Look, you'll have to forgive them for getting a little rabid, but this was the era known as Modernism, and guess what? Modernists were like the popular kids ignoring the Southern writers on the playground. Apparently, being Southern wasn't cool enough. So these Southerners banded together to wax nostalgic about the demise of Southern Agrarianism, the rise of industrialism, and the decreasing popularity of mint juleps and wisteria. A true support group.
These two were shoe-ins for the leadership position. They were the perfect team, building the group from the ground up, and never taking any guff from anyone—not even that old meanie H.L. Mencken, who said the South never produced anything of cultural value. Ouch.
The guy was a Rhodes Scholar, for crying out loud, so the Southernists basically had him on staff as a brainiac amongst brainiacs. He also helped round things out because he wasn't a literary scholar like the rest of them—he was a political scientist. He gave the Southernists some real street cred.