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Throw 'em out

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South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union; let it now be the first ejected. Once again, and once too often, the Palmetto State has violated American standards of honesty, fair play and racial tolerance in the conduct of its politics. These resemble rioting in the streets more than democracy in action, and embarrass our country in the eyes of the world. Somali politicians are refined by comparison.

The late Lee Atwater, a South Carolinian, practically invented the vicious, racist politics on which the modern Southern Republican Party is based. His successors surpass him. An adulterous South Carolina governor lies about where he is and what he's doing during his long absences from the office, and forces taxpayers to subsidize his philandering. During a presidential address to Congress, a hateful South Carolina congressman screams that the commander-in-chief is a liar, slang for "the commander-in-chief is black," and the congressman is lionized by South Carolina Republicans. The woman leading the field in the Republican primary for governor is accused of infidelity by two Republican political operatives who claim to have slept with her. A Republican state senator calls the same woman, the daughter of Sikh parents, a "raghead," and charges that she's part of a Sikh plot to take over South Carolina's government. (If only.) President Obama is a raghead too, the senator says, for good measure.

We say expel South Carolina, and build a wall to keep its residents behind. (Republicans are the big problem, of course, but denying citizenship to them while granting it to South Carolina Democrats could cause administrative problems, and might raise constitutional questions as well.) Maybe South Carolinians' deportment would improve over time and they could petition for re-admittance to the USA. If not, the cost of redesigning the flag would be small.

Keep it clean

If you think the oil spill in the Gulf is not disaster enough, take heart. The Senate is expected to vote today on a bill to gut the Clean Air Act, inviting further environmental degradation by allowing automobile manufacturers, oil refineries, coal plants and other polluters to foul the air as much as they please. What they please is whatever is profitable. If this bill passes, people will be falling like pelicans. Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor must vote against the bill, of course, even though Lincoln has signed on as a co-sponsor with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Regardless of how the Democratic primary turned out Tuesday, Lincoln is senator today, and service to the people of Arkansas outweighs any considerations of senatorial courtesy.

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