In the finale for BBC's Sherlock, there's a scene where the famed British detective has a spot of tea with his arch-nemesis Moriarty. The two have a verbal sparring match as Moriarty tells Sherlock, "Every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain."
In the world of politics, the heroes and villains are relative, but you'd think Gov. Nikki Haley a master criminal for the ages with the way Democrats and union leaders have been acting.
It's actually to their detriment — the focus on a governor struggling to prove her relevance to her own party is giving her a shot of validity by all of these attacks.
On Tuesday, national political reporters returned their attention to the Palmetto State after video leaked of S.C. AFL-CIO chief Donna Dewitt hitting a piñata with a picture of Haley's face on it.
Democratic strategist Tyler Jones called it totally inappropriate. "There is absolutely no place for this in politics," he said. "You don't need a bat to beat Nikki Haley, you just need a brain."
Last week, we saw the end of @PhilBaileySC after the Democratic staff member for the S.C. State Senate, took his often comical rebuttals too far.
After the state Republican Party's fruitless effort to unilaterally put candidates back on the ballot after they didn't file their paperwork in order, Bailey tweeted: "@nikkihaley is the Sikh Jesus. She can resurrect an unlawful campaign from the dead by simply appearing at a @SCGOP hearing."
That was the last you'll hear from Bailey's personal twitter account — it has been cancelled. State Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) told The State, "I don't even know exactly what Twitter is, but he's not going to be doing it."
In both instances, these folks went too far in their attacks on Haley. But, their frustration is also grossly misplaced.
I'll give Haley credit for screaming the loudest in Columbia when it comes to the state's anti-union bona fides. But it's the state legislature that has been strengthening anti-union laws in the state.
And, in the dispute between Boeing and the National Labor Relations Board, it was likely opposition in Washington and not Haley's protests that turned the tide in that argument.
So, why focus your frustration on a team's No. 1 fan sitting in the bleachers? Why not just hate the team on the field — state and federal legislators.
As for Bailey's rant, it isn't Haley who is twisting arms on the election snafu. It's grassroots activists angered to see their conservative candidates forced off the ballot.
As Moriarty played with Sherlock, I was reminded of one exchange as I watched Dewitt take a bat to Haley's image, giving Haley credit for the state's anti-union ways. Or, for that matter, Bailey's implication that Haley forced the hand of the state GOP.
Lets not forget that this is a governor with GOP opponents seriously weighing a challenge to her re-election in 2014, actively working to dismiss her as ineffectual and easily replaced.
In a trial for the crime of the century, Sherlock had testified to Moriarty's unprecedented criminal mind. As they sat for tea after the acquittal, Sherlock realized his mistake.
"You were advertising all the way through the trial," Sherlock told Moriarty. "You were showing the world what you could do."
Moriarty smiled, "And you were helping."