I am glad that I went to graduate school in South Carolina, met and became friends with conservative Republicans while I was there, and those are the only reasons that I cannot write off that state as a whole. But the GOP politicians of South Carolina continue to make a good case for wishing that these disturbed folks could stop ruining the reputation of a rather beautiful place.
From "you lie" Joe Wilson, to "it will be his Waterloo" Jim DeMint, to "don't feed the strays" Andre Bauer, to "rag heads" Jake Knotts, I wonder if that lot has truly lost its collective mind.
But again, I recognize that there remain good people there (or from there), whom I can identify, and with whom I still speak, who see the world in ways that are vastly different than I do. And I want to believe that they would renounce the things that Bauer and Knotts said, and would be better raised than to say publicly what Wilson and DeMint said (even though they likely supported it).
I doubt that I could live there at this point. I would likely spend most of my time in a state of constant anger based on the overwhelmingly conservative politics of the state (even from some of the Dems), and I don't know if enough trips to Folly Beach, or Table Rock, or Drayton Hall would help make it better. I do, however, think that it is a shame that these people are becoming seared into the national conscience as representative of South Carolina, because I think they are doing the state a grave disservice. Yet, I know that there are hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians who are cheering on even the words of say Bauer and Knotts.
Yet for every Andre Bauer or Jake Knotts, there are likely five Ty'Sheoma Betheas out there who remind me not to write off South Carolina, and I won't.