James Clyburn: Alvin Greene might have won because of magnets or something

Alternate headline: “Greene not the only South Carolina pol who appears to be suffering from a head injury.” Clyburn’s been whining about “America’s candidate” for a full week now but not until this morning did he put the finishing touches on his conspiracy theory: Evidently, SC used electronic voting machines, which could have been tampered with by hackers or, um, magnets or something. Strangely, Greene’s senate race appears to have been the only one affected by this nefarious plot, and as even lefties like Jon Stewart acknowledge, DeMint will inevitably crush anyone the Democrats put in front of him in November, leaving the motive for rigging the vote unclear. (The latest Rasmussen poll has DeMint up by 37 points over Greene, which, all things considered, is surprisingly close.) It falls to Dave Weigel to acknowledge the elephant in the room: What if Greene just … won?

Or, per the LA Times’s pet theory, what if South Carolinians are just neo-confederate racists who, er, decided to vote for a black candidate over a white one?

The comments of a few backward politicians [e.g., Jake Knotts calling Nikki Haley a “raghead”] obviously don’t reflect the attitudes of an entire state, but it’s clear that old prejudices are slow to fade in swathes of South Carolina. In this kind of poisonous political atmosphere, it would hardly be surprising if some black voters put racial identity ahead of a candidate’s qualifications. Nor would we be shocked if it turned out that some conservative white voters were trying embarrass the black political establishment by gaming the Democratic contest. Neither camp has much to be proud of, and if nothing else, the travesty of Greene’s election shows that some interracial bridge building is overdue in the Palmetto State.

So, in some sort of Klan version of Operation Chaos, the racist white establishment turned out en masse for a terrible black candidate … whom no one knew was terrible, because no one had heard of him until after the vote was taken. Insane — and yet, still more compelling than Clyburn’s theory!

Two clips, the first of Clyburn and the second of Stewart laying into Democrats for trying to blame the GOP for their mess. (Really!) I hate to admit it, but the “Greene Mile” joke had me laughing. Click the image to watch.

Alvin Greene Wins South Carolina Primary
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