WINGNUT PUNCH LINES WILL SAVE AMERICA!
I don't know whether Newt Gingrich just happened to have one good night on the way to a primary season that will end for him in well-deserved failure, or whether he really is poised to take the Top Not-Romney crown from Herman Cain. My guess? I'm leaning toward the latter, if he can keep hitting the righty pleasure centers the way he apparently did last night in Iowa. Politico reports:
With less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain lead in the polls here. But neither was at the state Republican Party's annual dinner Friday, leaving Newt Gingrich to get the best reaction by far....
Gingrich’s call for seven, three-hour debates with President Barack Obama excited the crowd more than anything all night....
And I can see why:
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich promised on Friday evening in Iowa that if he wins his party's nomination, he will follow President Obama around the country until Obama accepts a challenge to participate in Lincoln-Douglas style debates.
"I promise you, if you will help me on January 3, if I end up as the nominee, in my acceptance speech, if the president has not yet agreed, I will announce from that day forward for the rest of the campaign, the White House will be my scheduler," Gingrich said. "And wherever the president appears, I will appear four hours later."
Gingrich said he would challenge Obama to seven Lincoln-Douglas style debates lasting three hours each with no moderator and only a timekeeper. "I will concede that he can use a teleprompter," Gingrich said.
According to Gingrich, his plan to follow Obama around the country is based on Abraham Lincoln's strategy of giving a rebuttal speech to Stephen Douglas in the same place that Douglas had given a speech one day earlier during the 1858 Illinois Senate campaign.
"After about three weeks, Douglas figured out that the newspaper coverage was always Lincoln's answer and not Douglas's speech," Gingrich said.
Gingrich predicted Obama would accept the debate challenge, in part because of wanting to preserve media coverage, but also out of ego.
"How can a Harvard Law Review editor, the greatest orator in the modern Democratic party, admit to being afraid to be on the same platform as a West Georgia college professor?" he asked....
Can you see how enjoyable this kind of thing would be to right-wingers? He makes them feel smart by invoking history. He plays the heartland-resentment card by comparing his schooling to Obama's. And he throws in a Teleprompter joke! Brilliant!
If anything more brilliant than what Herman Cain said at the Americans for Prosperity confab yesterday:
... at a conference sponsored by the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity, Cain declared to thunderous applause, "I am the Koch brothers' brother from another mother." He added, "And proud of it."
As "politically incorrect" shout-outs go -- and you know right-wingers love it when their heroes are "politically incorrect" -- this is up there with Ronald Reagan's famous declaration that he was a contra. Take that, libs!
At this point I tend to believe the wingnut voter base doesn't even care what a candidate will do, or can do, or whether the candidate has any skill or competence. Right now it's just a battle to demonstrate that you think like a Fox viewer. I think the crazy base figures that, if you think the way they do, feel the same resentments, and snicker at the same tired punch lines, everything else will just fall into place somehow.
If Mitt Romney wants to compete, he needs to drastically increase the number of times he calls President Obama European. And he needs to say this as if it's the funniest thing in the world.