The implications of Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina


As I wrote about before, it has been clear for some time that the oligarchy wanted the next election to be between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. That is the kind of election they like and almost always get, between two candidates who will both favor their interests and are nice and predictable and unlikely to do anything impulsive.

But as I wrote in a series of posts immediately after the 2008 election about the future of the Republican party, ever since John McCain impulsively added Sarah Palin to the ticket, the Republican party’s social conservative base has been feeling its oats and has been wanting to move out of the back of the bus and into the driver’s seat. We are seeing that struggle between four groups vying for the leadership play out more in the open now, with the old-style conservatives fearing being driven into the wilderness.

While the oligarchy has been mostly successful in beating down the challengers to Romney, Newt Gingrich’s vampire-like ability to return repeatedly from the dead and now win the South Carolina primary convincingly must be causing them some heartburn. Despite his pro-oligarchic attitudes, his outsize ego and unpredictability make him a hard person to control and thus highly undesirable to the oligarchy.

We can now expect to see the oligarchy go all out to drive a stake through the Gingrich campaign’s heart. It can no longer be done in the quiet backrooms and will be out in the open and will be fun to watch.

Comments

  1. Stacy says

    We can now expect to see the oligarchy go all out to drive a stake through the Gingrich campaign’s heart. It can longer be done in the quiet backrooms and will be out in the open and will be fun to watch.

    :)

  2. physioprof says

    Yeah, this shitte is fucken entertaining! And I am *praying* (atheistically, of course!) for Gingrich to win the Republican nomination. Because how amazingly entertaining would an Obama-Gingrich debate be?

  3. thewhollynone says

    Indeed it will be amusing to see Newt get his comeuppance.

    It seems to me that under the current system for financing political campaigns there is little hope for an honest progressive candidate who is educated in the sciences, even if such a person could be found who wanted the job.

  4. KG says

    will be fun to watch – Mano Singham

    Indeed. I haven’t had such fun watching American politics from across the pond since Watergate!

  5. anat says

    I’m wondering if we are going to see a significant difference in primary outcomes between states that have open primaries and those where only registered Republicans can influence that party’s nomination procedure.

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    One major problem with the American political system is the attributes needed to be elected to office are not the ones needed to be a good office holder.

  7. Mano Singham says

    I think some of the people who voted for Gingrich think he will clean Obama’s clock in the debates. I think they are wrong. Whatever his faults, Obama is a smart guy and a smooth debater and Gingrich will be shown to be the blusterer he is.

  8. says

    A person reading freethoughtblogs.com might think virtually all atheists are liberals who would never vote for a Republican. I don’t think that’s true. There’s at least 30 million atheists in America and they can’t all be Democrats.

    I’m a Republican but unlike the fake Republicans who infest this country, I’m for our wall of separation between church and state, and I’m for protecting the environment and endangered species.

    For me a conservative means being for limited government and lower taxes because private businesses are more successful than governments at creating jobs. Obama thinks big government is better at creating jobs. He wants to steal money from people who do most of the hiring in this country. He is an anti-job president.

    I have some problems with Newt Gingrich. He has no respect for the Establishment Clause of our constitution. I’m not sure but I doubt he is very interested in protecting the environment. But I have already voted for him in the Florida primary using an absentee ballot, because of his excellent ideas to improve our economy, his desire to not compromise with liberals who obviously know nothing about capitalism, and the fact that nobody can say he’s boring.

  9. Mano Singham says

    I agree with your main point but not with the broad statement that liberals ‘obviously know nothing about capitalism’.

    Atheists are likely to be all over the map on a host of issues because there is no logical connection between atheism and almost anything else. But because they reject religious dogma of any kind, those political views that are based largely on religious dogma are likely to not find acceptance among atheists.

  10. Marta says

    Human Ape@7

    “I’m a Republican but unlike the fake Republicans who infest this country, I’m for our wall of separation between church and state, and I’m for protecting the environment and endangered species.”

    I have a close friend, Republican, who also says things like this–completely opaque to the idea that she’s committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. Same as you. And same as Christians who protest that no true Christian could, or could not, support gay marriages.

    In supporting Gingrich in the primary, you’ve thrown your lot in with a serial philanderer and hypocrite who resigned as Speaker of the House in disgrace after being brought up on ethics charges, and who, while perhaps not being a racist himself, is certainly willing to exploit the racism of his party members to get himself elected.

    Wasn’t it the damn Republicans who coined the phrase “Character Counts”? Or is that something that only “fake Republicans” say?

  11. David says

    A person reading freethoughtblogs.com might think virtually all atheists are liberals

    They might think this, yes, but not capriciously.

    – Religiosity declines with income level,
    – Religiosity declines with education level, and
    – Liberalism increases with education level (up to broad majorities in academia self-identifying as “liberal”).

    Further,
    – Most scientists and philosophers are atheist (the percentage for cosmologists is something in the 70s, and philosophers is in the 80s) and
    – The great majority of scientists are liberal.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8427-2005Mar28.html
    http://www.people-press.org/2009/07/09/section-4-scientists-politics-and-religion/

    Under these circumstances it wouldn’t surprise me to hear of polling results of self-identified atheists to skew liberal compared to the voting population. (No one has done this polling to my knowledge.) However, exit polling in 2008 showed that non-religious whites voted Obama (71%) at about the same rate religious whites voted for McCain (74%) compared to 43-55 for all whites*. Therefore I’d think it’s safe to assume, as it’s more likely than not, that any given atheist isn’t “Republican” and that you’re an outlier.

    * Tangent! (The white vote is good evidence that a Republican can’t win in the fall if every demographic votes at the same rates.).

  12. David says

    Fwiw, polling shows that likely women voters are unfavorable of Newt at rates higher than McCain (I guess they remember the 90s). So given the demographics I was posting about above, a Newt nomination makes an Obama win more likely. If your goal is to not have a Democratic president, voting for Gingrich is not the best course of action.

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