Left: Thomas Ravenel, state of South Carolina photo
Idaho's Senator Larry Craig appears to be part of a trend. Locally, the right-wingers are distinguishing themselves in the same special way: exposing themselves as hypocrites. Will Senator Graham be next?
Wade Cleveland, family-values Republican and president of the local Greenville County Council from 1989-2000 (where he was a flunky for the extremely wealthy in the Augusta road district of Greenville), has just been arrested on several counts of child porn. He has been an attorney for the school district for 22 years. Our local "newspaper"--the Greenville News ((spits)) has not mentioned, not one time, that Wade is a Republican, in their story. From WYFF:
Deputies told WYFF that Cleveland is charged with 13 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.The press was barred from the hearing, a sterling example of what Rosie (see comments in last thread) has aptly called "bubbaism"--oh yes, indeed. Apparently, kiddie porn is also on his home computer. (Yes, innocent until proven guilty, blah blah blah.) Joe Dill, rabid homophobe and County Council comrade of Cleveland's, appeared on local TV last night claiming to be "confused" by this turn of events. I'll bet.
The school district said that child pornography was discovered during maintenance on a work computer that was issued to Cleveland. Investigators said the pictures of child pornography had been stored on the hard drive for the last several years.
Meanwhile, millionaire South Carolina Treasurer-elect Thomas Ravenel, another "family values" Republican hypocrite, is being sentenced today on cocaine charges, down in Columbia. As Corey Hutchins comments in Columbia City Paper:
We can’t really blame Thomas Ravenel for thinking he could get away with slinging around coke, running for state treasurer, subsequently winning, and then thinking we would never find out about it. Because people like Thomas Ravenel— and Paris Hilton— just don’t think the way most people do. What Ravenel allegedly did is an embarrassment to the state, an embarrassment to his family, the state Republican Party and again—again— an embarrassment to the entire system in which South Carolina’s political sphere operates. And it is tragically, pathetically, indicative of a hypocritical political culture that this state’s government has been cultivating since it was created.Hutchins further describes the culture surrounding entitled punks like Ravenel:
If Ravenel was involved in drugs those around him knew about it just like those around Strom Thurmond knew he was banging on the side. And no one said a word. (At this point a hat tip is in order to the law enforcement officials who kept their investigation quiet during Ravenel’s campaign for treasurer. It would have been pegged as “political,” of course, to leak information to the press or to his opposition.)
And as is the classical tradition in elitist culture to think oneself so high above the law when they have so much money and the prettiest face that “it just doesn’t matter,” to Ravenel’s friends and the people around him who knew about it— those with high titles included— shame on them.Similarly, Ravenel once showed up late at night at a local eatery, where one of the cooks (my friend) recognized him. "He was messed up," the cook told me.
Ravenel is a multi-millionaire who comes from the wealthy and powerful Ravenel clan of the Lowcountry. Bright, attractive, and a successful 40-something businessman in his non-criminal life, Thomas Ravenel did not need to be distributing cocaine. He has millions of dollars. But people like Thomas Ravenel don’t think like most people.
He tooled around with buddy Andre Bauer, a similarly irresponsible politician who is elected each time regardless. He hired former Sanford spokesman Will Folks who left the governor’s office in obloquy. Thomas Ravenel was a bright young man. But so was Patrick Bateman. And, if he was throwing coke around, hoovering it up, and running for the office on perhaps the cockiest campaign in recent memory it’s not just he who owes the South Carolina electorate an apology but everyone who knew about it and thought, tragically, pathetically, that it just didn’t matter.
Personally, I suppose I should have spoken up when I saw Ravenel at a social function and actually said aloud that he looked like he’d just snorted about eight lines of blow.
Along these same lines, my Lindsey Graham post has had about 100 hits since I first wrote it, which is pretty amazing for a small-time blog.
As an anonymous commenter on that thread said: waiting for the other shoe to drop. Stay tuned, sports fans.