|What a charmer!|
It looks like the Tea Party , in their frantic quest to find somebody --anybody --to carry their flag instead of Mitt Romney, may have finally settled.
New Hampshire's influential Union Leader newspaper on Sunday endorsed Newt Gingrich, for President of the United States. Newt Gingrich! Can you believe it?
Frankly, I like the Union Leader's pick. When it comes to representing Tea Party values, there really is no more apt candidate than Newt Gingrich. Consider:
- He's (pseudo-)smart! As one Tea Party enthusiast recently informed me: Newt Gingrich is the most intelligent candidate to run for president in the last 20 years. Gingrich is an ace at speaking in those condescending tones that make Tea Party people swoon. Or, as Paul Krugman put it: "...[Newt Gingrich] is a stupid man's idea of what a smart person sounds like."
- He will fight for his beliefs! If there is one thing that Newt Gingrich has proven over his long, storied (and I do mean storied) career, it is that he will fight to the bitter end for what he believes in. And what he believes in is Newt Gingrich. That $1.5 million he made lobbying for --er, excuse me --serving as an historian for Freddie Mac from 1999 through 2007 was a tidy sum, but still not enough, apparently, for him to close out his account at Tiffany's where he recently maintained a balance of some $500,000. His transparent self-interest is refreshing for Tea Party people. It validates their own stingy attitudes.
- He is constant as the Northern Star. Constant, at least, in his inconsistency. Like so many Tea Party folks, Gingrich can say something one day, and contradict himself the next, nor even bat an eyelash when the contradiction is pointed out to him. My favorite of his bald-faced absurdities is this remark, which he made when he was trying to extract himself from the mess he got into when he called the Paul Ryan budget "right-wing social engineering." And I quote: "Any ad that quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood."
- He's a Washington outsider! Even though he "served" as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, he isn't part of the Washington establishment. After all, his own Republican party forced him to step down in the wake of an ethics scandal that cost him $300,000 in sanctions. (That pesky Ethics Committee found him guilty of lying to Congress and of violating tax laws.) Tea Party people respect politicians who treat the Federal government with contempt.
For those of us disinclined to vote for Newt Gingrich (or, for that matter, for any Republican) this is good news. Newt may not win the Republican nomination, but man oh man, will he make the primaries ugly.
We're just weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, progressives. Sit back and enjoy.
Run, Newt! Run!