The Buzz

The Buzz: Note to SC pols -- Quit comparing your opponents to Nazis!

abeam@thestate.comAugust 4, 2013 


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    The Buzz is a look back at the week in South Carolina legislature by reporters at The (Columbia) State.

On the first day of any public relations class, the teacher should walk in and, without saying a word, write this on the board:

“Nazi references are never OK.”

Then, the PR professional should call up the leaders of South Carolina’s two political parties and offer them the same rule.

Twice – repeat, twice – in the past year, the chairmen of the state’s political parties have compared the other party’s leaders to Nazis.

We know some Republicans think Barack Obama wants to take all of their money and spend it on death panels. And some Democrats think Nikki Haley wants to make sure poor people never have health care.

But Obama’s health care bill and Haley’s opposition to that bill do not – repeat, do not – compare to slaughtering millions of people.

Since the state’s political leaders don’t understand this, The Buzz thinks it is only best to make them a list of other banned comparisons.

So Democrats and Republicans, please, consider the following off limits:

1. The Ku Klux Klan

This week, the New Haven Register wrote an editorial blasting the founding of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Milford, Conn.


Then, the editorial said: “[T]the same basic message that the KKK has promoted for 148 years is embraced by the likes of Ted Nugent, Fox News, Ann Coulter, a burgeoning array of fringe ‘conservative’ media.”


Until Nugent, Fox News, Coulter and “conservative media” don white hoods and lynch people, don’t compare them to the KKK.

2. Using the “N” word

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was at a Kenny Chesney concert when a security guard, who was African-American, did not let him backstage. Cooper was upset about this.

That’s fine, too.

But then, Cooper said: “I will jump that fence and fight every (expletive) here.”

Unless you are portraying a slave owner in a historical movie, it’s not OK for you to use that word.


3. Terrorists

Last year, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., was upset because a new law went into effect making birth-control pills available without a co-pay.

OK, fine.

But, then, Kelly added this: “I know in your mind, you can think of the times America was attacked ... Sept. 11 ... that’s the day the terrorists attacked. I want you to remember Aug. 1, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom.”

Voting for a law to make birth-control pills available without a co-pay does not compare to hijacking four jetliners and flying them into buildings to kill thousands of people.

Why does Maggie Mae hate the governor?

Maggie Mae exists. She is a computer analyst living in Clemson.

Also known as @maggiemae0412 on Twitter, Maggie Mae lives to tweet insults at Republican Gov. Nikki Haley. Any reporter who has ever written about Haley – or anyone who has ever tweeted about her in general – likely has heard from her.

While Maggie Mae is real, that is not her real name (it’s her dog’s name). In a phone interview, “Mae” asked The Buzz not to identify her, for fear of losing her job. That’s probably because she tweets things like this:

• “Did Nikki Haley arrange for Michael Haley to come home early? Why is Michael Haley getting special treatment to come home early?” (That in reference to Michael Haley’s two-week leave from National Guard duty in Afghanistan, a standard R&R offered all service members in Afghanistan.)

• “When some teenager sees the Gov of SC shooting an AK47 and goes out and shoots a group of people – he will think it is ok cause SC gov did it.” (That in reference to Haley posting pictures and a video of her on Facebook and Twitter showing the governor shooting guns at a Richland County arms manufacturer.)

• And, on the same subject: “Target practice is fun. Indulging latent homicidal tendencies seems weird. Especially when you’re the governor of SC – gun fetish not funny.”

What started all of this? Why does nearly every tweet from Maggie Mae have to do with Nikki Haley?

It all started when the governor removed Darla Moore from the USC Board of Trustees and “replaced her with a campaign donor,” Mae told The Buzz in a phone interview.

“I don’t think there is enough people that pay attention to what’s going on in politics in South Carolina,” she said. “That’s my main motivation ... and that’s why I do go overboard, occasionally, because I’m hoping enough people will say, ‘Wait a minute, maybe I will stop and listen.’ ”

Maggie Mae said she doesn’t dislike all Republicans – “I think he world of (state Treasurer) Curtis Loftis. I think he’s one of the smartest people in South Carolina” – and she said she would stop her attacks on Haley if the governor “were to answer some questions and actually have a conversation or carry on a decent conversation, maybe I would see her point of view.”

Recently, Twitter suspended Maggie Mae’s account – an action she is convinced Twitter took at the request of the governor. But she’s back, tweeting under the handle “@beachtiger0412.”

Asked for comment, Doug Mayer, the governor’s deputy press secretary, said:

“Who is Maggie Mae?”

Buzz bites

• State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Gov. Nikki Haley’s likely Democratic opponent in 2014, criticized Haley’s administration during a recent speech to the Columbia Rotary Club. Haley will get her turn when she speaks to the club next month.

• The Hill, a Washington publication, has named U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the 35th most beautiful person in Washington. Asked if he has a girlfriend, Scott said yes, but he would not reveal her name. Can we FOIA that?

• U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in an interview with The New Republic magazine, said of South Carolina’s senior senator, a Seneca Republican: “ Lindsey Graham is like a son to me.”

OK. But will that help in the 2014 GOP primary?

McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, is only 1-1 in S.C. Republican primaries, losing in 2000 but winning in 2008. (Graham, for the record, is undefeated.)

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