Sunday, January 24, 2010
On January 21, 2010, I served as the Doctor of the Day at the Statehouse of South Carolina in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. I took the entire day off from work to drive there and back to Columbia so I could see our democracy in action. I met State Senators, Representatives, employees, and lobbyists. The Doctor of the Day diagnoses and treats people in the Statehouse. I treated hives, sinus infections, viral colds, red eyes, and bronchitis. Fortunately, no visitors had any reason to visit the clinic. The clinic is located in between the two Chambers, so I got to go into both and watch. I also got to speak with some of the politicians and lobbyists. I got to discuss the cigarette tax, which my faithful readers know is near and dear to my heart. I heard from the pundits, that is the employees, what they thought about the chances of the bill passing. Overall, most did not think there would be a bill passed, despite the need to raise revenue for the state. This made me sad. All this while and between when I was seeing patients. I almost felt like Doc, "Your Ship's Doctor" on the Love Boat, and I mean this in a complimentary way. The entire group of people is like a large extended family. Even if they don't get along, there are so few people relatively, they all seem to know each other and their preferences. This was an interesting experience. Not to mention that I have never been inside a Statehouse before. I can see why this is a good field trip for your kids. The building was refurbished about 10 years ago. The ceilings and walls look nicely maintained. FYI: 1) is the Senate; and 2) is the House of Representatives. I'm holding the official gavel. Governor Sanford was on the same podium the prior night giving his last State of the State address.