The Impact of the South Carolina Primary

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Yesterday I was in the car with my youngest son, the budding political pundit. We were discussing the fallout of the latest Republican primary in South Carolina. Surprisingly, he is a Ted Cruz guy also. I don’t know where he got that from.

He like me doesn’t understand the results in South Carolina with Trump winning overwhelmingly, Rubio taking second, just eking out Ted Cruz who dropped to third place. But he’s a kid and is looking for answers. Whatever the reason, he seems to think I have them all, at least as far as politics goes. Again, I don’t know what gave him that idea.

The conversation began with Donald Trump of course. He said that he couldn’t understand why so many people were voting for Trump. He remembered me making a loose correlation between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler, but couldn’t remember what it was all about. I told him that I certainly didn’t think that if Donald Trump was elected he would become the next Hitler and America would be turned into the next Third Reich.

No, I explained that it was both Hitler’s and Trump’s cult of personality that people are drawn to – that Hitler was really a combination of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – you know – but without the whole mass extermination thing.

Hitler came to power after the collapse of the post-World War I Weimar Republic. The country was in a deep depression and the morale and outlook of the people was at an all-time low. The German people were angry and frightened, looking for leadership whom they found in Adolf Hitler, with his soaring rhetoric and propaganda. He, like Sanders and Trump, promised the world to the German people. read more

Election Analysis by a Brit

The following is a post election anaylsis by british reporter Toby Harden of the UK Daily Mail. Sometimes it’s fun to see if their prospective is any different from our own. I think he is fairly spot on. Pip Pip, Cheerio!

He titles the article:

THE FIGHT IS ON! NEWT GINGRICH VICTORY IN SOUTH CAROLINA MEANS NO MORE MR. INEVITABLE FOR MITT ROMNEY

Turnaround: Mr. Gingrich’s victory came after an amazing fight back over the past week.

What a turnaround! A week ago, it looked like Mitt Romney was going to head into the Florida primary with three victories under his belt. Then it turned out that Rick Santorum won Iowa after all and South Carolina voters backed Newt Gingrich, delivering a message to Romney and the media: ‘Not so fast!’

So, for the first time in Republican history there’s been a three-way split decision between Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Next up, in 10 days’ time, is Florida, where Romney holds a solid double-digit lead and has the money and organisation that should ensure he wins a large state with nine separate television markets.

Of course, Romney’s emphatic 16-point win in New Hampshire and consequent double-digit poll lead here in South Carolina should have delivered him victory tonight so no one in Romneyworld will be taking anything for granted in the Sunshine State.

What did it for Gingrich here? Two very strong debate performances were key. His best moment was his exchange with Juan Williams of Fox in Monday’s Myrtle Beach debate in which he gave full-throated voice to the conservative philosophy of self-help and free enterprise as well as casting aside political correctness and racial tiptoeing.

Then, the much-ballyhooed ABC News interview with his second wife Marianne backfired spectacularly. CNN gave Gingrich a gift by asking him about the ‘open marriage’ allegation right at the start of Thursday’s debate in Charleston. Savaging the ‘liberal media’ is almost invariably a winner in Republican primaries and Gingrich took full advantage.

More generally, however, South Carolina voters decided they did not want a coronation or to send an unvetted nominee into battle against President Barack Obama, with a billion dollars in campaign funds behind him, in November.

He remains the favourite for the GOP nomination but it is now clear that Romney is no shoo-in. And nor should he be. Obama’s long and bitter primary contest with Hillary Clinton in 2008 ultimately meant that he was battle-tested for the general election. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee in 2012 needs to be the same.

Romney, uncharacteristically, was vague and halting in the two debates this week and need to turn in a strong performance in Tampa on Monday. In his ‘concession’ speech (I never heard him concede to or congratulate Gingrich) he was fiercely combative, indicating that he will go for Gingrich’s throat in Florida.

Previewing a key line of attack, Romney compared Gingrich to Obama: ‘Our party can’t be led to victory by someone who also has never run a business and never run a state.’
Gingrich still has a mountain to climb. By every measure, he is significantly behind in Florida and one lesson of this race so far is that momentum from one victory matters very little. But tonight has burst the bubble of inevitability in which Romney had been enveloped.

Romney’s opponents have long suspected he has a glass jaw. Now we will see whether he can take a punch, get up off the floor and keep fighting.

George W. Bush recovered from a drubbing in
New Hampshire in 2000 at the hands of John McCain. Barack Obama overcame a stunning defeat at the hands of Clinton in the same state in 2008. Romney now has the chance to prove he is made of similar stuff.
Gingrich, the early December front runner, has already sunk once in the polls under sustained negative attack from Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Perry. He’ll need to brace himself for a Romney onslaught in Florida with every detail of his ethics violations, marital infidelities, House leadership stumbles and activities on behalf of Freddie Mac laid bare for all to see.

Current Republican Delegate Count

Methodology: Delegate numbers for each state are after the application of penalties and include unpledged delegates. In some states where actual delegates are assigned by multi-step procedures, the AP uses results from local caucuses to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate will win. The AP interviews unpledged delegates to determine their preferences and includes them in the total.

Attribution: AP, Wallstreet Journal

Rick Santorum, A Real Conservative

[Editorial Comment: The following was not a prepared speech. It was completely extemporaneous. There was no script, no teleprompter, no blackberry and no one speaking into his ear telling him what to say. You tell me who the REAL conservative is.]

Lexington, S.C.

From: The Weekly Standard:

In the back room at the Flight Deck restaurant Tuesday afternoon, a voter posed an interesting question to Rick Santorum. What is Santorum’s own view of the Constitution,
the voter wanted to know, given that Ron Paul frequently casts himself as the only candidate who wants to adhere to the Constitution? In response, Santorum fished out of his pocket his miniature copy of the Constitution and held it tightly in his hand.

“I have a very good grasp of the Constitution,” Santorum joked. Then the former senator from Pennsylvania got serious, describing his own philosophy on the Constitution and contrasting it with Paul’s.

Ron Paul has a libertarian view of the Constitution. I do not. The Constitution has to be read in the context of another founding document, and that’s the Declaration of Independence. Our country never was a libertarian idea of radical individualism. We have certain values and principles that are embodied in our country. We have God-given rights.

The Constitution is not the “why” of America; it’s the “how” of America. It’s the operator’s manual. It’s the rules we have to play by to ensure something. And what do we ensure? God-given rights. And so to read the Constitution as the end-all, be-all is, in a sense, what happened in France.

“You see, during the ti
me of our revolution, we had a Declaration of Independence that said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, [that they are] endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

So we were founded as a country that had God-given rights that the government had to respect. And with those rights come responsibilities, right? God did not just give us rights. He gave us a moral code by which to exercise them.

See, that’s what Ron Paul sort of leaves out. He leaves out rights and responsibilities that we have from God that this Constitution is to protect. And he says, “No, we just have rights, and then that’s it.” No, we don’t. America is a moral enterprise….

My understanding of our founding documents and the purpose of this country is different. I would argue that [Paul’s] understanding of the Constitution was similar to the French Revolution and the French understanding of the Constitution.

The French had 21,
I think, constitutions, but their constitutions were initially patterned after the American Constitution. Gave radical freedom, like ours does.

But their founding document was not the Declaration of Independence. Their founding watchwords were the words, “liberty” and “fraternity.” Fraternity. Brotherhood. But no fatherhood. No God. It was a completely secular revolution. An anti-clerical revolution. And the root of it was, whoever’s in power rules.