'Can I Get a Little Order?'

The Devil went down to South Carolina


Published:

Bright

S.C. Senate

Give the below a close listen if you haven’t already. (One is enough.) It’s the authentic voice of someone who’s deeply misinformed about the relationship between affairs of state and faith; the ideas the United States was actually based on; the role of a public body; the subservient status of state government to federal; the difference between Paul the Apostle and Jesus; the purpose of the U.S. Supreme Court; and a whole lot of other things.

It’s also a voice that, as we speak, is being consigned to “the ash heap of history,” to use another Reaganism. A few minutes ago, the South Carolina Senate—the body Bright belongs to, the body to which he addressed his speech—voted overwhelmingly to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the State House. I’ve never liked the phrase “the wrong side of history”—it obscures the fact that people alter history through the choices they make—but I’ve seldom seen a more vivid illustration of someone who finds himself there and rages against the presumed injustice. Comments duly noted, Senator. We’re moving on.

Bright did stumble on one bit of clarity, though: “If the state’s got to get out of the business of marriage, then let’s get out of the business of marriage.” It’ll never happen, and I’m not sure it should. But I’ve heard worse ideas. It’s just especially gratifying to hear someone like him rail against the “tyranny of five judges” and, moments later, endure the tyranny of a supermajority vote by a legislature that’s decided, finally and decisively, to reject his deluded view of history.

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Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Charlotte had a Democratic mayor that got rebuffed by a Democratic majority council before the president appointed him to his cabinet; a former mayor in the Governor's Mansion after an oh-for-infinity streak; membership in a state that sees Charlotte as, well, another state; a neighboring state where public officials do very, very silly things (and sometimes go "hiking"); and a county commissioner who specializes in insulting constituents yet can't seem to get himself unelected. Sounds interesting to me, so I write about it and other matters public. Hashtag #nestpoke. You want to yell at me, email nestpoke@gmail.com.

About Greg Lacour

Greg Lacour spent nearly 10 years as a reporter for the Observer, where he covered Charlotte and Mecklenburg County government, including the infamous Nick Mackey for Sheriff farce of 2007-08, which made him simultaneously homesick for his hometown of New Orleans and hopeful that Charlotte might yet attain "world-class" status. He has written several features for this magazine and took part in the Hurricane Katrina coverage that won The Sun Herald of Biloxi/Gulfport, Miss., another former employer, a Pulitzer Prize. Lacour is single and lives in NoDa.

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