Friday, May 13, 2011

One Trick Pony

You know, starting your presidential campaign off with a sullen excuse laden concession speech isn’t a good sign.

I’m just saying.

“If you are a conservative, you have to start with an assumption that you’re not going to get an even break from the elite media”

So said Newt Gingrich on Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night (Personally, the highlight of the interview for me was the unchallenged and explicit implication that Hannity and Fox are not part of the media’s elite, heh heh, but I digress).  Gingrich then petulantly explained how President Obama,

“can’t afford to run a fair election, if he was on an equal playing field, he’d lose.” 

According to Newt, Obama has the home court advantage of the presidency, support from the “left-wing media,” the labor unions love him, and so do billionaires like George Soros.  Jobs are coming back, the economy is recovering, Obama’s popularity is on the rise and there is no longer any doubt that the black man in the White House is as American as General Motors – a company which, you know, is profitable again for the first time in decades, and that’s two million jobs directly saved by the Obama administration just in case you need help with the math (Yes, yes, you got me, if you cut at your own flesh and feast upon your own excrement while waiting for the comet people to arrive on the mother ship, there’s still some nagging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. But for actual not crazy-stupid people, we’re good, thanks).

Left loudly unspoken, of course, was that fact that President Obama also has the “unfair” advantage of having command when Osama Bin Laden was brought to ground. 

Newt just doesn’t think that’s fair at all.

According to Newt, the game is rigged.

The message being: Obama will win reelection. But only because he cheats.

Newt didn’t actually use the term affirmative action, but then he didn’t actually have to, did he?

“I know how to get the whole country to resemble Texas, President Obama knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit.”

No, he didn’t actually have to say it at all.  His meaning – spoken and implied – is quite clear. And so is the target Newt was directing his comments at.

Newt Gingrich is the first Republican to formally declare a 2012 bid for the White House and it’s a pretty good bet that he’s setting the tone for what comes next.

What? Newt’s not the first? Who? Oh, him, the buffoon. Right. Look, I don’t count Trump.  Trump never actually declared, he’s still “exploring” his options (sort of how he does marriage too, apparently).  Besides he’s only a sort-of conservative and not a Republican per se.  He’s clearly engaged in an elaborate publicity stunt and not an actual presidential campaign.  Any day now, I expect Trump to don a red, white, and blue spandex suit complete with star-spangled cape and knee-high white vinyl boots and attempt a rocket-powered leap over the Trump Towers on a motorcycle trailing a banner promoting “The Apprentice in its new time slot!” The guy is not serious and never has been. How do I know this? Easy. He’d have to give up controlling interest in Trump Enterprises, start watching his big fat mouth, and make his private records public.  Think about that, really think about what that means.   Trump crowed about “forcing Obama to produce his birth certificate,” so he clearly understands exactly what he would have to make public if he were to actually declare for office. You really think he wants the public looking at, oh say, his construction development and casino dealings? His taxes? I mean, really? With Birther-like intensity? Yeah, there’s a reason why business leaders generally don’t run for the White House, hell, even Lee Iacocca didn’t do it and he actually had a pretty good chance of winning.   Trump is simply engaged in his usual bombastic chicanery, if people vote for him he sure won’t mind but he’s not serious about the White House (which is not to say that his ego won’t eventually force him into announcing a show campaign, just so he doesn’t have to admit that people like me are right. And just like the birth certificate “triumph,” he’ll declare that a victory when if he loses).

So, anyway, Newt Gingrich kicked off the first official challenge to Obama by laying the groundwork for failure.  

Not really what you’d call an auspicious start.  You’d think The Newt, of all people, would have better handlers.

Newt set up camp deep in the same hostile territory scouted by the likes of Sarah Palin and Joe Miller and Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell. Funny isn’t it, how when a Democrat wins office it’s only because voters were tricked by the liberal media, the unions, and George Soros, but when a Republican wins it has nothing to do with Fox News, Wall Street executives, and the Koch Bothers? (The lesson being that conservative billionaires are good and liberal billionaires are bad – bad, of course, because according to conservative doctrine and all the those bumper-stickers there aren’t supposed to be any liberal billionaires)

Gingrich deftly dodged questions about his personal life and instead focused on his Clinton Era victories like some aging florid-faced paunchy combover trotting out, yet again, those dusty fading pictures of himself back when he was the high school football squad captain.  What Newt fails to mention is that his political victories, like his shutdown of the US Government in 1995 and 1996, cost Americans billions – because when Newt wins, the rest of us get handed the tab for his victory celebration. And the really funny, and rather sad, part is that Newt’s big victory ended with Bill Clinton winning a second term, Newt’s team getting voted off the island, and old Newton himself quitting in dejection.  But, just like that old has-been jock, Newt can’t stop talking about that one time he threw the perfect long pass at homecoming, sure they lost the game and he never played again and he lost his scholarship and his sweetheart left him to date the entire chess club, but man wasn’t that something?

Now, it would be disingenuous to call Gingrich an idiot. He’s anything but – and there’s a fine bit of irony for a millionaire history professor and author with a doctorate from Tulane to be accusing other people of elitism, but again I digress.  He certainly knows his way around Washington, he’s the consummate Washington insider – note that he’s still in the middle of power more than a full decade after he resigned from office.  Conservatives deplore Obama’s supposed arrogance, but flock to a guy like Newt who has yet to take personal responsibility for his own actions – note that he blames his repeated inability to keep his pants zipped on the fact that he just loved America too much.  Personally I don’t care if Newt and the babysitter are playing senior division rodeo clown with the baloney pony, but I heard this exact same bullshit during the Clinton Administration.  And if the stress of office back then couldn’t keep him off the Hypocrisy Express what makes anybody think that the job of President is going to straighten him out? 

It’s a pattern, a well worn groove Newt is well set in, and if he loses this latest bid for power it sure won’t be his fault – he’s got his excuses all lined up and ready to go. 

If American conservatives are truly afraid of “change,” then Newt is their opportunity to get a great big second helping of the 1990’s – and the recently threatened government deadlock and shutdown is something every American better get used to in a Gingrich administration because it’s the only trick this pony knows.

If Newt does win the presidency, maybe he can get John Fogerty to perform Déjà Vu (All Over Again) at the inaugural ball.

But frankly, it sure sounds to me like he thinks he’s already lost.


  1. The GOP will never learn. People are sick to death of their lies about Obama, their lies about the media, and the claim that everyone who is against them is 'elite' while their millions make them 'just like you.' Right. And the moon is purple and the sea is orange, and Nerwt is a good little Christian, just like the picked upon millionaire Sarah. God, I am so sick of this. The media did not elect President Obama, the voters did. The media did not crucify Bush; his actions did. The media has done nothing but give Palin pass after pass for her lies and her angry rhetoric, but since victim is the only role these people know, they will milk ti to the hilt. I just wonder how he's planning to peel away dollars from Sarah's supporters.

  2. Now, it would be disingenuous to call Gingrich an idiot. He’s anything but....

    No, he's an idiot. A well-educated idiot. A successful idiot. But an idiot, nevertheless. There are different kinds of smarts. Gingrich is somebody who reminds one of that exchange in A Fish Called Wanda: "Apes don't read philosophy!" "Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it."

    By way of perspective, George W. Bush was, in a manner of speaking, not stupid: stupid people don't graduate Yale (even as legacies) and get MBAs from Harvard. But I don't think anyone but a few hardened conservatives would argue that Bush wasn't an idiot: Bush was an educated man and, in his way, a smart man, but he wasn't a man who had the imagination to be an intelligent man. Gingrich may be more intelligent--but he's also venal and foolish to an extent that it impairs his ability to think straight (consider how he lost his great power play to Bill Clinton--a cunning man beneath the "aw shucks" exterior--in the '90s, or the way Gingrich seems incapable of considering that his obvious moral failings may be a greater obstacle to his candidacy than Obama's incumbency and poll numbers).

    Anyway, I've read some of Gingrich's op-ed pieces. He isn't a smart man, whatever his education.

  3. (And, yes, I realize I use "intelligent" and "smart" and similar phrases in a slippery fashion in my comment: I know what I mean, but language is constraining me. Sorry.)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I liked Eric's reference to a Fish Called Wanda. That sums up Newt's smarts perfectly.

    I detest Newt for past and current, real and wished for on his part, sins against the people, especially women. I detest him with a capital D. Just the fact that he is back and talked about seriously is appalling. He's counting on the American short-attention-span and memory problems, and a largely underfunded, underused for real news/journalism news media.

    And speaking of the loons awaiting the end of the world (love your description), we are planning on buying some champagne and celebrating the apocalypes on the 21st and God's rescue of those chosen few we are not a part of, just for the heck of it.

  6. First of all, I don't think the Republican National Committee could come up with enough money to get John Fogerty to sing at a Newt Gingrich inaugural. Just sayin'.

    And it's a little known fact that when Jefferson Davis was taken into custody in May of 1865, the first thing he said to the Union officer who captured him was, "Fine, we lost. You may git yerselfs a negro President someday, but even you'll agree...we ain't never gonna sink so low as to elect some pudknocker named Newt!"

    Look it up; it's on the internet! (well, at least now it is.)

  7. Jim, the image of Newtie in spandex is just...gross. If that ever came to pass, we'd be a nation blinded by the sight of SuperPudgyManNewt. Truly a legend in his own mind.

    As for The Trump(et): We're all almost deaf from hearing him expound on how proud he is of his own little self, forcing that Big Bad Obama to prove (yawn) his place of birth. And the hair--I'm sure there's some sort of health code violation for wearing a small mammal atop his pate.

  8. Nick from the O.C.May 13, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    I actually had a personal interaction with Newt (just one) back in 2001 or 2002 or thereabouts. Jim is correct; he is a very intelligent and well educated man.

    That doesn't mean I'm going to vote for him, though. We had one of those guys in office back in 1979 and he drove me to the other party for, like, 25 years or so.

    I also like today's Washington Post story about how Newt's Number One priority is to lower taxes. Apparently because Bush didn't lower them enough....

  9. I think Newt the gnat follows the warmth of money. None of it is his own but he uses other's money to keep him warm. No matter how much he is swatted away, he keeps coming back for more.
    He, like Trump, has an overinflated ego. Me, myself and I.

  10. I was trying to interest my husband inyour blog earlier tonight, and he said, "Yeah, but the thing is, the people who really need to hear it won't" - meaning that various elected (and hope-to-be-elected) officials, news pundits, and so on, are unlikely to ever see your message or take the intellectual beating about the head and shoulders they so desperately need.

    And you know? After reading this, I think I agree. I REALLY think you or someone should get your words into the hands of a few Congressmen, news anchors, and whatnot. Ideally, into Newt's pudgy little hands. Waving a stick in their general direction is nice, but I'd *dearly* love to see it connect.

    Just, let me know if you do, so I can stock up on popcorn.

  11. First of all, I don't think the Republican National Committee could come up with enough money to get John Fogerty to sing at a Newt Gingrich inaugural. Just sayin'.

    I disagree, Nathan. Fogerty could sing that song that goes, "There's a baboon on the rise," and it would fit perfectly.


  12. As you note:

    "But frankly, it sure sounds to me like he thinks he’s already lost."

    If the newt were actually able to 'think,' he'd know he has ZERO chance of being President ... but, he'd also know that because of his entering the endeavor he just made it that much easier for President Obama to win - crushingly.

    Whether he knows it or not, that is exactly what the newt is enabling by campaigning.

    Yes.We.Can. ... DO.More.Together!

  13. I'm not terribly worried that he - or any other conservative at this point - might actually pull a win without massive blatant fraud on election night.

    What I am worried about is that they know this and that Newt's little sullen whine here is laying the groundwork to make their ignorant Tea Party and militia base assume that the Democrats' victory was illicit and that it's time for some of those Second Amendment Solutions they love so much...

  14. Well said, Jim. If we're picking songs for Gingrich's inauguration (perish the thought), might I recommend this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j01Wkw8Lqu4

  15. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/12/wash-let-it-dry-comb-it-thats-trumps-deal/?scp=4&sq=donald%20trump&st=cse


    The lower cite is a front page, below the fold, full page article about Trump and business practices.

  16. ls there a downside to running for president? He can amass a few mil and buy a congressman or senator with what is left over.

  17. That all sounds about right to me.
    Boy, the "liberal elite" media that Newt snivels about - Would that be the same media that reports his batshit crazy pronouncements as if they had some validity?
    Thought so.

  18. Newt was here in Middle GA telling his lies on yesterday. It doesn't seem as if crowds of republicans flocked to greet him.
    Here are some excerpts:

    "Several of Gingrich’s high-profile associates, including pastors Jim Garlow and Lou Engle and historical revisionist David Barton, espouse “Seven Mountains” theology -- a belief that government, business, media, education and other “spheres of influence” are dominated by Satan’s minions, and that Christians are obligated to seize control of all areas to herald the second coming of Jesus.
    Gingrich says he doesn’t have any knowledge of the idea.
    “I have no idea what you’re talking about it, and I can’t comment on it because I’ve never heard of it before,” he said. “Neither Garlow nor Barton nor anybody else has ever mentioned it to me.”

    On corporate taxes---

    "Referring to the recent announcement that General Electric managed to pay no corporate income tax last year despite posting multibillion-dollar profits, Gingrich said cutting taxes further would bring in more because companies will then “fire the lawyers and pay the government.”
    ”Obama believes ‘I can make life so painful for you that I’ll make you stay here and suffer,’ ” he said. “I believe that we ought to make life so pleasant for you that you voluntarily want to be here. So you’re going to have a ‘party of pain’ led by Obama, and a ‘party of happiness and pleasure’ led by Gingrich, and I think you can lure more companies with lower taxes.”

    Read more: http://www.macon.com/2011/05/14/1560167/gingrich-discusses-image-beliefs.html#ixzz1MLDayYfs

    Same old lies, same old pandering.

  19. Re: majii's comment:
    If anybody knows about "the party of happiness and pleasure" it's old Newt. You don't get to wife number three without pursuing happiness ... or a "happy ending."

    I think the newt lobby should sue for defamation of character.

  20. Jim, we seem to share common ground at the moment...you've got she who must not be named in your backyard, I got Newt. Ugh.

    Think I'll start a new campaign here: Neuter Newt.

    Oh, and for the record, I have seen Newt in running shorts & clingy (possibly spandex) warm-up gear. It’s worse than you think. Even now the image burns still burns in my eyes…

  21. Re: Rens comment about stealing the next election (paraphrasing)-that's what worries me because they did so to get Bush in office, twice. The exit polls were not wrong either time.

    I personally witnessed the disenfranchisement of low-income citizens of various stripes, and lower-income blacks in a specific area of the city, in Phoenix before and on voting day of Bush's second election. A close friend was in Florida escorting people in to vote who were being illegally turned away and she was shocked by what she witnessed.

    We still have all those iffy voting machines bought around the country after the first Bush election. We still have boundary re-drawings that made Republican wins a given. I don't believe the Democrats were voted for when the Republicans were bounced as much as the Republicans were voted against because the Democrats just can't seem to grasp how to communicate with large segments of Americans. People were feeling frightened and desperate and so voted so overwhelmingly against the Republicans the Democrats had to win regardless of Rebublican efforts to corrupt the election process (which shows how traumatized Americans really were).

    Young people poured out to vote for Obama, but they may be more complacent next time because they think he is a shoe-in.

    None of the problems with our election process have been reformed and the public is still awash in insecurity and panic, so the corruption of our next election is something to worry about.

  22. beemodern says,

    None of the problems with our election process have been reformed and the public is still awash in insecurity and panic, so the corruption of our next election is something to worry about.

    I've never forgotten the 2000 fiasco and it still burns my ass that they got away with it.

  23. beemodern The NY Times disagrees with you on the disputed 2000 Florida election.


    Please note that there are scenarios under which Gore would have won, but Gore had not requested a recount in the areas needed for those scenarios.

    In my mind this does not excuse the injunction against the recount, but it turns out not to have mattered.

  24. @Warner: The hanging chad issue and the federal supreme court handing victory to the Republicans despite the Florida supreme court trying to do the right thing and follow the legal and proper process was only one of multiple issues influencing the outcome of that election.

    As I said, the exit polls were not wrong, either time. For both Bush elections, the majority of voters leaving the polls thought they'd voted for Gore. The fact that the media let it go, took it on the chin as if their down-to-a-science exit polls were wrong, and that it continues to cloud the issue by ignoring to such a large extent the many problems with those elections, illustrates how diluted it has become by corporate ownership.

    Further, before and on election day for both of those elections, countless Americans were illegally and unfairly dropped from voter registration lists while many others were illegally turned away at the polls. Specific areas and segments of voters were targeted. The problem was especially rampant in the south, midwest, and southwest. It was a concerted effort to disenfranchise as many potential voters for the Democrats as possible.

    BTW, I've relatives in the south, and I've lived in a small, backwater, southern community and from what I saw myself, I have no problem believing the accusations that came from numerous such places, mostly from ethnic/racial minorities, about local police and sheriffs' deputies interfering with their ability to even get to the polls on voting day.

    After the first little Bush election, faulty, unreliable, corruptible electronic voting machines were sold to election boards around the country. Over night, suddenly the old fashioned method was too slow and unreliable, so they just had to purchase the new technology, once again making a couple of companies a lot of money. Of course, those couple of companies are also in the Republican camp.

    We then had the same problems in the second Bushy election that we did in the first, except fewer paper ballots and nary a peep about how the electronic machines messed up in multiple places and people were complaining their votes were not recorded accurately, while others complained they had no way to tell if the machines even recorded their votes let alone for whom they voted. We still have those machines waiting for the next election because locals spent big bucks on them and feel they can't just ditch them, not even to do what is right (save that one lone election official somewhere in the south, but I've forgotten where and his name). We've also all been convinced immediate results is somehow an imperative, despite the fact that after elections, the incumbent is still in office for weeks to months afterward so there isn't really a rush after-all.

    The narrow focus of this argument distracts us from and ignores the extent of manipulation corrupting our elections, and the corruption is mostly from the supposedly most patriotic, American-lovin' political party.

  25. @Warner: And I forgot to say, I don't think the NY Times article disagrees with me, but supports my point.

  26. "A comprehensive review of the uncounted Florida ballots from last year's presidential election reveals that George W. Bush would have won even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward."

    First paragraph of the Times article I quoted.

    At which point I will say no more.

  27. I did not say that Bush stole the 2000 election because of only one incident, or only one decision on the part of Gore as to which parts of Florida to recount. (He did initially ask for an entire state recount, but weanied out and compromised.) Frankly, I don't know why anyone without a cynically partisan Republican agenda would insist on making that their sole point of reference in examining the 2000 election's outcome.

    As for the NY Times article, I get it, but don't think it is relevant. It is a too narrow context. The article's details and acknowledgment that even its conclusion is dependent on too many variables, making it really nothing but a guessing game with a conclusion open to debate, renders it irrelevent in my view. There was much of that when the article was published in 2001, as if the mental masturbation of focusing on only one small aspect of the entire spectacle somehow reassured or relieved guilt for some.

    What's the point? Why insist on focusing on only one conclusion gained from the most narrow perspective/scenario as if it is conclusive and represents the totality of the complaints and irregularities regarding that election?

    It's all the dots connected, those both included and not included in the article, that matter. At least they should matter to a representative democracy implementing honest, fair elections.

  28. It is an interesting article though, especially the part about the who-knows-how-many ballots thrown out for a variety of reasons, thereby removing large segments of Gore voters' ballots so they were not even in the equation by the time the decisions regarding a recount were made. The state really needed a second voting day for a do-over.

    Of course, Florida wasn't the only state that should have held a do-over vote. Florida was just the deciding factor at that moment and received the attention. The extent of "irregularities" in other states hadn't been fully reported yet when we were all focused on Florida.

    It didn't help that the national media was blaring hysterically that we were having a crisis and waiting for the lawful process to be fully implemented would take too long! God forbid! We must have instant results! Under the pressure, Gore chose to throw in the towel.

    The media let us down by eating crow instead of investigating and reporting thoroughly when the fishy smell grew strong.

    Dots. Lots of dots.

  29. Oh crap. Already with the next election. Pretty soon the US will just be 24/7/365 election fever.

  30. Yes, Newt is a has-been washed-up failure who, for whatever bizarre reason, seems to look for another opportunity to fail.

    I love your comment "Personally I don’t care if Newt and the babysitter are playing senior division rodeo clown with the baloney pony, but I heard this exact same bullshit during the Clinton Administration." Priceless!

    Please keep up the good work on your blog. You have a following in Kodiak!

  31. The ole Newter has discovered that for keeping one's brand alive, nothing is better than a putative run at the Presidency. Look how long Ralph Nader played that game with never even a slim chance of winning. One can only hope that by acting in his own self-interest, Newt will waste normally GOP votes the way Nader wasted Democratic votes. In fact, I'm disappointed that Huckleberry chose not to run. That would have been yet another fracture.

  32. At this stage, announcing a run, exploring your options preparatory to a run and making political noises on the talk shows have little to do with the actual political process. Newt, Sarah, the Donald, Rand, et al are just fattening up the purse for their next book advance, reality tv show contract or speaking circuit fee.

  33. Great one!

    I don't think there is any way Newt Gingrich actually thinks he's going to be the nominee.

    The guy needs to bump up his going rate for speeches is all.

    If nothing else, Gingrich is completely unable to restrain himself from saying incredibly stupid things spontaneously - and I don't see any indication that hs has suddenly acquired verbal discipline.

    Still... we need to remember who this guy/was and behave acordingly. Just in case.

  34. don't these folks ever eat dirt and die?
    Newt Gingrich? for the love of gawd. NO!

  35. I am slowly working my way through your entire archives. The old articles (like this one) that mention Trump are really painful.


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