If we can just hold out for two more days, it will all be over. Mostly.
Then the phone will stop ringing every few minutes, particularly during dinner, and our mailboxes will no longer be filled with campaign detritus like “Ted Cruz is dangerously inconsistent on national security.”
Which was actually one of the better mailers.
That’s because on Saturday Republican voters make their pick for president. After that, these guys will drop us like Carly Fiorina’s poll numbers.
Well, except for the guy who looks like Larry David and the woman who plays Hillary Clinton on TV. But they’ll only be here for another week.
It has been a fairly typical Republican presidential primary in South Carolina; that is, pretty dirty. Donald Trump has threatened to sue Cruz, while Cruz has continued to pander to the right by finding his religion.
And everyone and their brother has been beating up on little ol’ Marco Rubio.
The best robo call: the one completely in Spanish where the only words intelligible to people who don’t speak the language are “Cruz,” “Rubio” and “amnesty.”
Pure brilliance, and purely shameful. But some people fall for it, so who is really to blame?
Former state party Chairman Katon Dawson summed it up eloquently in The Washington Post last week, offering an insightful quote likely to go down in state history.
“People in Iowa expect the candidate to trudge through the snow, do small meetings in diners,” Dawson said. “In New Hampshire, they expect a candidate to come to their living room, sit on the sofa, have some coffee. In South Carolina, 700,000 people want to see how you take a punch.”
Yes, as history has shown time and again, South Carolina likes nothing more than a good fight.
The story of the 2016 South Carolina primary will likely be Trump’s threatened lawsuit against Cruz.
Which is just crazy. But then, so is claiming Mexico — which can’t even pay its credit card bills — is going to build a wall on the border.
Anyway, Trump’s mad because the Texas senator is running commercials showing his younger self insisting he is very “pro-choice.”
Sorry, Donald, that’s just good TV. As is Trump’s contention that Cruz is not eligible to be president, seeing as how he was born in Canada and his father was pals with Fidel Castro, the communist poster child.
That’s not slander, either. It’s only fair, given the malarkey the right has stirred up about President Barack Obama’s legitimacy — without facts — since the 2008 campaign.
As nasty as this primary has been, it pales in comparison to 2000, when supporters of George W. Bush played the dirtiest trick of all time — using push polls to suggest Sen. John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child.
No doubt some people here still believe that insipid lie.
Truth is, McCain and his wife adopted a young girl from Bangladesh, which shows you how big his heart is. But heart carries little weight in South Carolina.
This, after all, is the home to Lee Atwater, father of the 1988 Willie Horton ad against Michael Dukakis, who once said congressional candidate Tom Turnipseed had been “hooked up to jumper cables,” which was at the very least a rather crude and tasteless description of electroshock treatment.
This is just how we do things around here, and people respond.
Compared to that, both Trump and Cruz are rank amateur. Whiny ones at that.
This is a state where opponents of Mitt Romney once sent out cards with outlandish quotes from the Book of Mormon (the actual book, not the Broadway musical from those South Park guys).
That was fair. Attributing the cards to Romney wasn’t.
This year’s equivalent is Cruz supporters calling people and telling them that Rubio wants to let “all the Mexicans in and let them move into your neighborhood.”
One, you have to be stupid to believe that and, two, sadly some people will. Because South Carolina has a reputation for believing all the craziest lies. And being racist.
But in some ways, South Carolina gets a bad rap. Our politics may be bare-knuckled, but it’s not like these folks are going to be singing “Kumbaya” when they get to Nevada.
But folks here are a little more blunt than they are in Iowa and New Hampshire. After all, we are the descendants of the men who started the Civil War — which was at least partially stirred up by some half-truths and slander campaigns.
But the Confederates at least had the good sense to not call folks six or seven times during dinner.
But these candidates ratchet up the rhetoric and annoying calls because of the state’s reputation. Since 1980, South Carolina has correctly picked the GOP nominee all but one time. So they think this vote carries extra importance.
Here’s two words for those folks: Newt Gingrich.
Perhaps we should call and remind them of the 2012 primary, preferably during dinner.
Reach Brian Hicks at email@example.com.