Politically, we’ve always had eccentric/loony billionaires that occasionally get involved in big campaigns, but this year we’ve spawned herds of them, marching across the landscape, lowing about socialism and leaving behind vast dumps of TV ads and old Newt Gingrich buttons. Dozens and dozens of little Congressional candidates are attached to their hides, waiting to jump off and start new Tea Party epidemics in the azaleas.
The Economist has collected the New Gingrich political obituaries in one handy and funny article.
Newt Gingrich does not eat sandwiches; he fundamentally transforms them, radically changing them from solid foodstuff to masticated bolus to energy.
And while you’re at it, be sure to read this op-ed from the New York Times that skillfully describes a quantum theory of Mitt Romney.
Uncertainty. Frustrating as it may be, the rules of quantum campaigning dictate that no human being can ever simultaneously know both what Mitt Romney’s current position is and where that position will be at some future date. This is known as the “principle uncertainty principle.”
How did American conservatism end up so detached from, indeed at odds with, facts and rationality? For it was not always thus. After all, that health reform Mr. Romney wants us to forget followed a blueprint originally laid out at the Heritage Foundation!
My short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.
Over time, however, this strategy created a base that really believed in all the hokum — and now the party elite has lost control.
– Paul Krugman, reflecting on the dismal slate of republican candidates for president.
Romney suffers from the same problem afflicting the likes of Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon: He’s been living for so long with the delusion that the way he makes his money is fair and honest, he’s started to believe not only that he deserves his wealth, but the converse – that the poor deserve to be poor. He’s incapable of sympathizing with people who can’t pay their bills, because their condition is tied too closely in his mind with the question of how he made his enormous fortune: If you ask Romney to imagine what life is like for someone who’s broke, what he hears is you accusing him of making that happen. (In Romneyspeak, you’ve “attacked capitalism.”) In short, he’s a narcissist. They’re all narcissists, these colossal Wall Street types – they have to be, because the way they make their money makes moral sense only if you’re viewing things from the top of the heap. Asking them to step outside that comfort zone, into the world where the rest of us live, is an unthinkable outrage. It’s hard to be likable when you can’t even temporarily look at things from the bottom up, which is why it was no surprise that Romney flopped among voters in South Carolina who describe themselves as “falling behind” financially; they chose Newt by a margin of almost two to one.
In contrast, even some of the most rabid anti-Republican protesters express a begrudging admiration for Romney’s surging foil, Gingrich, who throughout the campaign has demonstrated that he not only doesn’t mind yapping with haters and detractors but actually seems to enjoy it. “His security people are pulling him away from us, not the other way around,” says Michael Premo, an Occupy protester who riled Romney at a rope line earlier that week.
If Romney is a scripted automaton who could make it through a year’s worth of marital coitus without one spontaneous utterance, Gingrich is his exact opposite – taken prisoner in war, Newt would be blabbing state secrets without torture within minutes, and minutes after that would be calling his guards idiots who lack his nuanced grasp of European history, and minutes after that would be lying to two of his captors about an affair he had with the third. In short, Newt versus Romney played out in South Carolina like a classic comic clash of pure psychological archetypes: oral versus anal, chaos versus order, Oscar versus Felix, with Felix throwing a snit and Oscar charging to a wild, messy victory.
- Oh my: Santorum now tied with Gingrich nationally for second place (hotair.com)
- DeMint: Brokered convention a possibility (thehill.com)
By the end of my second term we will have the first permanent base on the moon.
– Newt Gingrich, getting a little ahead of himself.
Who is ahead right now in the Florida presidential nominee race? Who do you think?
Mitt Romney releases a press release consisting of nothing other than Newt Gingrich quotes and a list of people Newt has compared himself to. The release is probably worth saving for the remainder of the campaign as a “best of” Gingrich compendium.
If I don’t win the primary Saturday, we will probably nominate a moderate. And the odds are fairly high he will lose to Obama.
There is a new 30 minute film attacking Mitt Romney as a self-interested and indiscriminate job-killer. It is called King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town and a Super-PAC supporting New Gingrich, called Winning Our Future, has funded it. It goes directly to Romney’s case to voters that he is a “job creator.” This could really set off a big intra-GOP battle. And it could provide some terrific fodder for Obama’s campaign.
The full film will be released on the web, but right now only a trailer is available.
- Exposing Romney’s Fatal Flaw: How Conservatives Can Still Win (riehlworldview.com)
- Mitt Romney Lies About Job Creation Record at Bain During ABC Debate (crooksandliars.com)
- Romney Defends His Bain Capital Experience (blogs.wsj.com)
- Gingrich SuperPAC to Release 27-Minute Documentary on Mitt Romney (slog.thestranger.com)
- Pro-Gingrich Group Lambasts Romney for ‘Predatory’ Capitalism (blogs.wsj.com)
- No-holds barred Newt (politico.com)
… what endears Gingrich to the 75 percent [of republican primary voters not supporting Mitt Romney] is the one big thing that matters: He is the only candidate who has been the leader of an actual Republican revolution, even if it went down in flames within a year. He walked the walk beyond even Ron Paul’s dreams, shutting down the entire federal government. And he has talked the talk as well, with a grandiosity beyond the wildest imagination of anti-Obama tea-partyers waving DON’T TREAD ON ME signs. Back in his 1994–95 heyday, Gingrich positioned himself as the leader of “a rising populist majority” taking down the last defenders of “the old order.” He saw his mission as to advance “the cause of freedom,” and he portrayed a government shutdown as nothing less than “the heart of the revolution.” In 2012, such Newtonian rhetoric from the “Contract With America” era could be dusted off and recycled with only minor updating (e.g., more anti-Obama slurs like his claim that the president exhibits “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior”).
The animosity of the Republican elites only empowers Gingrich, much as it did Palin and Cain; the Old Guard is the right enemy (along with Democrats and the news media) to have. The contrast that Mitt draws between himself and Newt also plays into Gingrich’s hands. “I’m not a bomb thrower, figuratively or literally,” Romney is fond of saying; he instead offers “sobriety” (figuratively and literally, as it happens). That’s a loser in the 75 percent marketplace, where bomb throwers, at least figurative ones, are the rage. If these are “crazy and extraordinary times,” wrote Jonah Goldberg, one conservative pundit who did not shut the door on Newt, “then perhaps they call for a crazy, extraordinary—very high-risk, very high-reward—figure like Mr. Gingrich.”
The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major changes in the American health system. We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100% insurance coverage for all Americans.
– Newt Gringich, republican presidential candidate, via “Newt Notes” in an April 2006 newsletter published by Mr. Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Center for Health Transformation.
- Gingrich in 2006: RomneyCare has “tremendous potential”; Update: Newsletter article added (hotair.com)
- Gingrich in 2006: Romneycare is ‘Exciting’ and ‘Has Tremendous Potential’ (worldviewtonight.wordpress.com)
- Gingrich In 2006: Hey RomneyCare Is A Great Idea! (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Gingrich Praised Romneycare (thepage.time.com)
On Face the Nation today:
SCHIEFFER: One of the things you say is that if you don’t like what a court has done, that Congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before Congress and hold a congressional hearing … how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol Police down to arrest him?
GINGRICH: Sure. If you had to. Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshal.
I am appalled by Gingrich’s reply. Not because it is out of character for him, but rather because I desperately wish him to win the GOP nomination, and this kind of remark doesn’t help.
- Newt Gingrich Channels His Inner Dictator (jonathanturley.org)
- Newt Gingrich Would Send U.S. Marshals To Arrest ‘Activist’ Judges (thinkprogress.org)