Monday, June 14, 2010

Alvin Greene, being there

Alvin Greene, the unknown, unheralded, un-everything U.S. Senate primary winner in South Carolina, kept reminding me of something -- and somebody. Finally figured it out.

If you've seen Greene on TV, you learn two things: One, his interviews set the Guinness record for awkward pauses, and two, it's clear he doesn't have a clue what's going on. All he does is repeat the same lines about "Sixty percent of the vote is no accident" and "I just conducted a simple old-fashioned campaign," which is especially funny because I'm still not aware of anyone in South Carolina who went to an Alvin Greene rally, or had Alvin Greene come to their house, or even saw him on the side of a road waving a campaign sign like those kids doing a car wash for the glee club.

He might have won the Democratic primary because he's black, or he might have won because he was the first candidate alphabetically, or he might be a Republican plant, but one thing is clear -- he didn't win because the people of South Carolina deeply desire to put him in Congress. Although they've probably done worse.

If you watch him on TV, you think, what a disaster. But when I figured out who he reminded me of, it started to make sense.

The 1979 movie "Being There" is about Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener born with "rice pudding between the ears." All he can talk about is gardening. All he likes to do is watch TV. But through a series of events, he ends up in the home (played by the Biltmore House!) of a rich businessman with political connections. And so Chance the gardener becomes Chauncey Gardiner, whose empty-headed homilies about the weather sound like Zen in a different context.

(He also ends up in bed with Shirley MacLaine, who doesn't quite get what he means when he says "I like to watch.")

So it's possible we've misunderstood Alvin Greene this whole time. He might be our Chauncey Gardiner, our homegrown Zen master of politics, and we're just not deep enough to get it.

I will just add this. If he does ever hold a campaign rally, and it's by the side of a lake, bring your camera.


Anonymous said...

"He might have won the Democratic primary because he's black, or he might have won because he was the first candidate alphabetically, or he might be a Republican plant..."

Applying Occam's Razor, now I just wonder which one it might be. Secondly, I wonder if anyone has the guts to speak the obvious truth.

OK, I'm through wondering.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, based on all of the interviews conducted with Mr. Greene, it is apparent, at least by his responses, he doesn't have a grasp on this process and what is required to manage it.

What I find equally as disturbing is Jim Clyburn's rants about "smelling elephant dung all over this thing".

Think about it Jim, what could "a" or "the" Republicans have done to orchestrate such a perfect caper? How do you knowingly get 30,000 more people to vote for a particular candidate without someone knowing about it?

I looked at the numbers by county and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Could there be some sort of 46 county error in the machines? I guess it's possible.

To me, this looks more and more like the Democrats, including Rawl, were asleep at the wheel and more comical is that 100,000 people have absolutely no clue as to who or why they voted for Greene.

It reminds me of another politician who got millions of votes because they sold hope and change, even though voters couldn't tell you exactly what change they wanted.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that no one believes that a poor man can win a primary, but nobody bats an eye at Meg Whitman spending $88 million of her own money to get elected in California?

Anonymous said...

"-- he didn't win because the people of South Carolina deeply desire to put him in Congress."

Does this imply that each time a SC politician is elected to Congress he or she is elected as a result of SC people's "deep desire"?

For whatever reason or reasons he was elected by the voters, the result would have to be honored. His lack of eloquence is rare among politicians, so what? Ain't you tired of smooth talking and doing nothing Congress politicians? Perhaps it is time to have an ineloquent do-nothing Congressman instead. What difference would that make? At least, we solve one unemployment case.

So someone may have given him the money to run, so what? Name a politician who did not receive money in running for offices.

I think it is very unfair that Mr. Greene is harassed the way he has been recently. Leave him alone.

The sore Democratic losers (and the Democratic party) in the primary should instead examine your own sub prime competence. You deserve to lose and, if you continue to act at this level of competence, you will continue to lose.

Somehow I am not sorry Alvin Greene has won. In fact, I would urge people to vote Greene in in Nov. Give the status quo a slap in the face and remind them that we, the voters, still have the say. If we want Greene, we could vote him in!

Donald White said...

Yellow dog voting will get a pile of votes for a candidate whether he is capable or not. Works for either party and likely worked in this election.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see the demographic information on the voters in this contest.

Anonymous said...

Yellow dog voting from uninformed voters always generates gynormous numbers of cheese head votes.

Anonymous said...

We truly feel this Democrat is perfect and should be left alone. A wonderful qualied candidate for liberalism. We demand you liberals leave him alone.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Greene's success has definitely bolstered my resolve to run for election in SC next year, right after I legally change my name to "Mark Box".

Jim Pierson, Mt. Ullah said...

As suspicious as I might be to know where Alvin came up with $10K, I'm more appalled that you have to pay $10,000 as a filing fee to begin with. THAT kind of has a whiff of dung on it too.

Anonymous said...

but nobody bats an eye at Meg Whitman spending $88 million of her own money to get elected in California?

Why should they, it's her money. Mr Potato Head spend nearly $700,000,000 so what is you point? Besides none?

The other point is that Meg is competant and the other is a liberal blithering idiot.

discourser said...

Ahhh... A man after my own heart. Being There is one of my all time favorite movies.

I really didn't make that connection. I think people just didn't know who they were voting for. They may have been purposefully voting against instead. I don't think it was racial, because I doubt anyone knew what race Alvin Greene was. That is especially evident in that he also won in white precincts.

I think there's something rotten in Denmark. There's some dirty maneuvering somewhere behind the scenes. How and why could an indigent man come up with the filing fee? I imagine there's some very dirty politics going on (as usual).

Dr. Horrible said...

Who's nuttier: Alvin Greene or James Clyburn?

Anonymous said...

My main problem with the "black" explanation is:

If he didn't campaign, and no one knew who he was, how could they have known he was black?

It's not like he had one of those made-up names like Antnay.

Anonymous said...

If it was an election between Al Green and Lou Rawls who would win?

Lynne Stevenson said...

This column "smells" faintly similar to the one about "The Big Guy" which ran a few weeks back. God bless Mr. Greene! He is exactly what the political arena needs -- a touch of common person reasoning and logic...

Anonymous said...

Al Green, back in Gospel to stay. And then he wiped his brow, and said, "Who in the hell left the gate open?". Watch them dogs - the sermon that sweeping the Nation!