If you follow politics remotely, you probably have heard of the Alvin Greene situation in South Carolina. There are numerous theories regarding how a man who spent no money in the primary defeated an experienced South Carolina politician with over $100,000 in the bank by 20% in the Democratic primary. Greene is an unemployed military veteran who’s entire campaign has been the $10,000 candidacy fee. There are those on the left who are crying foul about Alvin Greene – claiming that he must be a Republican plant. I disagree.
Think about the dynamic of the US Senate race in South Carolina. DeMint has high approval ratings, won by nearly 11% for his first term, and is one of the highest profile conservative Republican Senators in the nation. He has a vast warchest and in a Republican friendly year, in a red state – there was no way he was going to lose reelection to Greene or Vic Rawl.
If Greene was a plant it meant that Republicans decided to a) violate state and federal election laws and b) spend over $10,000 that could have been spent elsewhere to inject a no-name Democrat into a primary race to help ensure victory for someone who did not need the assistance. What was the gain here? Either candidate, DeMint was likely to defeat. The difference between the two is minuscule in terms of how DeMint would run his general election campaign. So, the gain was…close to nothing. What was the risk? $10,000. Jail time for those involved. Loss of support for DeMint and Republicans statewide if discovered. The potential loss of a safe US Senate seat and damage to down ballot candidates due to the damaged Republican reputation. Why risk all that for so little?
Greene as a Republican plant is a fun story, but that’s all it is. Think about it for one minute and it doesn’t add up. I can’t explain how an unemployed veteran beat an experienced candidate by 19% of the vote in a primary – but I can tell you that this explanation makes no sense.
Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant