I wasn't blown away by Hurricane Matthew last week. But here's what did blow me away:
Nikki Haley was in control right from the beginning. She spoke with authority, and did not seem to be considering anything other than the safety of the people of South Carolina.
She did not hesitate to ask for federal emergency funds.
As I headed out on Wednesday morning, ahead of the evacuation deadline, I noted rows of port-o-potties at rest areas to handle (pardon the pun) the overflow. I saw police and other emergency vehicles out and ready. And the next day I was not surprised to hear that the I-26 reversal went smoothly.
There were shelters open, lots of them, and frequent announcements made as to where to go for shelter, what to bring, how to deal with pets. There were phone numbers for people who needed answers or encountered problems, for anything from finding shelter to price gouging.
While I was hiding out, Nikki Haley was making frequent announcements that were broadcast on TV and radio, with her department heads addressing status and progress. She never failed to thank those who were working hard to protect us. She took as long as was needed to keep us informed. And I believed that the efforts to restore us to normalcy would proceed efficiently.
On the way home on Sunday I saw that road crews had indeed been out taking trees and debris off the roads. There were police at stop lights that were not working.
To sum it all up, Nikki Haley can kick butt when it comes to emergencies.
Unfortunately, when she is able to slow down, she begins to make all those political decisions that hurt the people of South Carolina. She puts money in the pockets of the rich, individuals and corporations, as she fights to deny the poor medical insurance and food stamps. She sticks her government nose into the business of legislating women's reproductive rights and wastes taxpayer dollars to create hurdles to voting rights. Despite the tragic numbers of gun fatalities, she stands firmly against any gun legislation that might save an innocent life.
In other words, when Nikki Haley has the opportunity to philosophize she makes big mistakes that hurt many people. She shadows the politics of power. She aligns herself with the wealthy and convinces herself that her reasons are solid.
So, exactly a year after the 2015 floods, the road to Johns Island was again flooded, as I am sure many other roads were flooded, because no action had been taken after the crisis to prevent the problem from repeating itself. We still have not raised the gasoline tax in order to repair roads and bridges, even though corporations who have been given sweet deals to move here are pulling the plug, quite possibly because of the disgraceful infrastructure. And then there are corporations who won't come here because of the low standard of education.
But Nikki sees herself a future national treasure, much as Jim duh-Mint did, and just as Tim Scott imagines. When she is able, she will always align herself with the right-wing, because that is where the money and power lie.
What is to be done about this waste of Nikki's talent? I propose that she be given a job in the Clinton administration where she doesn't have to profess a philosophy of government, but just simply has a well-defined job to do. Something where she has already proven her skills. I am thinking head of FEMA.