Gingrich “only has two modes — attack and brag,” explained one veteran GOP strategist.
For my money, no one else has nailed the feel of this Republican primary the way Steve M. has. He asked of Donald Trump “are we really sure that couldn’t work — winning the nomination, by being the macher, the mack, the big pimp?” Yes, Trump flamed out but he was never in it to win it, and his Big Poppa routine played a lot better than I ever thought it would, however briefly. And the gangster rap comparison was perfect:
Huntsman is like a rapper who isn’t gangsta, doesn’t want to be gangsta, and knows that some of the people making their name on gangsta don’t want you to know that they have problems with “authenticity.” The problem is, Huntsman is like M.C. Hammer — a family-friendly rapper with mass-market dance moves and baggy pants — and he’s certain that, sooner or later, people are going to get tired of all the songs about gangbanging, and what they’ll want instead is … him and his G-rated rhymes and his dance moves and clown pants. Because that was popular before gangsta.
Yes, “attack and brag” is 100% perfect for this Republican primary. And no apologizies. Gingrich’s three marriages don’t hurt him much with the Republican base because it’s a slap in the face to all the mythical left-wing prudes the same way that dressing as Jack-and-Marlboro for Halloween is. All those millions he’s made quasi-illegally? Just shows he’s a bad-ass money-maker, the kind that libruls love to hate.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying music or movies or books that celebrate tough guy attack-and-brag personae. I don’t there’s even anything so awful about liking celebrities who seem to embrace that persona.
Some kind of line has been crossed when a large portion of the Republican party wants that in the leader of the free world. We saw the beginnings of this with all the “bring ’em on” faux cowboy bullshit we saw from George W. Bush, but that was in the context of a war, not a presidential debate and it had an “I’ll keep you safe” edge to it. This primary isn’t about keeping anyone safe, it’s about some strange wing-nut form of dick-measurement.