Never Assume Anybody Cares, People
It was big news in The State paper this morning when it was revealed that Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tommy Moore is declining to participate in an NAACP voter forum next month in Augusta with incumbent Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.
Seriously, how often does a Democrat reject an invite to address the state's largest black advocacy group - particularly when a Republican opponent has already accepted? After all, the NAACP could be holding its voter forum on the Fra Mauro hills or the recently downgraded Pluto and a Democrat is pretty much obliged to be there, right?
Conversely, the NAACP could hold a forum inside a Republican's bedroom and there's still a good chance the GOP representative wouldn't show.
Dispensing with the "who agreed to what, when and where" specifics, which is really just scenery, let's take a look at the impact this will have on the governor's race.
Short answer? Not much.
Moore will anger some Democrats, and Sanford will pick an incredibly small percentage of those voters up. Sanford will anger a few Republicans, and Moore will pick an incredibly small percentage of those voters up. Independents will likely just scratch their heads and go back to fawning all over U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's GQ spread.
Where is the outrage, you may ask?
Well, as Paris Hilton might say, it's "so five years ago."
The NAACP "economic boycott" of South Carolina is a joke, and everybody knows it.
Unlike when Christians got upset at K-Mart or Catholics got ticked off at Pepsi, the NAACP's economic protest of the Confederate flag has literally had the economic impact of a flea biting a Brontosaurus on the ass.
Far from the lightning rod it was in 2000, the Confederate flag is not a fringe issue (although it did beat out our own Sic Willie to win "Political Faux Pas of the Year" among Free Times readers in 2005).
The long and short of the NAACP Confederate flag boycott?
White people don't care. Black people don't care. Basically, nobody but the NAACP cares.
That's why this morning's news story in The State, while indeed interesting, will have minimal impact on the 2006 Governor's Race.
To borrow a verse from Billy Ray Shakespeare (Capricorn), it's "full 'a whoo-whoo but ain't doo-doo."