(originally posted on DailyKos)
In a move that may shock some here, but not me, Stephen Colbert really went out of his way last night to ask the Republican primary voters in SC-04 to vote for Bob Inglis in their primary runoff next Tuesday.
So why did Stephen do this? Watch the video. I think Stephen, while casting it with humor and jokes, is deadly serious about wanting Inglis to win. Why?
SC-04 is a district where Obama only got 38% of the vote. It’s that conservative, where a Democrat doesn’t have a shot. I mean, it’s freaking Jim DeMint’s old seat!! So, better to have a sane conservative than an insane one in office. Conservatives deserve representation too. That representation should come in the form of people like Inglis, rather than hate-mongers like Steve King (R-IA), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and James Inhofe (R-OK), if people are actually interested in good government.
And it’s really a damning indictment of what the GOP in South Carolina stands for when they’re trying to kick him out of office because he dared to oppose the surge in Iraq in 2007, and actually dared to speak out against offshore oil drilling (yeah, he was doing that BEFORE the BP disaster) and warrantless surveillance, before voting for the bailout in 2008.
Then last year, he really pissed the base off by voting to censure Joe “You Lie” Wilson, and by calling out Glenn Beck as a fear-monger at one of those angry townhalls. And after the Mark Sanford scandal hit the news, he said this:
But with his governor now felled by similar temptations, Inglis sees an opening for the Republican Party, a chance to “lose the stinking rot of self-righteousness” and “to understand we are all in need of some grace.”
This is not “Bob Inglis 1.0,” the one that was a “self-righteous” expletive, he said in an interview with Washington Wire today. It is a Bob Inglis that is, if anything, more Christian, more attuned to the Gospels, he said.
His last conversation with Gov. Mark Sanford was about the hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money that the uncompromising governor was trying to refuse for his impoverished state. Inglis had voted against President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill, ardently, he said.
But he said he told the governor, now that it was approved, “for goodness sake, take the money.” It might just help.
Indeed, Sanford’s political fall could be a saving grace for what remains of his governorship, Inglis suggested. “This may be an opportunity to extend a little grace to other people, to realize that maybe it’s not 100% this way or that way,” Inglis said.
My God, sanity from a Republican! His problem with the modern day GOP is that while he’s very conservative, he doesn’t go out of his way to be a vicious, hateful person. He’s telling these angry fringe people to calm down, and that only makes them angrier.
There’s something to be said for us perhaps rooting for the most far-right Republican to win their primary because they’d be viewed as too far right in a general election. (See: Angle, Sharron, and Paul, Rand.) But in a district like SC-04, there’s basically no such thing, so in these situations, you want the sane conservative in office, rather than a nutjob to actually gain that power. I think Stephen recognizes that scenario playing out, and knows that Inglis, while he’ll probably almost never vote with the Democrats, will at least be someone we can respect. (But yes, I’m sure someone can dredge up some stuff he’s said in the past that aren’t that nice.)
And Inglis winning his runoff next week would be a great slap in the face of the Tea Party, that their bile and message of hatred will not even work in South Carolina.
California Republicans in Orange and San Diego counties rejected Joe Arpaio’s anti-immigrant sheriff’s candidates last week. Let’s hope South Carolina Republicans can show a similar message against hate next week.