Newt Notes

I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!

I had a dream last night. There was a primary somewhere and Newt Gingrich was closing in on the magic number of delegates needed to win the GOP nomination when suddenly they raised the number. I don’t know what it means but it may be prophetic.

I think last night was a game-changer. Ever since Newt first surged into the lead back in November he has been the target of a smear campaign coming from the Romney campaign and the GOP establishment. In Newt’s case most of the smears are true, but such an all-out attack on a Republican by other Republicans is unheard of in modern history.

Newt withstood the attacks and came back to win a decisive victory in a state that was not a natural stronghold. Most of the punditocracy is ignoring the 500 lb gorilla in the room – the GOP voters don’t want Mitt Romney. Just one week ago the experts were speculating that Mitt would run the table and essentially close the race with a win in South Carolina.

Then Newtmentum happened.

There are two main keys to Newtmentum. The first is Not-Romney. Approximately 25% of the GOP (including the establishment) supports Mitt Romney. The other 75% want someone else. Part of it is that “Mormon” thing. I was telling people four years ago (when Mitt was considered by some to be a frontrunner) that there was no way the fundiegelicals were going to vote for a Mormon.

Anti-Mormon bigotry still exists in this country, and not just on the evangelical right – there are lots of lefties that hate ’em too. I don’t want to discuss the reasons for AMB in this post, but it’s real. Last night’s exit polls showed that the people who said religious beliefs were very important to them voted overwhelmingly for Gingrich.

But that’s not the only reason the right-wing doesn’t want Romney. More than anything the opposition is ideological. They consider Mitt to be a RINO – Republican In Name Only. His record and statements from his days in Massachusetts are anathema to conservatives. And then there’s that Romneycare thing.

Last but not least, Mitt has baggage – money bags. This might seem a little counterintuitive because of the long-standing connection between the Republican party and big business, but the rank and file GOP is almost as leery of the 1%ers as the OWS crowd. That is the reason that the filthy rich who jump into politics have rarely been successful. And don’t forget – it was the House GOP that opposed the TARP bailouts.

Each of Mitt’s strengths is a double-edged sword. He is a successful businessman/he got rich as an investment banker. He has experience as a governor/he was elected in a blue state where he ran and governed as a moderate-to-liberal. He is devoutly religious/he’s a Mormon.

But being Not-Romney is only one of the keys to Newtmentum.

There is a lot of anger out there these days. That’s not surprising considering the economy. Millions of people are hurting. Millions more that aren’t hurting are scared they will be soon. Most of the anger is still unchanneled.

Anger was the key to the early success of OWS, but then they sacrificed their credibility when they took a hard left turn into Smelly Hippieland. Anger is a powerful emotion but it’s hard to successfully channel it into political action. The same anger that fires up the mob scares away the masses.

One of the things that made Ronald Reagan successful was his ability to mix anger and optimism. It might have been all bullshit but it worked. Newt Gingrich is a Reagan acolyte. Like Howard Beale he articulates the popular rage, but then he shifts gears and starts talking about a utopian future.

Watch this clip from the first South Carolina debate earlier this week:

Gingrich taps into anger:

Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any President in American history. I know among the politically correct you are not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable. Second, you are the one who earlier raised the key point. The area that ought to be I-73 was called by Barack Obama “a corridor of shame” because of unemployment. Has it improved in three years? No. They haven’t built a road, they haven’t helped the people, they haven’t done anything.

Then he turns into a motivational speaker:

One last thing…I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.

When he was finished you can barely hear Bret Baier because of the standing ovation from the crowd.

The GOP voters don’t give a shit about “electability,” they want a WINNER. They know it’s gonna be ugly, and they want a political street fighter to lead them. Newt is a counter-puncher. He knows how to turn “Meet the Press” into “Beat the Press.” Just ask John King – he found out the hard way what “ripped him new one” means.

The GOP establishment isn’t running for the lifeboats . . . yet. But if Mitt can’t stop Newtmentum soon they are going to start thinking about tossing Mitt overboard and finding a new captain.

As for electability, it’s a perverse argument that goes “We can’t vote for our first choice because he/she can’t win in the general election so we have to vote for someone we don’t want.”

Mitt doesn’t generate enthusiasm. He’s not the one you want, he’s the one you settle for (or hold your nose and vote for). He might attract more votes from independents, but the question is how many members of the base will stay home on election day because they are too depressed to vote?

Don’t underestimate the Newtster. There are a lot of people on both sides who assume that Gingrich can’t possibly win in November. As George W. Bush and Barack Obama have proven, any moron can become president.

This is not an endorsement of Newt Gingrich. I will not vote for Newt. I despise him. He is one of the few people who would make me consider voting for Obama. But I’m not going to make the mistake of assuming everyone out there agrees with me.

Assuming that Newt won the GOP nomination and did not implode during the general campaign, he could count on a floor of support around 45 percent. Barack Obama could count on about the same. It’s those other 10% that are gonna make the difference.

Both have high negatives. Newt’s got better political skills, but Obama will have more money. The media will back Obama, but they rank below lawyers and crackheads in respectability.

There is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. Newt has only won one primary. So has Mitt. (Santorum won Iowa.) Stay tuned for further developments.

I want to address some comments I have seen here and elsewhere regarding evangelicals who support Newt Gingrich. The gist of these comments is that it is somehow hypocritical for devout Christians to support a notorious sinner. They think Christians should only support someone who has led a sin-free life. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the religion.

There is probably no group in this country more misunderstood and maligned than religious fundamentalists. That’s partially their own fault. They tend to be insular and paranoid, and they have more than their fair share of nutjobs and weirdos. Their monomaniacal fixation on abortion and gay marriage is definitely off-putting, to say the least.

Evangelicals are very familiar with sin. In a perverse way they brag about it. While it’s all good to live the pure life, special status goes to those who needed forgiveness the most.

I’m not talking about murderers and child molesters. But stories of alcohol, drugs and sexual debauchery are common when they are witnessing to each other. Of course this is all in the past tense – they say they have now been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.

Outsiders and escapees with issues imagine the evangelical world as filled with hatred and puritanical intolerance of sinners. But as we saw with Bristol Palin that view is not accurate.

As long as no recent dirt is uncovered on Newt showing he is still sinning, evangelicals will give him the benefit of the doubt about the genuineness of his redemption. And they don’t care what you think.

This entry was posted in 2012 GOP Primary, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Newt Notes

  1. votermom says:

    Newt vs Mitt is like the battle of the giant squid vs Moby Dick.

  2. angienc says:

    Yeah, religion is so g.d. important to them that they would rather vote for the guy with 3 fucking wives than the (eek!) Mormon who’s been married to the same woman for 40+ years.
    Not defending Mitt, but come the fuck on people. Any rationale that makes Newt the “lesser of two evils” is a bunch of hypocritical bullshit.
    Intellectual pygmies, the lot of ’em.

    PS — If it’s Newt v. Obama, I’m staying home.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’m not staying home. Getting Obama out of office is the only way the Dem Party can rebuild, so I don’t want to give them a mandate not to.

      I’m screwed in VA anyhow, only Mitt and Ron Paul will be on the ballot and by that time, I might be ready to vote for a “crazy” guy 😀

      As Sarah said, 47 states to go !

    • catarina says:

      PS — If it’s Newt v. Obama, I’m staying home.

      Me too. No (Newt) can do, sorry.

      • fif says:

        How depressing that it’s coming to this. New poll out in Florida: Newt is surging there and taken the lead.

        Tell me this: given that his unfavorability rating is 60% nationally, and he is unlikely to bring in enough independents, how can he possibly beat Obama?

        What a train wreck.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Florida is one of four major battleground states that will probably decide the general election. In one week Gingrich has gone from being 20 points down to being 10 points up. They will have updated polls this week for head-to-head matchups against Obama in the general. Will be interesting to see if Gingrich passes Romney there as well. Think whoever runs most effectively against the establishment elites will win in the fall. Gingrich is winning that perception battle, for now.

  3. yttik says:

    You forgot the part about Palin power : )

    Newtmentum has a lot to do with Todd’s endorsement and her simply speaking his name. Whether people like it or not, she is leading a huge constituency in this country.

    As to the Mormon issue, one thing that is kind of interesting is how Mormonism is really an American, grassroots religion. It’s uniquely American, it was born here. I guess you could say the same thing about born again evangelicals. Some of their foundations might go back a few thousand years, but it’s kind of weird to think about how they didn’t even exist a few hundred years ago.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Religion never really bothers me unless a person (my mother,RIP) is trying to shove it down my throat. After a lifetime of Catholic guilt, I’m quite happy with the Church of the Golden Rule, and I save a lot of money too 😀

      • WMCB says:

        My husband was raised Italian Catholic (which is sort of uber catholic). He is now an atheist. However, he kept the conscience, and is one of the most genuinely self-effacing and moral people I’ve ever known. He kept the very best of his upbringing, IMO, though he jettisoned a lot of the rest.

  4. HELENK says:

    Both Sarah and Hillary have strong voices. People do listen to them.
    Sarah uses her’s to give voice to the everyday republican voters.
    Hillary for what ever reason chose not to do the same for the democrat everyday voters.
    As SOS, she is tied to backtrack.

  5. Anthony says:

    I wonder how much of this went on?

    “Some Democrats say they voted at the polls during South Carolina’s open primary hoping to have an effect on the results. It is a different story for other Democrats who say they did not get involved.”

    • elliesmom says:

      I don’t know how it works in South Carolina, but in MA, which has an open primary, if you are a registered Democrat you can only vote in a Democratic primary, and it’s the same for the Republicans. Only those of us who are “unaffiliated” can ask for either ballot. If a Democrat wants to mess with the results of the Republican primary, he would have to go to the trouble of re-registering ahead of time. Are some unaffiliated voters really undeclared members of one of the two parties? Probably, but if you aren’t passionate enough about a party to declare yourself a member, you probably aren’t passionate enough to work hard against the other party either.

    • DeniseVB says:

      If Obama had a primary challenger this wouldn’t be a concern in open states. Then again, most of my old circle of activist Dem friends are either supporting Ron Paul, tea partying or having a life 😀

    • 1539days says:

      In the case of SC, Newt won by so much I don’t think it made any real difference.

    • This is a common story line when someone doesn’t like an outcome. But, really… who cares? If the state allows other to vote in a Primary, then the meddling works both ways.

      I personally doubt this has much to do with SC choosing Newt.

  6. 1539days says:

    The forgiveness thing is like the Biblical story of the prodigal son.

    For those unfamiliar, here it is in a nutshell. A rich guy had two sons who were each going to get half of his property as an inheritance. One son decided he wanted his half now. So he left with a ton of money and blew it on booze and women and what not. After his fair weather friends ditched him, he ended up working at a farm where the pigs got better food than he did.

    So, the son eventually decides to go groveling back to his father, who treats his employees a lot better and work for him. Well, the father is ecstatic that his son returned and prepares a great feast. He’s willing to welcome him back into the family and his share of what’s left. The other son is angry because he did everything right all along. The father says that his other son was lost and is now found and that’s the greatest thing that could happen.

    That’s one of the interesting aspects of Christianity. It’s great to be a goody goody and do all the right things all your life. In fact, it eases some of the hardship by living right in the first place. Still, it’s even better to have done wrong and found your way back because you had to deal with a lot of crap on your way to repentance. Romney is the good son, Gingrich is the prodigal son. Romney’s good work is why he has a stable family. Newt has two divorces in his wake and strained family relations. Who’s had more crap to deal with on their way to being right with God?

  7. Three Wickets says:

    Most important is that Obama lose, and for me it’s gone way beyond Obama himself. I truly believe that pious paternalistic Obot elites in business, politics and the media have been and continue to be unhealthy, unfair and socially divisive for the country. Dictatorship by elite creative class. It is a very selfish group of people both materially and ideologically…dividing and conquering, controling and shutting up the masses. The problem with Romney is that he won’t beat Obama. His candidacy is almost custom made to be beaten by Obama. And even if Romney were to win, I don’t see him displacing the elites.

    Newt was majority leader during Bill and the world didn’t go to hell. Newt in charge of two branches may be a much greater risk of course. But for all the bloviating in these debates, on many issues Newt is arguably to the left of Mitt: bailouts, immigration, trade, even health reform. And I don’t see any daylight between the two on foreign policy and social issues so far. I will never vote for Newt, but they should keep campaigning imo. If they give it to Romney now, they might as well be shutting down debate for the rest of the year. Good for the establishment, not fair to the people.

    • myiq2xu says:

      His candidacy is almost custom made to be beaten by Obama.


      And there is something about TPTB trying to force me to pick between two options of their choosing that makes me want to select door number three just to mess up their plan.

      • WMCB says:

        TPTB are already in a huge tizzy and panic. There are already multiple editorials and articles and pontificating by the veddy veddy important conservative thinkers, floating the idea of the necessity of a brokered convention if Newt wins.

        Excuse me? “Oh, horrors! The stupid people have selected someone completely disastrous! We must undo their mistake, for their own good!”

        FUCK THEM. The voters have the RIGHT to choose fucking Tinkerbell or Mabel the loony bag lady to be their nominee if they want. It’s supposed to be THEIR choice. If Newt wins, and they try to pull a back room deal at the convention to pick some other guy like Daniels or Jeb or whoever, the R party is going to blow up in their faces. They’ll lose at least a third of their voters, permanently.

        • myiq2xu says:

          Electing Newt would be a major “Fuck you!” to TPTB

        • angienc says:

          FUCK THEM. The voters have the RIGHT to choose fucking Tinkerbell or Mabel the loony bag lady to be their nominee if they want.

          While I agree with your sentiment, the 2008 Dem. primary already proved this is untrue.

        • Lulu says:

          Newt thrives on tizzy and panic. The more they insult him the happier/angrier he is. He is turning the whole shebang on its head. He is not running away from the dehumanizing insults. He is turning into the dreamer populist giving speeches on space exploration and oil pipelines across the North America. Obama is whining about how put upon he is that the Republicans just keep foiling him at every turn. Mitt is just a rich guy who is having trouble buying the presidency. The media is horrified that a glib, cantankerous, fat, old, imp is going after the elegant, Harvard educated, elite dud that is Obama who represents them. It is excellent entertainment.

        • 1539days says:

          If you want to know why Obama should be crapping himself over facing Newt, think about this. What does Newt do when he’s called a racist? What does he do when his staff goes against him?

          He’s no McCain.

  8. DandyTiger says:

    Great post!

  9. myiq2xu says:

    So far SF vs NYG is a defensive struggle.

    • murphy says:

      Which means Giants will win bc Manning, being the better QB tonight, will pull through at the clincher.


    • DandyTiger says:

      Go SF. Yep, said that just to piss you off. 🙂

      • DandyTiger says:

        Though I give the edge to NY.

        • murphy says:

          Doesn’t piss me off. My entire family HATES Eli Manning (not me) and I have a secret soft spot for San Francisco. Just trying to be objective. Eli’s stats are better than the sf qb tonight.

        • DandyTiger says:

          Wait, it’s the 4th quarter already and SF is ahead. Shit. That’s what I get for not caring.

        • DandyTiger says:

          I was poking at myiq who tends to not like SF so much. 🙂

        • murphy says:

          Is Miq’s disdain for SF a Raiders thing? But his Cali pride must kick in once his home team is out, right? Esp against NY for lords sake.

          Did you see that UVA made a bowl game this year DT? Not sure if you’re a UVA fan but I know you live in the cville area. Crushed though we were, it was kind of fun.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I hate the f**king Forty-Whiners. Their fans were the original Obots.

          The next best thing to watching the Raiders win is watching the Niners lose.

        • DandyTiger says:

          I noticed UVA did make it. I’m not a UVA fan though. You’d think I’d warm up to them eventually, but hasn’t happened. Eh, whatever. 🙂

  10. DeniseVB says:

    Oh my. Conservative on Conservative on Conservative … it’s Republican porn 😀

  11. DandyTiger says:

    OK, this game is making me nervous. What was that tweet the other day, I picked the wrong day to stop injecting hallucinogens directly into my eyeballs.

  12. Three Wickets says:

    Great. Yankees-BoSox Superbowl. Guess Biden was right.

  13. myiq2xu says:

    Well that was a happy ending.

    (It just got really quiet at my neighbor’s house where they were hosting a Niner party)

  14. Jadzia says:

    Re electability, I don’t know if this Eugene Debs quote is apocryphal, but regardless of its provenance I believe in the sentiment:

    “It’s better to vote for the candidate you want and not get him, then to vote for the candidate that you don’t want and get him.”

  15. Pingback: Day 1175 – The Prodigal Son « Days of Change

  16. myiq2xu says:


    While the network news shows spend this Sunday marveling over Newtmentum in South Carolina, Rick Santorum will quietly make his first stop in Florida, site of the next primary on January 31. He’ll be dropping in to see the honorary chairman of his state campaign—a Bush-connected Islamophobic pastor who says gays “make God want to vomit.”

  17. cj says:

    Ut oh, somebody’s not going to enjoy their waffles this morning:

    “Clinton best prez in last 66 years, W and Obama worst:

    ….in terms of disposable income growth and employment growth – Obama’s performance is so bad that he is in a league of his own

    I’d laugh if it wasn’t so predictable

    • votermom says:

      But in terms of disposable income growth and employment growth – Obama’s performance is so bad that he is in a league of his own – he is the only president for whom real disposable income grew at less than 1% (0.7% on average during his 2.9 year tenure) and the only one who suffered a decline in the civilian work force – down an average of 690,000 a year.


    • Lulu says:

      Stupid, stupid putz. We could have had a third term so to speak with Hillary and they fucking know it. We would be about a 100 miles down the road getting out of this disaster we find ourselves in after George W. But NOOOOO! We had to have the Messiah who is actually a whinny, idiotic, selfish martyr who threw the economy into reverse and is careening backwards into a ditch. Third term for Bill? How about two terms for Hillary you misogynist jerks and we don’t have to amend the constitution.

  18. yttik says:

    I’ve voted for the lessor of two evils for so long, maybe this time I’ll just vote for the eviler of two evils.

  19. myiq2xu says:

    Rasmussen in FL: Gingrich 41, Romney 32

    Money quote:

    Finally, on character, it’s not even close. Romney leads with 41% on having the best personal character, with another 30% backing … Rick Santorum. Gingrich barely manages to avoid last place by scoring 11% to Ron Paul’s 10%.

    How do attack the character of someone everyone already knows is evil?

    • votermom says:

      It’s a conundrum fer sure. Maybe Mitt will lend Santorum some money instead – if Rick wins FL it could derail Newt. Then Mitt could take out Rick easily with negative ads.

    • fif says:

      Obama has created a new disorder:

      ABO Desperation!

    • yttik says:

      It makes sense if you consider that we just experienced at least four years of having Obama’s Divine Perfection shoved down our throats. The popularity of Newt may be like a backlash to that.

      Much like the term “racism” has been so over used that it’s lost it’s potency, maybe voters no longer believe that integrity and character are important. Obama in all his perfection has turned out to be a nightmare.

      Also I think many people view this like a war, like an old western. When you hire a mercenary, their personal morality isn’t important, you just want somebody who can shoot and aim really well. No more nice guys.

      • votermom says:

        Also I think many people view this like a war, like an old western. When you hire a mercenary, their personal morality isn’t important, you just want somebody who can shoot and aim really well. No more nice guys.

        That’s perfect.

      • Lulu says:

        It is similar to being married to a paragon of virtue who is actually an asshole. You divorce them and start dating biker dudes. Everyone thinks you are crazy but really you are just trying to catch up to being normal in an short time frame. With a paragon of virtue you can never be good enough which is exactly what the Obama’s spout.No one can ever please them or do enough for them or receives any praise or thanks. So the reaction is I am tired of trying to be good and meet your expectations so screw you.

  20. Lola-at-Large says:

    Not all criticism of the Mormon faith is bigotry, and I don’t think it should be characterized as such. I know a great deal about Mormonism, having studied especially American-made religious movements for years, and my opposition is based on the obvious mental disease of the creator (John Smith) and the actions of subsequent adherents, even into the modern age.

    I don’t give two shits about which religion is “right” because I recognize the limits of human imagination in creating our gods. What bothers me is how one can look at the entire history of Mormonism and still come up with “Yep, this one’s for me.” It’s a serious sign of mental ineptitude, and I won’t support it. That’s not bigotry; that’s critical thinking.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Most people don’t do a comparative study of religions before choosing which one to convert to. Once they are converted, all that other stuff tends to be ignored. Some of the greatest minds in history tried to reconcile faith and logic. They failed.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I won’t argue that point. But in this essay, in which you go into greater depth than usual about the intuitive processes of the conservative base, you give passes for all sorts of short-cuts in thinking, but you only identify opposition to Romney’s Mormon faith as bigotry. Everything eles is entirely understandable, and you can figure out how they got there in their thinking just by following a few lines of logic. But not that. That’s got to be typical conservative bigotry.

        I’m suggesting that it’s a similar intuitive process that leads to conservative opposition to his Mormonism. One just has to know a little bit about the faith to begin to unravel a wealth of questions.

        That said, regarding your comment here, some of the most brilliant thinkers are those that tried to reconcile faith and logic. The most brilliant among them are those who tried and failed and accepted that finding, and shared it with others.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I was raised in a fundie church. I know that fundies think Mormons are a cult.

          I don’t generally try to evaluate religious beliefs because believers believe what they believe. I try not to mock believers because AFAIAC all religions are equally valid.

          The Mormons I have known (including some family members) are all good people.

    • votermom says:

      What bothers me is how one can look at the entire history of Mormonism and still come up with “Yep, this one’s for me.”

      Yup, no kidding.
      In a similar way it really boggles me when American women convert to Islam. I just don’t get why they’d do it.

  21. DeniseVB says:

    Dear Oprah, would you hire Obama to be CEO of Harpo or your new network ? Please explain your confidence in BHO. Love, DVB

  22. votermom says:

    Sen. Rand Paul detained by TSA.

    I may die laughing. Big Sis Janet, I hope you are ready to grovel.

  23. catarina says:

    Hey, Crayfisher-Doug Ross linked you.

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