It has been written and analyzed to death that Obama’s key appeal in the 2008 election was that by voting for him, America could absolve our hidden “white guilt.” First popularized by Shelby Steele in his book WHITE GUILT, it discussed how decades of liberal-drip water torture, constantly reminding us how badly “people of color” had been treated, had resulted in whites needing to prove they weren’t “racist.” By always giving the black or Native American man the edge, benefit of the doubt or normal scrutiny - they could absolve themselves of any suspicion that they weren’t secretly attending meetings in white robes and god-awful hats.
My question is:
Are we leaning toward Newt to alleviate the Republican stereotype of lacking intelligence and wit?
As I mentioned in my article, “Newt Is the Next Best Thing to President Rush,” Newt has stirred much of his momentum on the visions of a Gingrich debate dancing on Obama’s head. I wish I could remember where I first heard this so I could attribute it correctly (I think it was a tweet) that, “the GOP is choosing Newt primarily to see him slice and dice Obama in a debate.”
This is validated by Ann Coulter (and many Republicans) who embarrassed themselves pandering to get Chris Christie to run for President. (With regards to Coulter, maybe you could expect that from a “conservative” who hangs out with her friend Bill Maher.) But for the rest of those pushing that, How the hell could that be? The guy was pro-9/11 mosque, pro-gun control, pro-AMNESTY, and pro-Global Warming Cap & Trade. But when we witness 1 minute of Christie on economic issues against an arrogant reporter or union shill as witnessed in this “best of” Christie YouTube compilation here, you are quickly tempted to be seduced by the equivalent of philippic political porn. Who cares that he wouldn’t support Scott Walker (and FDR even) for banning public sector unions, right? Just humiliate and embarrass Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow, will ya?
After years of suffering through limp responses from the Republican leadership like Quayle, McConnell and Michael Steele; Christie showed us that you can be vocal, opinionated and combative and not “lose” the independents as we’ve been told. After years of screaming at TV images of McCain, Bush or Boehner in debates or press conferences, it turns out sharp, witty responses are the near-equivalent of conservative crack cocaine.
Our experience with Rush Limbaugh proves however that a single rhetorical victory is insufficient. We are thrilled when we first discover Rush eviscerating liberal lies and making Democrats demonstrably deranged. When, however, it is contained to our small conservative universe (and he is unceremoniously tossed from a platform like Monday Night Football where it would actually REACH the people we want), we find it has the same narcotic drawbacks. The “high” doesn’t last long and you need increasing doses to experience the same level of euphoria. How about someone who actually is IN government, representing US doing that?
But we have to be careful. I warned my fellow conservative Tweeters of this when they were ready to anoint Speaker Boehner the new Bill Buckley, Jr. when he said this during the dueling national speeches with Obama during the budget/deficit debate in late July:
The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.
Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.
Who cares if we have to “put out” a little for a cheap thrill, right? Turns out, even our pusher-man won’t respect us in the morning. What looked like a rhetorical victory on prime time TV (aka “second base”), was instead giving up not just home plate – but the American League Pennant. Super Committee my ass.
My article “Santorum and Bachmann: Weak Tea?” talks about how weird it is that Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum – the two most Tea Partyin’ Presidential prospects – get less combined tea party votes than Romney. Confrontation performance HAS to be one of the components of this, but it makes me wonder if we aren’t OVER-emphasizing this over Policy and Governing/Leadership.
On the other hand, even if Rick Perry had the policies of Jim DeMint and the Contract With America/Balanced Budget success of Gingrich, we would all have to get valium prescriptions just to deal with the anxiety over the first debate with Obama or his first press conference defending the elimination of the Department of…..whatever.
Perry supporters may feel it’s “heartless” to portray it like this, but presenting and defending your ideas in a hostile environment is part of the job. We gave “Seniors” affirmative action to Bob Dole and look where it got us.
There are many former positions - or maybe “dalliances” is a better word - with liberal positions long disavowed by Gingrich – that I’m not drinking the Newt Kool-aid nectar just yet. But we all sure wonder what George Bush 41’s second term poll numbers would have been if it had been Gingrich defending our moves in Iraq instead.