Your Cheeky Guide to the SC Primary First of all, know that the palmetto is a tree, not a bug: Gail Collins By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jan 12, 2012 10:22 AM CST 5 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Gail Collins—who had quite a bit of fun with the Iowa caucuses—today turns her attention to the upcoming primary in South Carolina, the Palmetto State. In her New York Times "primary primer," she answers such important questions as, "What is a palmetto?" (Answer: It is a tree, although there is also a "palmetto bug," which is a big, winged cockroach. That becomes important later.) Highlights: What are the big issues in this primary? "When five of your six candidates could not be elected president if they were running against Millard Fillmore," the discussion of serious issues will likely be kept to a minimum. Expect talk more along the lines of: Is Mitt Romney "a vulture" or "an ObamaCare-passing European socialist?" Why do the Republicans hate Europe? The candidates are terrified that the US will become like Europe, "which would be the worst thing imaginable." Heaven forbid we "all start demanding free child care and fresh-baked bread." "Why is Newt Gingrich still running for president? Aren’t voters fleeing from him as if he were a rabid palmetto bug?" Collins explains that Gingrich is, at this point, "a mixture of Kill Bill and Carrie, after Sissy Spacek gets hit with the bucket of blood" and he will stop at nothing to get revenge on Romney and his buddies who paid for the attack ads against him. "He is exactly like Sweeney Todd mixed with Charles Bronson in Death Wish. And maybe a smidge of Shogun Assassin." Collins' entire primer, which also touches on Romney's unfortunate dog, is worth a read.