As we’re all aware, South Carolina Democrats had an unusual primary for the right to face Jim DeMint for Senator. Vic Rawl, the favorite, decided to not expend any funds on the primary campaign so that he would have a better chance to beat DeMint. Besides, his opponent, Alvin Greene, was someone who nobody had ever heard of, he wasn’t campaigning, how could Rawl lose?

Well, now we all know how that could happen. Apparently the key to victory in South Carolina Democratic primaries is to have a name near the beginning of the alphabet, since some people get bored having to read more than one name. Greene played the alphabet card well, making sure that nobody whose name began with the letters A-F were not running before he paid his filing fee to enter the race. His strategic gambit worked, as he won with 60% of the vote.

Rawl, though, was unwilling to concede. He asked the Democratic State Committee to overturn the results of the election. The basis for his appeal was that South Carolina was using used voting machines they had purchased from Louisiana. He provided two witnesses who claimed that they tried to press Rawl, but the machine showed that they had voted for Greene. As a citizen of the Pelican State, I resent the implication that our machines are fixed. I’ve heard that in New Orleans, for example, for many years a congressman placed the machines in a huge freezer to keep them from overheating. He used the same system rather than trust banks with his savings.

When the state party met yesterday, they were placed with some pretty poor options. First, they could certify Rawl. I’m guessing that some people might there were racial implications in this decision. Second, they could call for a redo, and pay for it themselves. Why would any party choose this? There’s virtually no chance that they could beat DeMint. Why waste money to pick someone who, at best, will only get 25% of the vote in November? The third option was to let the results of the primary stand and hope that Greene changes his name to one that begins with A-C between now and November to increase his probability of victory. Rawl then conceded the race.

Sometimes, when we speak of politicians we think of aggressive, mendacious, greedy individuals. If Alvin Greene shares any of these characteristics, he conceals them well. I’ve seen him interviewed on television a few times in the last couple of weeks, and anyone who can act and look so clueless must be hiding something.