Will he be stopped? If it were Christmas Day, I’d say it would be tough to do. But it is December 7th and I’ll be very, very surprised if Gingrich’s numbers hold up until January 3.

Why? There is just so much trouble that can rain down on his head in very fast order.

The only Speaker of the House to be driven from his Speakership and his Seat in the House because of a combination of ethics violations, ineffective leadership, and general obnoxiousness, he became a money making enterprise whose only real product was influence through his association with those in government.

In that capacity, he has sold awards from his so-called leadership foundation to many persons, groups and businesses including strip clubs (and then hastily withdrawn them when the progressive press did a little digging). He took donations for a book reading incentive program and used 80 percent of the money to pay three cronies. He earned a small fortune as a “historian” charged with making Fannie and Freddie too good to believe. There is a lot of this with Gingrich.

Gingrich is very vulnerable on matters of policy. Focus on Gingrich’s past policy statements in support of cap-and-trade, the need for a federal health insurance mandate, proposals to legalize medical marijuana, support of what he called the model GSE’s Freddie and Fannie, his strong defense of climate change as established science etc. and you know he stands on a foundation made of sand. Gingrich has made a career of saying whatever those who pay him want him to say.

Now consider what is supposed to be one of his greatest strengths but what is actually his Debate Achilles Heel. Have you seen the clip where Gingrich promised that if Obama didn’t agree to a series of three hour Lincoln Douglass debates, Gingrich would follow Obama around the country giving intellectual deconstructions of whatever Obama had just said in a given city? Gingrich is doing something really dangerous here by raising already inflated expectations about his skill as a debate performer.

What many conservatives believe has been his performance in debates has produced the sense that Gingrich would kill Obama in a debate. But if you’ve seen Gingrich debate with a prepared opponent from the left-of-center his performance pales. I once saw Gingrich take on Ralph Nader….and get killed. He does not do well in formal interviews with journalists and avoids them. Conservatives have seen Gingrich tell off debate moderators and are fantasizing about Gingrich reducing Obama to a puddle by telling Obama to his face that he is a socialist, secularist, bureaucratic, Kenyan, statist, reactionary, blah, blah, blah.

But several factors have gone into Gingrich’s so-called strong debate performances which point to his inherent weakness.

First is that he has a very good sense of what conservative narratives resonate with on the national level (though as the Ryan “right-wing social engineering” thing showed, this sense isn’t flawless.) As a result he is great at doing what he as been paid to do for many years, telling them what they want to hear.

Second, he has smartly picked his fights with the debate moderators,the easily targeted main stream media, and the absent President Obama rather than his fellow Republican candidates.

Third, the other candidates have mostly left him alone to do his Gingrich thing assuming he was a non-player. The incentive is now there for Bachmann, Perry, Paul and Santorum to go at Gingrich hard and from all kinds of directions at the Republican debates that are going to happen in the next couple of weeks. Gingrich is the key to a potentially far right big bump for one of the also-rans.

So, the next two debates pose several kinds of risks for Gingrich.

The first
is that the other candidates will publicize his record as a pro-federal health insurance mandate, pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, paid shill for Freddie Mac working as a crony capitalist, flip-flop artist. The charges are bad enough, but it is worse that these charges are true.

The second is that there is a substantial portion of Gingrich supporters who know most of this and look past it because they think the Republicans need a Gingrich-type slugger as their nominee to defeat Obama in the general election. They don’t support him because they think he is a good guy. They support him because they think he is rough, tough, wickedly smart, and an invincible debater. BUT, if Gingrich gets bruised by all the attacks that will come in the next couple of debates, he won’t just look like a pro-federal health insurance mandate, pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, paid shill for Freddie Mac working as a crony capitalist, flip-flop artist. He will also look like an overrated, washed up loser posing as a bully.

And he has other problems.

A penchant for divisive language. Newt, as a rhetorical device, will use the most divisive possible language to describe his position vs. his opponent’s position. He’ll then use that to bring you to his side. That’s the kind of thing he does when the adrenaline’s flowing….and he is not considering the damage he is doing…to himself. It is a great way to make a news splash and to make lots of enemies. Often unnecessarily so.

Too many ideas at once.
He really is a man with lots of ideas. The problem is, if you get thirty ideas a day, some of them won’t be benign, some of them will contradict ideas from yesterday or the day before and some of them will be badly conceived from start to finish. He has few intellectual brakes or filters. He has no advisers, counselors, or confidantes.

No base of support in the House GOP remains. His base of support over the years have been the House Republicans. But the influence he peddled for years had waned. Many of his old colleagues in the House were no longer there, and many of those who are remember him negatively. In recent years his “Solutions” network has grown less and less important as his ersatz influence has been exposed. And now a number of them are speaking aloud their disdain for him and their fear of his candidacy, or worse, his presidency.

At the root of it all, Gingrich’s greatest weakness is a megalomania that is truly epic. From this narcissist’s point of view, the public has no choice: God has given him superhuman powers to use for their good whether they like it or not.

If Gingrich were a stock, I’d say sell high, which means sell soon.

Previous articleThe Daily Planet, Vol. 176
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Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican (from 1965 through 2004)who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. I was a professor of history, and am now a researcher and gentleman farmer. My political positions are mixed - thus my preferred identification as a Progressive Independent. I am conservative on matters of military intervention, in regard to abortion, immigration, the public school system, gun rights, taxation, voter ID. But I am a traditional conservative, a Buckley, National Review, Eisenhower Republican..... I am a liberal on matters of health care care, funding education, taxation (yes one can be both liberal and conservative on this), civil rights, and alternative energy development/climate change.

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bito
Member

Can Newt win the primary without out the GOP establishment behind him? They do hold the purse stings and is he ‘Rove enough’, ‘Koch enough’? Or does it even matter to him?

Peggy Noonan alludes that the people that who know him, don’t trust or like him–unstable. People that only know him from afar like him and only see his bulldog attitude-the rest doesn’t matter.

Will Rove start one of his infamous whispering campaigns and stay with Mitt?

Gingrich Is Inspiring—and Disturbing
The first potential president about whom there is too much information.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203413304577086824255350642.html?mod=opinion_newsreel

Those who know him fear—or hope—that he will be true to form in one respect: He will continue to lose to his No. 1 longtime foe, Newt Gingrich. He is a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, “Watch this!”

What they fear is that he will show just enough discipline over the next few months, just enough focus, to win the nomination. And then, in the fall of 2012, once party leaders have come around and the GOP is fully behind him, he will begin baying at the moon. He will start saying wild things and promising that he may bomb Iran but he may send a special SEAL team in at night to secretly dig Iran up, and fly it to Detroit, where we can keep it under guard, and Detroiters can all get jobs as guards, “solving two problems at once.” They’re afraid he’ll start saying, “John Paul was great, but most of that happened after I explained the Gospels to him,” and “Sure, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize, but only after I explained how people can think fast, slow and at warp speed. He owes me everything.”

AdLib
Admin

I mentioned below, I think that being attacked by the GOP Establishment which is despised by the core GOP voters, namely Baggers, only improves Newt’s attraction to the Baggers.

The GOP primary will be decided by the Tea Party. They disdain the very people who are attacking Newt. They and Newt are now being pushed together even more and Newt is looking more sympathetic, as the lone gunslinger being ambushed by the bad guys.

I doubt Baggers will begin now looking at substance, they just look at things simplistically so the specific charges against Newt will likely be ignored.

All they will see is the bomb thrower they want representing him, being piled on by those they feel have betrayed them.

Again, this is total speculation on my part but I would lean towards Newt’s lead being solidified the more he’s attacked then being destroyed.

KQµårk 死神
Member

The baggers hate the establishment GOP as much as the media so I think this only helps Gingrich with his base.

So far the base is laughing off Romney going negative and actually they should. So far Romney has criticized Newt for being against the GHWB tax increases and being supporting the individual mandate. The base obviously hates tax increases and on the mandate Romney is a total hypocrite.

Newt is their guy unless something major happens. Actually I looked at the numbers from 2007-2008 and Romney is tanking over a month earlier this time. His decline has been the only steady trend in the GOP race.

bito
Member

I agree with most of that KQ and the polls are supporting you, but without any organization and a much smaller bankroll, will Newt be able to GOTV/rides to the polls…. and combat a serious attack against him from the establishment GOP and some in the RR? I just don’t know. I’m a bit old school and when I used to work on campaigns it took more than polls, it took money and organization and him not having either it would be an anomaly for him to pull of a convincing win in the primary.
I’m no help at all, I have more questions than answers. 🙂

KQµårk 死神
Member

I agree Romney’s money and organization helps. I just think the attacks by what they call the lame stream media and big government establishment Republicans won’t.

I also think Romney’s attacks so far are laughable and have already backfired to some extent.

SallyT
Member

KQ, I certainly don’t think Romney is helping himself any. He should just keep with the money Newt made from Fannie May and the other stuff he has been on the take with while not in office. You can attack Newt’s character with his being thrown out as Speaker of the House. FlipFopping is one of the dumbest thing he could throw at Newt. He will get the same and more in that particular area from Newt at him.

SueInCa
Member

Bito
I think that is his goal exactly. One thing he will not be able to handle w/o blowing up is Obama’s chuckle when someone has said something that is preposterous. His evil twin will appear and he will blow it. I think that chuckle really got to McCain.

Nirek
Member

I like to learn from history. Newt is one big hypocrite. Remember when he was pushing to impeach Clinton for his indiscretions while he was having an affair with one of his staffers. (now his third wife)
To me that is as hypocritical as you can get. I prefer NOT to have a hypocrite as my President.

bito
Member

Nirek, You may like to learn from history, but Newt is an historian and he wants you to forget that chapter, he has.

Some more history from the historian: The Palestinians are really just “Ottomanians” 😉

Newt Gingrich Thinks Palestinians Are an ‘Invented’ People

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dHWJWJocD6A

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/12/newt-gingrich-thinks-palestinians-are-invented-people/45998/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1211/Gingrich_Palestinians_invented_promises_Netanyahustyle_foreign_policy.html

Nirek
Member

Newt is an intellectual snob. Not an intellectual. Just a snob who thinks he is smarter than all the rest of us.

escribacat
Member

Love love love that picture. These people are all pretty arrogant but Newtie really is in love with himself, or as Maureen Dowd said, “Newt Gingrich’s mind is in love with itself.” It’s probably been posted by someone here but Celere gave me this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/opinion/sunday/dowd-out-of-africa-and-into-iowa.html

Emerald1943
Member

Hi Murph! Very nice! I believe you nailed this one on the head…the very LARGE head! 🙂

I do remember the time when Newt was in charge back in the 90’s. He was just as disgusting then as he is now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an ego in my life!

There are a lot of voters who don’t know Newt like we older folks know Newt. It is going to be interesting as the information drips out in the next couple of months, and people get to know Newt like we do. There will be some who deny that this man is seriously ethically challenged, but over time, the truth will come out. Personally, I can’t wait!

Thanks for your article! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

GO OBAMA!

SueInCa
Member

From Juanita Jean’s blog:

http://juanitajean.com/

December 07, 2011

And you know that because he’s is fabulously insulted that Hillary Clinton and President Obama made speeches yesterday saying that it is not right to harass and and murder gay people.

I mean, I’m pretty much almost kinda sure that Rick doesn’t think it’s right to harass and murder gay people. He just doesn’t think telling right wing extremest not to harass and murder gay people should be said out loud.

After both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made impassioned speeches Tuesday urging gay rights abroad, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry issued a response decrying the “deeply objectionable” gay lifestyle.

“This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country,” Perry said in a statement.

And then he goes on to say …

“This administration’s war on traditional American values must stop,” Perry said.

I want you to look at the crop of Republican presidential candidates and tell me what traditional American values are according to them. Good Lord, there ain’t a one of them who can enter a church without fear of a lightening strike.

But, it’s the gay one that gets Rick on a roll. And that’s because Rick Perry is not gay.

Just wanted you to know.

bito
Member

Sue, I sent this PPP poll to Reverend Sue, a twitter follower of PPOV and an ordained pastor fighting for LGBT/human rights. I saw the Perry ad the same day I saw the poll and asked her how do the R’s expect to win with gay bashing. This poll is from Arizona not some ‘librul’ state! I realize that AZ has their strong libertarian leanings and they are controlled by ALEC, but c’mon Gov. Goodhair, your ad won’t even play well in AZ. This was an act/ad of desperation and may work with some of the most rabid in some primaries, but it will be played again by the Dems in the general. What a loser.

AZ pro-civil unions, remembers Goldwater fondly

KillgoreTrout
Member

Goldwater had a gay nephew (I think it was a nephew) and Goldwater spoke out in favor of having gays in the military nearly 50 years ago. Today’s GOPTP would call Goldwater a commie librul.

SueInCa
Member

Bito

I just cannot figure them out. For Perry to post that ad so virulent about Gays was plain stupid. Their hatred knows no bounds.

AdLib
Admin

I think this was just.a cynical and desperate cry for help by Perry to get the RR to save his nosediving campaign.

It won’t work, even the RR can see he’s dumb as a basket of potatoes. They’ve got their guy in Newt and I doubt they’ll change their minds. They’ll just enjoy the rush of self-righteous hatred of those who are different then bask in the far more rotten stench of Newt.

bito
Member

Hey, even a basket of potatoes grows eyes.

Cynical? I’m not sure, Desperate? Most likely. Plainly stupid, definitely.
Beyond the Iowa caucus, the RR will be marginalized. IMHO, and of course they will be appealed to (they always are– they vote.) but this election is “Who can beat that Commie Fascist Big Gubment Obama (and a black man)” and the economy, don’t you think?

Curious, has anyone actually seen his ad on the TeeVee or or is it all the internets and cable “news”?

SallyT
Member

Bito, I think it is running in Iowa only right now.

SueInCa
Member

I always say dumb as a box of rocks

KillgoreTrout
Member

Great movie. Great line.

SueInCa
Member

Kt, I remember that from the same movie

KillgoreTrout
Member

My personal preference is “dumber than a bag of hammers.” That was a line in the movie “Oh Brother Where Art Thou!”

SallyT
Member

Sue, what is even more stupid is Perry is wearing the same jacket that Heath Ledger wears in Brokeback Mountain.

SueInCa
Member

Yeah Bito pointed it out to me too.

SallyT
Member

Well, I tried to get the picture on her to show but I can’t get it to show. Darn it!

SallyT
Member

“Traditional American values”? By whose standards? I don’t think I would give any of my values for a half a dozen of his.

Nirek
Member

Sally , I would not take his values for free. He has poor family values in my opinion.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

Everyone is gone so I am watching tv, Matthews and he ran a clip of Tom Coburn finding Newt’s leadership lacking. Other GOP under Newt’s House leadership saying “House on Fire!”

SallyT
Member

Murph, I will be interested in seeing Newt handle the others in debate now that they will be coming after him. I don’t know if he has much of a challenge, however. Maybe Mitt will get ugly with him and I do think Mitt has a hell of a temper. Or Ron Paul who has been around as long as Newt. And, I do think that Huntsman has nothing to lose, so, he could hit Newt with facts. I think Huntsman is the smartest of them all. If Bachmann trys and Newt responds hateful or rude towards her, that won’t look good for him. Anyway, it will be interesting to watch.

Emerald1943
Member

Hey Sally! Good comment! I would have to agree with you, especially about Huntsman. If the rethugs had a brain between them all, they would nominate him. He, alone, would be the most formidable against PBO.

It’s interesting that you mentioned Romney’s temper. I kinda’ got the impression that he is simmering just under the surface and that if he blows, it will be amazing!

As for Newt, oh well…what can one say?? This man has so much really damaging baggage that there is no way he can ever win the general election. The ads should be really fun to watch when the DNC gets going.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Hey Em. Mittens came close to blowing his top during that FOX interview last week. It was very fun to watch.

SallyT
Member

Emmy, I think Romney has an ugly temper and when he can no longer control it, well, it will be a hell of a blow!

jjgravitas
Member
jjgravitas

Correct me if I’m wrong. Was Gingrich the guy who claimed the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal represented a “national security crisis” (remember, this was years before nine-eleven)? Or was it Tom Delay? Or was it both of them (Gingrich and Delay were thick as thieves back then)? Tom Delay was another guy who left congress while being investigated for corruption, and I haven’t heard from him since. Perhaps he’s in prison.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

jjgravitas, ooooooh, let me check. I was hoping for a conviction but lost track after “Dancing With the Stars”!

bito
Member

Made me look jj, 😉 I couldn’t remember either.

He was Republican Party (GOP) House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in connection with a campaign finance investigation. He was convicted of money laundering in January 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison but is free on bail while appealing his conviction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_DeLay

jjgravitas
Member
jjgravitas

My bad. Don’t know why I thought Gingrich and Delay were in Congress at the same time. Oh well. My original point was that as embarrassing as the Lewinsky scandal was, the republican-led Congress made it that much worse by claiming it represented a threat to out “national security” in order to punish Clinton as severely as possible. And Gingrich had everything to do with that. Just another example of how Gingrich twists truth for political gain.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

oh shoot bito, I didn’t scroll. lol! It figures he’s still out on bail.

SueInCa
Member

Murph

In a Democratic party candidate all of what you say would most likely be true, not so for the right. He will get the evangelical vote after the leaders have given him the sufficient dressing down in public. They will do this in order to give permission to their followers that he has been chastised and is now a “clean” candidate. I read one such item last week already. If he shows his “come to jesus” moment, all will be forgiven. I wish I could remember which RR nutcase wrote it.

Then you have to look at his RR affiliations. A lot is made of him being a Catholic to take the focus off RR evangelical affiliations he has. They are:

David Barton- erstwhile revisionist historian and flaming evangelical

Mr. Barton is joined by fellow Christian minister Jim Garlow, widely credited with organizing the evangelical support for California’s same-sex marriage ban, and acting Chairman of the Board at ReAL. In addition to his duties as chairman, Pastor Garlow also acts as one of Newt Gingrich’s top spiritual advisers. Both are staunch advocates of Seven Mountains Dominionism, a fringe Evangelical Christian movement, and regularly discuss the need for religion to have a greater impact on our government.

Renewing American Leadership – The political unit of a religious conservative group called Renewing American Leadership, whose honorary chair is Newt Gingrich, is aiming to raise $500,000 to $1 million for high-stakes political issues in its first year. Their website:

http://www.torenewamerica.com/the-real-doctrine

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/newt-gingrich-and-dominionists

AdLib
Admin

Let’s bet a virtual dollar. I think that the conventional wisdom you describe is out of step with the reality out there.

The Tea Party voters know who Newt is and that’s okay with them. They won’t stampede away from him because it’s brought up that in the 1990’s he had ethics violations.

Sometimes, it’s hard for the reasoned to understand the mind of the unreasonable. All the points you make will be valid reasons for moderates and indies not to vote for Newt in a GE but I think it is mistaken to think they apply to the minds of Baggers.

What seems to be clear is that Baggers, who make up the majority of GOP voters, vote on emotion, not reason. You can throw all those facts at them and they will still say, “I like Newt because he’s not afraid to body slam Obama and attack the liberal media!”

They simply don’t seem to care about moral and ethical issues in their candidates…which is convenient because none of them have any moral or ethical values.

The best candidate to them is the one who can be the most vicious and voice all the hatred they have for Obama, Dems, Progressive issues, the media, and “the other” (poor, black, Latino, women, etc.).

That trumps everything else.

And you have to really understand this whole “redemption” scam Newt has insulated himself with. These ultra-religious zealots are total suckers for anyone who “converts”, no matter how calculated, insincere and cynically utilitarian it is to a politician.

So, Newt is forgiven by them for his entire past. All the points you make? That was him as a sinner. Now he is saved. So each issue that you and I and Indie voters may see as devastating to Newt, they see as only more of a reason to embrace him for his sins.

We’ll see what the following weeks will bring but today’s polls only show Newt’s popularity growing and Mitt’s declining:

rcp1

rcp6

rcp7

rcp2

rcp3

rcp4

rcp5

escribacat
Member

Hey Adlib, Maybe we need to set up some kind of a “tabulator” for the GOP nomination. They could each start out with a hundred marbles. Every time they make a gaffe they lose an appropriate number of marbles. Every time a poll comes out that makes them look good, they get more marbles. At the end, the Gooper with the most marbles gets the nomination!

AdLib
Admin

The only problem with that is that it seems that all of the GOP Presidential hopefuls have already lost their marbles.

SallyT
Member

Maybe they should just nominate a dead guy. If people are this stupid, just run Reagan again.

KillgoreTrout
Member

SallyT
Member

KT, LOL leave it to you to find this! But, you know, Reagan hasn’t changed a bit since his last 2 years in office, has he? Looks and sounds just the same. Wow!

funksands
Member

Ad, I’ll take that bet. Newt enjoys thinking out loud too much to last.

foodchain
Member
foodchain

funk/adlib, well, this will be fun as both positions are true. He can’t stay on track and his history is “pre-digested”. And Callista looks like she could keep a freight train on track, totally steely woman!

What if moderate GOP or independents-where they can vote- tune out and don’t vote primaries? Look at how many Democrats and independents refused to vote 2010. It’s one more consideration.

I like the idea of Newt vs Obama but I finally have come to distrust the intelligence of the American people

AdLib
Admin

You’re on, Funk. I think the only people who will care about that are Dems and Moderates who aren’t voting in the GOP Primary.

Baggers like people who are loud and mean, what could Newt say that could alienate these people? He knows to just say incendiary things about those things that Baggers hate, I don’t see him upsetting them.

funksands
Member

Ad, I’m talking about him saying something very moderate. The rabid base won’t stand for that. One bad slip-up as the frontrunner and his support will begin to melt away.

AdLib
Admin

It’s possible but I’d suggest that having gained the front runner spot for being extremist, if he makes a slip, it would be on the extreme side, not the moderate and it would only help him with the Baggers.

Don’t see how one moderate comment would make Baggers flock to the far more moderate candidate, Mitt. I mean, if they don’t like moderate, they don’t like it.

SueInCa
Member

AL

I think you are looking at a more careful Newt at this point. Still a megalomaniac but much more careful. The baggers, as you say will love him the more obstinate he becomes. He said yesterday in response to Romney’s attack ads, “I am running against Obama at this time” The baggers will eat that kind of talk up.

funksands
Member

Ad, if they are both viewed as moderates, then the baggers stay home. Then Romney wins.

KQµårk 死神
Member

I’ve got to go with you on this one AdLib.

AdLib
Admin

Whoa, cool name treatment! Am I late in noticing?

Yep, I detest Newt but if the last year has taught us anything about the GOP base, Baggers that is, they are irrational and are rabidly faithful to the most cruel and hateful politicians.

On that count, Newt tops Mitt big time.

I do think that Mitt will now go into a new phony mode, acting the part of the angry, nasty pol but it will be as unconvincing as every other facade he presents.

kesmarn
Admin

…And as if he’d read your last paragraph, AdLib, right on schedule (according to the AP):

Republican Mitt Romney opened a broad and newly abrasive assault on rival Newt Gingrich on Thursday, dispatching surrogates and staff to cast him as unworthy of the GOP nomination and unfit to be president.