One of the magician’s most important techniques is distraction. That’s why Penn Jillette performs with red polish on his left ring finger. Viewers won’t realize that by focusing on this intentionally-placed, meaningless detail they’re missing out on the secret sleight-of-hands going on behind the scenes.
Magic works not because of anything supernatural out in the physical world, but because of our ability to trick ourselves and others into perceiving the world differently.
So too with political magic.
Surely Paleolibertarian Congressman Ron Paul has been in American political life long enough to figure out what his red fingernail is: his Old Right foreign policy views.
As we dismiss him and return our attention to the booms and busts of Newt Gingrich’s political career, are we missing the real political wizardry Paul’s disciples prepare behind the scenes?
A prominent friend told me some weeks ago that he noticed an odd thing. In his state, several people who have been successful in getting themselves known as very probably Mitt Romney delegates for the Republican National Convention are also his supporters. And they are not just my friends’ supporters, they are also long time staunch Ron Paul supporters.
Why then would they, long time staunch Ron Paul supporters, align this year with Mitt Romney? He made calls and talked to friends in other states. All of them saw the same thing happening — long time Dr. Paul supporters working to become delegates to the convention pledging to support Mitt Romney and others.
If the field stays fractured at this level, with only a few people, but each getting delegates enough to prevent the front runner from an outright majority, there will be a second vote at the Republican National Convention.
Delegates are only locked in for their candidate during the first vote. After the first vote, they can vote for whoever they want. So if Mitt Romney is unable to clear an outright majority on the first ballot, suddenly he could see some of his delegates turn on him — turn and go back to Ron Paul.
It is an ingenious strategy premised on a convention where no one gets majority support early. It plays well to a primary calendar where the delegates are first awarded proportionally. Who knows if it is a campaign strategy or just his volunteers, but the Paul campaign has been active now for four years trying to take over local parties.
It may pay off if the GOP doesn’t unite around a candidate soon.
Does that thought make anyone else’s blood run cold this morning? Particularly because we now know Rick Santorum won Iowa, and I was quite wrong in my Tatler post Wednesday — Newt Gingrich does now appear to have a shot at taking South Carolina.
What the hell happens then when each of the three first primaries go to different candidates? What happens as we continue to see varying endorsements across the conservative spectrum spread out over four people? In other words, what happens as the conservative movement shatters into its disparate parts in the months when it should be preparing to win the political war against George Soros’ billion-dollar, SEIU-Community Organizing Marxist machine?
This thing really could stretch out for months as the moderate/establishment/beltway Republicans and Tea Party pragmatists align around Romney, Tea Party idealists and strident Obama critics cling to Gingrich, a big chunk of Evangelicals and Pro-Lifers line up for Santorum, and the emboldened Ron Paul continues to grow his unique fan base.
Meanwhile Barack Obama knows all about how to use magic too, as Ed Driscoll highlighted yesterday:
In October of 2007, Barack Obama told his loyal early followers, “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”
And lo, today, the Kingdom has risen.
Disney says the president will be at the Magic Kingdom, which means guests can plan for heavy security. Main Street USA will be closed for the duration of the president’s time there. Guests will be re-routed to other parts of the park. Disney is also cancelling extra magic hours for the Magic Kingdom, and pushing back the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade.
Non-Marxist America sits divided, unable even to perceive the profound insult of the President’s choice of venue. DisneyWorld — conservative Walt Disney’s glorious shrine to American Values — was the necessary backdrop to most effectively proclaim the Alinsky Political Cult’s continued objective of the fundamental transformation of this nation.