Not now sweetie, Daddy’s cyberbullying the governor
A few words for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster
He’s a clinger-on to a moribund plantation regime, drawling and backslapping and have-a-blessed-daying his way to hell while the corpses of his constituents tumble into waiting graves by the thousands.
For political gain or pure spite, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is threatening to axe school districts’ funding if they take the basic precaution of mandating masks during a surge of a deadly pandemic. He cannot be convinced, cajoled, or shamed. We have to fight him through the school boards, town councils, and courts.
Today's newsletter is dedicated to my governor, the one on the right.
He’s a career do-nothing who got where he is by plopping his white butt down in the GOP choo-choo train and riding it from station to station. He had a job in Strom Thurmond's office. He did business with Richard Quinn, the paterfamilias of a famously corrupt political consultancy. He just sat around holding offices until Nikki Haley got called up to the big leagues and he landed in the governor’s mansion by dint of succession.
He’s a friend of QAnon loonies and billionaire leeches. He was a member of an all-white country club. He was one of the first state-level officials to endorse TV gameshow dipshit Donald J. Trump for president.
His hair looks like he conditions it with leave-in Crisco.
The best picture of him is the one where he’s standing next to his favorite rock ‘n’ roll star Gene Simmons, his baggy white dress shirt splattered with stage blood from a KISS concert he attended in February 2020. His smile is vacant and gormless and the whole scene gives off strong American Psycho vibes.
He never met a CEO whose boots he wouldn't lick; he never met a worker he didn’t disdain. He’s a soft-handed errand boy for the capitalist class.
He’s a slumlord. My friends used to live in one of his Columbia apartments; I remember when he sent a handyman to nail a piece of plywood over a wet spot in a leaking ceiling.
As a Reagan-appointed prosecutor in the ‘80s he oversaw “Operation Jackpot,” an overblown international pot bust that yielded more grandstanding press conferences than in all his predecessors’ tenures combined. He was a trailblazer of civil asset forfeiture, a legal maneuver where cops just straight-up steal your stuff. He has a cute dog and that’s his only humanizing trait.
He’s been jonesing to fry someone with an electric chair or have them shot to death by a firing squad, knowing full well that our justice system is broken and racist and he will one day condemn an innocent man to death. He tried to get a shield law passed so he could buy black-market execution drugs without revealing the seller.
When a pandemic arrived in our state he mismanaged the response for partisan gain, contributing to the deaths of more than 10,000 people so far. He ignored his own health officials and instead pandered to paranoiacs, Trump cultists, and that one famous quack who sang his praises until Twitter deleted her account for being too insane.
He loves for-profit charter schools. During the pandemic, he tried to divert $32 million of federal emergency funding to private schools, and public school teachers had to sue him to stop it.
He cut off long-term unemployment benefits for suffering South Carolinians with the pandemic still raging because he thought it would please Lord Mammon if he cracked the whip and forced people back to work with no legal protections at below living wages. He has the gall to praise the virtue of hard work.
He sounds like Foghorn Leghorn. He sounds like a carriage tour guide in a big straw hat telling lies about the Confederacy. He sounds like Kevin Spacey playing the role of a lemonade-sipping dandy after watching Steel Magnolias too many times. He sounds like your rich white uncle would if he quit smoking and took up the systematic daily immiseration of poor people as a hobby instead.
He lives in a damn slave patrol academy and he fits right in.
He plays with fancy-lad show-off guns for photo opps while real gun violence plagues our communities. He booked a flight to the Texas-Mexico border this spring just to stand in the shadow of the wall and act like a cowboy.
At one time I imagine he was a little boy in seersucker short pants, daydreaming in church about who he would become. Once there was some good in him, but he chose this path instead.
Please join me in praying for our governor.
Here are some things you can do to fight Henry McMaster and protect South Carolinians from COVID-19 during the school year:
Pitch in to this legal fund to fight for school mask mandates.
Use this form letter as a starting point to demand mask mandates from municipal governments, county councils, and school boards.
Share this open letter from 1,000+ South Carolina physicians demanding that the legislature repeal its ban on mask mandates.
Email some state lawmakers and demand a special legislative session to repeal Proviso 1.108.