Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gingrich and Perry and Huntsman, oh my! (And Sarah Palin.)

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 3/13/12

To understand Sarah Palin it might work best to view the movie U.S. v. John Lennon. The Nixon administration was unaccountably preoccupied with John Lennon. One of the commentators said that they had no interest in others like Mick Jagger and saw him as a flighty, marginal figure, But Nixon, his men and the FBI were dogged and driven in their obsession with Lennon. Likely the same with Sarah Palin. The latest, the HBO offering “Game Change” suggests as well that they can’t stop thinking about her. Possibly because she and her husband Todd, late of the Alaska Independence Party, are, like Lennon, potentially revolutionary figures.

It is a nice rumor, possibly started here, that Newt Gingrich is in talks with Rick Perry to bring him in as his Vice President. I wouldn’t be surprised. As I recall, Gingrich said long ago that candidates might announce the VPs and staff ahead of time so people would know what they are getting. He also suggested that Jon Huntsman, Jr. would come in some function due to his expertise in China if I have that right. And he said he would bring in John Bolton in some capacity. And Sarah Palin. Visualize that.

Which does tell us a lot. Who would Rick Santorum bring in? Times columnist Stanley Fish has been running several useful columns this week defending Rick Santorum’s position on religion. Santorum claimed that JFK was wrong to separate church and state in his mind. Santorum has a unified perspective. In my opinion it clears things up by taking the “left” and “right” aspects of partisan warfare out of the debate. It does then make the case for regionalism; people in one place want to think one way, let them. Another place different, let them. That is the Jeffersonian perspective and in our times, that is revolutionary thinking. JFK wanted to include the Irish in with the mainstream. He could otherwise have made a case for Catholic regional autonomy in a Catholic-majority region and so could Santorum.

On Lou Dobbs last night, The Hill’s Dick Morris made the plea for Republicans to vote for Romney. If the primary continues until August, he said, there will not be enough time to defend against President Obama in the general election. And if Gingrich or Santorum win the primary the big winner will be Barack Obama.

I've felt from the beginning that certain forces in the most conventional conservative establishment have been looking to Obama victory in 2012 anyway, so that they, the conventional political religionists, may win in 2016. George Will recently suggested as much. But maybe everyone here including Santorum and Gingrich are looking to bypass 2012 and rise in 2016.

If Gingrich wins the primary and loses the election, he would be going into 2016 as leader. (Visualize that.) This might be considered a revolutionary position and a revolutionary strategy, because Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul should be considered revolutionaries (and Sarah Palin the La Passionara of this rising movement). Like all successful revolutionaries, Vladimir Lenin had no interest in who would win WW I, as the war itself was a checkers game and Lenin saw the chess game underlying. No matter who won, the war itself advanced the revolutionary position. And so the extended primary, which weakens the Republican Party, strengthens the “revolutionary” position. And so would a second Obama term advance the positions which have come to contention in this primary.

In other words, by 2016 America may be in a state of revolution.

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