Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Over at Politico, Mike Allen has an article titled "Why Newt's Surge Is for Real." Allen's a big insider, so when he starts listing the reasons why the Gingrich surge isn't a blip, I assume the assertion at the end of the following bullet point is based on what he's learned from actual Republicans. I've highlighted the key point in bold:

Debates are drawing bigger audiences than ever, and Gingrich is a crowd-pleaser.

Unabashedly playing to the crowds, Gingrich frequently ridiculed the moderators' questions, and referred often to his time as House speaker, which most Republicans see as a more conservative season for their party.

Really? Republicans see that period as more conservative than 2011, Teabag Year Zero? Gingrich's Congress was more conservative than this Congress, with its near-total shutdown of presidential initiatives and nominees, its mandatory budget-slashing, its debt brinkmanship?

But I suppose Republicans do think the Gingrich Congress was more conservative, for one reason: his Congress threw two tantrums that actually -- if temporarily -- ground government to a halt and shamed a Democratic president. Never mind that Bill Clinton came off as the winner after the government shutdown, and that popular outrage at the GOP allowed the impeachment effort to fizzle far short of conviction. And never mind whether this pushed any actual legislation further to the right than, say, the current budget agreement -- or Bush's tax cuts and post-9/11 national security laws. And never mind the fact that Newt had to slink off in disgrace. Just the fact that, under Gingrich, Republicans beat up government, and beat up a Democrat -- at least for a while -- makes Newt a hero of conservatism, and makes that Congress a high-water mark for the right. Because beating up liberalism is, in the modern world, the definition of conservatism.

Gingrich is like the leader of the bad kids in school who went on a spree one night, trashing homes, assaulting random passersby, and (stupidly) videotaping the whole thing and posting it on their Facebook pages. Gingrich got sentenced to eighteen months in juvy and had to pay restitution, but to the GOP base, apparently, that's better (or at least cooler) than never having gone on the spree and never having been caught and punished.

The right would be happier right now, I guess, if the government had been shut down (at least for a few days) over the debt, or if Obama were at risk of impeachment over Solyndra or Fast and Furious -- even if the legislative results were identical.


BH said...

I think your last observation is exactly right: the lumpenright would indeed be happier with such fireworks displays, regardless of such tedious considerations as whether legislation resulted. As always with them (and not only with them, unfortunately), it's the show, not the substance. They ain't watching C-span, they're watching Fox.

No doubt another reason for their nostalgia about the Gingrich House is the fact that it was the first GOP-controlled House in 40 years - in a sense, the legislative-branch completion of the ReaganCo takeover of the executive branch.

Barry DeCicco said...

Somebody opined that the advantage of Newt is that the GOP base doesn't have to think about the past decade, where they f*ck the country big-time.

Barry DeCicco said...

This, of course, fits in with the 'born-again virgin' theory - with Newt, the GOP base can pretend that the Democrats f*cked everything up.

c u n d gulag said...

Well, if Newt weren't a well respected political icon, a brilliant ideas man, and had a solid family history of faithful monogamy, he wouldn't have been on TV all those times, now would he?

So, it's not like he's some disgraced politico, a babbling, self-impressed, grifting windbag, or a serial philanderer, right?

No TRUE Scotsm... uhm... Conservative could ever support anyone like that!
Unless he pisses off the Liberals!!!