It may be November, the leaves may be fallin' off the trees and our sweaters feel mighty good of a mornin', but it's gettin' right hot down here in the Deep South.
We South Carolinians may be just a teensy bit confused about which flag it is we ought to be a'flyin' over our State House, but we're nothin' if not a passel of patriots. Mm-mm-mmm. We love America.
Georgia's Senator Chambliss is warning white folks that "The Other Folks are voting..." And we all know who those uppity folks are. We like them okay -- as long as they stay in their places.
North Carolina's uber-belle, Liddy Dole, says opponent Kay Hagan is palling around with "Godless Americans." If there's anything we Southerners cannot abide, it is surely Satan.
Between the rampant, gun-totin'super-patriotism and hyper-right-wing Christianity in South Carolina, there's little doubt who'll win our Big 8 electoral votes on Tuesday. Unlike our neighbors, North Carolina and Georgia, where the race is tight enough to squeak, the Palmetto State is a GOP goner. Real Clear Politics, in its 9/28-10/20 poll averages, shows McCain up by 15 points here. The October 23rd Winthrop University/ETV poll paints a more dismal portrait of the Palmetto State voter: John McCain is up by 20 points. Twenty. Points.
I think we might be a little off-kilter down here. The Winthrop/ETV poll was a study in bi-poller politics:
55.2% of South Carolinians believe the Bush presidency is a failure. But we're more apt to vote for McSame.
66.8% of us say this country is on the wrong track. But we're more apt to vote for McMore of the McSame.
44.6% of us believe Obama "understands the problems Americans face in our daily lives". 42.3% believe McCain "understands". Whoa! The tide turns...
Nope. While more of us believe Obama understands what we're going through than believe McCain does, we're still more apt to pull that GOP lever.
It's values. 53.5 % of us say McCain shares our values. Only 34.9% believe Obama has the same values we do. Whatever they are.
Values. We got 'em down here out the whazoo and we're not about to change now. Too many South Carolinians have been drinking the "You-Can't-Be-A-Christian-or-a-Patriot-Unless-You-Vote-Republican" Kool-Aid. It's sweet stuff and, in 2008, the McChristian and McCountry mantra masks McRacism behind code words we can be proud of: UnAmerican. Muslim. Terrorist. Socialist.
You gotta give the McCain/Plain camp credit: They've covered the poison they're dosing out with a sugary coat of "American values" that goes down easy in the South. But some of us are sick of the taste. Some of us still believe there are enough of us to matter on election day. We believe we really are better than this.
Then there are these polls. I hate polls. Too many times they're wrong, and as many times -- like the South Carolina Winthrop/ETV poll -- they give us more information than we really want to know about who we are.