Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Southern Tale

Newt Gingrich's victory in the South Carolina Republican primary is in the finest tactical tradition of General Robert E. Lee. Lee earned his reputation for brilliance largely because he was often forced into dire circumstances where his only hope was to try something unconventional. It worked for a while. Until the he met Grant. And then he lost.

Newt went into South Carolina in dire circumstances, out of contention if he didn't pull off a good showing. So he cut loose with the Full Newt. Like Lee, Newt had little to lose. And it worked. He strutted through the debates in full bombast, giving South Carolina Republicans what they wanted. They could appreciate a fighting gamecock. Meanwhile, Romney who, like those Union generals, had much to lose, played it cautious.

So Gingrich is Lee early on in the war. We know how that one turned out.

Unlike Lee, Gingrich has a $5 million super PAC. Romney is no Grant but he has a shitload of money, including his own super PAC, and the party establishment is terrified at the prospect of Newt Gingrich as nominee.

The campaign will become more evil now.

Also evil is the prospect that one of these two men will be the party candidate in the general election. But that's another story.

Update: Juan Cole has an even better framework for his analysis of the SC results.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home