Riddle me this, Junior Birdmen: When is a supporter of amnesty for illegal aliens embraced by South Carolina Republicans?

The answer: When his name is Rick Perry?

And he talks like a cowboy.

And he walks like a cowboy.

And he won’t take no guff from nobody, especially when it’s a frail old man like Ron Paul. Then he’ll grab that old coot by the arm and wave a finger in his face like a pissed-off school marm.

But when that amnesty supporter is a sweet-talking, pudgy-faced member of the D.C. establishment — the kind of Republican that knows you have to extend a hand across the aisle every now and then — then he gets tarred and feathered and driven out of town. Or at least Greenville.

That’s what happened to Lindsey Graham.

In fact, for proposing a sensible solution to our illegal immigration woes, Graham earned the rather clever nickname of Lindsey Grahamnesty. (Seriously, we need to find the originator of that phrase and give him an award. I would personally buy him a six pack of the good stuff.)

This week, a whole cadre of GOPers, including Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, Berkeley County’s Sen. Larry Grooms, and Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston, threw their support behind Texas Gov. Perry. In a press release yesterday, the trio, plus 18 of their Statehouse brethren, announced that Perry was their man in the GOP primary.

Which is strange because Grooms was the author of a recently passed Arizona-style immigration bill in South Carolina, Limehouse was a supporter, and, well, Perry has spoken out in favor of the Trans-Texas Corridor connecting Mexico and the U.S. and completely open borders. He has also opposed the E-Verify system and a border fence. And perhaps worse of all in the minds of SCGOPers, he supports amnesty for illegals.

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure as hell like to see Grooms and Limehouse explain this one.

And for all of you anti-illegal immigration rabids out there — you know, the kind of guys who don’t as much say “Lindsey Grahamnesty” as much as they spit it — I hope you will stick to your convictions and cast your ballot for somebody other than Rick Perry.

If you can’t do that, then me thinks that perhaps you hate Lindsey for other reasons entirely.

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