By The Associated Press
The Index-Journal. September 15, 2022.
Editorial: Lindsey Graham, the artful sailor
For the purposes of this writing, let’s set aside our individual views on the topic of abortion. Instead, let’s simply look at our state’s long-serving Sen. Lindsey Graham and ask a simple, three-letter word. Why?
Why do South Carolinians continue to send him to Washington, D.C. when he perpetually makes hard and frequent tacks in the political waters?
Remember when Graham was — or seemed to be, at least — a more reasonable and rational voice, one who was willing to listen to others and seek compromise?
Remember when he and former Sen. John McCain appeared to be unified voices of reason, even when under great fire from their own troops?
Remember when the Palmetto State’s tea party called for his ouster because he refused to toe the tea leaves lineup and again seemed poised to stand on his own principles and beliefs for what he thought was right for the state and nation?
Remember when he sought the presidency and launched massive verbal missile attacks on opponent Donald Trump?
And remember when he seemed to take aim at President Trump for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol?
If you do remember all that, then surely you also recall how he cowered following McCain’s death. He was like a soldier without his shield. And when Trump became the GOP’s nominee for president, Graham very nearly took the lead in the lineup to bow and kiss the ring. We chose “ring,” but another word is more appropriate.
Our senator even backed down from his Jan. 6 rant and threw his support to the former president, even signing on to the stolen election lie. He, a military veteran and law and order guy, has even thrown the FBI under the bus following the agency’s descent on Mar-a-Lago and the removal of classified documents sought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Graham, who supposedly is anti big government and pro states’ rights, now surprises both sides of the aisle with proposed legislation that would outright ban abortion nationwide — that’s nationwide — after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
So why do the voters keep sending him back to D.C.? The answer goes back to how Graham sails the political waters. He gets the most out of the wind by choosing courses that are most likely to garner him the support he needs to remain in the Senate and, perhaps, steer a course that will bring him ashore at the White House one day.
Times and Democrat. September 13, 2022.
Editorial: Preserving battlefields is a priority
The 241st anniversary of the Battle of Eutaw Springs was observed on Labor Day weekend in Eutawville. Many locally know of the Eutaw Springs battlefield and its importance in the Revolutionary War for American independence. What transpired in the Southern colonies and in particular in South Carolina cannot be underestimated in importance. More Americans need to know about these chapters in our history.
From DiscoverSouthCarolina.com: “South Carolina’s role in the Revolutionary War may not get the recognition of states like Massachusetts (Bunker Hill), Virginia (Yorktown) or Pennsylvania (Valley Forge). But upward of 200 battles and skirmishes — more than any U.S. state — took place here.
“Several are indelibly etched into the fabric of the state. Among the most acclaimed is the 1776 Battle of Sullivan’s Island. Fort Sullivan survived the Royal Navy’s cannon strikes because the balls bounced off the soft wood of palmetto logs used to construct the patriot fortification. It’s why the palmetto tree adorns the state flag today.
“The years 1780-81 were especially successful for the Southern campaign with several battles that helped save the patriot cause, including the American victory at the Battle of Cowpens — called “the best-planned battle of the entire war” by some historians — and the Battle of Kings Mountain, considered the turning point of the revolution in the South.”
South Carolina’s leaders want to be sure that the state’s Revolutionary War battlefields are preserved – and they are united in the effort.
Sixth District Congressman Jim Clyburn has led a bipartisan effort to preserve and showcase important Revolutionary War sites in both North and South Carolina and create a new trail linking those sites.
In a rare show of unity in gridlocked Washington, Clyburn was joined by all the GOP House members from South Carolina in support of the Southern Campaign of the Revolution National Heritage Corridor Act. The act has passed the House and is now in committee in the Senate.
The push to establish federal protection over the scores of historic sites has stretched more than a decade, when former U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-York, spearheaded the measure. Majority Whip Clyburn has finally gotten the legislation over the proverbial Washington hump.
On July 18, Clyburn told his colleagues during a House speech:
“When we hear the story of the American Revolution, we don’t often learn of the war’s Southern Campaign or applaud the dramatic impact that campaign had on the Revolution. Significant American victories in the Carolinas between 1775 and 1783, such as at Kings Mountain and at Guilford Courthouse, paved the way for America’s final victory in the war for independence.
“Today there are historical landmarks and battlefields that mark this rich history throughout the Carolinas. This legislation seeks to connect these sites to tell this under-recognized story and acknowledge the enduring significance of the Southern Campaign on our nation’s history by establishing this heritage corridor.
“As a former teacher and lifelong student of history, it is a personal mission of mine to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, our nation’s tremendous natural, historical, scenic and cultural resources. It is my hope that the creation of this Southern Campaign of the American Revolution National Heritage Corridor will attract visitors to learn more about both Carolinas’ contributions to this country, and further fulfill South Carolina’s lesser-known motto: ‘prepared in mind and resources.’”
The congressman’s mission deserves support in the Senate and approval by the president.
Post and Courier. September 12, 2022.
Editorial: What’s next in SC abortion debate — or at least what should be next
Normally, when we prefer a bill passed by the South Carolina Senate to one passed by the House, we would urge House members to accept the Senate version.
But of course there’s nothing normal about our state’s first post-Roe debate over abortion.
So instead, we join the vast majority of South Carolinians in expressing relief that the full Senate refused to accept the extreme approach that its Medical Affairs Committee adopted last week — a ban on nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, or even for women who receive the heartbreaking news that their babies will not survive outside the womb.
It’s excruciating to imagine being forced to carry a developing child inside your body for weeks or months, knowing it will die when you finally deliver it — and frightening to realize that a fifth of our senators, and most House members, thought it was just fine to impose this sentence on women in our state.
We respect those who genuinely believe that abortion is always murder and that the circumstances of conception do not change that, and we share their dismay over our society’s casual embrace of the procedure over the past half century.
But we believe, as GOP Sen. Tom Davis has expressed so eloquently and so often over the past week, that there are competing rights at play, and that as in all such cases, we must balance those rights: the right of an unborn child to live against the right of a pregnant woman to make decisions about her own body — a balance that tilts more toward the baby with each passing day.
So we also join most South Carolinians in welcoming the upper chamber’s refusal to outlaw nearly all abortions (although a bare majority of senators was prepared to do this), which would have dismissed the rights of women as completely inconsequential.
Since even before Roe v. Wade was reversed in June, we’ve urged our lawmakers to delay any additional action while they monitor the effects of their 2021 law banning nearly all abortions after about six weeks. Assuming the S.C. Supreme Court doesn’t decide that law violates the state constitution, it looks like that’s essentially what’s going to happen.
With even Gov. Henry McMaster welcoming the Senate-passed measure to tweak the current law, the only real question is whether the House will accept those changes or insist on banning most abortions — which will result in no changes at all to the law. We soon will see if House members will be pragmatists who reduce the number of abortions in our state a tiny bit or purists who don’t reduce the number at all.
And that’s where we’re ambivalent, because while the Senate changes will in fact make getting an abortion slightly more difficult for victims of rape and incest and women whose babies are doomed to death outside the womb, we tend to agree with Sen. Dick Harpootlian, who called the changes “feel-good window dressing” and “political cover” for lawmakers who want to be able to tell constituents they toughened South Carolina’s already-tough abortion law. Passing those changes could even have the effect of reducing pressure next year to do more.
What we’re not ambivalent about is what needs to happen after the House either accepts those changes to H.5399 or demonstrates its ideological purity: Lawmakers need to get serious about reducing the number of abortions in South Carolina — by focusing on demand rather than supply. It is our hope that last week’s demonstration that our Legislature is not going to outlaw abortion will convince the most committed abortion opponents to finally try this approach.
One part of this approach should be easy: making adoption easier, by providing financial assistance and helping to walk would-be parents through the process. Lawmakers across the political spectrum are talking a good game right now; they need to put their words into action come January.
Democrats have long supported better sex education and increased access to contraceptives, but it was Sen. Davis who championed this approach in committee and on the Senate floor last week, without any support from Democrats, who did not want to be part of any effort that could have made a near-total abortion ban seem palatable. We expect them to follow through on their promises to join with him in the coming session, along with the Republicans who supported some of his proposals.
There are legitimate concerns that giving out contraceptives to adolescents can encourage them to become sexually active, but again, those are concerns that need to be balanced — in this case with the reality that far too many of them are sexually active, and that too many girls and young women are getting pregnant as a result. Which is something that should trouble all of us, regardless of what we think South Carolina’s abortion law should look like.
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