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South Carolina Sex Issue: Performance Failure

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Who could have ever imagined of this happening in the old puckered up Dixie, where even the mildest swear word would bring pursed lips and warnings about Judgment Day?

And who in a thousand years -- actually make 145 years since the end of the Civil War -- who could have imagined that South Carolina, which still holds fond memories of a plantation life, would be on the verge of making the GOP nominee a woman who isn't lily white.

Rep. Nikki Haley is of Indian descent; in fact, an opponent called her a "raghead". It used to be, nobody would have even noticed such racist comments. Now they have caused an uproar and mainly oozed all over the idiot who used the word. Call that progress.

But that pales against the really big deal in South Carolina. Ms. Haley has not once, but twice, had to deny claims from men who claimed to have had extra-marital affairs with her. We can't tell whether these guys really did sleep with her or whether it was only their fantasies, but what has happened since is truly the stuff of dreams.

In a Palmetto shell, Haley, since being slimed by the adultery charges, has zoomed from back-in-the-pack to the lead. While it is true the endorsement from Sarah Palin sure didn't hurt her, neither did all the sex stuff either, real and/or imagined.

This is a place where campaigning is anything but a genteel tea party, but perhaps the voters have finally decided that the innuendo game is one the girls can win when they go toe to toe with the boys (or whatever it is they go). No matter whether it's real or made up, maybe this is a smear that doesn't smear anymore.

If so, we can thank Mark Sanford and his Argentine entangoment, and before him, the legendary Strom Thurmond, who spent an entire life out to stud.

The people of South Carolina seem to be tired of hearing about this kind of thing. They might well consider adultery too juvenile to be a political issue. If so, this state, which so cherishes its oppressive past, could be leading the way to a sensible liberated future an example for all to follow.