Newt Gingrich is a Ridiculous Candidate for President -- Which Explains His Rise

tomt200.jpgLast week, when we told you Newt Gingrich was the GOP's flavor of the month, you could have been forgiven for being skeptical. That Newt Gingrich? The former Speaker of the House who pissed off most of the country by shutting down the government? Who was fined by Congress for ethics violations? Who treated his wives like Kleenex? Who left Congress in disgrace to become a classic Washington glad-handing money-grubber? Really?

Yes, really: Gingrich continues to rise in Republican Presidential polls. And by pointing out these negative attributes of his candidacy, rightbloggers tell us, we're just making him more likely to win the Republican nomination! Well, it's a risk we're willing to take.

Normal people react to the situation as you might expect: "Newt Gingrich Is Actually on the Rise," said Joe Coscarelli with appropriate surprise at New York Magazine. "And the undercurrent of it all," he added, is that "Mitt Romney just can't get voters to like him."

By "voters," Coscarelli means Republican primary voters, with their large contingent of diehard conservatives who don't want a wet like Romney representing them on the ticket. From that perspective, Gingrich, who only recently was telling Bill O'Reilly that there is "a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, [and] is prepared to use violence" (one of what Caffeinated Thoughts called Gingrich's "substantive positions on social issues") is just the thing. And the effect such a candidacy would have on the rather more mixed electorate that will be voting in November 2011 doesn't matter to them.

In fact, Gingrich is so beloved of the base that rightbloggers rhapsodized him even when he was shown to be the sort of political fixer they usually claim to be against.

When, for example, it was revealed that Gingrich had taken $1.6 million to advise government mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac -- a curse word among conservatives -- Dick Morris and Eileen McGann didn't even flinch.

"Doubtless Freddie hired him to show that it was not an arm of the Democratic Party and to buy some credibility on the right," they shrugged. "His contract started after he left office and there is no evidence that he brought any concrete influence to bear on Freddie's behalf." Presumably it was Gingrich's image alone that Freddie Mac was paying for. Think what he could have gotten to endorse Priceline!

"But this scrutiny gives Newt an incredible opportunity," said Morris and McGann. "He can produce memos and e-mails that show that he warned Freddie about its mortgage policies. In one of the presidential debates, Newt said that he warned Freddie that they were 'creating a bubble' that would burst and have enormous implications when it did." A lone voice crying in the wilderness, he, though presumably crying in a very low voice as demanded by a confidentiality agreement.

"This scandal can either hurt or help," they admitted. "But if Newt used his contacts at Freddie to warn them and to try to change the Titanic's course before it hit the iceberg, it could be a good credential for his candidacy." One pictures Gingrich, wearing ladies' clothing, being hauled off a Titanic lifeboat and crying, "I tried to tell them, but they wouldn't listen," whereupon he is raised on the shoulders of cheering sailors.

newtnew.jpg
Look, the Pixies came back. The 90s revival is on! photo (cc) Gage Skidmore
At the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes told readers who thought Gingrich couldn't make it, "consider this: In 1980, when Ronald Reagan emerged as the likely Republican presidential nominee, President Carter's advisers were thrilled... they assumed it would be easy to characterize him as a right-wing extremist."

They were wrong, said Barnes, because "bigger things were at stake, like Soviet aggression and a stagnant economy. And Reagan had better answers than Carter." Similarly, Americans in 2012 will turn to Newt Gingrich, as soon as they are taught to respect his policy prescriptions (and their tendency to suddenly mutate) as wisdom, and to regard what oozes off him as Reaganesque charm.

But wait, Barnes had other reasons to believe: Gingrich excites conservatives who "already talk about how sweet it would be to see Gingrich crush Obama in presidential debates," a spectacle which would be hard for ordinary people to envision without psychedelic drugs. Plus Gingrich's press secretary told Barnes that "the only thing Newt says to himself before each debate is, 'My goal tonight is to not screw anything up,'" a clear sign of a winning campaign.

Not convinced yet? "[Gingrich] has told friends he's like Richard Nixon," said Barnes triumphantly, "not particularly likable and hated by the press and the left." Oh, well, when you put it that way...

Actually Reagan biographer Craig Shirley saw the Nixon thing, too: "Gingrich's durability might be one of his greatest assets, like Clinton's and Nixon's and Reagan's resilience was for them," he told Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller. "...All were pronounced politically dead by the intelligentsia but they had other ideas, as does Gingrich."

"But of the three," added Aaron Goldstein at the American Spectator, "I think Gingrich's situation most closely resembles that of Nixon... Nixon's political career appeared to be over when he lost the California gubernatorial race to Pat Brown in 1962... Almost six years to the day of that press conference, Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States."

Goldstein did note that "if he goes on to become the 45th President of the United States, [Gingrich's] absence from public office would have been nearly twice as long as that of Nixon." But that just means Gingrich will have to out-Nixon Nixon. And who can doubt that he's game to try?

Henry Louis Gomez of Babalu had a more flattering comparison: to Winston Churchill, "a high profile member of parliament who ended up in the political wilderness for 10 years before emerging again to become prime minister..." For purposes of brevity we will mention only one point of comparison here: Churchill, a future Nobel Prize winner for Literature, wrote several books before his time at 10 Downing, including a four-volume history of the first Duke of Marlborough; Gingrich has written such classics as Rediscovering God in America, Rediscovering God in America II: Our Heritage, and, with his wife Calista, A City Upon a Hill.

(Be John Galt drew a similar parallel: While "Neville Chamberlain was a gentleman in every sense of the word... Winston Churchill was not 'renowned" as a gentlemen'.." And we saw how that worked out. "A standard legalese disclaimer is: 'Prior results do not guarantee future results or outcomes,'" continued BJG. "This certainly applied to Chamberlain and Churchill... and it may also apply to Gingrich, for better or worse." The lesson is clear: People who seem able sometimes fail, so why not just go with the guy who seems incompetent? He could be another Churchill!)

"It is quite possible,"added Gomez, "that the American electorate is moving toward Newt, where he's been all along." How so? "The situation is dire," he explained, "and requires someone with the knowledge and track record to get things done." Thus Gomez was "not worried about Newt's 'popularity,'" that scare-quoted quality having no place in American Presidential politics. "I want someone who is a fighter. His cantankerous nature may have been out of sync with the late 90s prosperity but it may be just what the doctor ordered to get us out of this mess."

If the idea of a cantankerous old former Congressman doesn't strike you as electoral magic, even in hard times, you're missing the point, which goes like this: bad news about Gingrich tends to turn up in media; therefore, the media is against Gingrich; rightbloggers hate the media, so rightbloggers are on Gingrich's side.


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52 comments
Fullon Tard
Fullon Tard

May be true but ANY ONE OF THEM IS BETTER THAN THE CLOWN CAR IN OFFICE NOW...

Obama is a MISERABLE FAILURE and the MOST CORRUPT AND CRIMINAL PRESIDENT THE USA HAS EVER SEEN.

Jamlob
Jamlob

And he says that hes a grad. of Harv. & Columbia. Dose not know how many States are in this COUNTRY. Boy O boy. What a JOKE. Don't forget to kiss his ASSSSSSS at the next Elec.  Go NEWT.

McSalmon
McSalmon

Ah jesus... Fallon Tard. Yeah, you got me. You totally Poe's Lawed me.

McSalmon
McSalmon

This is what kills me about so many conservatives. They are so hyper sensitive to scandal, and deficits, and the machinations of elites NOW. 4 years ago, do they remember the no bid contracts to political cronies in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do they remember the billions of dollars of currency lost, simply disappeared in that desert? Do they remember remember Enron? Do they remember how a CIA agent was exposed by a member of staff? Do they remember the wiretaps and datamining of Americans without their knowledge or consent? What about the torture of suspects? How about the bungled mess that was New Orleans? What about TARP, signed by Bush? The massive deficits run up through reckless defense spending and combined with tax cuts targeted to benefit rich people?

And Obama is more corrupt than that? Obama isn't perfect, not by a long shot, but a perfect president would have perp walked the last administration and their cronies as agenda item 1. That he did not is a gift to you and your party, who has turned this gratitude into an excuse to spit in the collective face of this nation and laugh. So, please, try to have some perspective. Obama is not your worst enemy. You are.

Chainbark
Chainbark

Well, who can argue with a cogent, articulate reply like that? Just look at all the facts, examples and analysis! You sir, with your caps lock, are an intellectual beacon among your fellow talk radio listeners.

Mary_Hall_1990
Mary_Hall_1990

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Roy T.
Roy T.

Hell, MY sister makes 78/hr blowing guys a block east of our house. And she doesn't need a PC.

Vonbarnett
Vonbarnett

If there ever was a slimy hypocrite Newt Gingrich the three hundred pound gorilla should slither away to the cave of snakes from whence he came.  In addition he desperately need to cleanse his morals perhaps a five gallon jug of bleach and a bottle of ammonia will possibly cleanse the giant germ and purify his soul, ooops it will take a high source to do that.  Sums things up I CAN'T STAND THE MISERABLE SLOB.

ConservativeBeeeeeotch
ConservativeBeeeeeotch

Similar to the rise of Obama 4 years ago?

Chainbark
Chainbark

If Obama was a serial adulterer who turned to lobbying when he was forced from the House in disgrace because of his pathological corruption...

Glennis Waterman
Glennis Waterman

Who'da thunk it? The right wing now loves pointy-headed intellecshu-all professors!

Kvnd628
Kvnd628

the candinate who makes you liberals foam at the mouth the most is the one for me

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Yeah, that's right —throw me in the briar patch with Cain, see how long that romance lasts.

Phila
Phila

Santorum drives me into a shrill, impuissant lie-beral rage, so he'd be an ideal choice.

Bachmann and Cain also offend me, what with their faith and values and freedom and everything. If you want to get my goat, back 'em to the hilt and accept no substitutes!

Gingrich doesn't get me quite as angry, partly 'cause I tune his droning out before he has a chance to challenge socialist orthodoxy and partly because the old gasbag couldn't even beat a Bob Avakian/David Thorstad ticket. Still, I'd be archly dismissive if he got the nomination -- as would my gay postmodernist knitting circle -- so he's a good fourth choice.

But if you really want to teach smarmy coastal elites like me a lesson, draft Sarah Palin. That'll reduce me to quoting Yeats' "The Second Coming" on dKos. I may even stamp my little feet. Honest injun!

Synykyl
Synykyl

... the candinate who makes you liberals foam at the mouth the most is the one for me ...

That kind of thinking is what got Obama elected in the first place. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Glock H. Palin, Esq.
Glock H. Palin, Esq.

Oh please, whatever you do, don't nominate Nööt! Do anything else, but don't throw us in that briar patch!

Those Maggots at the Airport
Those Maggots at the Airport

Hello, friend. My name is Rabies O'Dogbite, "libertarian" "candinate" for dogcatcher. I'm sure I can count on your contribution.

Glennis Waterman
Glennis Waterman

Great political philosophy! The Founders would be so proud.

Chainbark
Chainbark

Oh please Mr. Wingnut, don't nominate Newt! We liberals are just terrified of his amazing record of success and his undeniable charisma!

surreal_american
surreal_american

Naturally, since that's the only metric wingnuts ever use to measure the success of their candidates and policies.

diehard
diehard

Alan S: if that is the case, then your President looks like a yard jockey made of cow dung.

M. Krebs
M. Krebs

I remember the bad old days when black homeowners would decorate their yards with ceramic snowmen representing poor dumb white people. That's why I never build snowmen anymore; it would be totally racist.

GeoX
GeoX

It's cute how the way you were just unable to resist revealing yourself as a dimwitted racist shithead there.  It would've been *so easy*...

Mark
Mark

Note also the "your President" meme. Barack Hussein Malcolm X Jr. isn't the president of real Americans, nosiree! 

Hey diehard, your fellow wingnut masturbators like to talk smack about "2nd amendment solutions". But I'm sure you're man enough to actually walk the walk, amirite? So, what's holding you back, tough guy? And don't worry about the Secret Service. Why, I'm sure they'll greet you as a Liberator!

Consumer Unit 5012
Consumer Unit 5012

I'm reminded of when Dubya claimed that God had appointed him President (as opposed to Antonin Scalia, who presumably was God's agent).  As his term wore on, I realized that Bush might have been right - after all, in these days of antibiotics and insecticides, the old-fashioned Smitings of plagues and locusts just don't PUNISH a country hard enough any more, so the Almighty had to get creative in causing suffering....

Matt T.
Matt T.

"Racism" actually means "stuff that makes whiny white guys cwy" according to wingnuts.

Ed Mix
Ed Mix

"a plainly racist comment "like someone tried to make a snowman out of mashed potatoes" 

How is that racist?  Anti-Spudite perhaps, but "racist"?!  I don't think you understand what that word means.

GeoX
GeoX

The frightening thing is that I can fairly easily convince myself that diehard actually, in its diseased mind, imagines that the "mashed potatoes" comment was actually somehow "racist."  Most people, no matter how crazy, *probably* nonetheless wouldn't use that as an excuse to let their white-supremacist flags fly, but I guess that's just how the republican base rolls these days.

God
God

LOL WUT

Lamar
Lamar

Diehard, grow up.  We are all in this together.  God makes kings, queens and presidents.  He puts them in office and He will certainly be the one to remove Him/Her, after they have served his purpose.

coozledad
coozledad

If by "highly successful" you mean bilking handlickers like you out of several grand, yet simultaneously managing to keep his creditors at Tifanny's at bay, then he's a stunning success, especially for a man who resembles the corpse of a drowned overweight child, and sounds  like a preorgasmic waterboy.But you're the guys who won the Vietnam War, the war In Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, so your metric of success is pretty inscrutable unless it's the one the Germans used when their victories kept getting closer and closer to Berlin.

diehard
diehard

Mark, why do you wingnuts think it is okay to call the former and highly successful Speaker of the House a plainly racist comment "like someone tried to make a snowman out of mashed potatoes" but if anyone dares makes a similar analogy directed at Obama it is they who are the nutcases and racists?   Mark when Bush was President, I heard many times your fellow demogrouch's say "Bush is NOT my President."  Now I say the same thing about Obama and you try to turn me into an extremist.   Look, you guys don't like our candidates, and we don't like your President.  We will like it when our candidate becomes our President.  We just have to wait another painful year until the election.

Diehard
Diehard

Newt Gingrich is the only Republican with way more experience, common sense, logic and credentials than Hussein Obama.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

You will have to excuse Diehard—he was pithed just this morning.

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

More experience doing what?  Fucking staff and divorcing wives?  Ol' Newties really got Obama in that area.

He's a "credentialed" jackass that not-insane (ie non-Republican) Americans hate. So please nominate him.

Glennis Waterman
Glennis Waterman

Harvard Law School and West Georgia State College....if you close your eyes you can hardly tell them apart, can you?

McSalmon
McSalmon

Phat Newty G. is an ethically damaged propagandist who couldn't care less about anyone unless they are providing him some sort of benefit. He is using his campaign to solicit money which he uses to line his own pockets. This is his main skill. The only reason he is getting ahead is because the remainder of the GOP lineup are either lackluster corporate drones or blood maddened Christopaths. Pointing this out to other conservatives seems to only drive them further into his arms, so I'm stuck for a better solution other than  expressing my dislike for the man and my hope that he will just go away when he loses.

McSalmon
McSalmon

The thing that scares me is that, knowing what a greasy ball of corruption he is, Newt might be able to squeeze into a position in a Romney cabinet. This alone should have all right thinking Americans sweating at night. Imagine the harm of a Newt Led Commerce Dept., or even a State position. Jesus.

Rodg
Rodg

I don't think he'd take the pay cut. 

McSalmon
McSalmon

Newt is all pay for play - he'll find a way to generate a revenue stream from it. You watch.

M. Krebs
M. Krebs

FreddieTheBeetleBarnes!

benjoya
benjoya

i'm old, but it's "the beadle" which is like teacher's pet, i believe.

Anarchaeologist
Anarchaeologist

Plus Gingrich's press secretary told Barnes that "the only thing Newt says to himself before each debate is, 'My goal tonight is to not screw anything up,'" a clear sign of a winning campaign.

Well, to be fair, it puts him several parsecs ahead of the former front-runners.

EndOfTheWorld
EndOfTheWorld

"Newt Gingrich"

What Charles Dickens book did this guy escape from?

surreal_american
surreal_american

I was under the impression that Gingrich was a refugee from a Frank Herbert novel.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Funny, I though that the Newt had to be the creation of one William Claude Dukenfield.

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