Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
One of the most important things a general has to decide during a battle that’s an uphill fight is whether to commit his reserves or retreat and regroup.
At Waterloo Napoleon committed his guard and lost the battle and his last chance of empire. At the Wilderness Lee’s Texans made the difference against Grant as the tide was turning. Michael de Ruyter the greatest warrior in the history of the Dutch was the absolute master of knowing when making that extra fight was right.
That decision knowing if it’s time to fight and when it’s not is the difference between a great general and a good general.
The same is true in politics Lyndon Johnson one of the greatest political operators in history was the man in charge of money in the 1940 congressional elections for Democrats. While he had the money to finance and in some cases over-finance candidates as Robert Caro points out on page 651 of his volume. Lyndon Johnson the Path to Power some were refused:
Francis T. Murphy said he had a “50-50” chance. He could win, he said, “by getting vote to polls in key wards.” but money was needed to accomplish that. “None,” Johnson wrote next to Murphy’s name. C.H. Armbruster of Ohio asked for $1000, but said he would take less: “urgent.” he said, “None,” Johnson wrote. “$1,000 would be a lifesaver.” George W. Wolf wrote. “Two counties hold fate…Hard battle.” None.
Johnson’s decision to cut off some candidates was not due to the lack of funds.
And that brings us to the special election in SC-1
I’ve already given my opinion on the disaster that Mark Sanford would be for the GOP if he wins the primary and especially if he wins the general. I’ve urged people to kick in for Bostic and as we’ve reached this election day an important event has taken place, or rather it hasn’t
There is hope in the Bostic camp that the candidate might get an endorsement from Sarah Palin, who in the past has been able to transform underdogs into winners, as when her 2010 support helped Nikki Haley become South Carolina’s governor. It was Haley’s choice of Tim Scott as this state’s first black Republican senator since Reconstruction that opened the congressional seat that Sanford and Bostic are now fighting for, and so it would in some sense be less than coincidental if the Palin lightning struck again here.
That hope has been in vain.
A Sarah Palin endorsement would have meant money, it would have meant volunteers and it would have given Bostic instant gravitas against Mark Sanford as no other endorsement could.
It hasn’t come.
I’ve already talked about Sarah Palin as a political venture capitalist
Sarah Palin is the perfect political capitalist, she has taken her political capital, invested it in the candidates of her choice and come out with even more. No amount of political snark or clever Conan skits will change that. The MSM can pretend her capital doesn’t exist, but you’d better believe Ted Cruz, Kelly Ayotte and dozens of members of the congress who received that capital when they needed it know it is there and when and if she needs to draw on that capital, I suspect they will remember it.
The essence of a smart political operator is to know when to spend said capital and when not to, when the expenditure will lead to success and when it is in vain. When such a move can lead to victory or when a defeat will be costly for the entire cause.
That she didn’t endorse in a state where she has endorsed before speaks volumes about this primary and none of it is good.
Stacy McCain is on the ground in South Carolina and his latest report says the following:
Speaking of Gentleman Journalists, National Review‘s Jim Geraghty recently paid a visit to Hilton Head:
As one Beaufort County resident put it to me, “I’m hearing folks say, ‘My pastor says I should vote for [Bostic]‘”
If the counsel of clergy is heeded, the headline on a Bostic victory will be Miracle Upset, but polls indicate that Christianity itself is now viewed as a liability by South Carolina Republicans, unless it is the cheap-grace gospel wherein Mark Sanford’s 2009 embarrassment is shrugged off as something inconsequential that only the Liberal Media Elite care about. There may still be Republicans who take “family values” seriously, but they are neither fashionable nor influential, and none of the Wizards and Gurus think that the anti-adultery vote will amount to a majority in today’s GOP runoff.
that’s depressing enough but his piece seems less about Bostic and more about a different subject:
Some of my blogger friends seem to have forgotten that it was Ali who, as a consultant to the campaign that elected Scott Brown to the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy, ensured that bloggers like myself, Da Tech Guy, Ace of Spades and Pamela Geller had prime seating at the victory party that January 2010 night in Boston. Pudding, anyone?
Is there a strain of Charles Johnson-ism in all this? Are there people trying to set themselves up as Supreme Arbiters of who is and is not acceptable inside the Big Tent? And, if so, why are they simultaneously indignant about having Ali Akbar work as a digital strategist, but blithely indifferent to having Mark Sanford become the “face” of the Republican Party?
Some would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
Stacy’s coverage has been first rate as usual, you should read it all but the tone of this post is a bad sign.
I hope I’m wrong, I hope that Curtis Bostic can make it over the finish line without Palin. I hope that South Carolina Republicans understand what is at stake here without the Governor having to persuade them. I’m happy to lend my voice as insignificant as it is in the cause for his election and ask every single voter in South Carolina’s 1st district to choose wisely.
I hope, but I also know in 1940 Francis T. Murphy lost by 44.7%, C. H. Armbruster lost by 21.4% and George W. Wolfe lost by 9.4% and remember the note next to each of those names placed there by an earlier political master in answer to their request for help.
Update: Bostic lost by 13.16% Palin choose wisely.