Grifters attract grifters…

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.

Gingrich 2012_Liar, Grifter, Hack

Why?

Well, TNC had a post up today that cited an old 1984 Mother Jones article on Newt that quoted a former supporter discussing “The Professor”. Here it is with the informative lead in graph:

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.

Cheers

58 replies
  1. 1
    Third Eye Open says:

    Just got done watching Jack Abramoff and the United States of Money. Serendipitous, to say the least.

    I think Jack should do a zombie movie as his big comeback. Imagine Dawn of the Dead in the House building. Maybe Tom Delay can do a cameo ala Bill Murray in Zombieland…

    *this idea has already been trademarked, you filthy vultures.

  2. 2
    BerkeleyMom says:

    I think the word for Newt is sociopath.

  3. 3
    SIA says:

    Maybe all the brouhaha around Newt recently will be the final nail in the coffin (metaphorically)for his public life. Hey, it worked for Trump.

  4. 4

    The Newt is a symptom of the GOP rather than something dangerous in himself. Look, there may be a couple of the GOP electeds who are stupid enough to believe their idiotology, but really. The electorate may be stupid enough to swallow their junk but they’re way too close to the levers of power and wealth to be universally that deluded.

  5. 5
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I’m with you, dengre. Keep on him until he’s out. Newt is an amoral scumbag. He needs to be hounded day and night to ensure he has NO chance of having any political position (other than Professional Pundit/Grifter).

  6. 6
    Spiffy McBang says:

    Hey now… outside the 27 percenters and the MSM, I think Jimmy McMillan would be considered a more viable candidate than any of those guys.

  7. 7
    eyelessgame says:

    The man who authored the GOPAC memo and who impeached the only truly competent president of my lifetime over a blowjob – there are not words for how evil this man is.

  8. 8
    Mark S. says:

    I certainly hate Newt a lot, but I think he stumbled on the right strategy. Who cares if idiots like Ryan, Cantor, and Haley are criticizing him? Last I checked, the Ryan plan is extremely unpopular even among goopers. Newt could completely separate himself from the rest of the idiots if he came out strongly for Medicare.

    It doesn’t seem like anybody else agrees.

  9. 9
    SIA says:

    Chuck Butcher, don’t you have an anniversary this month? :)

  10. 10
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mark S.: Newt is crawling into the maverick, No Labels territory staked out by Evan Bayh and Mike Bloomberg. He’d better watch it or Evan will get mildly miffed. Could that be his new meal ticket? Newt…Unity Fusion 2012?

  11. 11
    Splitting Image says:

    Gingrich probably could win an election, but not one on one against Obama. They defeated Gore by pushing the “he and Bush are no different” angle.

    Gingrich can’t use that one this time and he doesn’t have many other arrows in his quiver.

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I don’t think Newt has many friends on the other side of the aisle. He burned those bridges long ago.

    @Splitting Image:

    Newt’s a terrible candidate. He’s never been popular at all. But the rest of the field is pretty terrible as well. But yeah, he’d get smashed by Obama.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Gingrich’s main problem is he can’t win the nomination.

    There are way too many behind the scenes GOP figures who will gladly stab him in the back. His speakership was riddled with back room machinations and abortive coup attempts.

    Never forget that when the 1998 midterms didn’t turn out as predicted, his rivals were ready to pounce, and by the Friday after election day, Gingrich was gone.

    His gaffe on Sunday only galvanized the internal GOP opposition from the party regulars. You don’t even need to bring the teatards into play on this one.

  14. 14
    MTmofo says:

    On Gilligan’s Island, there was a character called ‘The Professor’.

    Though he tried to make things better in the situation at hand.

  15. 15

    @SIA:
    damn, I tip my hat to you.

    5/12

    That is extraordinary on your part.
    Thanks

  16. 16
    SIA says:

    Chuck! Good job! 22 or something like that?

  17. 17
    furioso ateo says:

    Preach it Dennis!

  18. 18

    i get what your saying dennis g. but what we have seen, in the wake of palin, and trumpmentum, is that there is a not insignificant portion of the gop base, i am not sure if they are all 27%ers, that is looking at the liberal side, for queue in how much to like a candidate.

    if one of theirs draws an irate reaction from the left, they mete out their support, manipulating the media they have on lockdown, to make the candidate jump. we stop caring, they stop caring.

    i am not saying ignore gingrich entirely, its always good to update the files, but full attack mode is only going to garner, and galvanize support.

    i think we need to roll smoothly through this part of the campaign and not declare one candidate or the others particularly heinous.

    its a right wing problem to sort out, let them take every opportunity to crack apart while trying to decide who to like, rather than who we would hate, or dread.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @SIA: FWIW my parents hit 50 this year. They have explicitly instructed us no big party. We are fully intent on defying them.

  20. 20
    Cliff says:

    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.

    It’s cool. I’ve got no sympathy for that flabby motherfucker. Hound him right into the grave.

  21. 21

    @SIA:
    23

    It’s a bitch that I can seldom remember other people’s duration.

  22. 22

    @Yutsano:
    this anniversery and partying are kind of … well, at odds.
    At least the kind of partying that involves +.

  23. 23
    Waldo says:

    Newt never had a chance. His negative poll numbers had nowhere to go but up — and somehow he drove them down further. But by all means, pound a few more nails in his coffin.

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    Don’t feel bad about kicking him; he’d never hesitate even a nanosecond to kick you. Newt is living proof that you get back what you give out. I hope he’s thoroughly humiliated and hounded into permanent obscurity.

  25. 25
    BigHank53 says:

    Newt’s pretty much single-handedly responsible for the hyper partisian environment in DC, where the GOP tosses around words like “traitor” and “communist” at the drop of a hat.

    He’s also a thin-skinned egomaniac with volumes of wretched personal history. He stepped on a lot of fingers on the way up, and I’m sure none of them have forgotten him. I doubt he’ll survive much of the primary process–his campaign is just trying to extract money from GOP donors terrified of the rest of the mouth-breathing field.

    But yeah: keep kicking him. It’s hard to think of anyone more deserving.

  26. 26

    His second wife described him in very similar terms. I mean, not just negatively, but describing the same trait. She said that he viewed right and wrong solely in terms of what would add to his personal power. That it was hypnotic at first but got old very, very quickly. So I’m inclined to listen to this description.

    Thankfully, he has the fatal weakness that hits narcissists harder and harder the farther they go. If he can’t get his every last tiny little whim catered to, why did he work this hard? They completely lose sight of the long con.

  27. 27
    marv says:

    Remember when McGovern came back from out of nowhere to make a quixotic run for President in ’92 (I think) and even people like me who voted for him in ’72 were sort of like WTF but then by the end everyone seemed to agree he had conducted himself with dignity, added substantively to the political debate, and even enhanced his political legacy and reputation? This thing with Gingrich is the opposite of that.

  28. 28
    kay says:

    He’s also a thin-skinned egomaniac with volumes of wretched personal history.

    I agree. I think he’s hugely corrosive and much more important than McArdle or any pundit, so I think Dennis G. should keep writing on him. The Bushies consulted with him on the Iraq invasion. He actually has power.
    My father called him a “louse” recently. I think that’s the right word.

  29. 29
    kay says:

    Also, I cannot bear his voice. He loves to hear himself talk, and it’s so self-satisfied and phony-serious. It’s babble, too. He never says anything true, and he often doesn’t make sense, but he intones, so the morons think he’s brilliant.
    I hope he keeps running, and ends up as a pathetic Trump-like figure, which is where he always belonged.

  30. 30
    dsc says:

    @Yutsano:

    one small suggestion we used at my folk’s 40th–we asked friends and family to search old albums and see if they had photos they (parental units) may never have seen. WOW! they LOVED that. My bro did a video of what we hoped was one image of them or the family from every year of their marriage. It was amazing.

  31. 31

    Newt is Russian for grifter.

  32. 32
    Ellie says:

    @BigHank53:

    He’s also a thin-skinned egomaniac with volumes of wretched personal history. He stepped on a lot of fingers on the way up, and I’m sure none of them have forgotten him.

    I saw a great word on Teh Twitter this morning: #newtenfreude.

    This “campaign” is delish. I’m just afraid he’s imploding so quickly that the fun will be over too soon. Sad. Very sad.

  33. 33

    Did y’all see this video of gay rights protestors throwing glitter on him? The creepy part was the Christian robot security guard at the end saying, “have we ever disturbed your events? Never.” Um hey, not allowing gays to HAVE and event like a wedding sorta qualifies …

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    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.

    I agree with that last sentence.

    But I don’t consider him that much of a threat, simply because between his initial unpopularity and the way he just pissed off the teabagger base re the Ryan plan, I’d say his chances are quite low and just got worse. (I’d bet that the reason you never thought Reagan would be elected was because he was too crazy: Gingrich now has the opposite problem, of needing to convince the base that he’s crazy enough).

    What’s truly funny is that for once, Gingrich was right on the money. The Ryan Plan is too radical; the American people don’t want it; they are not more receptive to right wing social engineering than the left wing kind. He’s being crucified by his own for telling the truth, which most people already knew. Fitting commentary on the state of today’s GOP.

  35. 35
    Chris says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:

    i am not saying ignore gingrich entirely, its always good to update the files, but full attack mode is only going to garner, and galvanize support.

    its a right wing problem to sort out, let them take every opportunity to crack apart while trying to decide who to like, rather than who we would hate, or dread.

    The phrase “never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake/destroying himself” will appear many times before this Republican primary’s over, I am sure.

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @kay:

    Also, I cannot bear his voice. He loves to hear himself talk, and it’s so self-satisfied and phony-serious. It’s babble, too. He never says anything true, and he often doesn’t make sense, but he intones, so the morons think he’s brilliant.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve watched one of his Citizens United videos: he’s one of those Repubs who like to sound like your professor, your priest and your dad all rolled into one. Newt Gingrich, Wise Old Man: come to him and he’ll tell you what and how to think. The base doesn’t seem to be buying it, though.

  37. 37
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yup, Dennis, you’re right.

    I think Newt is even more dangerous than Little Boots Bush.

    He’s a sociopath with a brain.
    Not much of one, but good enough for the rubes and marks.

  38. 38
    El Cid says:

    Maybe there are still people who think that being an amoral, nihilistic, sociopathically self-interested conservative is somehow a political liability.

    It isn’t.

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    I have yet to figure out exactly what it is that the Base likes; but I don’t think Newt has it. He’s more of an Inside Man kind of candidate.

    And yes, he’s what passes as an Intellect on that side. I shudder, I really do.

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @BigHank53:

    I doubt he’ll survive much of the primary process—his campaign is just trying to extract money from GOP donors terrified of the rest of the mouth-breathing field.

    And if Newt can be kept from getting as much money as possible, that benefits all of us. The less money he has, the less influence he has.

  41. 41
    neill says:

    Newt is the future of the Republican party.

    Good logo for them:

    “Amoral. Narcissist. Nihilist. Sociopath.
    VOTE REPUBLICAN”

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @Chris:

    Ewww. He drops his voice lower to sound profound, when he’s getting ready to make some ludicrous, fact-free mean-spirited pronouncement.

    ” I believe…” Just gross. It’s all raw ego. It’s disturbing to listen to him, just the sound.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    @Chris:

    He also does that “HAH HAH HAH” laugh that tv pundits use. I think they all train in the same abandoned warehouse/media training center, with a single instructor.

    It’s a cartoon of “laughing”. It has nothing to do with normal human beings :)

  44. 44
    xian says:

    he says “frankly” a lot when lying too.

  45. 45
    Jennifer says:

    Perhaps, in this era of high unemployment where the unemployed, who are unemployed through no fault of their own but rather due to the de-regulatory zeal of the GOP, and are under constant attack from that same GOP, folks should be reminded of Newt’s “solution” from back in the 90s to the plight of children in poverty: Take them away from their parents and put them in orphanages. I don’t think he ever elaborated on what should be done with their parents, but probably debtors’ prisons figured into it somehow.

    So much for a non-interventionist government.

  46. 46
    grandpajohn says:

    @kay:

    He never says anything true,

    And on the extremely rare occasion he does accidently have a serious brain fart and and in a moment of weakness does make a truthful statement as his moment on the Ryan plan, he then has to back track for telling the truth hence his call to Ryan apologizing for telling a factual truth the base didn’t want to here

  47. 47
    PWL says:

    It’s the problem I’ve had with Newt. I think the L.H. Carter is right–Gingrich is one of the most dangerous men in America–he is an amoral megalomaniac, who has a gift for bullshitting the rubes and the press into thinking what he wants them to think…

    In short, he seems a lot like that guy who came to power in Germany back in 1933….

  48. 48
    danimal says:

    Newt and his fellow grifters (especially the Alaskan-grade grifters) are all about personal aggrandizement and power. They are not idealogues, and conservatism is a means to an end for them.

    Why is this important? Simple: the conservative market is saturated and shrinking. Talk blowhard ratings have reached a plateau or are dropping. Fox is at its peak, and conservative books that real people bought five years ago are only selling because of bulk buys by conservative foundations.

    So my warning is this: As conservatism continues to implode, the grifters will follow the money. They may start espousing more moderate sounding soundbites. Gingrich, Palin and the like may start saying what we want to hear. Resist the sirens call if that happens. They are not your friends, even when they start to sound reasonable on more issues.

  49. 49
    dww44 says:

    @Chris: Actually, when I saw the whole thing on one of the MSNBC shows last evening (I Don’t watch the Sunday morning shows ever), I thought the same thing. Here’s Newt sounding somewhat reasonable and right, in spite of the false equivalencies about the extremeness of Obamacare.

    But then, I had to remember all the racist dog whistles from 2 days before at the GOP convention and barbecue pit stop here in my fair city.

  50. 50
    jinxtigr says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    this anniversery and partying are kind of … well, at odds.
    At least the kind of partying that involves +.

    Huh, you don’t say? I speak that kind of dogwhistle ;) 18 years here, 19 this fall… congrats :D

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    @PWL: Bush II got elected and took us to war in Iraq. Newt is no longer an elected official and will not become one again. And you are telling me that Newt is more dangerous than Bush II?

    Not buying it.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @danimal:

    Resist the sirens call if that happens. They are not your friends, even when they start to sound reasonable on more issues.

    Yeah… frankly, at this point, I don’t think I’ll ever vote Republican in my lifetime (and I’m a noob, wasn’t even old enough to vote in 2004), no matter how reasonable they start sounding.

    The party has nothing to offer, and no one alive today can remember the last time they did. What we call the age of reasonable Republicans, in the 1950s and 1960s, was simply when they adopted New Deal platforms, twenty years after Democrats had fought for them tooth and nail. When the only good thing your party’s done in the last century is to temporarily adopt the other party’s platform, I think it’s fair to say that you’re completely out of things to contribute and need to quit.

    Not that I expect that to happen, of course.

  53. 53
    ABL says:

    @Mark S.: that was my thought. could he drum up enough support for an independent run? not likely, but that may be his only shot.

  54. 54
    jayboat says:

    Beyond his erratic and intemperate personality, Newt Gingrich has always been burdened by a grandiose self-image in which he is a gallant figure standing athwart history. Narcissism among politicos is hardly a rare disease, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it channeled through a flack in as pure a form as Newt’s press secretary Rick Tyler does today, defending Newt from the gravest of all existential threats–political reporters:

    The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.

    Armed sheep with cocktail napkins would have overcome a lesser man than Newt.

    David Kurtz!

  55. 55
    DFH no.6 says:

    I want some rightwing, crack-brain, nutjob (like Bachmann, or at least someone who knows how to play one, like Newt the Monster) to win the fascist nomination so they get crushed by Obama in the general.

    Yes, of course either of those two (or anyone like them, like the Snowbilly) would be disastrous for the country should they actually win the presidency, but they couldn’t win – not unless the economy re-craters badly between now and then, and if that happens we’re in deep, deep shit no matter what (and no matter who is president).

    A much more serious challenge to Obama from the Republicans would come (if the economy just continues to muddle along, which seems most likely) from one of the “reasonable moderate” types like Romney, Huntsman, even Pawlenty.

    Yes, yes, we know no one the neo-Confederates would put up would actually be reasonable or moderate, but that’s the narrative that would be sold (promulgated enthusiastically by most of the media). And the danger there is that enough “swing” voters buy that and Obama is narrowly defeated.

    There’s a far greater likelihood of that happening than that a screaming, neon-lit asshole like Gingrich prevails in the general.

    So – go Newt!

  56. 56
    bornagaindem says:

    “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.”

    Gee all that stuff applies equally to Obama and he was elected. This could be a great contest – the battle of the grifters/ What a sad commentary on our political system when this is what we have to choose from.

  57. 57
    DFH no.6 says:

    @bornagaindem:

    Awww…. sad troll is sad.

  58. 58
    AAA Bonds says:

    Never trust an 11th-hour Catholic convert running for office.

    Honestly, I don’t need much more evidence of his amorality than that.

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