t a snake-handler.
And now we have boarded that same crazy train, thanks once again to our conductor, Sen. Ain’t Bright.
The senator, hoping to avoid the courts striking down his idea, says this is about public safety, not religious “liberty.”
Nice try. But Gov. Nikki Haley, in her usual polite Southern manner, said in essence, “bless his heart.”
“In South Carolina we are blessed because we don’t have to mandate respect or kindness or responsibility,” Haley said. “I don’t know of any example that we’ve had a problem of. South Carolina is going to continue to focus on ethics and roads and jobs because we think we have that part covered.”
There was more to the governor’s message than the Southern “go to hell.”
And she’s absolutely right.
South Carolina has far more serious issues to tackle right now.
Our roads are crumbling, public schools are falling apart and our state officials refuse to rein in their bacchanal ethics problems.
These issues have been on their desks for years, yet lawmakers refuse to act. They won’t fix the roads or the schools because, well, that costs money.
And they won’t tighten ethics laws because that might mean the end of the party (even though their “ethics reform” proposal is shamefully weak).
Yes, we have serious problems in South Carolina and an alarming number of our 170 lawmakers have absolutely no interest in finding solutions.
Instead they want to fool around with bathroom politics, and drag this state down the toilet.
Maybe that’s because foolishness about where transgender people pee is all that they and their pea-brained constituents can understand.
Or it could be that, seeing as how this is an election year, they feel the need to stir up the nuts and get them to the polls.
But then that also means this is also a perfect opportunity to drag these knuckle-draggers into the nearest public restroom — and flush them.
Reach Brian Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org