OK

Yes, I know. You're an expert on South Carolina because you watched Deliverance and you figure that's close. Maybe you took a course in political science where you learned that there was something called a "Yellow Dog Democrat," and that these people are now going to vote en masse for Hillary Clinton because even though they're demographically composed of overall-wearing sharecroppers who spend their evenings wandering out onto the porch to grab a Budweiser out of the rusted-out fridge sitting there, they still show up to vote for White New York senators because they love everything about the Democratic party, except for Black people. Well, let me say this bluntly: you're wrong. And you're wrong in the same way that once contributed to a phenomenon known as liberal racism.

You are wrong because the people you think exist in this category don't exist. There are no octegenarian rednecks who are wandering down to polls today to choose between Edwards, Clinton, and Obama. The folks you are thinking of went Republican in 1968 and voted for Nixon. In South Carolina, the state has been controlled by Republican machinery since at least the advent of Carol Campbell, and on a national level, the idea of this state going Democratic is laughable. If the people you are thinking of really existed, who is it that you think they would be wandering down to vote for today? Do you honestly imagine that the Confederate Heritage party is going into a backroom with Hillary Clinton today to leverage their votes? Is the Klan currently working on some platform negotiations with the Edwards people? They aren't.

White Democrats in South Carolina may well vote strongly in favor of John Edwards or Hillary Clinton, but it certainly isn't going to be on the basis of race. Edwards is a native son, and we do take heritage and family connections pretty seriously down here. If you can't get on the phone with other family members, and figure out how somebody is distantly related to you or to somebody you know, then you are going to view that person as an outsider. John Edwards hails from a town that is ten miles away from me. You think I need to be a racist to vote for him? Hardly. For those who bemoan "endemic racism" among White Southern Democrats who vote for Edwards or Clinton, I guess you can spend some additional time bemoaning "endemic racism" amongst Black people in this state who will vote overwhelmingly for Obama. I wonder what's up with THOSE folks? They don't like Edwards because he's White? Silly argument, isn't it?

Originally posted to steve davis on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 08:40 AM PST.

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