Why South Carolina won’t matter in the long run
The recent debates and election in South Carolina have left me disappointed in the GOP. Over the last two weeks we’ve seen two candidates drop out of the race, a GOP audience boo the ‘Golden Rule’, and Newt Gingrich (eeeek!) win the election. All of the nastiness , chaos, and hypocrisy has got us where?
I truly respected Iowa and New Hampshire for their respectful and dutiful demeanor in handling their important role in the election cycle. These two states really sought to make a meaningful choice and encourage traditional retail politics, but more importantly, they were interested primarily in hearing the differences in policies between the candidates. They had little interest in red-meat Republican politics and listened carefully to the stances of the candidates. I realize that Iowa and New Hampshire had little real value to the nomination process, with their measly number of delegates and their symbolic news coverage., but after such a good run with those first two states many should find the race’s recent turn for the worst appalling.
It seems that as the candidates flew south from New Hampshire, the media’s and the campaigns’ measurable interest in policy also went south. In fact, it didn’t really go south, but disappeared as a mob of populist and faux-evangelical neo-conservatives stood waiting to be convinced. South Carolina is infamous for being a low-down and dirty slugfest, but is that really something to be proud of, as most SC Republicans are.
Only two candidates realized that South Carolina isn’t worth the fight, and unfortunately they are the two frontrunners; Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul. South Carolina has a total of 27 delegates. This is slightly more than what Iowa had, so why spend twice as much in South Carolina and run the risk of having every little detail of your life broadcast on TV for two percent of the delegates you will need to become the nominee? I think its high time that everyone remember that South Carolina does not–nor ever could–wrap up the nomination even if Mitt Romney were to take it. A candidate is required to have 1,144 delegates in order to become the Republican presidential nominee. With the Republican Party’s new proportional delegation rules, the nominee will most likely not be decided until after Super Tuesday and the race may continue all the way up to California’s June 6th primary.
The South Carolina contest serves more as an entertainment event than an election, and no one evidences this more than the residents of South Carolina. On the Martin Luther King Day Fox News Debate, the South Carolinians did themselves way more harm than good. The debate was Jerry Springer-esque only with presidential candidates instead of white trash strippers. Bret Baier and the Fox moderators sat silently, much like Springer does, while the crowd booed, whooped, cheered, and screamed. One could barely watch the horrid event without expecting vegetables to fly out of the audience or someone getting slugged in the face.
To further discredit themselves, the so-called “evangelical” majority state of South Carolina turned away from the two delegate frontrunners to the most immoral and hypocritical candidate they could find; Newt Gingrich. Just in the last few days, ABC broadcast an interview with the second Mrs. Gingrich (The former speaker is on his on his third). Marianne Gingrich reasserted that Newt asked for an open marriage so that he could continue to have a sexual relationship with his now-wife and then-secretary Callista. Following the ironic tradition of the Southern Christian Right, South Carolina once again gave its delegates to the most immoral candidate available.
South Carolina matters less now than ever. The delegates are not there at all, SC voters have proved that they are unreasonable and quite possibly insane, and they are most likely going to give the pick to the biggest sideshow of a candidate in recent history. Maybe the media will quit giving so much credence to South Carolina once this gets through their thick, middle management, corporate, and collectivist skulls.