Just as soon as South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson announces that he’s running to chair the national party, a story is disseminated by his opponents (note: fellow Republicans) referring to his recent membership in a whites-only country club. Dawson left the club in August, days before he first suggested that he might be looking to the national stage.

As usual, the story says more about backwards South Carolina than it does about Dawson. My absolute favorite part is where the reporter and some pundits do a little guessing on the reason for his separation from the club.

“It’s something that would have a cleansing effect just in case (Sen. John) McCain would choose him to be head of the Republican National Committee,” said political scientist and GOP activist Neal Thigpen, who has been active in Republican politics for 40 years.

Dawson dismissed that as “hypothetical.”

And by “hypothetical,” we’re sure he means, “John McCain in the White House?! Who are you kidding.”

UPDATE: Favorite headline, of course, goes to Indecision 2008:

“RNC wouldn’t be the first whites-only party Katon Dawson has been to”