Poor Vincent Sheheen. He thinks he can woo enough South Carolina Republicans to defeat S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014, and in order to do that, he has to deny the fact that he’s a member of the Democratic Party. 

It’s a common enough ruse, but it’s never really been effective. Just ask Elizabeth Colbert Busch or Alex Sanders or any number of the high-profile S.C. Dems who tried to out-right their GOP rivals.

Which brings us to today’s same-sex marriage story in the State. The Columbia daily decided to ask both Gov. Haley and state Sen. Sheheen whether or not they supported same-sex marriage. Haley said no, and Sheheen, well, he didn’t say anything.

[image-1]Now, whether he was too yellowbellied to speak or he was perfecting his wet blanket imitation, I don’t know, but ultimately, his campaign babysitter spoke for him, telling The State’s Adam Beam that Sheheen “continues to personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Now, that may be true, and it may not be, although I doubt that it is. But Sheheen’s own beliefs are beside the point. See, when it comes to Republican voters, it doesn’t matter how vehemently Vincent Sheheen proclaims that he’s against gay marriage, they will always believe that he’s for it. Why? Because he’s a Democrat, and every Democrat is gay for gay marriage. It’s an issue that defines the Democratic Party. It’s an issue on which their future is built. So if Sheheen and his team of wet nurses and au pairs believe that this little stunt will nip the same-sex marriage issue in the rosebud, they are mistaken. 

Even worse, Sheheen’s anti-gay marriage stance will only hurt him among the members of the Democratic Party’s progressive base, you know, those idealistic boots-on-the-ground folks who are willing to go door to door to proclaim their undying love for their candidate. For these individuals, Sheheen is at best a pussy and at worst a narcissistic smiley glad-hander who would sell his own mother to the sultan of Dubai for the secret code that unlocks the iVotronic voting machine. (Psst. In case you’re wondering, it’s either “Justin Bailey” or Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start, I forget which. )

If Sheheen had any true desire to create a better South Carolina, he would have proudly announce that he supported same-sex marriage. Even if he ultimately lost to Haley in 2014, it would have been a bold new step for a Palmetto State politician, one that many voters would remember years from now. Heck, in a decade or so, it could be just the thing that gives him the edge in the race for a seat on Capitol Hill. The demographics, they are a’changing, and it ain’t looking good for the forces of bigotry, not even here in South Carolina, no thanks to Vincent Sheheen.