I wasn’t sure if I was having an nightmare or was just suffering a hangover from some discouraging poker play late Saturday night, but I awoke Sunday morn to see a zombie actually talking on network TV! There was newly announced presidential candidate Newt Gingrich yammering away on Meet The Press (as if he had not passed away around 1998) and it made me want to crawl right back beneath the covers.
Look, Newt is nuts. Period. Full Stop. The night before I had heard him while driving late at night on C-SPAN radio making an address to a pack of fellow Georgia right-wingers as he called for abolition of the NLRB, the EPA, the SEC, the progressive income tax, any and all capital gains tax, the inheritance tax, repeal of new regs on the financial industry, as he blew the race-laced dog whistle and said America had to choose becoming Texas or, um, Detroit and as he called Barack Obama the “greatest food stamp president in American history.” I tuned in too late, apparently, to catch his plug for the restoration of generalized child labor.
It’s an impossible task to keep up with the firehose flow of idiotic and inflammatory comments from this guy. Some people have tried, but there’s just no way to keep pace with a philandering jerk who one day says we are falling into paganism and the next warns that the secular gay-fascist machine is overtaking good old Americanism — and all this while he’s dumping yet one more wife for a younger gal pal.
More astounding than the crap that flows from this guy’s mouth is the absolutely dishonest and deferential treatment he gets from the beltway Newsosaurs. It’s in a case like Newt the Fruit where the “objective” View From Nowhere press model reveals its utter bankruptcy. This phony ethic prevents reporters and pundits from simply telling the truth: Newt Gingrich is a pol whose career busted out more than a decade ago, who had to resign his leadership post in political and personal disgrace, that he’s a world-class hypocrite in his “personal values,” that he holds what are clearly extremist views, that he openly and cynically race-baits, that he is the author of several AWFUL pseudo-historical books, that he, in fact, has NO great ideas, that he is not a valued or recognized intellectual, and that his chances of winning a general presidential election against Barack Obama are about 25 million to 1 (which is why I will be supporting him as the GOP nominee– for which he is about a 100 to 1 shot).
If a reporter said that on national TV he or she would simply be telling the TRUTH. Isn’t that we are supposed to do?
Instead, on the fart-sniffer Meet The Press roundtable this morning, I had to hear Helene Cooper from The New York Times, the horrific Mark Halperin, David Gregory from NBC and columnist Peggy Noonan (Bitch from Hell), actually go through the acrobatics of taking this guy seriously and hemming and hawing about what he’s really about and what his real chances are. What is the point of this sort of insulting charade? Do these pundits think anyone takes them more seriously because they just can’t come out say that The Deranged Guy in the corner is really The Deranged Guy in the corner?? The equally derganged Noonan went so far as to speculate that 18-20 year old voters might be attracted to Newt because he’s “new” to them! So would a resurrected Warren B. Harding be “new” but I doubt he’d have any more appeal than Newt will among young voters. What is Noonan smoking?
There is one interesting aspect to the Newt boomlet this week. It shows you just how far the political center of the country as a whole and of the GOP in particular has shifted to the Right. As far back as 15 years ago, Newt was seen as the far fringe of his own party. But with the likes of Paul Ryan, the Cheneys, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Rev. Huckabee and GodKnowsWhoElse stinking up the stage, all of a sudden the rotting cadaver of Gingrich is dug up and celebrated as a Great Mind.
Houston, we have a problem.
P.S. While we’re on the subject of media deference….. squeezed in between the barrage of geriatric Big Pharma drug ads tonight, I caught a few minutes of Katrie Couric’s 60 Minutes profile of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He seems an interesting guy but unfortunately the piece ended abruptly as Katie mysteriously disappeared up Gates’ rear end. Another rescue mission for SEAL Team 6?
P.P.S. Confession: Peggy Noonan’s treacly, self-serving memoir as Ronald Reagan’s covert brain, “What I Saw At The Revolution,” is the only book in my life that I ever burned. It was sometime in the early 90′s and I was reading it on a winter night in my living room in an easy chair next to a crackling fire. I remember vaguely, her ending the book on some platitudinous gibberish about Jesus Christ and, reflecting on this woman’s role in writing the cover speeches for Reagan’s massive murders in Central America and his beating up on the poor, I finished the last sentence, snapped the paperback closed and tossed it without a second thought into the flames. I’d do it again.