Rival factions are battling it out for control of the Charleston County (S.C.) Republican Party … a local race that’s drawing national endorsements and rehashing national scandals.

Fiscal conservatives are rallying around John Steinberger, who took over as acting chairman of the party when establishment hack Lin Bennett was voted out of office earlier this year. Meanwhile the establishment “Republicans” are pushing Mark Smith – reportedly using robocalls with a message from former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Smith is receiving the Santorum seal of approval (for whatever that’s worth) due to his association with Jim Hirni, a controversial GOP fundraiser who was at the heart of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal in Washington, D.C. back in the mid-2000s. Specifically, he was busted bribing U.S. Senate staffers in exchange for favorable amendments to legislation.

Hirni has settled in South Carolina, where he has become a loyal tool of the fiscally liberal wing of the party.

As we’ve noted in previous posts, we have no use whatsoever for the Republican Party (at any level). Which means we don’t really care who wins or loses the battle for its Charleston County, S.C. chairmanship (set for this coming Monday, July 8).

In addition to being ideologically bankrupt, the GOP at all levels lacks the capacity to create real change given its obligation to remain neutral during primary elections and its obligation to support its nominees in general elections – even if those nominees are “Republicans in Name Only” (which most of them are).