Newt Gingrich, until last weekend widely touted as The Smart Republican; an Idea Man, was considered a contender for the GOP nomination. Perhaps not the favourite, or at the top of the polls, but someone to be taken seriously…among Republicans, at least. Among Democrats and sane people, Newt was seen as a hypocritical blowhard; a craven opportunist, a liar, a serial adulterer, a homophobe, a racist…in pretty much all respects a typical Republican.
But then Newt went on Meet the Press and, in a move that shocked everyone, said something true: he savaged the vicious, ridiculous, idiotic budget proposal written by Paul Ryan – a proposal that just about every respectable economist, regardless of political stripe or school of thought, panned as the work of someone who doesn’t know anything about economics; a pathetic joke, entirely unworkable and harmful no matter how you slice it. The budget proposal was, of course, a HUGE hit with the Tea Party crowd – those fiscal conservatives who want to give tax breaks to the uber rich, subsidize Big Oil and gut the hell out of everyone else.
And so now they have turned on Newt. He is no longer the smart guy, or the experienced guy…now he’s the guy with no friends, no donors and a snowball’s chance in hell of turning it around. One minute he’s being booked on every show going – his most recent Meet the Press shot was number 35. For a guy who hasn’t held elected office since Ally McBeal was on TV, that’s something. He won’t be back, and not because they don’t want him but because the questions will now be, “Is it all over, Newt?” and, “Have you had any offers to teach, Newt?”
Of course, the GOP spin doctors are playing it like they never wanted Gingrich in the game to begin with. They’re trying to rebrand themselves as With it…Hip…In touch with America, and running away from a floundering Newt Gingrich is being sold as some sort of “Out with the old, in with the new!” or out with the Newt, at least.
God only knows what they’ll try to sell as new, though. Mitt Romney is still the odds on favourite, and he’s backed up by Batshit Crazy Michelle Bachmann, Frothy Rick Santorum, Tim Zzzzz Pawlenty…after that a Chinese speaking Mormon (that makes TWO Mormons for those keeping track) and an angry black guy. Sarah Palin must be torn between her own ego-maniacal “God wants me to do it” desire to run and every power broker in the party begging her not to destroy what remains of the Grand Old Party.
I digress. In any case, this made me laugh out loud:
Longtime Republican ad-maker and political consultant Alex Castellanos also called on the GOP to discard Gingrich in order to “release the past and inherit the future,” in an op-ed published by The Daily Caller, a conservative news site.
“The opponent Obama needs to run against, the only one he can beat, is the old, uncaring Republican,” Castellanos wrote. “It is not a caricature he needs to create. It lives, it walks, it breathes. It’s the Gingrich.”
Poor Castellanos. He thinks getting rid of Newt amounts to inheriting the future. The future of the Republican party was sold to knuckle-dragging theocrats, anti-abortion screamers, xenophobes, racists, homophobes, and a rainbow of various right wing single issue nutjobs long ago. They have come to collect and they will not be satisfied by anyone who might articulate anything remotely resembling sane, sober policies.
They did it to themselves. If they had anyone capable of defeating President Obama in a general election – and I don’t see that they do – that person could never win the nomination from the ratty, crazed gang of freaks they’ve invited into the tent.
Good on them, and good on the Gingrich.
Pass the popcorn.