I’m a piss-poor political reporter.

I don’t watch presidential speeches.

I don’t watch debates.

And I don’t give a rat’s ass about the State of the Union.

So you can imagine how I felt about watching Nikki Haley’s State of the State.

Yeah, I didn’t watch it from beginning to end as most wonks are prone to do. But I did turn to ETV for a few minutes toward the end of the governor’s speech. And in that time, I was able to watch Haley display the same kind of aw-shucks verbal stammering and stumbling that I thought Gov. Mark Sanford alone had mastered. Apparently, convincing an easily convinced populace that you didn’t frolic in a Ford Escalade with Will Folks is easy, but stringing together a few sentences in front of an assembled crowd of corrupt country bumpkins and gerrymandered idiots is not.

Needless to say, I was a bit embarrassed watching the State of the State, especially when the wife walked in and saw me with a pained expression on my face, my teeth biting into my lower lip, as Haley revealed her ineptitude. Shocked, I tried to gather myself, but I just ended up looking like my better half had caught me watching the porn parody of The Incredible Hulk, featuring Tori Black, the 2011 AVN Female Performer of the Year and star of more than 200 adult films, a monumental feat for a 22 year old.

You know, on second thought maybe I shouldn’t have revealed that I knew so much about Miss Black, who recently displaced Sasha Grey as the queen of the porn world and who….

Crap. There I go again. This is embarrassing. In fact, it’s almost as embarrassing as getting caught watching the porn parody of The Incredible Hulk, featuring Tori Black, the 2011 AVN Female Performer of the Year and star of more than 200 adult films, a monumental feat for a, gulp, 22 year old.

The point is not that I can pull Tori Black’s bio off of Wikipedia, but that for a guy who professes to be a political pundit, I really don’t care all that much about keeping up with politics beyond a superficial level. And of course, even this limited amount of attention is only given to national matters and not to state or, heaven forbid, local politics. Of course, that doesn’t make me all that different from you.

The thing is, ladies and gentlemen, we are all distracted from the politics and policies that affect us the most. We constantly look at Washington when we should be looking at Columbia. The decisions the guys and gals in the General Assembly make impact our lives to a degree that only Uncle Sam dreams. And yet we look away. In fact, I’d argue that we pay more attention to car wrecks and the ongoing career suicide of Charlie Sheen, although at this point it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.

Instead of discussing, dissecting, and dissing the actions of our state Legislators, we focus on national issues that have almost no impact locally. And we follow intently the ups and downs of politicians that will never do a damn thing for the state of South Carolina. Why? It’s entertaining to watch their antics, both the scary and the silly.

In a world where politicians like Sarah Palin, Joe Scarborough, and Mike Huckabee all have shows on the cable news networks, folks like Glenn McConnell, Hugh Leatherman, and Jake Knotts are a bunch of not-ready-for-prime-time players. They’re stutterers, stumblers, and speech manglers. They are not polished performers. They are us in all of our understudy glory.

And although the folks in the General Assembly decide our fates, we would rather be distracted by the ongoing horse race for the presidency and Beltway soap-opera storylines involving Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and Michele Bachmann.

The sad truth, ladies and gentlemen, is that we’re addicted to political porn. And if that’s the case, then the entire U.S. has devolved into a Triple-X parody. That’s why in 2012, I’ll be voting for the Porn Party ticket: Tori Black for President, Sasha Grey for VP. If we’re going to continue to get screwed, we might as well enjoy it.

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