Why did Newt Gingrich not see this coming? Was the swords’ reflection too bright? He thought it was the sun playing off, oh, I don’t know, DVDs of his latest debate tussle with Mitt Romney?
I’m speaking of the subject of this Washington Post article (playfully titled “The GOP empire strikes back”) that discusses the moves of the powerful, anti-Tea Party, GOP establishment to shoo Newt into a corner where he belongs so that Romney becomes the sole great white hope of the Republicans in their effort to oust Obama in November.
While I think Romney will have his earflaps handed to him in the fall, I couldn’t be more delighted that the knives are out for Newt.
The sad part is, why not before? Why let it get this far? Why allow Gingrich to scrape and claw at Romney in the death of a thousand cuts?
It’s been fun to watch, sort of. If it didn’t involve the future of the US, that is. And if it didn’t bring anguished howls of, “My kingdom for a GOP centrist!”.
Sorry. Those appear to have been cut down to extinction, as a play on the Australian “tall poppy” syndrome. Any Republican who shows signs of centrism, of humanity, of playing well with the Democrats, whoosh! Lopped off at the knees.
This conservative slugfest – where Ronald Reagan, were he still alive, would be regarded as a snot-nosed liberal – has astonished not just Americans. Our friends overseas are fascinated and frightened. What does this mean, they ask, that the GOP produced a slate of eight weirdos? Now it’s down to four. Or, as someone suggested the other day, two-point-five.
Romney, check. Gingrich, unfortunately check. The other two are Santorum and Paul, who threatens to be an applecart bouncer and run as a third-party candidate, which would be delightfully European of him. You would think that Paul, who dislikes all government except the part that deals with guns and missiles, would eschew corrupt European ways, but no.
So let’s look at why the GOP pundits (the word comes from Sanskrit, “learned man”) want to boot Gingrich out.
First (and last), Newt is unelectable. He just cannot beat Obama. Enough said. No matter how smart the man thinks he is, he’s not. Plus, while he may be a great debater, debate skills don’t run nations.
Second, remember those nasty ethics violations of Newt’s? The ones that cost him the highest Congressional fine in the history of the House? Yes, those. Gone and forgotten? No way. Newt’s like a hyena, protesting that it was a long time since he slashed at little Caroline.
Third, he has no playground skills. People in Congress with him despise the man. They don’t support him, why should anyone else?
Fourth, historian? Really? Scads of money from federal entities and he says they were for his historian skills? Really???
Fifth . . . this comes under the heading of “Life’s Not A Waffle, Life Is Linguini”. Remember when your brother poured syrup into one corner square of the waffle, and showed you it was contained, it didn’t leak toward every square? Yeah, well, life is linguini. Meaning every strand likely touches every other strand, and unethical behavior in one quarter indicates a man with an Ethics Quotient (EQ) of 50 in every other portion of his life.
Newt Exhibit A: Wife #1 ill with cancer, Newt wants divorce. After shtupping another woman, who becomes:
Newt Exhibit B: Wife #2 ill with MS, Newt wants divorce. After shtupping another woman, who becomes:
Newt Exhibit C: Wife #3, still healthy and Tiffany’s diamond-wearing, and do not tell me he’s not panting after other women because he’s, like, grown a conscience. Getouttahere! He’s 68 years old. He’s kept on a tight rein by Callista, who is as Machiavellian as he. He’s pretending to be a man who retains it is his trousers.
Although, as Yorkshiremen would say, “Newt’s all mouth and no trousers”, meaning he’s bombast without substance.
Five reasons are enough. Hell, the first one is enough. The long knives are coming out because Repub bigshots have had enough. They want Romney, and – like the coach who sends his unscathed quarterback unscathed into the fourth quarter after the rest of the team has slogged – they want him in tiptop shape. They cannot afford to let Gingrich toss mudballs and flick-knives at him.
Some of it might actually stick.