Tompkins' Opening "Shot"
Write this date down - November 20, 2006.
That's the day Mitt Romney's newly-minted S.C. consulting team of Tompkins, Thompson and Sullivan started lobbing Campaign 2008's first grenades at U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Appropriately enough, "The Shot," a blog run by Tompkins' flunkie Mike Rentiers (formerly a Joe Wilson staffer and RINO campaign manager) published this post yesterday attacking McCain for a comment he made to ABC's George Stephanopolous on the subject of homosexuality.
We all knew this garbage was coming. Like the tides, the swallows returning to Capistrano or South Carolina choking in close football games, it might as well have been chiseled in stone long ago or told to Keanu Reeves' girlfriend in one of those Matrix movies.
After all, "attack sleaze" is the only thing Warren Tompkins and his stable of minimally adequate consultants (Heath Thompson, Terry Sullivan, Rentiers, Wes Donohue, Jason Puhlaski, etc.) are capable of producing. Oh, and the sleaze has to be targeted to a dwindling segment of the electorate that votes exclusively on social conservative issues, because if you're talking about anything else, these guys are as worthless as tits on a bull.
Of course, if the basis of your campaign is calling your opponent a fag-lovin', baby-killin', Jesus-hatin' liberal, then Tompkins is your man.
True, the "Tompkins Method" worked on McCain in 2000 when Panderer-in-Chief George W. Bush was running hard right to social conservatives, but three key factors make it highly unlikely that the "Method" will have the same effect this go-round.
FACTOR ONE - McCAIN IS NOW THE FRONTRUNNER
In 2000, the "Straight Talk Express" was the "Little Engine that Couldn't" in South Carolina, an insurgent campaign taking on the anointed frontrunner George W., a candidate who had huge advantages in cash and in-state institutional support. Today, McCain is the candidate with the most money and the biggest in-state GOP network - including many former Bush supporters. In the immortal words of Rick James, "the tables have turned!"
FACTOR TWO - ROMNEY'S SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE FLIP-FLOPS
Tompkins and his slime factory can light McCain up all campaign long on hot-button social issues like homosexuality and abortion, but the fact is their candidate has a history of flip-flopping on these very issues. That's poison not only to the same GOP fire and brimstoners they're courting, but also to moderates who don't appreciate hypocrisy. To put it another way, there's really only one candidate in this race who should fear getting busted open like a pinata in the eyes of social conservatives, and it's Mitt Romney.
FACTOR THREE - TOMPKINS' DECLINING EFFECTIVENESS
We wrote a controversial blog called "The Impending Fall of J. Warren Tompkins" back in April prior to the primary elections, essentially making the argument that his predictible bullying tactics in support of exclusively social conservative issues were all used up on the South Carolina electorate. Tompkins then proved us right two months later when both of his well-funded statewide candidates failed to make it out of the GOP primary. One of them, State Sen. Greg Ryberg, spent $2 million on his campaign - a good chunk of it on anti-gambling commercials and mailings that targeted the GOP's social conservative base. Of course the fact that Ryberg, like Romney, had a bit of a consistency problem on the very social conservative issues he was advancing ultimately came back and bit him in the ass. Hard.
Seriously, Warren. Can you at least try something new? Just for a minute? Just the tip? Just to see how it feels?
Being so consistently and unambiguously right about you and your moron factory's burgeoning incompetence is getting boring.