- Posted March 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
A Gay Senator from South Carolina?!
Has hell froze over?
Is the government keeping from us a polar shift or that the Earth has been knocked off its axis?
A earthquake began rumbling over the weekend on Twitter in the South Carolina Republican Party. The state may soon be choosing whether to replace long-serving GOP Senator Lindsey Graham with an openly gay candidate.
Seismic activity has been rocking the state over the last couple of years. First there was the election of Nikki Haley of Indian-American descent to the governor's mansion. Then shortly before the end of the year, Tea Party leader Senator Jim DeMint announced his immediate retirement. Haley appointed black Congressman Tim Scott to fill out DeMint's term. Scott is the first black senator from South Carolina, where the Civil War began, since Reconstruction.
All weekend long the Twitterverse lit up with talk that @GayPatriot, also known as Bruce Carroll, may be considering a run at unseating Graham. That gossip was confirmed today when Carroll, a co-founder of GOProud, a conservative Republican gay organization, resigned from the Board of Directors and announced he was exploring a challenge to Graham in 2014.
Graham came under fire this past week from the libertarian wing of the GOP when he joined with Arizona Senator John McCain in blasting Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's prinicipled, nearly 13-hour filibuster in a quest for answers from President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder whether the President could order military drone strikes on US citizens on the home soil preemptively. Graham and McCain, strong defense hawks, have never met a defense cut nor a question about defense which either could like or tolerate.
But it wasn't just libertarians whose feathers were rustled by Graham and McCain. Rank-and-file Republicans and independents equally voiced that the two senior Senators were wrong to castigate Paul. Many on Twitter as well as several political pundits said taking on Paul over the drone issue showed that perhaps the two Senators have out-lived their usefulness.
In an open letter to the public and specifically to South Carolina Republicans, Carroll had this to say:
"Over the next few weeks, I will be studying the resources, time and effort it would take to do my part in holding Lindsey Graham accountable for his voting record and his attitude toward the voters in South Carolina.
This is important: I do not make major decisions hastily; I will take adequate time to realistically look at all of the evidence (pro and con) and consult with a diverse group of people that I trust and that also have the best interests of South Carolina at heart as I do.
If I believe I could provide a serious alternative to Senator Graham for the voters of South Carolina, and I can find the financial and moral support to join me in that effort, then I will take those next formal steps needed to do so.
Someone needs to be the Conscience of South Carolina’s Voters during the 2014 Primary. I hope I can accept that challenge."
Who would have thunk it?
While this is monumental enough in a conservative state like South Carolina, what does this mean for the country as a whole?
Does this indicate that the Republican Party is finally ready to become more inclusive?
Does this indicate that social issues are moving out of the center ring and to the sidelines?
Are Republicans ready to focus on fiscal issues and let local communities and states deal with the social concerns?
Are social conservatives losing control of the GOP?
From the Cornfield, I welcome and applaud Carroll's decision to explore running against Graham. I have always found Graham, most of the time, to be a reasoned voice in the Senate.
But sometimes in order for a plant or tree to blossom and thrive, you have to take out the pruning shears and cut off the deadwood.
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