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Maybe Alvin Greene Is Just Alvin Greene

(UPDATE: There have been a lot of developments on this story in the past 24 hours, so please check out this updated post)

Those looking for conspiracies in the Alvin Greene saga have to wait until the end of this strange Keith Olbermann interview to get the key piece of information: South Carolina has an open primary. Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary if they choose. In fact, there’s no party registration at all, and thus no way to track crossover voters. I don’t know how many Republicans would do that, given the hot Governor’s race on the GOP side. But given the total numbers – Greene only bested former state legislator Vic Rawl with a little over 100,000 votes, compared to 60,000 – it wouldn’t take many crossover voters making mischief to secure a victory for Greene, the unemployed ex-Army vet who spent no money on his campaign but the filing fee, who could not name a city in which he has campaigned.

As Gawker notes, it’s more of a need for order that is pressing people to explain Greene and his victory as some sort of plot, when it just as likely was a combination of the usual political neophyte with delusions of grandeur, crossover voting, an establishment candidate that did nothing for his candidacy either, ballot order, and a half-dozen other factors. I realize that Greene’s essential nuttiness leaves people groping for an answer, but sometimes the most obvious one is right in front of you.

Greene’s probably getting more notoriety than Vic Rawl ever would, so in the “all publicity is good” department he might have actually improved the position for an opponent to Jim DeMint. What should alarm people is that this is the state of the South Carolina Democratic Party, a party which grew during the early 2008 primary elections but which clearly has not kept any contact with those new voters. No legitimate party should allow something like this to happen, and it says more about how illegitimate the SC Dems have become in just a couple years.

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David Dayen

David Dayen