by Chris Haire
When I first heard the Atlantic was running an article on Nikki Haley for its January 2011 issue, well, my first thought was that finally somebody was going to write the definitive article on the whole Will Folks/Larry Marchant/Nikki Haley mess.
Maybe it's because my mind is in the gutter. Maybe it's because I follow the tweets of porn stars. Maybe its because I pen erotic political fiction under the name of the Marquis de Fraud. (Seriously, you should read the one about Sarah Palin and John Boehner called "The Tanning Bed." And you thought Sasha Grey was nasty.) But I just can't get enough of this scandal.
As the years go by, the more and more I become convinced that only scoundrels, scalawags, and sycophants enter the world of politics, and only slightly less unsavory folks — the boys and girls in the media — cover these politicians' peccadilloes and moments of political hypocrisy. A pox on them all. Well, except for those news hounds who have inoculated themselves with a steady diet of booze and cynicism. I'd hate to see a good disease go to waste on those bastards.
Make no mistake, folks, Haley's not like you and me. She's a glad-handing narcissist who'll sell out you and me as quickly as she tossed away her outsider credentials when she began staffing up with good ole boy stepin fetchits.
And believe you me, Haley's total disregard for the people will become increasingly evident as the fight over rail lines in North Charleston heats up. If Haley and the boys in the Commerce Department get their way, Park Circle will be home to a never-ending stream of locomotives and a near endless supply of empty storefronts and homes.
Trust me. I've seen the Commerce Department's plan which will send trains up Virginia Avenue — right by Madra Rua and the Mill — and across North Rhett at the BP and the Kwik Mart, cutting off Park Circle to traffic from 526 and Hanahan. If this plan goes into effect, Park Circle will be blocked off by a busy rail line and all of Mayor Summey's revitalization efforts will be strangled.
So call me a little bit disappointed when the Atlantic ran with a puffy profile piece on Haley, one that follows the New South narrative the news media has crafted regarding her and Tim Scott.
Of course, every narrative needs a bad guy. And that's where Jake Knotts comes in.
As you may recall, Knotts stopped by Wes Donehue and Phil Bailey's internet show Pub Politics and made the following declaration about Haley: “We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.”
Well, Knotts features prominently in the Atlantic article. And for those expecting another bigoted bon mot, you're in luck. In fact, I'd argue that what Knotts says in the January issue is every bit — if not more so — inflammatory than what he said before:
“Let me say this: people going into politics these days are different than the people I always served with. Strom Thurmond, Fritz Hollings—one Democrat, one Republican, but they had mutual respect for one another,” he told me. “You had to be one of us to get elected. Now we’ve gone so far down the ladder and backwards. We don’t know who it is, or what it is. As long as it’s got an R in front of its name, we vote for it.” (emphasis added)
I don't know about you, but I've got an idea that the ladder Knotts is speaking of is the same one that places him somewhere on the evolutionary scale between a brain-eating amoeba and a dung beetle.