To all the Democrats living in the great state of South Carolina, please hear me out. I know you have been beaten. I know you feel defeated. I know you know that we all know that this is a one-party state, and, well, you weren’t invited to the party. And believe you me, you tried your best to get an invitation.

You let the voters in South Carolina cheat off your test.

You told them you would get your older brother to buy them a 12-pack of Beast, a case of Smirnoff Ice, and two dozen cans of Four Loko.

You promised each and every one of them you’d wash their car, do their laundry, and date their half-witted, buck-toothed, lazy-eyed sister.

You even sexted them. Don’t try to hide it. Seriously, don’t. I have seen the pictures. And they are not pretty. If I wanted to see a donkey show, I’d go to Tijuana. You should be ashamed of yourself.

So trust me, I understand how you feel. I understand how far you have fallen. I understand that you are standing at the bottom of a well and the best part of your day is when Buffalo Bill tells you to rub the lotion on your skin. But, Lord God Almighty, please, and I’m begging you more than I’ve ever begged anyone in my life, don’t let Dick Harpootlian become the chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party.

Yes, he may guide you to victory, if not in 2012, then 2014. And if not 2014, then 2016. And if not 2016, then 2018. I know how desperate you want to win. But Dem boys and Dem girls, Harpootlian is not the candidate you’re looking for. He is not where the Democratic Party is headed. He is the state chairman of a bygone era — an era when you retook the governor’s mansion — but an era that will not return. Harpootlian’s better days are behind him. If he’s not routinely getting the early-bird discount at restaurants across Columbia, he will soon enough.

Ask yourself this: Are there not other younger, more vibrant candidates in the party, ones with something to prove, names to make, asses to kick?

Truth be told, my distaste for Dick has nothing to do with age or the mistaken belief that because Harpootlian guided the Democrats to victory before he can do it again.

There’s one reason and one reason alone that Harpootlian is not fit to be the chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party: He’s a homophobic douche.

What? You forgot that, huh? That little moment back in 2002 when Lindsey Graham was running against former College of Charleston President Alex Sanders for Strom Thurmond’s U.S. Senate seat, and Harpootlian decided to crack all wise and get a dig in at Lindsey, proclaiming that Graham was “a little too light in the loafers to fill Strom Thurmond’s shoes.” It was an ugly comment then, and it’s an ugly comment now.

And I say that not because Lindsey Graham may or may not be a closeted gay man, as many have speculated over the years. Graham’s sexuality has no bearing on whether or not I would vote for him. I wouldn’t regardless. I don’t swing that way. I’m not a warmonger.

The reason why it was a hateful comment is because of what Harpootlian was trying to do with it: He wanted to convince South Carolinians to cast their vote for Sanders over Graham simply because Lindsey might be gay. And frankly, that flies in the face of the Democratic Party’s values. After all, the Democrats are the party of tolerance. The party of minority rights. Women’s rights. Gay rights. The Democratic Party is not the party of hate and bigotry. That’s the other guys.

I say it’s high time to show Dick Harpootlian where he can stick his loafers, light or otherwise.

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