Ask Nikki Haley, the new GOP nominee for governor. She beat out the good old boys only because they went too far with their charges that a couple of their guys had been bad old boys with her.

Of course, it didn't hurt that Sarah Palin came riding in to her rescue. I have had a lot to say about Palin's simple-minded demagoguery, but she must be given credit for symbolizing this simple message: "Cut the sexist crap.”

It resonated. For reasons easily understood, the South Carolina Republicans were tired of all the fooling around about fooling around.

There is a growing belief, for instance, that the guy who is now the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate was a GOP plant.

Alvin Greene seems to have no access not only to money, but also to reality. How he could have won the primary says a lot about the hapless Democrats. How he could even run might say a lot about Republicans, who have played this racial ringer game in elections past.

This time it was probably a waste of energy, considering that the GOP incumbent senator, Jim DeMint, is a shoo-in, a hero to a fringe that seems to cover most of the state.

But if they can't resist their dirty-trick impulses, they'll need to be more creative, to come up with new things to pull out of their sleaze bags so they don't want to get caught in their little games.

Oddly enough, the state manages to produce credible officeholders. Lindsey Graham is no slouch. James Clyburn is the U.S. House of Representatives majority whip. There are others. But campaigning in South Carolina is largely the art of the smear.

There is a part of the state that is referred to as the "low country.” Apparently it includes the entire political landscape. Obviously, the feds can't take it over ... states’ rights and all that jazz. That matters in a place where what we have is a lot of state wrongs.

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