The government organization responsible did not act and innocent people died. The agency head claimed no wrongdoing. The Chief Executive has called criticisms political gamesmanship and stood by underlings who, most people believe, should have acted quickly and decisively to save lives. Now, more information is coming out and the Chief Executive’s credibility is damaged.
Benghazi? Yeah, but it’s also about South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the festering Department of Social Services scandal. Although there are some similarities between the two misadventures of of governance, there are three glaring differences that make the DSS case more disturbing.
First, four people died at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on the night of September 11, 2012. Reports suggest in excess of 200 people supposedly supervised by DSS have died over the last few years in South Carolina.
Second, the men murdered in Libya were adults who were there voluntarily and aware of the potential dangers of foreign service. The South Carolina dead were CHILDREN, some of whom were infants.
Finally, the American personnel killed in Benghazi were the victims of terrorists. The South Carolina children were the victims of their own state government. Yes, yes, the actual cause of death was perpetrated either by circumstances or their own families, but it was the negligence of a government agency that allowed those circumstances to reach fatal levels.
I like Nikki Haley, both personally and as a constituent. She is smart, charming, personable and driven. I believe she has been good for South Carolina’s image. Clearly, she has been good for business investments in the state and, whether she is the beneficiary of fiscal cycles or her own prowess, Nikki Haley has been in the Big Chair as unemployment numbers drop and new businesses rise.
She has endured some particularly harsh and unfair criticism borne either from racial/gender prejudices or political snobbery. Still, the DSS scandal – and a scandal it is – could very well limit her tenure to one term, end her political standing statewide/nationally and even damage South Carolina beyond that which DSS has already inflicted.
If Nikki Haley is not re-elected, Democrat Vincent Sheheen will become Governor. With an overwhelmingly predominant Republican General Assembly, the work of the state will halt. Sheheen’s no-doubt liberal appointees will create a regulatory mess. Corporate investment will slow if not stop.
By no means am I suggesting the governor be given a pass to protect us from a Democrat in the Governor’s Mansion. Rather, these are the potential consequences we may see.
Governor Haley has not sought my counsel, but I’ll offer it anyway.
- Suspend DSS Director Lillian Koller now
- Suspend the heads of all Divisions suspected/accused of negligence.
- Appoint a non-DSS interim head
- Commission a bipartisan, bicameral committee to investigate the allegations
- Make all hearings/testimony open to the public.
- Impose a 60 day deadline for a final report, also to be make public
- DO NOT delay any outcome until after the election.
Delay will be interpreted as indecision, indifference and/or misguided loyalty to Director Koller. All to the detriment of South Carolina’s children.
Don’t Barack or Hillary on us, Nikki. Be the leader I’ve always believed you could be.