Republican voters don't just want a nominee who can fight Barack Obama. They also want a fight, period. That's the lesson of Newt Gingrich's stunning victory in South Carolina, which seemed improbable just a few days ago.
The Gingrich campaign seems to understand the pugilistic mood among conservative voters, e-mailing picture of boxing gloves to supporters as the final votes were counted, asking voters to deliver a "knockout punch" in Florida.
It's not quite clear that Republicans want the fight to be over, however. Though a long, drawn-out primary risks bruising the eventual nominee, it also allows Obama's opponents to hold onto the spotlight, airing criticisms of the president–and the media–that might otherwise be muffled.
That's a lesson also evident from Ron Paul's fourth-place finish, behind Rick Santorum. Republicans will not support a candidate who freely makes use of the anti-war left and frequently bashes his own party from the podium.
Too bad Ron Paul didn't garner the support as the Independent Libertarian candidate he is. I'd rather see the outsider parties gain the proper support they deserve from the American voters rater than keep playing the two-party game. That is a false paradigm, one which pushes us closer to the precipice with each vote. He is the only anti-war candidate on either side these days...