January 22, 2012

WRAPPING UP THE NOMINATION EARLIER MEANS YOU GET THE EPISODE OF BUYERS' REMORSE EARLIER:

Newt Gingrich and the Politics of Frustration (JAY COST, 1/22/12, Weekly Standard)

Conservatives are very frustrated, and rightfully so. Their feeling is that they play by the rules - they work hard, pay their taxes, raise their kids right - but what do they get for it? Their values are mocked on television and the movies, the media castigates them as a bunch of extremists, they pay taxes while half of the country does not, and the Obama administration took to demagouging them virtually from day one of his tenure. I know of what I speak - a few months back I was driving down the road and saw a sign in front of a business lamenting, "Where is the America I grew up in?" I nodded my head in approval.

Enter Newt Gingrich, the person on the debate stage who finally speaks truth to power. 'Not so fast, John King!' 'Hold it just a damned minute, Diane Sawyer!' 'How dare you talk to me like that, Brian Williams!' These are the sorts of thoughts that millions of conservatives have every week. And now here is Newt Gingrich actually saying it right to them. Never mind the fact that he is expressing indignation at liberals while sometimes offering not-so-conservative policies, or using it as a form of misdirection to turn attention away from his own questionable deeds. Conservatives everywhere love to hear somebody finally stick it to the elites.

This explains why they are excited about the prospect of an Obama-Gingrich debate. They love the thought of someone finally standing in front of Obama and saying, "How dare you, sir!"

The problem with Gingrich, of course, is that he comes with a cargo ship full of baggage - ideological, financial, and personal. Gingrich has made a career since leaving the House as a well-connected insider; he has bona fide ethical scandals on his resume. His personal life is a total mess, and he has turned off the broad middle of the country for the last 15 years. And on top of that, it's doubtful that all of this outrage is genuine. Consider, for instance, Gingrich warmly complimenting John King after the CNN debate this week. How do we square that with King having done something so "close to despicable" just 120 minutes earlier?

So, ironically enough, while Gingrich could well be the most suited of the three remaining major candidates to representing conservative frustration at the president in the fall, he could well be the least suited to pulling off an actual win in November.

Posted by at January 22, 2012 6:32 AM
  

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