Stupid goddamn southern Republicans

Worried about ol’ Strom Thurmond vapor locking and expiring before his Senate term does, South Carolina republicans are trying to get an agreement, or a law, forcing the democratic governor to appoint any possible replacement for a vacant office from the same party as its former occupant. Now and in the future.

Like hell they care about the future. All they want is to keep the current 50-50 split so they can win the ties.

What happened to: “To the victor goes the spoils” ?
That’s what the Republicans are doing in Washington DC, so why shouldn’t the Democratic governor do the same?

What idiots (on both sides).

Yeh, I’m sure the Democrats would never try a wily trick like that!

And I’m sure all “southern Republicans” are in on it too.

Feh. I give you a 1.3.

'Course, I’m sure that you being a republican had nothing to do with that…

The voters chose a particular person. Sounds like they’re looking to honor the “will of the voter” by requiring the Governor to appoint someone who’s ideals are likely to coincide with the person being replaced… as opposed to the Governor looking out for his own personal goals.

Is it a stupid law? Yeah. Is it a stupid reasoning? Nope.

So? That’s as good a reason as any to do anything in politics these days.

The progressive gives it a two. That’s because of my bleeding heart. :wink:

I should hope so, since I’m not a Republican.


Admit it, you’re a right wing sympathizer!

'Fraid not, Mr. Intangible. I don’t have sympathy for anyone on the right wing.

I disagree.
Actions have consequences. We need to look past the current gain or loss and examine all the ramifications of a decision. To do otherwise is shortsighted. Leaders need the discipline to sacrifice for the future.

I agree that the Republican proposal is a bad idea.
We can’t know why voters selected Thurmond. We do know that a majority thought that the best available man to fulfill the responsibilities of governor was Jim Hodges. One of those responsibilities is filling Senate vacancies.

Personally, I think that the best way to replace an elected official is the obvious way. Have an election. Since some guys a couple hundred years ago figured that was a bad idea, in order for a state to elect a replacement it would have to do what Americans do when confronted by constitutional roadblocks: get devious. After a Senator dies the state could hold an election and then have the Governor appoint the winner to the empty seat.

No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. - James Madison

Three choices, none of which look very good:

  1. A biased decision by the governor.
  2. A biased decision by the party.
  3. A vote.

They all have their pluses and minuses.

  1. That rule was put there for a good reason. We can only assume that the senator’s death will be a sudden thing, in which case a decision would have to be made fairly quickly. However, this means the governer can appoint whoever he likes, and it won’t matter if “The People” don’t like who he appoints.

  2. A decision by the party would be the same as above, although perhaps not quite so expediant.

  3. A vote is a pretty good indicator of what “The People” want. Unfortunately, unless he dies on super tuesday the vote would have to impromptu and hasty at best. What do you think the voter turn out on that would be? Not to mention vote disputes, hanging chads, etc.

So South Carolina’s pretty much screwed.

BTW, friedo, do you know the handshake?

I believe that the methods of filling vacant senate seats varies by state. Some already have laws requiring that the governor fills the seat with someone from the same party. Others leave it up to the governor. I am not sure if any require an election, but I think a couple leaveit up to the state legislature.

As a side note, if Gore/Lieberman had won, the Senate would have been controlled by the Republicans. Lieberman would have had to resign and his governor is Republican.

Handshake? What do you mean? I certainly know how to shake someone’s hand, yes.


Just a little further information for you on the topic. Governor Hodges has already stated long ago that, if Thurmond died, he would appoint a “caretaker” to the Senate seat, i.e. someone who would promise not to run for the seat when it is next up in fall 2002. I believe he thought that promising this would head off any meaningful opposition by the Republicans who dominate the state legislature, but obviously they are still uncomfortable with his having the power to appoint the interim Senator if Strom dies.

2sense said:

Actually, it wasn’t an issue a couple hundred years ago–US Senators were elected by the state legislatures until the 17th Amendment was enacted in 1913.

Speaking of which, that amendment provides:

Which means that the state where the vacancy occurs can have an election to fill it any time the legislature’s collective little hearts so desire–they don’t have to wait until the next federal election, though in practice that’s what happens. (Holding a special election costs a fair amount of money, you know.)

Having said that, I’ll agree that I don’t care for the idea of forcing the Governor to follow party registration in filling a vacancy. The people of South Carolina elected a Democrat–tough shit if the Republicans in the legislature don’t like it.

(And, for the record, I ama Republican.)

Good catch, Myster.

In my first quote I was refering to the idea of electing the Senate in the first place, though I consider myself chastened, having not familiarized myself with the amendment.
:: slumping off back to his cave ::

My impression has been that Thurmond keeps getting re-elected basically due to the careful attention his experienced staff gives to constituent issues, not because of his party affiliation or unsavory past positions.

I have no problem with special elections to fill empty seats, believing as I do that the will of We the People is paramount. Not many people think their vote for Governor is also a vote for Senator, nor should they.

So, yes, this is a bad law, based on too-narrow and too-obvious partisan considerations rather than a principle of democracy.

2sense: it’s amazing how well-read you can sound if you keep a World Almanacbeside your computer. :smiley:

ElvisL1ves: I’ve always been under the impression voting for Thurmond was a matter of tradition. You vote for him 'cause your daddy voted for him, 'cause your granddaddy voted for him, 'cause your great-granddaddy voted for him…

Quite true, although the power he (his office) has had due to his seniority has also been a factor. However, his rapidly failing health seems to have led some prominent Republicans in the state to question why party leadership didn’t seriously consider seeking a viable younger candidate in the last election back in '96. Of course, few expected the state to elect a Democratic governor in '98, so hindsight is 20/20.

So are you suggesting that the current situation, where the decision is up to a single person, is the epitome of democracy and fairness?

A recent article in the local fishwrap (I believe it was an AP story) said that Strom had approached the Gov about “retiring” soon, and requested that his estranged wife be appointed in his place. This would probably have an effect that the voters would love: keeping the same staff, who has been the real power for the constituents for quite a while (the article said that the staff has been in full control of all affairs for at least the last two terms). If the Gov is smart (and wants to keep his job), that’s what I would advise him to do.