The good people of New Hampshire spoke again last night. In America’s first of its quadrennial Presidential primaries, the Granite state awarded favorite son Willard “Mitt” Romney the victory with 39.4% of the vote, followed by the Luddite Ron Paul with 22.8% Governor Huntsman with 16.8%, Baby Huey with 9.4% and last, and certainly least, the great nullifier Rick Perry with 0.7%.
The significance of the New Hampshire Primary has diminished somewhat over the last few years with the advent of the nearly two-score more such contests since the reforms of the late sixties. It was further diminished this season by the contest being dominated by Romney who, as governor of neighboring Massachusetts, can be seen as a favorite son inasmuch as the Boston media market dominates the state. Nevertheless it is a victory, though somewhat diminished one, for not only was he expected to win the state but did so with fewer votes than four years ago. Perhaps the vigor and enthusiasm on the idiot wrong is on the wane. Only time will tell. In any case it is a ‘hollow’ victory for one so well entrenched and well funded to end up short of 40% of the total. The real challenge for Romney will begin with the upcoming contest in South Carolina.
The Primary in South Carolina, coming as it does immediately following the New Hampshire results and before the rest of the southern contests, is positioned to be the southern response to the northern results. As a consequence it has been, since its inception in 1980, of such consequence that every successful Rescumlican candidate for the presidency has entered the White House only after winning this contest. This has been a national tragedy.
South Carolina, home of the likes of John Calhoun and Strom Thermond, midwife of nullification and mother to secession. It was here that the first steps toward disunion were taken, here that the first shots in the bloody civil war were fired, and here that the modern creed of nullification--in the form of opting out of the national health care--were first given voice. The state motto for neighboring North Carolina is “First in Flight”--referring, of course, to Kitty Hawk. The state motto for South Carolina should be “First in Treason”.
Certainly Andrew Jackson, judging from his threats to hang his Vice President John C. Calhoun over ‘nullification” would have seen it that way. In any case it is here, the battle ground scarred by the ’dixiecrat’ resistance to the end of ’Jim Crow’ and, more recently, the scorched earth strategies of George W. Bush in his smear of John McCain, that we now turn. For the sad truth, it seems, is that to enter the White House the Mormon must first wade into the cesspool of American Politics and emerge somehow clean.
And so its now on to South Carolina.