4:03 pm in congressional primaries, despondency, election cycle, Elections, extremists, handsome fellow, leftward drift, mitt romney, moderate democrats, moderate Republicans, mr gingrich, Newt Gingrich, right wing extremism, town halls, young reporter by Bill Colley
What’s the best thing about Newt Gingrich? He isn’t Mitt Romney. One of Mr. Gingrich’s old friends explained it this way today: Gingrich is staying in the race to forestall Romney’s leftward drift. It reminds me of a TV gabfest I saw yesterday. S.E. Cupp was being assailed by the MSDNC gang about right wing extremism. She replied there were plenty of moderate Democrats driven from a party moving ever leftward in the 21st Century. As for right wing extremism, what’s the problem? This country was founded by extremists and later the Civil War fought by extremists and all of the great political ideas sure as heck didn’t come from moderates.
Gingrich was on the show with me Wednesday (a link is provided at the bottom of the page). As a former Upstate New Yorker I wasn’t happy when Gingrich backed moderate Republicans twice in Congressional primaries but I know why he made the decision. He planned a later return to political office and he cast his lot with the candidates the GOP establishment promised were the best available. “That’s the way the system works,” is the old adage I heard from politicians when I was a young reporter. The voting public didn’t like it then and doesn’t like it now and today we’ve a major difference. Americans don’t envision a pleasant future. The politicians are like another old adage about generals at battle: Always fighting the last war. The angry town halls of 2010 and the Occupy demonstrations of this election cycle are about rage. It appears to me the Tea Party has now moved from rage to despondency. Just look at the choices we’ve got at state and national levels! Even in my home county the conservative Republicans are ignoring the authority of a popularly elected Sheriff.
Newt Gingrich is the guy you knew in school with all the answers. The smartest guy in the class, whereas Romney is the handsome fellow born with all the advantages. He’s a nice fellow, I guess. Happy family man and happy family but not much of a connection with the public, Romney is the product of an insular upbringing. His fellow Republican candidates despised him four years ago and despise him today. In Mitt’s defense it’s the weariness of being a member of a religious minority. Gingrich is the guy you knew in school politicking all over the cafeteria and the playground and he always seemed to intuitively know what everyone wanted. He did then. I think he now fights the last war.
A few minutes before his appearance on the program a fellow telephoned and defended the absent Ron Paul. I like Paul. He appears to understand not just the crisis but the public anger. He was also a bright student in school but by choice more of a wallflower with a nose buried in obscure and complex books. Santorum is now history and I thought he understood the public unease but his solution often sounded like a call for the restoration of Christendom. As a Catholic I’m intrigued but the United States is a product of the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment.
In the old school days Michele Bachmann was the smartest and prettiest girl in class but she didn’t meet media notions of womanhood. She managed a massive household and work but failed to promote promiscuity and the convenience of infanticide. From day one she was a marked woman. Our Thatcher, deferred.
Gingrich, with his outsized personality and sense of history could’ve adopted the cause. He didn’t. Had the professor not been still so grounded in his 90s battles with Bill Clinton and instead claimed much of what Paul and Bachmann brought to the arena, well…?
Gingrich would be making a triumphant victory march to his party’s convention. Next January 20th he would be standing before the throng and delivering a scintillating call for another reformation. Instead we’ll get the plodding, uninspiring Romney.