Sunday, December 11, 2011


I didn't watch the debate last night, but I gather that this fell flat for Mitt Romney:

Asked where he and Gingrich differed, Romney said, "We could start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon. I'm not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that."

... On moon mining, Gingrich doubled down -- "I'm happy to defend the idea that America should be in space and should be there in an aggressive, entrepreneurial way" ...

Amazing -- Gingrich not only defended this, he wrapped it in the last refuge of a wingnut scoundrel, entrepreneurialism.

But that's the thing about people like him: if you have that particular combination of screws loose, yes, you're going to make manic, half-schizophrenic pronouncements about space colonization and the like, but you're also going to have the cornered-rat instinct to jujitsu any direct attack on such pronouncements, so the attacker is the only one who winds up flat out on the mat. What I'm saying is that, with Gingrich's particular brand of crazy, it's futile to go at him head-on.

Far better to lull him into making even crazier pronouncements on the spot. Try doing it like this:

Romney: "We've suffered greatly in the three years of the Obama administration, and, well, it would be nice if we could just go into a time machine and turn back the clock to a moment before all that damage was done. Unfortunately, going back in time is just impossible -- right, Newt? It's really a shame that we can't reverse all this damage with a time machine -- isn't it, Newt?"

Gingrich: "Well, in fact, Mitt, there's been some extraordinary work done on time travel at a laboratory in Belarus, and it's my belief that the United States would benefit tremendously from a massive program of research not only into time travel, but also into related possibilities, including astral projection...."

Now you've got him going.

Newt's going to ambush you (his attack last night on Romney as a would-be career politician who just couldn't manage to build a lengthy career was, I see, quite effective), and Newt's primed to rebuff most direct attacks (though attacking him for supporting child labor, as I see Romney did, is a waste of time, because the stance is one of punishing the weak, which means it naturally appeals to the right). In short, I'd say you can't actually defeat Gingrich -- you have to find a way to get him to defeat himself. Which really shouldn't be all that hard.

(X-posted at Balloon Juice.)


c u n d gulag said...

Mitt, as usual, let Newt get the better of him when "The Wizard of Ooze" told him that the only thing that prevented him from being a career politician was losing to Ted Kennedy.
Mitt should have looked at him and said, "Like your career as a politician was stopped when you were fined and left the House in disgrace?"
But Mitt has all of the wit of a brick, and has the finishing kick of a wiseguy in cement overshoes sinking into the Hudson River.

Newt will blow up Newt himself, thank you all very much!

You can see him getting into a full pompous bluster now that he's the leader of the pack - and he's got the ego and the id of a 3 year-old, only without the maturity.

He'll open up his fat mouth a second too fast, and a bit too wide, one of these days, and basically pop his own gas-filled balloon.
I'll wait.
That moment will be on TV until the end of time. I just hope it's when he's already their nominee. They're hoping it's before so that they can regroup before running against Obama.
So, while none of us knows when that magical moment will be - we're all sure it's a-comin!

SJ Reidhead said...

Newt's science is excellent. Evidently his critics are not up on the latest technology. Establishing a mining colony on the moon, and mirrors for solar power will cost less than deporting all the illegals in this country. The impact it will have on the economy would be anywhere from a return on gov't. investment of a minimum of $8.00 back into the economy for each single dollar spent. Too bad his critics don't bother reading their science and technology. He has a vision for the future. He has had one since 1981 when he co-founded the now defunct Congressional Space Caucus.

I have a post about it on The Pink Flamingo today. If people don't know what they are talking about, they should not criticize a person until they read up on the technology. It is not science fiction. If we were a nation of visionaries instead of libertarians we could face the future without fear. Instead, India and China are going to go ahead with this technology and make us come crawling to them the way we do OPEC for oil.

The Pink Flamingo

Dark Avenger said...

Having Newt lobby for space exploration is like having Charlie Callas as the public fact of a safe sex campaign.

BH said...

Newt's science may or may not be all that, Bro. Reidhead, but there'll be a Congress which will need convincing before we invest some more borrowed billions into this vast scheme. One question which might get asked is: within what time frame can the promised 8-to-1 return on the $$ be anticipated, if in fact it can be anticipated so confidently? Another question which might come up from some of us flatfoot non-visionary types is: how soon might this hypothetical venture generate how many jobs for today's & tomorrow's unemployed/underemployed Americans, many perhaps not quite up to the skill levels needed for lunar mining & manufacturing, but arguably deserving of some meaningful work in the short run? And a third question: cui bono? In other words, doesn't such a scheme hold great promise for being the great-granddaddy of all "public/private partnerships", with losses to be socialized and profits to be corporatized?

But maybe I'm just hopelessly myopic. Or maybe Newt wears a propellor beanie in private.