Congrats, Newt

So our good friend the Perfesser Gingrich won South Carolina tonight. More proof that spite as an end in itself motivates the modern GOP — in this case it was against the librul media, and on behalf of a serial adulterer, you know, because he’s our philanderer. There is no coherent agenda, no vision for what the country should be like, no brighter future in mind. Just f@# you — why? — because f#$# you.

Speaking of the modern GOP, a commenter to Andrew Sullivan basically has it right:

… [A] Gingrich nomination would be poetic justice – or maybe just justice. Gingrich didn’t transform the GOP alone, but he is arguably more responsible than any one person for the Republican party becoming the cynical, reckless, destructive piece of s@# it is now. I am not a fan of the Reagan Administration, but there is a big difference – as Newt would say a “fundamental” difference – between the party of Reagan and the one Newt was so instrumental in shaping, the current, decadent GOP.

The Republican Party of today is the party of Newt. I think the best bet for reforming it is for Republican grassroots to nominate someone who so thoroughly exemplifies it, and have him lose spectacularly. It would also be cathartic for the country if Obama finally grasped the nettle and took the opportunity to definitively crush, rhetorically as well as electorally, Gingrichism and its variants.

Ah well. It’s just South Carolina, right? The phony will win the nomination eventually.


10 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. "Phony?"

    If you mean Romney, sure. But Newt is of course no slouch in that department himself.

  2. If this is an anger election

    for the GOP base, one wonders how Romney can succeed. The only times he seems to show anger or passion is when he’s defending a system that allows him to amass great wealth while getting out of paying his fair share.

    What I find so surprising is that Gingrich was the choice of SC voters who said it was important to beat President Obama. Newt, who has both huge name recognition and enormous unfavorability ratings? How is he possibly seen as their best general-election hope? The only answer can be that SC GOP voters were scared by Romney’s horrible performance as a candidate this week – analysis borne out by the exit polls, which show Gingrich did best among voters who decided in the last few days. SC was Romney’s to lose, and he did so in spectacular fashion.

    • Electability

      You hit on the most mysterious thing about polling in this election. I really don’t understand how the plurality of voters who cared most about electability pulled the lever for Newt.

      One hypothesis: the media in South Carolina is so conservative that South Carolinians think Romney’s moderation makes him less electable. Another: Mr Gingrich unlike Mr Romney talks the way talk radio talks. So he communicates in a more familiar style.

      Or maybe voters there were more keenly aware of Romney’s vulnerabilities than Gingrich’s. That surprises me as some of Gingrich’s vulnerabilities would seem travel on the wings of gossip.

      • Agree but

        Whats really interesting is that one could argue that Newt’s liabilities are assets in the sense that they have been out in the open for decades now and most people can just ‘get over them’, whereas the liabilities about Romney are new and are trickling out piece by piece. I also think the born again Catholicism might have something to do with it since he can claim his faith led him away from his bad path and towards a path of seeking forgiveness and humility (a bunch of malarkey but the evangelicals bought it). Also in conversation with true tea party conservatives they tend to think that ‘real’ conservatives win big, Reagan landslide big, and ‘mushy’ conservatives like the Bushes and Romney win small or lose. So in their twisted worldview ‘more conservative’ also means ‘more electable’ and its hard to argue Gingrich is not the only viable conservative left. Give Santorum time, he will bow out before the next contest as his money dries up. Like Huckabee in 2008, his purpose was to deny Romney Iowa and now Gingrich can slowly take McCain’s place as the anti-Mitt candidate of this cycle.

        • Not Mormon

          I grew up in a family that, in the fifties and sixties, were fervent Southern Baptists. I fear you misread the reaction to Newt Gingrich’s “conversion”. For the evangelicals that I grew up with, Roman Catholicism is one step removed from Satan. The trouble is, Mormonism is worse in those circles.

          I think SC evangelicals seek a candidate that supports their prejudices and biases. I think Newt Gingrich is better at pandering to those prejudices and biases than Mitt Romney. We should also not discount the Northerner/Southerner distinction — Newt Gingrich is a southerner, Mitt Romney is a Yankee.

          I think Newt Gingrich’s new-found Catholicism serves primarily to give them an excuse to dismiss the “cult” that Mitt Romney practices.

          • not so sure this is true anymore

            Bob Jones and Oral Roberts Universities infamously list Catholicism in the ‘cult’ sections of their libraries, and there was a Dean at Wheaton who was forced out due to his conversion to Rome, which did not happen to his predecessor that converted to Orthodoxy. So anti-Catholic prejudice is definitely still an opinion out there in mainstream evangelical circles, McCain’s paster Hagee was criticized for it in the last campaign. That said Chuck Colson and Richard Neuhaus did a lot to link the two together and their shared opposition to abortion and same sex marriage, the renewed love of liturgy amongst evangelicals and the rise of charismatic Catholicism also makes the ‘cultural’ differences between the churches less discernible. Regardless, Newt was smart enough to wrap his conversion to Catholicism, more of an intellectual one along the lines of Bork and other conservatives before him, in the ‘born again’ language of the evangelical South and that was a good way to put distance between himself and his deplorable past self. We will see if other states buy it. Anti-Mormonism is definitely at play but its not the only factor, a self made Mormon that was consistently anti-abortion and anti-gay would have done better IMO than a Massachusetts scion of industry who has flip flopped so many times no one can be sure what he really believes.

  3. Poetry

    It would also be cathartic for the country if Obama finally grasped the nettle and took the opportunity to definitively crush, rhetorically as well as electorally, Gingrichism and its variants.

    I hope Gingrich gets the nomination. However, I am scared that so many of my fellow Americans are insane to have voted for him.

    • Old lies trump new

      It appears to me that South Carolina GOP voters prefer the time-tested and familiar lies of Newt Gingrich to the new and unexpected lies of Mitt Romney. Mr. Gingrich’s best applause line of the night the other day was “elite media” — never true, and even more divorced from reality than when the same Newt Gingrich was trumpeting it while the “liberal media” dutifully reported every lurid morsel dug up by Mr. Gingrich and his highly-paid henchmen. The same “liberal media” that somehow managed to overlook, for years, the reality that Mr. Gingrich’s personal life made Mr. Clinton look like a choir-boy.

      So the angry wing of the GOP triumphed in South Carolina. I suggest we hold the gloating about this “unelectable” candidate — we Democrats also gleefully celebrated the nomination of an “unelectable” Ronald Reagan in 1980.

      The “liberal media”, led by Fox and Mr. Limbaugh, have fomented and encouraged an enormous audience of ignorant, fearful, and out-of-control potential voters. Hate-candidates like Newt Gingrich pander to this mob, hoping to leverage its fear-driven passion to another razor-thin margin in November.

      I think the calculus is fundamentally different this year. I think the GOP is banking on the two candidates splitting the moderate middle and getting the bulk of each party’s registered “faithful”. I think the GOP is banking that the outcome will therefore hinge on each party’s ability to turn out their respective extremes.

      It’s already ugly, and we’ve seen just the first few flakes of the blizzard of bigotry that looms on the horizon.

      • Your assessment

        makes sense. The pundits were saying towards the end of this past week that the hatred of liberal media by right wingers trumps all. Newt of course, as designer, creator and producer of deliberate lies, knows this well.

    • Not sure if I want that

      As much as I believe it’d be easier for Obama and amusing to watch Obama crush him, there is a small part of me that feels Obama could still lose if the economy gets worse and I’d rather he lost to Romney than Gingrich. I love America too much to even risk her seeing a Gingrich President. Gingrich is far more dangerous than Romney since he actually believes what he says.

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