Thursday, December 15, 2011


It seems less and less likely with every passing day -- hell, with every passing hour -- that Newt Gingrich will survive the gang beatdown he's being subjected to right now and go on to win the Republican presidential nomination (see yesterday's all-Newt-hate Washington Post op-ed page; see also the forthcoming all-Newt-hate issue of National Review).

But if Gingrich does -- somehow -- survive this Establishment gang attack, will the party even support him?

Here's a scenario I'm imagining:

If Gingrich really is unstoppable, the real GOP money -- from the Rove-connected Crossroads groups and other super PACs -- may simply dry up for him. Where will it go? I know everyone mocks this Americans Elect thing, but the group is well funded. What if GOP insiders game the AE nominating process to get a candidate who's to their liking chosen as the nominee -- Daniels, Christie, Barbour, Jeb Bush, Rubio, Jindal, Huntsman? And what if the "Democrat" who fulfills AE's quest for a bipartisan ticket is ... Joe Lieberman?

I think GOP establishment figures might get behind such a ticket -- and I mean really get behind it, with serious money and all kinds of support. And then the party can just somehow fail to help Gingrich in any way. I'm thinking of the way the guy who had the ballot line in the 2006 Connecticut Senate race, Alan Schlesinger, effectively disappeared, as the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy cheered on Lieberman against Ned Lamont. Schlesinger got less than 10% of the vote.

Now, Gingrich won't take a dive, the way Schlesinger seemed to. But if the party and its donors refuse to finance him, if party opinion-shapers continue to attack him, and if the leaders and pundits get behind the AE effort, I think Gingrich's numbers could be driven down to the single digits.

For what it's worth, yesterday Charlie Pierce posted an MSNBC clip in which Chuck Todd speculated that an anti-1% sentiment might drive a third-party bid to some success at the polls. I think minor parties can have an impact this year, but I don't think this is why. I do think Rocky Anderson, or some other Nader wannabe, will get some Occupy/Firedoglake love at the polls. But the teabaggers aren't angry at the 1%. The libertarians aren't angry at the 1%. The young Paulites seem to be more interested in ending militarism and legalizing hemp than seriously curtailing fat-cat excess (which Paul himself has no intention of curtailing, of course). The general public still -- still -- hates "big government" more than big business, according to Gallup, and even though they seem to recall their class resentments when reminded of them by pollsters, they never vote in any way that reflects those resentments. And Americans Elect is going to be about centrism at best and conservatism at worst; it's going to be about opposing "business as usual" without the slightest understanding of why "business as usual" is the way it is (and without the slightest recognition that the people on the ticket are part of the problem).

And if my cockamamie theory is correct, Americans Elect might just be the real GOP this year.


ON THE OTHER HAND: If the GOP insiders do successfully kneecap Gingrich, I think we should all join Americans Elect and say that Gingrich is our choice for the top of AE's ticket. Between us and the remaining Newt true believers in the GOP, we might just be able to get him selected. And you know he'll accept the nomination, because he'll do anything for publicity. Then we'll have Mitt and Newt siphoning votes from each other. Fun!

(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)


Kathy said...

Gingrich definitely won't take a dive if this scenario plays out. He's delusional enough to believe he's "the One". It's interesting - here in Alabama, our Senate Majority Leader, who's about as mainstream corporate Republican as they come, has signed on to head Newt's state campaign. Republican party leaders seem about evenly split between Newt and Mitt. Of course, that could change overnight.

ploeg said...

For the record, the guy who ran against Lieberman in the previous election in 2000 got 34.2% of the vote. Lieberman beat that guy by 29 percentage points, and Lieberman was campaigning for vice president at the time.

In 2006, Lieberman was the incumbent, narrowly lost the party nomination, and (as noted) was able to pull significant Democratic and Republican support to win another term. Whatever Republican is picked against Gingrich is not going to be the incumbent, is almost certainly not going to get any support worth mentioning in the upcoming primaries and caucuses, and will certainly not be able to pull any sort of Democratic support.

If Gingrich survives and gets the nomination, the Republicans will back him to the hilt. Any chance at winning is better than no chance at all. Gingrich might be a great quarterback, but they'll figure that they might pull out a win in spite of him. Gingrich will be the Tim Tebow of presidential politics.

ploeg said...

Gingrich might not be a great quarterback etc....

c u n d gulag said...

Who do you think AE will run - Bloomberg/Byah?
I don't think so - too Liberal and Northern. Plus, the whole NYC thing for Bloomy, not to mention the "is he gay?" issue.

Bloomberg/Lieberman is too "Jewy" for most people.

So, who on the AE ticket?

Newt's ego may make him run 3rd Party.

But I go back to what I said earlier - Jeb/Ryan, McDonnell, Christie, etc., for the Republican ticket.

Steve M. said...

I think they want Bloomberg/Bayh and would settle for Huntsman/Bayh.

I think (unless my cockamamie scenario plays out) it's possible they won't get any A-listers and they'll settle for Bayh/Pataki or some similar Z-list ticket.

c u n d gulag said...

You'd have to be some sort of a real f'in loser to vote for Byah/Pataki, let alone volunteer for that campaign!

I hope no one goes in to help with the hopes of getting laid, because that would be some real sorry-ass collection of guys and gals there.

c u n d gulag said...


I can imagine if he hears about it, this will drive Rush nuts - after all, this was sort of like his Hillary plan!

I can just see the tassles on his huge man-titties whirling around so fast they lift even him up above the flight corridor of the airport nearest him.

Pilots - beware the UFO - Unbelievably FAT Object!

The New York Crank said...

Don't discount a Bloomberg candidacy, either as a last minute Republican convention pick or as a self-funded third partyite, pretending to be a centerist Democrat.

New York and Bloomberg are going stale with each other. His cops are beating up Occupy Wall Street people. His heralded education reform is doing nothing for education. He had the bad judgment to appoint – and then later, (with better judgement after installing her) – withdraw Kathy Black as education commissioner. He's good on slogans and his own image, but bad on delivering improvements to much of the city – save for his traffic commissioner, Janet Sadik-Kahn, and her bike paths on city streets are drawing fire from irate free-parkers who now have less parking space.

He's tried to knock down peoples' homes and businesses to build sports complexes and high rises. New Yorkers are getting a bit grouchy with him.

Time to wipe the slate clean by fleeing to the White House. And God help us, he might win it.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Steve M. said...

Well, he's pro-choice, pro-gay, and pro-gun control. The last thing I can imagine is Bloomberg as a GOP candidate.

c u n d gulag said...

And he's a NY City Jew!

What kind of a self-respecting relative of Grammy Hall would ever vote for a NY City Jew?

Pope Bandar bin Turtle said...

I can just see the tassles on his huge man-titties whirling around so fast they lift even him up above the flight corridor of the airport nearest him.

Such superbly hilarious imagery. I salute you, c u n d gulag!

Also, your commentary regarding Jeb Bush ... intriguing!

Steve M. said...

By the way, Donald Trump is now flirting with an Americans Elect run.