I’d like to offer congratulations to two victors from yesterday’s primaries — Republicans whose politics are quite different from mine but whose achievements are notable nevertheless. Because they won Republican primaries in South Carolina, a heavily Republican state, they are in an excellent position to win in November, bringing diversity to a GOP that is badly in need of more politicians of color.
One of the winners is state Rep. Tim Scott, who beat Strom Thurmond’s son, Paul Thurmond, to become the GOP nominee for a Congressional seat. It’s remarkable that the state long dominated by Thurmond and his brand of politics — and where activists still vet Republican candidates to see if they understand the “cause” of the War of Yankee Aggression — has nominated a black man to Congress. It’s another sign of the remarkable racial progress that the country has made in a relatively short period of time.
The other candidate deserving of congratulations is Nikki Haley, an Indian-American who had to overcome a vicious campaign of personal attacks in which an opponent called her a “raghead,” two men claimed to have had sexual affairs with her and some persisted in questioning her religious faith. If she wins in November, she would become the first woman governor of South Carolina.
If they are elected, Haley and Scott will undoubtedly support policies with which I strongly disagree, and I’ll have plenty to criticize in the future. For now, however, their victories merit plaudits.
Another black Republican won his primary yesterday, but he’ll receive no congratulations from me because he’s a nut case. The line between ultra-conservatism and idiocy is increasingly blurred, but it still exists. Bill Randall, who won the GOP nomination for a North Carolina Congressional seat, crossed that line when he suggested that BP and the federal government worked together to blow up the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.