What does irony taste like? Maybe like a college kid’s foot after losing a shoe and walking on the wet bathroom floor of a Five Points bar? South Carolina Republicans know the flavor. They’re getting a mouthful of it right now.
Their own affiliates are turning against each other and throwing matches at the state’s dominant political party. And you know what? The state’s Republican leaders deserve the pain. They’re reaping what they sowed.
Republican attorney general candidate Lauren Martel and fellow populist Harrison “Trucker Bob” Musselwhite, who ran against Gov. Henry McMaster, challenged the results of their party’s June 14 primary. Both had lost by double-digit percentage points.
In Greenville County, an insurgent “MAGA” Republican wing voted to throw out its own party’s primary election results after incumbent County Councilman Joe Dill lost by more than a hundred votes to a former cop, the Greenville News reported.
Martel and Musselwhite claimed election “irregularities” and the possibility that dead people and people alien to the Palmetto State could have voted, among other bizarre assertions. Dill said that voting machines weren’t working, and he knew one person who got turned away at the poll because of an issue with an ID.
My God! They’ve busted this democracy charade wide open.
Where are they getting this stuff? Has any Republican candidate for office ever used similar assertions to try to show an election was “fake?” Where did those Greenville County Republicans get the idea to not certify an election?
Anyone can see what’s happening here.
The dribble of false national claims pushed by former President Donald Trump and supported by countless Palmetto State Republican officials and lawmakers have predictably drooled down to the state level. It’s biting the SC GOP right where it hurts.
In the days following the November 2020 election, S.C. Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick declared that the presidential election was “not over yet,” tacitly backing Trump’s lies with some clever wording that McKissick probably hoped would exonerate him of guilt later.
“The Trump campaign has made it clear they’re investigating allegations of voting irregularities and fraud,” McKissick said at the time. “All legal votes should be counted, illegal votes should not.”
Chairman McKissick, how do those words taste now that your own state party affiliates are shoving them down your throat?
The following January, all of South Carolina’s Republican representatives in Congress except one voted to not certify Joe Biden’s election win.
Here’s an idea for the future opponents of all those all those representatives. If you lose, just call the election a total crock. Get as crazy as you can with your election allegations. In fact, the crazier the better. Don’t worry about it being a total fantasy. The incumbents have already approved of this tactic.
South Carolina Republican Party, did you need reminding that you are at the top of heap in this state? And bogus claims about the legitimacy of elections act to undercut your own party? Y’all did realize that when you upheld Trump’s election lies, right?
You apparently didn’t. And now all you can taste is your foot in your mouth. Enjoy.
David Travis Bland is interim South Carolina Opinion editor.