News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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February 26, 2013

RONN MOTT: South Carolina

It might be in the soil of South Carolina, or maybe it goes back to the American Revolution. South Carolina lost almost as many people to other South Carolina bullets in fighting the British. South Carolina had a mini-civil war going during the American Revolution. Some people were dying to keep the king while others were dying to kick the king out. Anyway, it was South Carolinians fighting each other.

The “I’m against it” attitude stayed rather dormant until the 1840s when their famous (or infamous) Sen. John C. Calhoun threatened Andrew Jackson, then the president, with secession. It was some dispute over tariffs. Andy Jackson told Calhoun he would personally lead the army to South Carolina to hang those who wanted to secede from the nearest tree. Sen. Calhoun, not a stupid man, took the better judgment and the talk of secession ended, or at least it did for another 20 years or so.

When the slavery issue was heating up, South Carolina led the charge to secede from the Union. It was at a time when one president was going out and another was coming in. Cannon fire rained down on Fort Sumter and what we call the Civil War began. (It’s still called the War Between the States in South Carolina.)

I have no idea what makes South Carolina feel they’re much different than anyone else. The Civil War should have taught them something, but it evidently has not.

Now, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is throwing a fit about ex-Sen. Hagel (also a Republican) becoming Secretary of Defense. It appears the germ of the problem is when Hagel was in the Senate he pointed a finger at then-President George W. Bush and said the Iraq War was wrong. It made fellow Republican Graham very upset.

In trying to enrich his right-wing credentials, John McCain has joined in the attack on Hagel. McCain had appeared to be a rather intelligent, somewhat moderate, conservative, but that has all fallen to the wayside. McCain, being the man who gave us Sarah Palin, should be enough for the right wing to embrace in the next primary. The senator is not taking any chances. He should be aware that even Fox News, the most right-wing news organization in the world, has dropped Sarah Palin. Maybe McCain should put a bandage on his wounds and get back to being an American.

President Obama is entitled to choose members of his Cabinet without this cry-baby attitude in the right wing of the U.S. Senate.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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