Here’s Newt’s full victory speech, and as usual he has no peer in his ability to lay down lies, red herrings, culture warfare and good old-fashioned bullshit. He’s going to challenge Obama to seven three-hour debates, “and to be fair, I’ll let him use a teleprompter”. He thinks Ron Paul is spot-on about the Federal Reserve and fiat currency. He thinks the media are traitors:
“In the two debates we had here, in Myrtle Beach and in Charleston, where people reacted so strongly to the news media, I think it was something very fundamental that I wish the powers that be in the news media would take seriously. The American people feel that they have elites who have been trying for a half century to force us to quit being American and become some other kind of other system.”
As Jay Rosen notes, “The people in the news media are in effect a fifth column— traitors who are trying to ‘force’ upon Americans a society that is fundamentally (a key word in the Gingrich lexicon…) un-American”. Any politician with a personal life like Newt’s has to take on the media, but as with so many other issues, Newt goes one step further and calls them them traitors.
Listening to this, I’m struck by one thing: if Newt is the candidate, he’s going to drive the discussion into all the nooks and crannies of noise and diversion that have occupied Fox News viewers since Obama’s victory. In other words, Newt is the candidate of the 2009 media cycle, where the Tea Party dominated media coverage. If Romney is the candidate, a big part of the discussion will be how he managed to pay 15% tax on the millions he made. He’s the candidate of the 2011 media cycle, dominated by Occupy Wall Street and issues of jobs and equity.
Even though it would appear that Newt’s candidacy is better for the establishment, establishment Republicans are going to try to snuff out his campaign. Two points about that: First, how the hell is this amorphous “establishment” going to do it? Are they going to put Walnuts on the campaign trail gritting his teeth and explaining how he loves Mitt Romney? Are Reince Preibus and Jon Huntsman going to use the combined force of their charisma to convince the 27 percenters to annoint an East Cost RINO Mormon? Second, what’s so bad for the establishment about having a shit-slinger like Newt take attention away from the unfairness of eternal tax cuts? He guarantees that the issues of the election will all be sideshow trivia: Obama will be explaining why he isn’t like Saul Alinsky, the media will be explaining why they aren’t traitors, and Paul Krugman will be explaining what “fiat currency” means.
Newt is like a kid with ADHD who’s off his Ritalin when it comes to distraction, and Republicans win when they make the election about distractions rather than the issues. The question isn’t whether Gingrich is the best imaginable candidate, just whether he’s the best of this bunch, and after watching that speech, I can’t say that Romney is any better.