CLYBURN WON’T VOTE FOR GREENE…. Whether South Carolina Democrats like it or not, Alvin Greene is and will be the party’s nominee for the United States Senate in November. He’ll face incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint (R), who is now the single safest bet for re-election in the country.

The choice for Dems, then, is whether to vote for someone who, by any objective measure, is not qualified for the job. South Carolina’s most powerful, most respected Democrat announced yesterday that he would not.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-.S.C.) said Wednesday he will vote for write-in candidate Mazie Ferguson for Senate instead of Alvin Greene, the state’s Democratic nominee.

The AP reports Clyburn will refuse because Greene has been indicted on a felony charge.

Clyburn told reporters a vote for Greene, who was arrested in November on charges of showing pornographic images to a female student at the University of South Carolina, would be inconsiderate to the women in his family.

“Look, I have three daughters and a granddaughter. I think it would be an insult to them if I did that,” he said.

There was no wiggle room — Clyburn told reporters, “No, I’m not going to vote for Mr. Greene.”

That seems like a reasonable position for a party leader to take. It’s not realistic to think officials of one party are suddenly going to endorse the candidate of the rival party — that’s just not going to happen given the way party politics works. But when responsible patriots look at their candidate, and realize that he/she has no business getting elected, the sensible, conscientious thing to do is announce that this candidate will not receive their support. Clyburn no doubt realizes this will only improve the Republican’s vote total, but has concluded he’s doing the right thing anyway.

What’s noteworthy, then, is how this isn’t happening among Republican leaders, who probably realize that candidates like Angle, Paul, and Buck are nearly as ridiculous as Alvin Greene, but who nevertheless enjoy the GOP’s enthusiastic support.

I’m not suggesting the NRSC has a patriotic duty to endorse Harry Reid’s re-election campaign. But it is interesting that Dems distance themselves from their fringe, unqualified Senate candidates, but Republicans aren’t interested in doing the same.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.