The results are still coming in, but with enough precincts accounted for, the Associated Press has called the South Carolina 1st Congressional district race for disgraced (or is he?) former governor Mark Sanford. Democrats are disappointed; many saw an opportunity to snag a seat with such a damaged G.O.P. candidate winning that district’s primary; couple that with a high-profile Democratic candidate, with an even HIGHER profile celebrity brother giving his support, and you’d think this race had all the makings of a ‘statement victory” for the blue team.
Well, it didn’t happen; and I for one, don’t think that’s necessarily such a bad thing. I know that’ll be hard to accept for the army of volunteers and campaign staffers (some I know personally) but hear me out.
With all the publicity this race (and Sanford’s antics),it’s almost as if folks have forgotten this was a special election, with a shorter-than-normal term for the seat. Well, here I am to remind you of that, if you’d forgotten. This race would net someone an 18-month term in Congress; congrats, now announce you’re running for re-election.
Had Elizabeth Colbert Bush won, she’d have been the 202nd Democrat in the House, compared to the 233 Republicans. And with Republicans almost in lock-step opposition to just about ANYthing President Barack Obama advocates, her one additional vote would change nothing. She’d have made enough votes to be branded an “Obama sympathizer” (because in ‘Southern Strategyland,’ siding with the Marxist-Socialist Kenyan is akin to being a “terrorist sympathizer”) and with Sanford vowing not to run again, had he lost, she’d have faced a sturdier G.O.P. opponent, meaning she’d be toast. So there really was NOTHING to gain from her winning this seat.
The same cannot be said, however, for the G.O.P. having everything to LOSE by winning. With ‘Appalachian Mark’ in the fold, now, the Republican party can’t spew empty drivel about “values.” Now, the G.O.P. will have to defend a clearly-flawed incumbent, come 2014, in an election cycle that, if demographics hold up, could go demonstrably the Democratic party’s way for control of the House. THAT is when a Democrat winning SC-01 might matter.
It’s okay to be upset now, Dems, but recover quickly; Congressman Mark Sanford will be just as flawed in 18 months, and chances are, he’ll do something utterly stupid, again. Be ready to pounce and net the seat when it actually WILL matter in 2014.