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View Diary: Sanford's Corrosive Conquest (19 comments)

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  •  It seems to me that you are (3+ / 0-)
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    VClib, scyellowdogdem, kevin k

    trying to read too much into this.  

    Elections are a choice between candidates.  This is a conservative  Republican district.  It seems to me that conservatives held their noses and voted for the candidate that will vote with Republicans over the candidate that will vote with Democrats.  Period.  End of story.  

    Sometimes voters are forced to vote for what they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.  I remember when, due to Louisiana's then unusual open primary (pioneered by the famous crook, Edwin Edwards), after a primary with zillions of candidates, a runoff for governor was between Edwards and David Duke.  The bumper stickers in that election famously said, "Vote for the Crook.  It's important."  I, and a lot of others, did just that.  It wasn't some overall statement on society or what we thought about crooks in office.  It was, given the choice we faced, the lesser of two evils.  

    •  Lifetime (2+ / 0-)
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      inclusiveheart, kevin k

      I assure you I have mastered the history and culture of this region.  I understand the problem.  My family has lived here for 310 years.

      A critical restraining function in the culture here failed.  The Republicans were unable to nominate a candidate who could sustain the cultural tradition of personal restraint which civic peace here relies upon.

      If the diminishing number of liberals and progressives are driven out of the region, as has been happening, it becomes impossible to maintain the buffers in the culture.

      The forces or hate and prejudice in South Carolina are so powerful that they have to be controlled.  Those forces both perpetuate and endanger the control of the ruling class. The ruling elite here understands the importance of that and honed that practice for over 300 years.

      I've watched two generations of Charleston Bluebloods treat the poor with nominal respect, wear worn clothing and drive old cars, all to maintain the modest appearance which kept the peace.  When they were out of town or out at their plantation, safe from public view, they indulged themselves like sailors.  Sanford can't control himself and Jenny is no longer around to watch him.

      He'll be useless in Washington, but we've had that for a while now.  However his example will replicate itself.  There will be hell to pay in the end.

      William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through

      by wjhamilton29464 on Wed May 08, 2013 at 11:50:30 AM PDT

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      •  The last time anyone challenged the (0+ / 0-)

        Republican Congressman in the Alabama CD where my family has been for roughly 200 years (after having emigrated there from South Carolina after the Revolutionary War) and which was a Democratic CD well after the Nixon era - the guy who got onto the ballot for the Democratic Party simply disappeared after winning the primary.

        Not disappeared like died or anything.  He just didn't run against the incumbent once the Democratic ticket was locked up.  He stopped campaigning entirely.  That's a level of corruption of power and politics that is chilling. It is also a great example of what open primaries can do to suppress viable and legitimate candidates.

        •  Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
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          Many people here believe the Democratic party has been compromised institutionally.

          We've certainly had fake Democratic candidates sponsored by Republicans.  

          We certainly have people within the Democratic party who are actively undermining it.  We know who some of them are.  They worm their way into campaigns and sabotage them.  They also undermine African American Churches and other civic organizations.  We try to watch them, but many campaigns and organizations are so utterly desperate for help, they'll take anyone.

          We know right wing money is messing with the African American churches, sponsoring, among other things support for privately owned charter schools, school choice and a theology of disengagement from voting and political affairs.  In this view, voting shows a lack of faith and energy should be devoted to prayer and bible study.

          William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through

          by wjhamilton29464 on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:26:53 PM PDT

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      •  I didn't mean to suggest that you don't (1+ / 0-)
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        understand the region.  I'm sure you do.  I've made the same point myself when people try to talk about New Orleans or Louisiana.  

        My point is simply that, from the outside, anyway, I don't see this election as some huge symbolic event.  I think a deeply flawed candidate in a heavily Republican district succeeded in making the election not about him, but about the fact that the other candidate was a Democrat whose most significant vote would be to try to make Rep. Pelosi Speaker and give the Democrats the majority in the House again.  

        The same kind of thing happened in La-02 in 2008, except that when he was the Democratic candidate, "Dollar bill" Jefferson was already indicted for bribery in office.  Still, Jefferson won in heavily Democratic Orleans Parish, and squeaky clean (you couldn't find a "cleaner" candidate - he studied to be a priest) Republican Joseph Cao squeaked into office only because of his margin of victory in those sections of Jefferson Parish that are in La - 02.  Yesterday, Sanford did a better job of nationalizing the election than did Jefferson in 2008; and Sanford wasn't under actual indictment for a federal crime related to his office.  Still, just as happened yesterday, the majority of Democrats in La - 02 voted for a deeply flawed candidate, Jefferson, simply because he was not the Republican.  

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