“I don’t want a nice man,” said Kenny The Nail Guy, “I want someone to beat Obama. I choose Newt.”
This was a very interesting statement from a Vietnamese immigrant who despises communism and knows a socialist when he sees one. He sees one in Obama.
Kenny is onto something.
Pretty much everyone, except Callista and his daughters, believes Newt Gingrich isn’t a very nice guy. I felt like his multiple marriages and “angry little attack muffin” persona as Peggy Noonan called him would be a deal breaker.
I am coming to believe his impatience with the bullshit and general grumpiness is the reason people like Gingrich.
First, people are sick of the stupid. And the government is big, stupid, annoying, interfering, and run by incompetent boobs. Gingrich is willing to concede it. In fact, he has a difficult time bearing the stupidity. In psychological terms, this is called mirroring. Gingrich mirrors the national mood perfectly. We’re a nation of angry little attack muffins except no one is really listening to the average out of work, miserable citizen. Who will speak for them?
Second, Newt is battling the media–his real enemy. He has declared war on them. If he’s going scorched earth on Mitt, he’s going nuclear on the Press. People are loving it. Why? Because the press aggressively, arrogantly pushes their agenda which is a hard left agenda. America is NOT a left-leaning country. They are center-right. They self-identify as conservative.
The press pets this cycle have been Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. Lavish spreads in Vanity Fair. Extraordinary deference in debates (especially Mitt).
Today, Romney cluck-clucks to Newt that going after the press is easy. No it’s not, otherwise Romney would do it. But Romney doesn’t want to antagonize the ones who have been giving him such generous ink.
Any Republican running for office is not only running against his Democratic opponent, he’s running against the press. A conservative’s CHIEF enemy is the press. Let me say this another way, a Republican CANNOT win unless he speaks around, above and in all ways that avoid going through the press liberal filter.
Romney, like McCain in ’08, wants to be buddies with the press. And yet, the press is on Obama’s side. When Romney goes into the general, he’ll be constantly flustered and offended and dismayed by the abuse he’s taking. It will be a shock after the sloppy kisses of the primary where the press would rather the choice be between a Republican liberal and a liberal-liberal.
Newt, in contrast, knows who he’s running against and right now, it ain’t Romney and in the general, it won’t be primarily Obama. It’s the press. He gets this now.
Finally, around 75% of the GOP base has been against Romney since the beginning. In 2008, the base knuckled under, again, for a guy who was a terrible candidate. They’re unwilling to do it again.
And don’t be deceived, Mitt Romney is a horrible candidate. Romneycare, global warming, increasing taxes, bland, not a great communicator, flip-flopper, abortion, distant, removed, owned a chop-shop.
My brother said of Mitt,”Everyone knows that guys like Mitt exists,” speaking of Mitt’s company Bain which went into distressed companies and sometimes chopped them up and sold off assets,”and people know that that work is a necessity and someone has to do it. They just don’t want their president to be that guy.”
Mitt isn’t particularly likable either, he just seems like a nice guy. Well, Obama seems like a nice family guy, too. Big deal. People have decided nice is overrated.
Mitt has another negative though. Mitt Romney is the caricature of “evil Republicans” that the Democrats are salivating over. The press, meanwhile, like Mitt because he’s Harvard educated, urbane, cool, and a touch less liberal than Obama. They could live with him if their coverage doesn’t destroy his campaign.
People are wondering why Newt is doing so well. But the more I think about it, it makes sense.
Voters want someone who will fight and fight for them and against their common and frustrating and powerful nemeses.
You know that friend you have who is kinda a jerk? Why do you keep him around? Because in a fight, he’s gonna beat your enemy to heck.
The job with Newt will be pointing him in the right direction. So far, he’s been responsive to the ideas of his fellow candidates and seems willing to take on the federal leviathan.
As a friend said of Newt: He fights.
More at Newt Judges You.
Peggy Noonan enthused about Barack Obama. That fact alone should disqualify her, in perpetuity, from use of the word “gravitas” when criticizing anyone–so easily ensnared by the superficial and glib is she.
Karl Rove couldn’t bring himself to craft a stragery to defend his boss, the abused George W. Bush, from the spurious attacks from the left. His narrow vision exposed the Congressional flank to a bloodbath in 2006. He is of the “compassionate conservatism” ilk who undermined the Republican brand that is yet to recover. And now, he’s saying who can and cannot win and paternally chiding candidates. Please.
These people deign to lecture me? To lecture you?
You know who is still not serious? The Democrats. The Press. And most gallingly, the Republican die-hards clinging to the last vestiges of their reputations; those who had kinder words for Barack Obama than for the average American who can see the blindingly obvious: America is in deep, deep economic trouble and the current folks in Washington still play like this is a game.
Strong words are aimed at Ben Bernake and Peggy Noonan, buddies with him no doubt (because really, who of import isn’t friends with Peggy Noonan), squeaks like she’s been goosed by the captain of the football team. “Why I never!” Yes, and you never will.
I have lost all hope that these folks care for anything more than the game that is Washington politics. Who’s in charge? Does he dress nicely? Is he well-spoken? Is he properly educated? Is he serious (code word for Ivy educated, silver tongued and bland)?
Never mind that the world is on fire. The economy is on the Tolkienian edge of the knife and our pundits and pointy heads are still obsessed with form?
But here’s my problem: I find the prospect of another four or eight years of defending these cultural distinctions to be intensely wearying.
My weariness is hardly a major consideration for anybody, but I think it reflects a larger problem. Conservatism is starting to have an identity-politics problem all its own. I think conservatism needs to spend less time defending candidates for who they are, and more time supporting candidates for what they intend to do.
Bush’s inability to articulate arguments had nothing to do with his Texan-ness or his Christianity, but a lot of folks on the right defended him as if that were the case. “He speaks American, don’t you get it?”
To which I’d reply: “No, he speaks badly.”
Jonah has a point. I loved and love George W. Bush even though I profoundly disagreed with him on some major points (NCLB, Dept. of Homeland Security, etc.). I loved the man. I just couldn’t listen to him. His speaking style, especially when more “prepared” drove me nuts. Off the cuff, such as when speaking at Ground Zero, he was better. And I’d read his speeches and be awed at the beauty of their words and then cringe in wonder when I heard them.
But you know what? I’ll take cringe-inducing speaking over smooth talking all day long. I’m beyond the leftists and their pointing and laughing. I can go another couple years, or decades, of good governance if I don’t have to endure bad ideas and smooth talk. Would I like good ideas and smooth talk? That would be nice, but the smooth talk is a helpful bonus.
The fact is, conservatism is coming in all sorts of forms these days. We don’t have an identity-politics problem. Look at our governors, Jonah. Rick Scott, John Kasich, Nikki Haley, Mitch Daniels, Sam Brownback, Rick Snyder, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez. Every single one of them, no matter how they speak, would be painted as a stupid rube by the left and media were he or she running for President. Need proof? Just look at the press coverage of them now, in their states.
We have a leftist and press problem. And we have big name Republicans like Noonan and Rove who end up aiding and abetting these folks with their focus on things that don’t matter.
The time for being swayed by the superficial is gone. I would vote for a bald, motorcycle riding Indiana governor. I would vote for an overweight, brash talking Jersey boy. I would vote for just about anyone willing to cut the government and take our economic woes and jobs despair seriously.
Get over the form. The next President better have substance. We’ve had three years of Barack Obama. That should inoculate anyone from the worries of being picked on for eight years by moronic Keynsians who sent America deeper into the morass.
It is the dawn of a new political day and I’m not sure many have caught up, yet.
Results matter. Go look to the states and look at the results of the policies of the states where the Governors supposedly lacking “gravitas” preside. Now look at what we have in the White House. Who has gravitas again?