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Why Romney Lost South Carolina


Not much has been written about The Ibogaine Effect as a serious factor in the South Carolina primary, but toward the end of the race—about three hours before the vote—word leaked out that some of Romney’s top advisors had called in a Brazilian doctor who was said to be treating the candidate with “some kind of strange drug” that nobody in the press corps had ever heard of.

It had been common knowledge for many weeks that Gingrich was using an exotic brand of speed known as Wallot … and it had long been whispered that Romney was into something very heavy, but it was hard to take the talk seriously until I heard about the appearance of a mysterious Brazilian doctor. That was the key. Later that night, it was reported that Governor Romney was a known user of a powerful drug called Ibogaine.

I immediately recognized The Ibogaine Effect—from Romney’s near-breakdown on the flatbed truck in Iowa, the delusions and altered thinking that characterized his campaign in New Hampshire, and finally the condition of “total rage” that gripped him in South Carolina. There was no doubt about it:

The Mormon Savior had turned to massive doses of Ibogaine as a last resort. The only remaining question was “When did he start?”  But nobody could answer this one, and I was not able to press the candidate himself for an answer because I was permanently barred from the Romney campaign after that incident on the “Tall Corn Special” in Iowa … and that scene makes far more sense now than it did at the time.  Romney has always taken pride in his ability to deal with hecklers; he has frequently challenged them, calling them up to the stage in front of big crowds and then forcing the poor bastards to debate with him in a blaze of TV lights.

But there was none of that in New Hampshire.  When the Boohoo began grabbing at his legs and screaming for more gin, Big Mormon went all to pieces … which gave rise to speculation among reporters familiar with his campaign style, that Romney was not himself.  It was noted, among other things, that he had developed a tendency to roll his eyes wildly during TV interviews and debates, that his thought patterns had become strangely fragmented, and that not even his closest advisors could predict when he might suddenly spiral off into babbling rages, or neocomatose funks.

In retrospect, however, it is easy to see why Romney fell apart in South Carolina.  There he was—far gone in a bad Ibogaine frenzy—suddenly shoved out in the blinding daylight to face an exuberant crowd and some kind of snarling lunatic going for his legs while he tried to explain why he was “The only Republican who can beat Obama.”

It is entirely conceivable—given the known effects of Ibogaine—that Romney’s brain was almost paralyzed by hallucinations at the time; that he looked out at that crowd and saw gila monsters instead of people, and that his mind snapped completely when he felt something large and apparently vicious clawing at his legs.  We can only speculate on this, because those in a position to know have flatly refused to comment on rumors concerning the Governor’s disastrous experiments with Ibogaine.  I tried to find the Brazilian doctor on election night, but by the time the polls closed he was long gone.  One of the hired bimbos in his Holiday Inn headquarters said a man with fresh welts on his head had been dragged out the side door and put on a bus to Salt Lake, but we were never able to confirm this.

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  • Mike Schilling

    I’ve read Hunter S. Thompson. I’ve seen movies about Hunter S. Thompson. I’ve even Googled Hunter S. Thompson.

    And you, my friend, are no Hunter S. Thompson.

    • Yeah, Hunter Thompson had to inflict mind-altering substances on himself to feel the weirdness of the world and see it clearly. SEK lives the weirdness to which Hunter Thompson aspired but couldn’t, in the end, survive.

      • brad

        ………….. I think you missed the point.

    • Charlie Sweatpants

      To be fair, Mittens often looks like a man caught in the middle of a reptile zoo.

      • BigHank53

        Actually, he looks like a reptile that’s afraid his rubber skin is going to slip off while he’s surrounded by angry monkeys.

    • Halloween Jack

      For starters, SEK isn’t dead.

  • I’m glad I made my Hunter Thompson reference yesterday. Apparently it’s going to catch on.

  • Professor Fate

    with pleasure I recognize the section as coming from “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972” (must drag my copy out of the bookshelf)I had not thought of Mitt as a GOP version of Big Ed Muskie the man from Maine but it kind of fits.
    Mitt’s basic trouble seems to be that ‘to know him is to loathe him’. I’ve noticed one thing other than anger at serfs and underlings who question him, he seems to have no real emotions. In the 2004 world series video his speech congratulating the Boston Red Sox for winning the series rings false and weirdly stilted – like he was not sure what humans feel under such circumstances and was trying to fake it before heading home for a snack of live hamsters.

    • Davis X. Machina

      a snack of live hamsters.

      …or white mice, all named ‘David Bonior’, like the one Grover Norquist used to feed to his pet boa constrictor.

    • pete

      Yes, it’s in the book, but it was in Rolling Stone first, with little lead time, and actually had an effect on at least media perception of Muskie. That and the men’s room interview established HST as a player.

    • Njorl

      How about that local sports team!

  • N W Barcus

    Being a post where the greatest effort involved was typing (1% inspiration, 99% digitization), any substantial comments one might offer are guaranteed to be a net loss of time in comparison. A picture of a dog gnawing on its nuts would be more informative, and possibly more representative of the author’s intent.

    • BigHank53

      Oh, I see you’ve encountered YouTube comments too.

  • <emWhen Newt Gingrich, fishing for Zionist money, abandoned his previous, relatively temperate posture on the Israel/Palestine issue, and declared that Palestinians were an “invented people”, he was directing his remarks to an audience of one.

    </emAdelson was exceeding pleased and expressed his gratification in material terms, with a further $5 million, now staking Gingrich’s campaign ads in South Carolina. To date Adelson has donated about $13 million to Gingrich’s campaign – a US record. The ads put out by the Gingrich forces derive in origin from Senator Ted Kennedy’s successful effort to defend his US senate from Romney’s challenge back in 1994. The Kennedy campaign put together ferocious spots depicting Romney, erstwhile boss of the private equity firm Bain Capital, as one of the most vicious operators in the history of American capitalism, never happier than when taking over factories, destroying jobs, kicking workers into the snow, and sneering at the tears of their distraught wives and children.

    <emSouth Carolina has been faring badly in the current national slump. Tough talk about job-killers, particularly Mormon millionaire job-killers, commands a sympathetic audience. By Tuesday the press was hailing Gingrich’s Monday debate performance as worthy of Edmund Burke, which indeed it was, since in its rancid racism towards black people it rivaled Burke’s slurs on the French revolutionaries.

  • Antonio Conselheiro

    Everybody is supposed to quote James Louis Petigru.

  • bobbyp

    Saul Alinsky!

  • Gabriel Mares

    Thanks for the reference! I read that book while on study abroad in Costa Rica in between high school and college, lost in a poorly-planned research project. For a few years I took Thompson’s statements in that book as fact, so when I arrived at the University of Chicago and saw a dorm named for Max Palevsky, my immediate thought was “That bastard stole the mojo wire from Raoul Duke!”

    Of course, in time I was to realize I was exactly the sort of rube Thompson despised.

  • Captain Splendid

    Ha! I wrote this back in October:

    Tea Party: Epitaph

    Strange memories on this nervous night on Wall Street. One year later? Two? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era – the kind of peak that never comes again. America in the late aughts was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or slogans or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the MSM bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a big clash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time – and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty mornings- or very early afternoons – when I left the Protest completely crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big GMC Canyon through Georgetown at thirty miles an hour wearing Wrangler jeans and a short-sleeve button-down shirt . . . booming down Canal Road at the sights of Arlington and Fairfax and Chesapeake, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too bewildered to find park while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as cranky and set in their ways as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was safety in any direction, at any hour. If not across the river, then up to Bethesda or down US1 to Mt. Vernon or Cherry Hill. . . . You could find comfort anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle – that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Youth and Progressivism. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our righteousness would simply prevail. There was no point in arguing on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than two years later, you can go up on a steep hill in New Jersey and look South, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

    I will defend its suckiness on the grounds that I whipped this up in 5 minutes.

  • Davis

    This is a very disturbing post. I guess it’s not surprising that candidates haves to take something to keep going nonstop. Mormons are not supposed to take tobacco, alcohol, or even caffeine, but this? What will the elders say?

  • HonorableBob

    Not much has been written about The Ibogaine Effect as a serious factor in the South Carolina primary…

    That’s because they’re not supposed to print bullshit.

    If you have something..post it.
    If not…..

    • Malaclypse

      Shorter Bob: I do not understand mainstream cultural references, no matter how clearly they are explained in the comments.

    • Njorl

      I suggest you go cry in the snow about it.

      • Tyto

        “I’m a reasonable man, MacArthur. So I know this isn’t snow.”

        • Malaclypse

          Pay it no mind, Excellency. It never sticks.

  • Halloween Jack

    This is not the greatest gonzo piece in the world, oh no… this is a tribute.

  • DaveyJ

    Maybe with a couple more mushrooms and another Tequila double…naw…worked the first time…

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