Somewhere, Lee Atwater is looking down on his home state in disbelief. This can't be what the father of the modern political attack had in mind: a Republican using the modern version of his diabolical invention against another Republican in South Carolina.
King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town, the newly-released destroy-the-front-runner vehicle from the super PAC run by rival Newt Gingrich's political operatives, blames Mitt Romney for everything from endlessly high unemployment, to the demise of American manufacturing to the destruction of the modern marriage. Visually, it's a montage of smoke-filled rooms, suitcases filled with cash and glinting corporate headquarters juxtaposed with images of cracked sidewalks in broken small towns and the haggard faces of former factory workers.
Over the top? Sure. A gross violation of Ronald Reagan's 11th
commandment to Republicans to speak no ill of fellow Republicans? Hands down it
is. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul condemned the film as full of "blatant falsehoods and fabrications."
But the most important point about Gingrich's movie is that it works. And if it is unleashed full force on South Carolina voters as promised, it has the potential to do serious damage to Romney's lead in the state's Jan. 21 primary. That's how powerful it is.