GOP: In South Carolina, a ‘viper’s nest’ awaits

KKK SC poster

The crucial Feb. 20 GOP primary is Feb, 20.  The less critical Democratic contest is Feb. 27. a week later,

POLITICO: Down in South Carolina, it’s different.

The litany of dirty GOP politics in the Palmetto State is very long.  Whispers and rumors range from John McCain having an illegitimate black child to a bogus Mitt Romney Christmas card with controversial quotes from the Book of Mormon. Fliers dropped on South Carolina doorsteps have told people the wrong date to vote.  Political rivals have bantered openly with racial slurs and innuendos about sexual trysts.

Charleston is not just the birthplace of the Confederacy, it is the birthplace of  Lee Atwater , called the father of the !1“Southern Strategy”  .. an effort to spread the white tenents of the GOP over the KKK.

Atwater’s aggressive tactics were first demonstrated during the 1980 Congressional campaigns. In that campaign  Atwater used push pollingto inform white suburbanites that Democratic nominee Tom Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP Senator Thurmond sent out letters saying that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists.  Atwater planted a fake reporter at a press briefing. The reporter who rose and said, “We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment.

“Lee seemed to delight in making fun of a suicidal 16-year-old who was treated for depression with electroshock treatments,” Turnipseed recalled. 

Next, Atwater went to Washington an aide to  Ronald Reagan’s poltical henchman,  Ed Rollins. Rollins mentions Atwater’s work several times in his 1996 book Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms.   Rollins recounts that Atwater ran a dirty tricks operation against Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro, including publicizing the fact that Ferraro’s parents had been indicted on numbers running in the 1940s. Rollins also described Atwater as “ruthless,” “Ollie North in civilian clothes,” and someone who “just had to drive in one more stake.”

Donald Trump is the most likely target. His rivals are scared S–tless by Trump. Trump Carson
“No one has talked about the three marriages yet. No one has talked about the casinos. I suspect we’ll see that come Monday,” said Katon Dawson, a longtime GOP operative in South Carolina. “Someone has to take the bark off of him or he’s going to take this primary walking away.”

The obvious source of dirty tricks to watch is Ted Cruz.  In Iowa, Ted Cruz staffers spread the false rumor as the caucuses were just kicking off that Ben Carson’s campaign was finished. There were also reams of paper scattered into the air outside a Chris Christie town hall in Ames featuring the New Jersey governor’s 2009 statement supporting Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In Manchester, New Hampshire, last weekend, copies of a Boston Herald front page with the headline “Choke!” somehow found their way onto the dashboards of cars parked outside a Marco Rubio rally, according to a Washington Post reporter.   The Texas senator stung opponets by sending out official-looking  “VOTING VIOLATION” threats to likely Cruz voters who might otherwise fail to vote.

The other likely  perp is the Bush campaign.  The family has deep roots in dirty campaigns, going back the Daddy Bush hiring Lee Atwater.  After a heated clash between McCain and George W. Bush in the 2000 GOP primary,  South Carolina voters got a phone call: “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”  The finger of guilt pointed to Karl Rove, the family successor to the role played by Lee Atwater.  Rove has tried to put the blame on an unnamed professor at Bob Jones University. Maybe Rove was responsible for the rumors that McCain’s wife had a drug addiction

The Charleston Post and Courier has launched  “Whisper Campaign” — a digital tool that begs the public to help keep tabs on the coming blizzard of dirty tricks.The Post and Courier’s “Whisper Campaign” site has already collected eight suspect submissions from its readers — five unusual phone calls, one strange mailer and two cases of stolen yard signs. It goes into detail on some of the reports but warns that the information has “not necessarily been vetted for accuracy.”
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