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There’s been a lot of talk lately about South Carolina’s well-earned reputation for dirty politics … but until recently we hadn’t seen much actual evidence of it during the 2012 election cycle. Sure, there have been plenty of hard-hitting political ads launched by (or on behalf of) all of the Republican presidential candidates, but for the most part these attacks have been surprisingly substantive.

With just days remaining before the Palmetto State’s pivotal “First in the South” presidential primary, though, things could be on the verge of getting very dirty, very fast.

Case in point? A prominent (and anonymous) Tea Party blogger has created an image of former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum that shows the pandering politician sporting a “Hitler moustache.”

Below is the original version of the controversial image, which features not only Santorum’s superimposed Adolf Hitler stache but also a reference to Godwin’s Law – which holds that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

(Click to enlarge)

What message was the creator of this image attempting to communicate? We’re not sure …

“Workin’ Tommy C” – a longtime contributor to the right wing Palmetto political website Stuffed Suits – has acknowledged creating the image in Photoshop. He says he came up with the idea in an effort to tweak Santorum supporter Billy Pickering, the Kentucky-based blogger who writes the website.

Tommy says that his “mild” criticism of Santorum in recent days has resulted in Pickering banning him from posting articles on the website – which is popular among South Carolina Tea Party activists.

He says he never attempted to post the image to the website.

“Pickering first got incensed over some VERY MILD criticisms of Rick Santorum I made in an article on Stuffed Suits,” Tommy wrote in an email to FITS that contained the Santorum/ Hitler image. “I should have known better than to be teamed up with an out-of-state political operative wannabe.”

Santorum’s campaign was not immediately available to comment regarding the controversial image.

Stay tuned for more …

UPDATE: Wow … “Workin’ Tommy C” has been busy. Here’s another one of his anti-Santorum efforts …

(Click to enlarge)

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