OK, I’ll admit to treating Newt Gingrich the way some folks treat the latest pearl of wisdom from Megan McArdle. And focusing on Newt while he is busy pissing on and pissing off his base may seem a bit like piling on. Hell, the poor bastard seems to be coming apart in real time. It seems almost cruel to keep picking on him and yet I must.
L.H. Carter was among Gingrich’s closest friends and advisors until a falling out in 1979. “You can’t imagine how quickly power went to his head,” Carter says. The first time Gingrich flew back to the district, Carter remembers, he “pitched a fit” because Carter was still walking up to the gate to greet him when he arrived, rather than standing and waiting for him. Soon after, they were discussing a supporter who had complained to Gingrich about one of his votes. “I was sort of chiding him about not staying in touch with ‘the people’,” Carter says. “He turned in my car and he looked at me and he said, ‘Fuck you guys. I don’t need any of you anymore I’ve got the money from the political action committees, I’ve got the power of the office, and I’ve got the Atlanta news media right here in the palm of my hand. I don’t need any of you anymore.'”
“The important thing you have to understand about Newt Gingrich is that he is amoral,” says Carter. “There isn’t any right or wrong, there isn’t any conservative or liberal. There’s only what will work best for Newt Gingrich.
“He’s probably one of the most dangerous people for the future of this country that you can possibly imagine. He’s Richard Nixon, glib. It doesn’t matter how much good I do the rest of my life, I can’t ever outweigh the evil that I’ve caused by helping him be elected to Congress.”
That was over 25 years ago and Mr. Carter was correct–Newt Gingrich was a danger to America. He still is. How this self-absorbed nihilist has been a political survivor all these years is amazing. Gingrich is a top shelf Grifter–always has been and always will be. He survives by playing the gullible as easy marks. The Mother Jones article showed that Newt was focused on the gullible way back them:
“During the first campaign back in ’74, Newt told me he was going to be the kind of congressman that David Broder would come to and like, that he would be the kind of congressman that the media would turn to when they wanted to know what the thinking people in the Republican party wanted to do,” says Lee Howell, his press secretary in 1974. “He said, ‘I’m going to be one of the intelligentsia who sets the course for this party.’ He said that in 1974, when I was still laughing about the fact that he was running for Congress. Sure enough, in the space of a few years, he has achieved all that.”
Like any good Grifter Newt has always known that gullible folks in the media help to sell the con and he went after them from day one. This tactic has been so successful that generations of DC media folks have come to age with the idea that getting played by Republicans is just part of doing their job. Fools. But I digress.
Now I know that it looks like Newt’s chances are slim, but they ain’t zero. He does have a pathway to the nomination and white anxiety will trump hurt feelings about Paul Ryan’s plan. If Newt can mobilize and focus that anxiety he still has a pretty decent shot. To that end he is getting the band back together.
Newt is a Grifter and he is attracting support from other grifters–especially the ones he helped bring to power. Newt is starting in Georgia where his old pal–and current wingnut Governor–Nathan Deal has endorsed him. And today he picked up the endorsement of one of Jack Abramoff’s favorite Congressmen, Jack Kingston. Can Ralph Reed and Grover be far behind?
Gingrich is an ass and a fool. In a sane world he would be on par with Donald Trump or David Duke or that “The Rents Too Damn High” fellow when it came to being considered a credible candidate for President of the United States. But, it is not a sane world. And the Republican Party has been taken over by Neo-Confederate deadenders who want to take the Country back to 1850. They are–to a one–bat shit crazy, but their chances of winning are not zero. They proved that in 2010 and back in 2000. All of the folks running for the GOP nomination would be disasters for America, but Newt would be something more. He is Grifter Shiva the Destroyer and he has been trying to stick a fork in America and call it done for decades.
And while it may seem mean to kick him while he’s down–it isn’t. He really can’t be knocked into a cesspool of oblivion soon enough. L.H. Carter said that a lifetime of good works would never “outweigh the evil that I’ve caused by helping [Newt] be elected to Congress.” I think he was right.
Newt’s sense of amorality paired with his narcissism and nihilism make him among the most dangerous of the Republican candidates. And while I would like to think he would never get elected in a thousand years, I used to think that about G. W. Bush and years before that I thought the same about Reagan. Grifters will attract grifters and when they link up bad things happen. So, for the good of the Country we should kick a grifter like Newt hard when he’s down. When “The Professor” is run out of town on a rail, there will be one less thing to worry about. Until then, I will keep an eye on this thing called Newt.