Merry Gingrich! Rightbloggers Brighten the Holiday Season with their Big Newt Fight

tomt200.jpgMaybe it's because of the holidays, but we're learning to stop worrying and love Newtmentum.

Amazingly, the former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich looks like the front-runner in the Republican Presidential race. This delights rightbloggers who enjoy Gingrich's cantankerous style. But it's not a unanimous verdict: A few of the brethren fret that the polarizing former Speaker isn't what the GOP needs to knock off a sitting president, and are trying to derail his campaign.

This is double fun for us rightblogger watchers; we not only get to hear them squabble amongst themselves, we also get to hear from people for whom Newt Gingrich is actually not conservative enough.

Some of the anti-Newtonians point out that he and Nancy Pelosi were not constantly at each other's throats, which proves they're in collusion to foist Big Gummint on the people. "I remember watching Newt getting all snuggly with Pelosi on the sofa and thinking: What a sleezebag, how could he??" cried Sara for America. Well, at least he didn't leave one of his wives for her.

That Gingrich once supported environmental reforms and an individual mandate on health care (sort of) so enraged Bungalow Bill's Conservative Wisdom that he turned on Sean Hannity:

"Sean clearly shows he is part of the Republican establishment ignoring the obvious flaws in Newt's candidacy and the fact Newt clearly supports the major progressive ideas in Washington," said BBCW, "and his longtime friendship with Newt -- who is clearly a progressive and not a conservative -- prevents him from exposing his friend as the conservative fraud Newt really is. This is one of the reasons I can't stomach Hannity anymore."

Others took a kinder, more-in-sorrow-than-anger approach. "Newt's a prophet," Hugh Hewitt claimed, "but what happens to prophets in elections? Ask William Jennings Bryan. Which is why Romney will be the nominee if the GOP wants to win." More mainstream conservatives like George F. Will and Ross Douthat reacted similarly.

Perhaps feeling the heat, Gingrich's supporters doubled down. "Newt is has what it takes to surround himself with great people," said Jim Campbell of Dancing Czars, "and begin removing the tyranny that has been opposed upon us since that fate full day on January 20, 2009."

Later Campbell scoffed at people who said Gingrich had muscled his wife to agree to a divorce while she was in the hospital with cancer: "A lipoma is a benign," he explained, "not malignant." As to the "false statement of Newt trading in wives like trading in used cars," Campbell pointed out that Gingrich stayed married to his second wife for 19 years, and "19 years sounds more like Obama's 'Cash for Clunkers' program than trading her in for a new model."

We expect this argument was formulated to convince women voters, as was that of barleycorn of RedState, who said in his essay "Hitting the G Spot or; Gingrich & the Gender Gap ©" that "those women looking for a mild mannered, smooth talking, warm and fuzzy JFK clone won't find him in Newt Gingrich. He is kind of odd looking and way too smart for his own good, and he says rude things sometimes." (barleycorn knows how to talk to the ladies.) "He almost certainly will receive far more votes from rough loutish men in Amarillo," continued barleycorn, "then he will get from Right Thinking © feminists in Manhattan..." Yeah, but on the other hand, a Gingrich candidacy would solve the major problem of how to get Texans to vote Republican.

The latest Next President and First Lady.
When Glenn Beck turned on Gingrich, suggesting he's a "big-government progressive," Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler responded, "He isn't even a 'big government progressive.' Gingrich is a big government conservative, and the difference between the two is significant." Preston lays out some of the alleged distinctions -- e.g., "a big government conservative is less hostile to business, and more hostile and skeptical of unchecked bureaucracy" -- but we suspect what he really means is that a big government conservative is still, at the end of the day, a Republican, and that's what counts.

Plus, Gingrich is so wonderfully "political incorrect" (i.e., an asshole) -- last week, for example, he claimed that the Palestinians are an "invented" people, like Faulkner's Snopeses or the Whos in Whoville.

This doesn't seem to be a play to the broader electorate -- Americans are okay with a Palestinian state -- as, for that matter, is Gingrich, as he reaffirmed after making his comments. But courting outrage is its own reward, as the heavy coverage his remarks got in the press and the Newtonian rightbloggers' reactions showed.

In solidarity, some of them started referring to Palestinians in quotes (e.g., "Here's the key part of the Newt interview on Israel and the 'Palestinians'").

Daniel Horowitz of RedState announced that "the Palestinians are the global warming climate change of geopolitical conflict. They use deceptive parlance to advance their agenda," and called rather creepily for the next president to "deracinate the entire myth of a 'Palestinian people'."

Stogie of Saber Point announced that he was now a Gingrich supporter, as he too believed that "the 'Palestinians' have only one goal, and that is the destruction of the State of Israel and the removal of all Jews from the area (preferably through mass murder). Any negotiations with these vermin will produce nothing of value. "

The Right Scoop wrote, "Newt in 2006 backs up claim that Palestinians are invented," showed a video of Gingrich in which he delivered some fairly standard pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian boilerplate, and reproduced the video's description: "Gingrich responds that the entire region was once part of the Ottoman Empire, and neither state existed, that Israelis have lived in the region for over 3000 years."

We're not sure how much Gingrich would appreciate that support, nor that of Donald Douglas of American Power who, when Doug Mataconis gently disputed some but not all of Gingrich's points ("as a historical matter, of course, this is largely accurate, but it also happens to be largely irrelevant"), called Mataconis a "Jew-bashing weasel" and thereafter referred to him as "Doug 'Weasel' Mataconis" as he counter-argued that "there is no 'Palestinian people,' and even if we concede there is one, the existence of a Palestinian nation serves only the purpose of delegitimation of Israel." (Later, Douglas said that Mataconis "couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag.")

Debbie Schlussel also ripped into so-called conservatives who didn't support Gingrich's contention that Palestinians -- 'scuse us, "Palestinians" -- don't exist. "It was revealing that both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum took issue with [Gingrich's] comments," she wrote. "It shows that they are either completely ignorant or total cowards. And that Gingrich is not. And I can say the same for the fraud, Liz Cheney..."

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