Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) is worried of late that his fellow Palmetto Stater Alvin Greene, the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in this fall’s election, has triggered a “sad” national spectacle. That state’s former Democratic chairman, a Mr. Dick Harpootlian, has spoken ruefully of “embarrassment fatigue.”
Not wishing to see such sensitive men suffer such evident anguish, I would like to offer them the comfort of knowing that things are much worse elsewhere. After all, Representative Clyburn’s very own Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives recently have included, or continue to include, these embarrassments to their home states and to the Republic:
Hank (“Tipping Point”) Johnson of Georgia, who worries that the presence of too many U.S. Marines on Guam will cause that island to capsize;
“Tickle Me Eric” Massa of New York, of whom the less said the better;
William (“Cold Cash”) Jefferson of Louisiana, convicted of racketeering and sentenced in November 2009 to a 13-year term of office in prison that he has yet to begin, pending an appeal;
Tax evading junketeer extraordinaire Charles Rangel of New York, currently on sabbatical leave from the chairmanship of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the committee charged with initiating new tax laws;
Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the blustering prevaricator who opposed the Bush Administration’s attempts to increase Treasury supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lest the flow of mortgages to dodgy borrowers be impeded, yet has since declined to accept an iota of blame for the turmoil that followed; and
Nancy Pelosi of California, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who should be tormented by the ghost of James Madison ceaselessly for informing the members of that body in regard to pending health-insurance regulation legislation, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
In stark contrast to these carbuncles on the national posterior stands Alvin Greene, a humble man who chooses his words carefully and deploys them sparingly, except perhaps on those occasions when he finds himself in the company of a fetching young voter.
What is it about Mr. Greene that leads Rep. Clyburn to prefer an utterly risible conspiracy theory involving presumptive Republican operatives armed with magnets over the simple explanation that his fellow Democrats marginally preferred one unknown candidate over another unknown candidate? Why do so many Democrats seem to suspect Mr. Greene of being a secret Republican, despite the apparent sincerity of his devotion to Democratic principles of random, ill-conceived policy tinkering? I can only conclude that their skepticism, particularly about Mr. Greene’s ability to pay the $10,440 filing fee out of his own funds, arises from the fact that–being the party of the grasshopper rather than the ant–they have never before encountered a Democrat who has accumulated wealth by any means other than inheritance.