Friday, December 16, 2011
"Mean resentments and implanted fears"
Photo via Hysterical Raisins
We've seen so many in this weak group of contenders rise and fall--hello Michele, hello Donald, hello, Governor Good Hair, hello Mr. Cain!--once their frightening weaknesses and lack of basic knowledge have been painfully exposed. We've seen the base say "thanks but no thanks" to Willard as each new date is asked to the nomination prom and then, like capricious pubescents, rejects them as soon as a new hottie gives them a hopeful tweet.
But their newbie idol, Newt, has me wondering how low can the GOP sink to scrounge up a nominee that keeps their grinchy hearts throbbing in anticipation of the victory they so desperately want in 2012 over the dreaded Kenyan Marxist Socialist Commie.
Newt Gingrich? Thrice married serial adulterer? The disgraced former Speaker of the House? The epitome of the Washington insider? A flip-flopper who would make Willard envy his acrobatics in pandering? The guy who took almost $2 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for his "historical" influence peddling? IOW, this guy is everything the evangelical base detests in a candidate, and yet there he is--for now--their newtest American golden idol!
How can this be?
James Wolcott, writing in Vanity Fair, describes his assessment of Newt Gingrich in the GOP's race to the bottom for the least likely politician to be its presidential nominee for 2012.
"One reason I’m such a wayward prognosticator of rightwing trends is that I’m incapable of blacking out enough neural sectors to see the world through reptilian-brained eyes, a prerequisite for any true channeling of the mean resentments and implanted fears that drive hardcore conservatives. I also make the mistake of believing that they believe what they profess to believe, which they clearly don’t, otherwise they wouldn’t be inclining to crown Newt king of the marsh. That a thrice-married Catholic convert with a history of marital infidelity would win the flinty hearts of Tea Partiers while true evangelicals such as Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry would find themselves standing on the platform as the train whooshes by, abandoned and bewildered--well, go figure. That a third-rate futurist spieler who rides every wave of pop guru bullshit and management theory would appeal to those who pride themselves on their unyielding, unchanging bedrock values also falls into the “does not compute” category. To most of us, Newt Gingrich has the mothball mustiness of a has-been who peaked [when] the 'Contract with America,' fell from grace with the House Republicans he led, and has fed his ego and bank balance ever since.
Newt’s shoestring Lazarus resurrection in the polls is a testament to perseverance and ingenuity--to the Power of Gall--but it’s also an indictment of the wet-cardboard strength of the rest of the Republican field. Here they have a clean shot to take the White House in 2012 and they troop out this Gong Show cast of contestants, most of whom couldn’t find their ass on a map and speak entirely in re-masticated phrases and sentiments tossed into their mouths by Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, and Frank Luntz for years. The Republican field reflects the weak-minded, strong-willed prejudices of its base, hooked up to Fox News as if it were an IV drip. So when rightwing bloggers complain about the candidates, they need someone to skywrite for them, 'If they suck, it’s because YOU suck. You’re the guys who believed once upon a fairy tale that Fred Thompson was a political steamroller and that Herman Cain was a fresh breeze.' I guess that’s a bit wordy for skywriting, but you get my meaning, sis."