Newt Wins S.C. – Republican Establishment Better Wake Up!

In a win that has been described as a political earthquake, Newt Gingrich shook up the race for the Republican nomination by pulling off an upset against the “electable” Mitt Romney.

I’m still trying to figure out how a man who loses two out of three primaries is more electable. I guess as a conservative, I’m just not as smart as the Republican power brokers who ordained Mitt Romney before we even got started.

However, I think my friend Erick Erickson over at has put his finger on the reason Newt pulled the upset in S.C., and why Mitt is likely to see more nights like tonight.

If you read a lot of the Republican commentary coming out of Washington even before the polls closed, suddenly South Carolina is irrelevant and the hick rubes of the Palmetto state are just petulant children.

Actually, like with Iowa, it is a rather desperate scream to get another player on the field.  It is a red flag.  It is the giant “Danger” sign ahead for the general election.

Newt Gingrich’s rise has a lot to do with Newt Gingrich’s debate performance.  But it has just as much to do with a party base in revolt against its party leaders in Washington, DC.  The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since (emphasis mine).

Of course, we know that the “base” he refers to are people such as the T.E.A. Party and others who make up the conservative base of the Republican party, and Mitt has made no attempt to work with them. Considering his flip-flop history on issues important to conservatives, it’s easy to see why it would be hard for a man who was left of Teddy Kennedy to woo the base.

Probably more vital to how S.C. voted however is the fact that conservatives refuse to accept an “Obama-lite” candidate again. We had that in 2008 McCain and it not cost us the White House, but it also lost the Congress. To go back to Erick’s analysis:

People are mad as hell they are about to be stuck with another boring, moderate, uninspiring choice that has at best a 50/50 shot at losing to the worst president since Carter. They are flocking to Newt not because they think he’s a great guy, but because right now, he’s the only one fighting for conservatism and GOP voters are looking for a vessel to channel their anger with Obama and their complete disappointment with the GOP establishment which is now embodied perfectly by Romney (emphasis mine).

The Republican Establishment had better wake up!


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