Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nearly 3 to 1, Greenville & Spartanburg SC Republican Primary Voters Are Nuts

Congressman Bob Inglis lost his primary last week in the South Carolina Upstate, where Dr. Desert Flower and I lived for 16 years, by a landslide margin, nearly 3 to 1. I never voted for Inglis while I was there since he ran in the GENERAL Elections (not the primaries) UNOPPOSED. Seriously, the last Federal election I voted in while a resident there in 2006, he did not even have a "Constitutional Party" candidate running against him. He was so popular among Conservative, Fundamentalist, SC Baptists, and his seat so secure, that no one tried to run against him. He won 3 elections, then retired for 6 years from Congress, then ran again 3 times, and won handily.

But in 2009, during town hall meetings in Boiling Springs (or colloquially pronounced with diphthongs "Bahhhhw-lin SprAY-ngs") SC, just north of the Michelin Truck Tire manufacturing plant where I worked as an engineer right out of college, Inglis told his ANGRY constituents not to listen to Glenn Beck, that President Obama was born in the United States, and they should not listen to Fox News. "Turn Glenn Beck off" he told a jeering, angry mob at a town hall. He committed the sin of moderation. There's really no more room left in the Southern Republican party, for moderates.

Will the Democrats capitalize on running a viable candidate in November against extreme right wing Gowdy? Gowdy will face Democrat Paul Corden (and Green Party candidate Faye Walters, Libertarian Rick Mahler and Constitution Party candidate Dave Edwards). Corden's old enough to be Gowdy's father, been married for 40 years, a former Navy veteran, but he went to Xavier (a Catholic University!) so he'll be painted as a papist, liberal, tree hugger who believes in the 'myth of global warming.' ...remember, I lived there for 16 years, in 3 different mailing addresses, all within the 4th Congressional District. Gowdy will probably win by a land slide.

Moderates are now un-electable in the South. Greenville and Spartanburg have educated populations (one of the highest 'engineers per capita' percentages in the US), substantial international communities (40 global corporations have HQs, research, or manufacturing facilities there), and over a million people in the combined metro areas. It's not a back-woods, hickville, rebel-flag-in-every-yard district in the SC 4th.

Is Inglis's over-whelming defeat just the tip of the iceberg for incumbent moderates, nationally? I think so, but... come November, we shall see - il faut voir, ya veramos, wir werden sehen.

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