Saturday, December 3
Even For WaPo That's A New Low, Vol. LXXVI
I'M NOT even gonna link the article, out of respect, since the author no doubt went home and killed his family before turning the gun on himself.
Fer chrissakes, that headline; it's like the Escher print my math-major roommate hung in our dorm room, with the fish that turned into birds; by the time you get to the right-hand side you figure the white space must be where the meaning is, since the stuff in black doesn't make any sense at all.
"Newt Gingrich as president"? The concept relies on little more than his status as Top Non-Romney of the Week plus the fact that you can arrange those words in English to make a clause. Considering the fate of the last seven Republican poll toppers, is it prudent to even begin speaking of him as a candidate at this point, let alone a nominee, let alone, oh, fuck why not, as President? Perhaps it's a good time to mention this Greenwald piece from ten days ago, about the reception Ron Paul got from Bob Schieffer. Paul may not deserve serious consideration as a serious candidate, but his ideas about US international adventurism are far from sui generis, and far from outside the themes of mainstream political thought, either here, or, especially, in the Free World. If Paul had been the most recent recipient of the Random Disaffected Republican Poll Numbers Racket instead of Gingrich, would we be hearing about his potentially "idea"-brimming administration? Or about what an unacceptable crackpot he was?
Which brings us to "Ideas". Paul has ideas. Not very good ones, often, and not competently developed, but established lines of thought about real-world problems. Gingrich has a habit of tossing out shit to see what sticks. Why this is considered an amazing intellectual feat independent of the quality of the thoughts he seemingly blurts out is beyond me. Why it continues to be touted as such when there's four decades of evidence that he's incapable of having a good idea needs an explanation, though I'm sure we can rule out "because we now have a political press corps largely composed of cynical nitwits interested only in their paychecks, the location of the open bar, and the continued opportunity to receive warm jism showers from the rich and powerful".
"White House ideas factory"? This is the same fucking Press corps which has for the last four decades expressed its overweening admiration for "the ability to stay on message". Complexity in a single idea, let alone by the passel, was the Kiss of Death. Overloading one's plate was a foolish rookie mistake, a sign of intellectual hubris, or both. But, you know, the same imaginary hook the Press hangs its Gingrich, v. 6.5, script on is going to continue through his administration. Ideas! He has them! He'll be churning out "solutions" to "problems" the way a cabal of religious loonies in the Kansas statehouse churns out legislative calendar cloggers!
Sure he will.
And won't it be fun, too, since it's precisely what our politics has been lacking the past fifty years: Republicans coming up with new ways to obfuscate their plutocratic intentions.
And might we just mention, meanwhile, that this is what we've thought of Gingrich since he first hit the national radar like a bug hitting a windshield? He's a loudmouthed, tenth-rate shit peddler who happened to come along late enough that being an outright racist was no longer viable, but when crafting variations on the States' Right Theme Song was a growth industry. He's George Wallace if someone had managed to convince Wallace to quit playing demagogue and make money holding Get Rich In Real Estate seminars. He's Strom Thurmond for an era when you could no longer feel up the housemaid without fear she might knee you in the nuts (so Jungle Fever became Peroxide Fever). He's the Disco Richard Nixon. It's entirely meaningless to ask about his "baggage" or to wonder about his reception from evangelicals. The fact that Newton Leroy can still appear in public without being pelted by rotten vegetables hurled from all sides of the political spectrum at once tells you we're now in a hole we're never getting back out of.
Labels: Palin 2012