We don't know about you, but we're having a little trouble telling the difference between the two, thanks to Berkeley County Republican Party Chairman Josef Stalin ... whoops ... Wade Arnette, who has threatened to sic law enforcement on Charles Schuster, the long-time moderator of the group:
"I might have to have him arrested, or not, I don't know," Arnette said of Schuster on Thursday. "We might have to have a police officer down there. I am absolutely disgusted by this."
Arnette is THAT intimidated by Schuster? If you've ever met Charles, he's about the last person you'd be afraid of, much less call the cops on.
Then why is there such a need to muzzle dissent with arrests and Soviet-style party purges? Well, according to Arnette:
"The purpose of that breakfast is not to get up there and criticize anyone," Arnette said. "If they want it to stay as a Republican breakfast, then they need to follow the rules of the Republican Party."
We'd be interested in knowing what Mr. Arnette defines as the "rules of the Republican Party"? The last time we checked, people in this country have a right to question and criticize public officials, and nowhere in the Republican platform is freedom of speech prohibited.
It is with some irony that we recall seeing Mr. Arnette criticize a number of current and former public officials while attending past breakfast club meetings, including former GOP County Supervisor Jim Rozier and current GOP Governor Mark Sanford. Perhaps he'd be willing to step aside for such heinous violations of his own rules.
To refresh Mr. Arnette's memory, part of the Republican Creed says:
I will never cower before any master, save my God.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid. To think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations; to face the whole world boldly and say, "I am a free American."
That is, except when you're in Wade Arnette's presence. In that case, stay out of his way or he might have you arrested.
The biggest irony is that the place where Arnette will attempt to force his hand is the local American Legion, a place dedicated to those who sacrificed for our liberties, including the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
To use Arnette's words, we're "absolutely disgusted by this".
Arnette claims that he's seeking an opinion from the state Republican Party. We are certainly interested in knowing if Mr. Dawson plans to assist Arnette's efforts to force the entire Berkeley County Republican Party under the control of Arnette's Stalinist faction.
Tomorrow, we'll be there for grits and eggs ... and maybe handcuffs and bond hearings. Maybe we'll end up in jail , but if Charles has the guts to stand up to Comrade Arnette, then the least we can do is stand beside him.