President James Madison: “You’ll give us victories, then, you think?”
Captain Charles Stewart: “We do, and not upon irrational premises.”
Madison: “Which victories will give us ships; for with victories congress will supply them faster than they can be lost”
Fletcher Pratt Preble’s Boys William Sloane Associates 1950
I’ve had a bit of debate with Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway on twitter concerning the inevitability of the coming race, that was generated by this tweet:
I took exception to this and he countered declaring:
He mentioned how the air war on Newt was successful and I counted that it was because the Newt people had other conservative alternatives, yet he named his winner:
and explained why a Santorum win just wouldn’t cut it after a NH loss:
Doug is a smart guy but he is making the same mistake that the Madison administration almost made in 1812. It’s based on a rational thought, after all the US navy consisted of 16 ships the largest being six frigates (think Cruiser) vs the 600+ ship British navy that had a fleet with line of battle ships by the score, however once the fight was actually engaged and the USS Constitution, USS United States, USS Wasp all won improbable victories against a navy that not only had the reputation of invincibility but had a record that backed it up, the entire equation changed:
The results of these battles were explosive, Congress suddenly voted for 6 more frigates of the Constitution Class and four battleships of the line when the country had none before.
So it is with Santorum, if Rick Santorum manages to win Iowa that win will produce not only sufficient funds, but Tea Party backing that will give him organization not only in Florida but beyond.
It’s true it will not be enough to move New Hampshire any more than the 18 gun USS Wasp after defeating the HMS Frolic was able to avoid being taken by the 74 gun Battleship HMS Poictiers but just as the Wasp’s defeat and capture did not cause the congress to abandon the new ship building program, nor will the forgone conclusion in New Hampshire prevent Rick Santorum from taking full advantage of the Iowa result, particularly if other conservative Tea Party candidates are no longer in play.
By Florida we will know if Santorum’s performance is enough to make the difference or if Mitt Romney’s divide and conquer strategy lasted long enough to win the day.
Update: Shhh don’t tell Doug:
Rick Santorum’s poll numbers aren’t the only thing on the rise. The former senator from Pennsylvania’s fundraising figures are also skyrocketing.
A senior Santorum adviser tells CNN the campaign raised more money in the last week than they raised on-line the past six months, adding that fundraising is between 300% and 400% higher on a daily basis than it was just ten days ago.
Update: the phrase “of line of battle ships” somehow was missing from a paragraph, now re-inserted.