I don't know how many of G:TB's regular readers are following the South Carolina gubernatorial race, but if you like your politics tinged with sex, racism, and a significant portion of batshit crazy, I highly recommend it.
The state that brought us current Governor Mark Sanford's Appalachian Trail perambulations seems to be running a contest to test the outer boundaries of reality. Republican primary candidate Nikki Haley (and in South Carolina state politics, the winner of the Republican primary is almost certainly the next occupant of the Governor's mansion) rose to the top of the polls on a combination of personal charisma, compelling backstory (she was born Nimrata Randhawa to Sikh parents, not your garden-variety Palmetto State pol), and staunchly conservative policy positions. Sarah Palin's endorsement didn't hurt.
Two weeks ago, conservative blogger Will Folks alleged that he had engaged in an inappropriate physical relationship with the married Haley, claiming that he had text messages and emails to substantiate his story. To date, such substantiation has not been released publicly. Haley denied the story.
This week, Republican operative Larry Marchant came forward to claim that he, too, had tripped the light fantastic with Ms. Haley at a conference in 2008. It's the age-old story: boy meets girl, boy and girl get hammered on a work trip, boy sleeps with girl, boy (who worked for girl's opponent) tells the media. We've all been there.
In an effort to quiet the storm, Ms. Haley released a statement today indicating that she would resign her office post-election should definitive proof of either of the allegations surface. According to Talking Points Memo, current Lieutenant Governor (and Ms. Haley's electoral rival) Andre Bauer today called upon Haley to take a lie detector test to "prove" her innocence. TPM drily noted that, "This latest development may come in response to charges that too much class and dignity remained in the state's gubernatorial primary."
Bauer, himself the target of not-so-subtle questions regarding the nature of his sexual orientation, was upstaged today by one of his supporters, state Senator Jake Knotts. Let it never be said that Knotts gave less than his finest effort to uphold every coastal elitist's opinion of the Goodoldboyus Redneckius, calling Haley a "fucking raghead" in a radio interview, before going on to say, "We need a good Christian to be our governor," he said. "She's hiding her religion. She ought to be proud of it. I'm proud of my god." Knotts claimed that he was "joking" and was later heard muttering under his breath about dark folks' inability to take a little ribbing while walking into Tar Baby's for a late brunch. (That picture's just too easy.)
I, for one, am microwaving some popcorn and settling in for the rest of the show. I'm not sure how this can get better, but I'm willing to give it a chance.