Of politics and the practical…

Sen. John Edwards says he wants to honor the NAACP boycott of tourism in South Carolina. So he has promised to stay at a friend’s house while campaigning there.

A few nights ago I was watching the College Tour edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC; Edwards was the guest. Matthews was pestering him about honoring the boycott (entirely Edwards’ fault for allowing himself to be pestered) when Edwards’ finally shot back something to the effect of: Look, I have to run an effective campaign in South Carolina.

Exactly. I consider this a no-brainer.

No candidate of either party should honor the boycott–even a little bit. By honoring I mean taking steps to do what the NAACP is asking: spend no travel money in South Carolina. Honoring the boycott would have minimal effect on South Carolina and maximum (negative) effect on a campaign. It is, simply, absurd to even try.

Does that mean a Democrat who fails to honor the boycott, yet continues to speak out against the Confederate Battle flag, is a hypocrite. Certainly not. The boycott is the NAACP’s method of handling the situation. No candidate is under any obligation to buy into that method. I would assert that the NAACP is doing itself more harm that good to suppose that candidates of any party can or should buy into it.