Sean Trende asks "Can the Clinton Coalition Survive Obama?"

In "Can the Clinton Coalition Survive Obama?", posted at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende considers how voter shifts of 2009 may signal a turning point in the recent growth of Democratic voter support:

John Judis and Ruy Teixeira's well-regarded 2002 work The Emerging Democratic Majority begins with a vignette set in Virginia. They tell the story of a telecom executive named Mark Warner, who runs a moderate campaign that appeals to upper-middle class suburbanites and working class rural voters, and manages to put together a winning coalition that, if imitated in other states, might put the Democrats in power for decades to come.

Given this background, it’s only appropriate that the first tangible sign that this coalition is coming unglued has come in Virginia. Republican Bob McDonnell won the governorship with almost 59% of the vote – the highest percentage (though not the highest victory margin) for any governor since 1961. The entire Republican ticket won by similar margins, and the GOP picked up six seats in the General Assembly. It could have been even worse – five Democrats won their Assembly races by fewer than 1,000 votes.

There are some superficial lessons to be drawn here.

Trende's article, backed with some good voter trend analysis, asks some interesting questions and is worth a read.

Red Dawn remake coming out next year?

Work has started on a remake of the 1984 classic "Red Dawn", which will be released late next year. This remake will replace the forces of the now-dissolved Soviet empire with Chinese forces.

In light of their growing ownership of American debt, such forceful measures may not be necessary.

Remembering how stark and chilling the original movie was, it's hard to imagine how they'll top the original for hard-hitting effect. It was hard to beat the shock of opening with a massacre at a high school, and following a group of teenagers who were forced to take flight in the midst of a Soviet invasion, coming out of hiding to fight back in the town and surrounding countryside where they were raised.

While some argued it was an intensely political production which supported militant anti-communist points of view and glamorized war, I saw nothing glamorous about watching a group of teens hiding in the mountains, cold, half-starving, on the run, losing their families, while fighting a losing war of attrition - not because they wanted to, but rather because fighting and dying was preferable to simply dying in captivity.

The original movie was dramatic, powerful, but there was nothing cheerful about a movie which told a tale of the price to be paid by those caught in the middle of war. Everyone in the movie lost dearly - families, homes, friends, and even their own lives. Watching Jed Eckart cry in private at losing his friends, and the Nicaraguan captain stare at his weapon, disgusted at having turned from an noble insurgent to an occupier, showed moments where war forced them to become the very things they hated.

It'll be interesting to see if the remake can touch those deep emotions which made the first one so powerful, or it will simply be an over-produced special effects remake in which flash overcomes substance.

To follow the movie's progress, you can follow this fan site: RedDawn2010

Our advice to Sanford

With the Ethics investigation hitting pay dirt and the House Impeachment special committee meetings underway, things aren't going very well for Governor Sanford.

In the best interests of the state, we'd like to encourage the Governor to consider some advice from a fellow Republican Governor:

Riley and Charleston: Sinking together?

In the last month, two events have turned out to be major moments in the direction of the City of Charleston: Boeing's decision to go to the Lowcountry, and the city elections.

In colonial times, Charleston was the dominant political force in the state. After the Revolution, Upstate rural residents, resenting Charleston's arrogance and willingness to accomodate the British occupiers, moved the capital to Columbia and stripped the city of its power over the rest of South Carolina.

Since then, Charleston was, like most center cities of metropolitan areas, the dominant economic and political force in its region. But in recent years, its relevance has dwindled - once more at the hands of those outside the city. This time it wasn't at the hands of a Upstate farmers and hunters, but rather long string of economic development coups - most notably Nucor Steel and Boeing - that went elsewhere in the Lowcountry.

While Joe Riley - Charleston's Mayor - has presided over the city's declining importance, his administration has lost steam from within. Three major embarassments have rocked his adminstration in recent years: the resignation of Police Chief Reuben Greenberg after a highly-publicized outburst in traffic, the arrest of a long-time family friend who embezzled $400K from his city position, and the death of nine firefighters while the former fire chief blustered "we do things OUR way".

After years of trying to get non-partisan City elections, allegedly to neutralize the vocal and growing Republican opposition in the city, Riley got his wish. Since then, all four of Riley's major allies who represented West Ashley districts - Bleecker, Evans, Morinelli, and Tinkler - are gone, replaced by council members with ties to the GOP. With another council member from solidly-Republican Daniel Island and other council member a past Riley challenger, prospects of Riley being able to push his initiatives through council with large majorities and few questions seem a lot tougher than in years past.

These recent shifts highlight the reality that neither Charleston nor Riley command the influence or respect they once did.

In the early 1990s, John Bourne, North Charleston's founding mayor was toppled by an electorate much different than the one which first seated him and established the city. Likewise, Charleston's voters and issues have changed greatly and seem far less friendly to Riley and his allies. These changed realities could create opportunities for those who have been waiting for a chance to topple Riley and could make the 2011 mayoral election one to watch.

Dumb enough to call Brackett's bluff

Back in August, the Blogland reported on an experimental approach taken towards first-time and youthful suspected drug dealers in Rock Hill and talked with Solicitor Kevin Brackett about it.

In this experiment, eight suspects were confronted by community leaders and challenged to get a job or an education, as well as offered assistance.

Then they went into the next room, where they were presented with some of the evidence gathered against them, and told if they stayed out of trouble and accepted the challenge from the community leaders, they would not be prosecuted. But if they rejected that offer by getting in trouble again, Brackett promised us they would face him personally - and that the August charges would be reinstated as well.

Of the eight, most of them have opted to fly right, but
Donquavis McConnell chose otherwise, being arrested last month after running from police and being in possession of crack.

In keeping their promises, Brackett has said that he will be prosecuting his case personally - including the charges from August - and Rock Hill police have asked that the case be fast-tracked.

Our hats are off to Brackett and Rock Hill Police for keeping their word, as well as for working hard to clean up one of the toughest neighborhoods in York County.

Remount Road & Interstate 26 to re-open for business

Later this morning, the Remount Road interchange with Interstate 26 in North Charleston will re-open after a four-month closure.

Less than 24 hours before the re-opening, Father Titus Fulcher - my priest - and our cantors came out to bless the new overpass, offering prayers for the safety of our workers and motorists, as well as the successful completion of re-opening operations.

Given the continuing difficulties in addressing work zone safety and all the efforts that have been made to improve safety for our workers and motorists alike, it can't hurt to get a few additional prayers to help.

"You Lie" seems to be contagious

The disease is spreading to Virginia, infecting a Hampton City Council member:

Councilman George Wallace has issued a public apology to a person he interrupted at last month's council meeting in which Wallace accused the man of lying.

During Wednesday's City Council meeting, Wallace read from a letter he sent to Frank Ottofaro. Wallace suggested he had lost his cool after enduring continuous remarks about his character going back more than six years.

During the public comments section of the Oct. 14 meeting, Wallace interrupted Ottofaro's rant, telling him, "You lie."

Representative Anne Hutto and Work Zone Safety

On the way to class tonight, yours truly was traveling though my company's I-26 work zone.

This work zone, with a posted speed limit of 55, is a place where my company has had our vehicles, safety devices, signs, and even one worker hit by out-of-control cars where speed and/or alcohol was often found to be a contributing factor.

Tonight's work zone safety star was on I-26 Eastbound, at about 5.15pm, wasn't hard to spot. She passed me like a bat out of hell just before the Aviation Avenue interchange, going at speeds far in excess of the approximately 55-58 that I was driving, swerving from lane to lane to get around cars.

Tonight's work zone safety star was driving a burgundy Volvo SUV with a legislator tag numbered 111, and the driver looked a lot like James Island Representative Anne Peterson Hutto.

Even after leaving the work zone, she kept driving much the same way, until she got boxed in by traffic near the Dorchester Road exit.

Having seen this, we in the Blogland would like to know how she feels about work zone safety issues.

Or maybe she feels that traffic and work zone laws are just for everyone else?

Perhaps she was inspired by this video:

Thanksgiving Political Awards

Over at Voting Under The Influence, they're taking nominations for their Thanksgiving Political Awards:

1) Turkey of the Year (given to the politician or political group with the worst year and most boneheaded moves.)

2) Golden Drumstick: (given to the politician or political group with the best year or most influence.)

3) Cornbread Dressing Award for Career Achievement

4) Cranberry Sauce Award for outstanding local government achievement.

5) Holiday Ham Award (given to the politician, blogger, consultant, with the biggest ego.)

6) The Fruitcake Award (self explanatory)

Go over there, or email Brian McCarty personally, to make your nominations.

Contractors endorse Barrett - or did they?

Working in the construction industry, I received a lot of calls today wanting my take on the endorsement of Gresham Barrett's gubernatorial campaign by the Associated Builders & Contractors of the Carolinas. They wanted to know why the construction industry has chosen sides, and done so this early in the campaign.

My response: "Their endorsement doesn't mean what you think".

This organization is one of several organizations representing organizations and individuals who work in the construction industry. The largest organization is the Carolinas chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the American Subcontractors Association Carolinas' chapter (ASAC) is a group with a wide range of contractor membership, mostly from smaller general and specialty contractors.

While ABC of SC is a legitimate organization, by no means do they speak as the single voice of the construction industry in South Carolina. Hence their endorsement should not be considered as Barrett locking up the support of the construction industry.

In the construction industry, we have a lot of issues we're concerned about, including legislative issues such as tort and workers' comp reform, regulatory reform, underground utilities, and taxes. Regardless of the endorsement of ABC of SC, many of us are undecided in this race, and we encourage the candidates for Governor to continue discussing these issues with us.

Inside Intervew: State Senator Larry Martin

This year, Republican Senator Larry Martin marks his 30th year of legislative service. Beginning his career in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1992. Representing Pickens County, where he grew up, in the Senate, he chairs Rules Committee.

Recently, he agreed to do a little Q&A for our readers, so we threw a few questions his way, and here’s what he had to say back:

Thirty years is a long time in state politics, and a lot has changed. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen and how do you feel about them?

The biggest change in the Legislature and in state politics since the late 1970’s has been the rise of the Republican Party. Some Republicans today question the sincerity of party switchers like me that began their involvement in politics in the 1970s as Democrats. But, that was practically the only game in town when I began. Conservatives were widely involved in the Democratic Party at the state and local level but that substantively changed in the 1980s and forward.

Another big change that has occurred is that our state’s economy is much more diversified than it was thirty years ago. Also, our higher educational system, particularly the research institutions, is contributing more to our state’s economy as is our technical education system. We’re also seeing a record numbers of students enrolled in higher education, particularly in our technical colleges. This bodes well for our future.

What’s an issue or two which are important to you, and what would you like to see done about them?

I’m once again sponsoring the tort reform legislation, and that’s a very important bill for the coming session and for South Carolina’s economic competitiveness. Also, I’m hopeful that the TRAC Commission will produce some meaningful recommendations that will enable us to enact a more balanced tax structure for the state.

Your career has been in manufacturing management in the textile industry, an industry which was once the bread-and-butter of the Upstate. What is the future of this industry in the Upstate?

A smaller textile industry presence will continue in the Upstate. It’s a tough, international environment that we face in competing with countries that don’t always play by the same rules we do. I also happen to believe that more than the remaining jobs in our domestic textile industry is at stake in discussing the industry’s health; it is vital to our national security that we maintain the capacity to produce fabric for a wide array of uses, particularly for defense, health care, etc.

After so many years serving in Columbia, do you have any plans to hang it up and retire in the near future?

It was never a goal of mine to serve a long time in the Legislature, and it has my policy not to make any plans beyond the next election cycle. The people of Pickens County have been extremely supportive and kind as evidenced by the support that I received in last year’s primary. Although the 2012 election cycle is three years away, I’m pretty confident that I’ll run again. I’m very involved in the day to day operation of the Senate and enjoy serving my constituency on a personal level. So, I’d like to continue to use what little influence I might have attained to make the process work for the betterment of our state and for the folks that I’m privileged to represent.

Rocking with Tesla tonight at "The Farm"

I'll be rocking with Tesla at the Music Farm tonight. Tickets are still available, so come join the Blogland for a hell of a great night!

One of their classic hits - Edison's Medicine:

... and something from their new album - I Wanna Live:

For those who say I'm evil

... here's proof - a Halloween photo of the Evil Professor.

Questions of economic parallels between US 2010 and Japan 1990?

Now, the news media is telling us that deficit spending to stimulate the economy might not work after all:

Both Japan, beginning in the 1990s, and the U.S., in the most recent economic crisis, had credit and housing bubbles and both engaged in huge amounts of overborrowing leading up to sharp economic downturns. And both used historically low interest rates and government stimulus spending to try to lift their economies out of the ditch — with questionable results in Japan.

A Hero who embodied America's contribution to winning the fight for freedom

If you had to describe the century's geopolitics in one sentence, it could be a short one: Freedom won. Free minds and free markets prevailed over fascism and communism.

So a more suitable choice would be someone who embodied the struggle for freedom: Franklin Roosevelt, the only person to be TIME's Man of the Year thrice (for 1932, 1934 and 1941). He helped save capitalism from its most serious challenge, the Great Depression. And then he rallied the power of free people and free enterprise to defeat fascism.

Other great leaders were part of this process. Winston Churchill stood up to Hitler even earlier than Roosevelt did, when it took far more courage. Harry Truman, a plainspoken man with gut instincts for what was right, forcefully began the struggle against Soviet expansionism, a challenge that Roosevelt was too sanguine about. Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev helped choreograph the conclusion of that sorry empire's strut upon the stage. So too did Pope John Paul II, a Pole with a passion for both faith and freedom. And if you were to pick a hero who embodied America's contribution to winning the fight for freedom, it would probably be not Roosevelt, but instead the American G.I.

SCGOP's Virginia Vacation recap

Recently, Palmetto State Republicans joined many others in traveling to Virginia to help push the GOP ticket over the top. They took part in a first-class operation which accomplished a clean sweep of statewide offices and picked up six seats in the Virginia House.

For a state which the Democrats thought they were taking over, it was no small setback.

As shown in this photo, Adam Piper (on the left) was heavily involved in planning the operation, in which the latest in computer techology to develop a winning game plan.

We also want to thank a number of others who took part in this venture, beginning with Sally Atwater, whose husband was Lee Atwater, the famous GOP strategist, as well as these fine folks:

Midlands team: SCGOP Political Director Matt Nichols, SCGOP Deputy Political Director Kurt Pickhardt, Eric Hollander, Nettie Britts, Adrienne Levy, and Rich (no last name, but we know he's from Kershaw).

Upstate team: Adam Piper, Katie Wellborn, Christine Byington, Scott Cox, Summer Harris, Will Sturm, and Chris Godbey.

We understand another team from the College of Charleston also took part, but we don't know who they are as of yet.

A number of these individuals also played a role in the recent "Cherokee Two-fer", where a special election State House pick-up in the Upstate was followed by the neighboring Rep. switching to the GOP. In talking with several GOP operatives, these sort of cost-effective grassroots tactics will be seen more often in the future.

If there's important work to be done, look for this wrecking crew to show up in your neck of the woods.

Tell a Marine "Happy Birthday" today

It is on this date in 1775, Major Samuel Nicholas was commissioned by the Continental Congress to begin recruiting for what would become the United States Marines:

"That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two Majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of Privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalion of Marines."

It is a date which may be remembered in infamy by many of America's enemies, but one which all Americans should remember with pride and appreciation.

So if you see a Marine today, don't forget to say "Happy Birthday" ... and thank him or her for their service to our nation and the cause of freedom for all.

"Tear down this wall" ... and it was done

Ask yourselves this question: Will they be content in such a state of slavery? If not, look to the consequences. Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience

- Edmund Burke, 1774

Today, we recognize the day that, twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall came down, followed by the fall of the Soviet empire which envisioned the wall, both in physical and figurative terms. This had much to do with the words and the deeds of President Ronald Reagan, who stood before the wall two years before its fall, challenging those who built it to tear it down:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe , if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr.Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

- Address from the Brandenburg Gate

As discussed previously on this blog, two Berlin Wall segments can be seen in Spartanburg, in front of the Menzel plant, which is near Mile 3 of the I-85 Business route. We encourage our readers to include a pilgrimage to this location next time they're in the Upstate.

If you go, think about the courage of those who defied the wall, by overt acts as well as by refusing to allow those who built it to crush their dreams of freedom. We'd also ask you to remember the 136 who died along that wall, as well as several hundred who died while attempting to escape East Germany elsewhere during the Cold War.

For those who haven't seen it, here's Reagan's 1987 Berlin Wall address:

Arnold the Governator sends a message

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger typically attaches a message to bills he signs or vetoes telling lawmakers why he took the action.

A Democratic assemblyman who heckled the governor during a recent event in San Francisco actually received two messages: the veto letter itself and a not-so-subtle rebuke creatively hidden within it.

Like a find-the-word puzzle, the second message was visible by stringing together the first letter of each line down the left-hand margin. It consisted of a common four-letter vulgarity followed by the letters "y-o-u."

"My goodness. What a coincidence," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. "I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen."

To read a copy of this letter, click this link.

Those of us who are big Schwarzengger fans know this isn't the first time he may have said this in a highly-public forum. For the benefit of our younger readers who may not be familiar with Arnold's famous line, take a look:

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Check out "Pig on the Ridge" in Ridgeway this weekend

We want to let our readers know that one of the state's biggest BBQ cookoff events is this weekend in Ridgeway - "Pig on the Ridge". Ridgeway is in Fairfield County, just minutes off I-77 at the SC Highway 34 exit. If coming from Columbia, exit and then turn right and you'll be just five minutes from some great weekend eatin'.

We say "go for it" ... and you might even see us there!

... and the horse this guy rode in on.

Since last week's decision by Boeing to put their 787 production line in South Carolina, there has been a lot of finger-pointing in Seattle about who to blame. From the media coverage, we've skimmed, the wrath has been fixed on three targets:

  • The refusal of labor unions to negotiate
  • Boeing's management being "disloyal" to Seattle
  • Cheap, lazy and inferior South Carolina labor
Yesterday, FITSNews shared with us this cartoon penned by David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Note the inclusion of controversial images, such as the Rebel flag, moonshine still, and a noose.

We're a little surprised he didn't throw in a burning cross and a KKK gnome while he was at it.

This cartoon embodies the sour grapes mindset which many on the left coast have taken towards Boeing's wise choice. In the interests of building a stronger relationship between Boeing management and South Carolina, the Blogland wouldn't mind if Seattle's circular firing squad keeps up the good work.

We invite our readers to
email Mr. Horsey and ask him what he was thinking.

... or to tell him "... yeah, and the horse you rode in on".

First District GOP candidates to face each other on Saturday in Goose Creek

Looks like the Berkeley Republican Breakfast club will feature the first head-to-head match of the 1st District GOP congressional candidates on Saturday. Folks, we're not missing this one. It's gonna be a heck of a show!

The Berkeley Republican Breakfast Club will host Republican candidates for the First Congressional District at our November 7th breakfast meeting. Congressman Henry Brown and Carroll Campbell III have confirmed their attendance and Katherine Jenerett is working her schedule. Each candidate will be given five minutes to speak and then questions will be taken from the floor. In addition any other Republican candidate in attendance for office in Berkeley County is always given two minutes to speak prior to our keynote program. Come and question the candidates about issues important to you.

The Berkeley Republican Breakfast meets at 9:00 am the first Saturday of each month at American Legion Post 166, 116 Howe Hall Road, Goose Creek. A great $5 breakfast is served. No membership is required and the public is always welcome to attend.

For more information contact Charles Schuster 509-6027 or Nancy Corbin 688-4975.

South Carolina Republicans kicking tail and raising hell in Virginia

We take you (kind of) live to Fairfax County, Virginia, where Republicans from South Carolina have arrived to help fuel GOP Get-Out-The-Vote efforts:

When Republicans are pushing the vote in northern Virginia, it's a sure sign the Democrats are desperately on the defense going into Tuesday's election. Kudos to Adam Piper, Matt Nichols and others who are taking the fight to the Democrats on their turf for a change!