Greene media juggernaut cranks up (snicker!)

Two things to share…

First, this photo, which may or may not be legitimate; I have no idea. It was brought to my attention by Scott English, Mark Sanford’s chief of staff, via Twitter. He got it from the Washington Examiner. PhotoShop or reality? Either way, it’s a primo example of the current rage in political comedy, the item that allows us all to sneer at Alvin Greene. (Speaking of PhotoShop: I not only cropped the picture before posting it here; I also lightened it up and increased the contrast. We have standards here at bradwarthen.com.) The knee-slapping cutline that came with the picture:

This sign is from US 521, near Greene’s hometown, and hotbed of support, in Manning, SC.  No signs for Republican Sen. Jim DeMint were spotted anywhere near the area, suggesting that Greene has opened an imposing lead in the early-advertising race.

Yuk, yuk, chortle, snort.

Which brings me to my second point: At what point does mocking Alvin Greene simply becoming mocking a man for being poor, black and unemployed and from a small town in South Carolina? At what point do the Republicans who are LOVING this, or the mortified Democrats who hide their faces in shame that THIS is their nominee, or smart-ass bloggers who post satirical photos (real or fake; irresponsible bloggers just don’t care, do they?) get called on the carpet for the so-far socially acceptable practice of running down Alvin Greene?

Food for thought, there…

25 thoughts on “Greene media juggernaut cranks up (snicker!)

  1. Steve Gordy

    At the very least, the leadership of the Democratic party in SC ought to sit down for some agonized soul-searching. The defeatism of the Dems’ upper echelon is stupefying. They are so scared of DeMint’s invincibility that they didn’t think that part of the reason is that even a losing race is better than what they’ll get now. Since our junior senator is so preoccupied with becoming a leader of the ultras within the GOP, he may find the shine wearing off his halo in a few years.

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  2. Kathryn Fenner

    Even Araial did a “shooting fish in a barrel” ‘toon about Greene.

    I did snicker when one of our speakers in Rotary today, talking about their Brazil exchange trip, mentioned that they took a side trip to Argentina…but the Governor can take care of himself.

    The photo looks real, but how difficult would it be to stick letters on a trailer sign, regardless of why?

    I wish I had snapped a photo of the tumbledown shed on the road to Edisto Beach, that was listing about 45 degrees, and had a perfectly plumb, enormous Bush/Cheney sign affixed to it.

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  3. Corey H

    Well, I’ll bite. Here’s part of something I sent that UK Gardian reporter who brought up my likening Greene to Forest Gump in an FT profile:


    In using “Forest Gumped” as a verb in describing Alvin Greene’s win, I was trying to convey that Greene, like Gump, had seemed to inexplicably find himself in the right place at the right time by serendipitous and comical happenstance. That both Greene and Gump share a bit of an aloofness obviously goes along with the metaphor, but I rather like looking to Gump as a literary device when describing Greene in the way it relates to the circumstance than either of their mental capacities. I hope the reader would as well.

    So, my question: are Forest Gump comparisons out of bounds?

    I’ve also heard evocations of a certain Stienbeckian character from Mice and Men…

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  4. Jeff

    I think we need to just not pay any attention to it, stop poking fun as it can and will be distorted as racial bias, and follow the lead of Senator DeMint on this.

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  5. Joshua

    From the ouset, mocking Alvin Greene is to mock someone for being a poor, unemployed, black veteran from a small town in South Carolina. Despite the attempts of the SCDP to invalidate his candidacy, and despite yet unfounded accusations of being a plant or of voting machine malfunctions, he was the choice of the democratic party primary voters on June 8. He’s got a college degree (USC), unlike some other recent candidates for elected office. Granted, the pending charges are out there, which is pretty serious. If the political parties don’t want to accept the primary choices of the voters, why have a primary at all? Let’s just let the party apparatchiks choose who will run in some smoky back room….

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  6. Karen McLeod

    I don’t know who they are, who think that they have to continue to insult this man. They are certainly more powerful than he is. At the same time, I consider Mr. Greene to be less of a danger to us all than Sen. DeMint is.

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  7. martin

    I think it’s legit. Although I have never met him, I live about 15 miles away – I got his address from a court document that was on-line.

    I haven’t been on that stretch of 521 in a few days, so I haven’t seen this sign. But, in front of Alvin’s house, there is a club, named the Blue Bird Grill and that’s what’s usually on the sign. Haven’t seen the car wash info before. Maybe Alvin’s picking up a few bucks to pay lawyer Eleazar Carter. Although I would hope Eleazar is representing him pro bono, given all the publicity he’s getting from this.

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  8. scout

    Do y’all really think if he was just an unemployed black veteran from a small town in SC the mocking would be happening to this degree? I think the apparent lack of campaigning, the poor speaking skills, the financial inconsistencies, the felony charges, and the bizarre platform points (like GI Alvin) greatly increase his mockability. I’m not defending or encouraging the mocking. I’m really not. I don’t like the mocking of well meaning people. And I do think he is sincere. (Doesn’t mean I’m gonna vote for him or think anybody should though). But to play devil’s advocate, suppose he was an unemployed black veteran who was somewhat articulate, had had a visible presence on the campaign trail, didn’t hide from the media, and had no felony charges. Would this mocking be happening? I think there are those who would take a poor but coherent and focused black candidate seriously. Maybe an interesting question then is which, if any, of his mockable points are related to his poverty? Or maybe that question is irrelevant. I think it is a very complicated question, in any case. I still don’t think the mocking is OK, but answering that question may indicate what is actually being mocked – the poverty or the seeming stupidity?

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  9. Burl Burlingame

    I’m not convinced that Greene is dumb or slow. He may just be shy and not media-savvy, like most of the world.

    Voters often complain there’s no real choice in an election. There sure is here. When they get in the booth they’ll have to decide who’s more dangerous and vote for the other guy.

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  10. JS

    I think this is the first time I’ve said this, but I’m with Burl. If someone from the Guardian showed up at my doorstep I’d probably stammer and sound like an idiot. Not sure if I’d have said that my economic plan was manufacturing dolls of myself. His idea was a bad one, something the body politic isn’t use to (we prefer self-destructive, not bad ideas).

    The question I keep asking myself, will there even be a debate between DeMint and Greene?

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  11. Libb

    Brad, I trust you’re being facetious w/ the “snicker”, “yuk, yuk,…”, and “kneeslapping” comments in the 1st half of your post, especially when considering the intent of the source sending the picture.

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  12. Kathryn Fenner

    I am an unapologetic elitist: I want the very best to be our leaders.

    I am curious about all y’all who think Sarah Palin hung the moon, yet who mock Alvin Greene. Isn’t he the real deal: an outsider, not a slick politician? You’d think all the populists would be fawning all over him? What gives?

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  13. Doug Ross

    When people use the term “dangerous” to describe Jim DeMint it makes me laugh. He’s been in office for six years now. What actions has DeMint taken that have threatened your life and livelihood? Maybe if you are dependent on government handouts and bailouts, you would consider him a threat to your life of living off other people’s money… but aside from that, what has he done that makes him “dangerous”?

    Jim DeMint has a philosophy about the way government should work and he was elected by the people of South Carolina to try and advance that philosophy. So if he’s dangerous then so are 55% of the voters in this state.

    You have an option. Go Greene. Just pull the lever for Alvin Greene and feel safe again.

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  14. bud

    A debate between Greene and DeMint won’t happen. DeMint has nothing to gain. If Greene comes across as a foolishly in the debate as he has so far in interviews he could get a few symphathy votes. If, on the other hand, he surprises everyone and actually strings two coherent thoughts together DeMint could actually have a race on his hands. DeMint wins big by refusing a debate. Why risk even the tiniest chance of a game changing event.

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  15. Brad

    That would be the conventional interpretation, bud — the candidate with the advantage doesn’t want to give the challenger the forum.

    But this is not a conventional case. It’s conceivable that DeMint, being SO secure about his position, would decide to help out his party by elevating Greene’s profile with a debate. You shouldn’t underestimate Republicans’ strong desire to keep the image of Alvin Greene prominently before the voting public…

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  16. Kathryn Fenner

    @Doug Ross- Demint has not been dangerous so far because he’s just realized how powerful he can be.

    and 55% of the voters of South Carolina probably are dangerous–except for the benignly ignorant ones. Republicans are often just as guilty as the Alvin Greene voters of voting for the top of the list or their party’s candidate, who ever he or she may be.

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  17. bud

    Brad, even that consideration has some risk. What if, after all the disasterous press Greene has gotten, he actually gives a respectable job in a debate. Mind you I set the bar way low here. But he is a Political Science major. I’ve seen a few of his writings and frankly they aren’t too bad. Something you might see from a Jesse Jackson in his heyday. All Greene really has to do to win the debate is spout off a few liberal talking points such as: “the deficit started with unfunded wars under Bush”. “The economy is growing, not fast enough, but it is growing and employment is on the rise”. Or, “Mr. DeMint you have turned your back on the unemployed by denying them an extension of unemployment benefits”. Or how about, “Thanks to the Democrats and President Obama nearly every American has access to healthcare. If my good friend Jim DeMint had his way folks would still be faced with bankrupcy mearly for the sin of not having the money to pay for quality medical insurance”.

    He wouldn’t need to be articulate, just bring a few good talking points to the table and use them. DeMint could easily come across as a bully and bring sympathy to the Greene cause and by extension the Democrats. I’m betting DeMint will take no risks but I hope I’m wrong. I’d love to see Greene in a debate setting. It’d be like watching a NASCAR race waiting on the first crash.

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  18. scout

    Thus far, DeMint has mainly just been an embarrassment in my opinion, meaning I, personally, am embarrassed that this man with these views is representing my state (because he doesn’t represent me). But going forward, the “danger” of DeMint increasingly is becoming that more of his ilk are getting elected in today’s climate. By himself he can’t do much to implement his extremism, but that may be changing so if we can limit that situation by affecting this one election in which we have a say…. we have to try….long shot though it may be.

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  19. Doug Ross

    @scout

    What’s the “danger”? Give me a worst case scenario that you think DeMint and his ilk could enact?

    Some tax cuts? Privatize social security in some form? Repeal Obama-care? What else?

    Lindsey Graham is more dangerous in my view. He’s for neverending wars which will kill thousands of Americans. He’s for cap-and-trade which will destroy the economy. And he’s for granting illegal immigrants a separate path to citizenship -further diluting the services available to Americans and legitimate immigrants.

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  20. scout

    @Doug

    you say,
    “What’s the “danger”? Give me a worst case scenario that you think DeMint and his ilk could enact?

    Some tax cuts? Privatize social security in some form? Repeal Obama-care? What else?”

    Well I wouldn’t be happy with any of those. I think DeMint and others would (perhaps unknowingly) create a world where the gap between rich and poor grows exponentially and the mechanisms in our society to protect the weak and unfortunate are rendered null and void. Basically, I think it would suck.

    I think it is very easy for people in positions of affluence to take a lot of things for granted. They make judgements about how other people (i.e. the poor) can and should live based on things they have access to in their world and never realize or acknowledge that that is not the world those other people live in. It makes me angry.

    Apparently we also disagree on cap-and-trade. I think it would be a market adjustment so we would pay the true cost for energy. And it might be hard, but it is what we owe if we want to try and survive on this planet.

    For me, Lindsey is about as good as it gets for a republican.

    Doug, lest this go on and on, I think we probably will have to agree to disagree. I know you will probably come back and ask me for specifics and my brain is not good with the details – I see the trends, which is what I’ve given you. But I can try to find some details if you are interested and if it would help. I’m thinking we are probably going to continue to disagree though.

    I appreciate this opportunity for civil discourse, though. Thanks Brad :)

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  21. bud

    Double dip recession because of his take no prisoners approach to deficit reduction. That’s kind of catchy: Double Dip DeMint. Good name for an ice cream flavor too.

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  22. David

    All Greene really has to do to win the debate is spout off a few liberal talking points

    How exactly is simply spouting talking points any kind of actual debate at all?

    If that’s how you go about winning a debate in this country, our democracy is screwed.

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  23. Kathryn Fenner

    Well, David, I guess we’re screwed. These “debates” are nothing of the sort, and haven’t been for as long as I can remember.

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