Newt Gingrich is not going to be President. He never was going to be President. He never will be close enough to becoming President for him to be even worth my writing the first two sentences.
Nobody likes him. Even people who like him don't like him. He converted to Catholicism recently and a thousand saints rolled over in their sepulchers and reliquaries. The angels in heaven, where there is more rejoicing over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine of the righteous' continued righteousness, stopped in mid-Hosanna when they heard whose reclamation they were celebrating and said, "Him? Really? Well...alleluia, I guess. What the hell." And what does it say about the Church that Barack Obama isn't welcome to speak at Notre Dame's commencement but the twice-divorced adulterer and darling of the proudly pro-death penalty, cheerfully warmongering, anti-immigrant, screw the poor party wasn't laughed out of the rectory of every parish where he offered himself as a candidate for RICA?
That the Church means what it says about forgiveness or that it's consistent in which items in the Catechism it chooses to ignore---all those that would apply to Republicans more than to Democrats?
At any rate, Newt may be going to heaven, after a long lay-over in Purgatory, but he is not going to the White House as President.
Newt isn't Speaker of the House anymore. He's not even in Congress. He's not a governor, a mayor, a town selectman, or dog catcher. He has no constituency. He speaks for no one but himself and the only authority he speaks with is the smug authority of the dealer in a back room poker game who knows the local cops have been paid off and he's got a tableful of drunken country boys to fleece.
Yet he keeps popping up on my teevee and in news reports online and on op-ed pages offline as if what he has to say matters as much as or more than what's on the minds of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or, God save us, even Sarah Palin, as if he represents the bright young future of the Republican Party instead of embodying its decrepit, sclerotic, senescent past, as if he's campaigning for something more than increased book sales and a bump in his speaking fees, as if he matters.
Looking for good examples of the craven corruption of the National Media is like looking for a good example of a jelly bean in an Easter basket, it hardly matters which one you pick, but I like this one---their continued presentation of Newt Gingrich as if he's a statesman and sage and not the political equivalent of a guy pssst-ing at you from an alleyway so he can sell you a bridge.
Oh, I know why they do it. Newt can be counted on to stir up controversy and deliver a passable sound bite. He can be passed off as a visionary because he can spout gobbledy-gook about the FUTURE in a style learned from his boyhood reading of Popular Science articles about flying cars and bubble cities. He can mouth the conservative agenda with more seeming coherence, objectivity, and pseudo-intellectuality than the current crop of actual conservative leaders and statesmen. And he can say nasty things about Democrats with a twinkle in his eye and a calmness in his voice that make it sound as though he's simply stating the amusingly obvious.
It's that last one, the cheerful nastiness about Democrats, that really butters his bread.
He's there so that the members of the "librul" media can hide behind him. He helps keep their bread buttered. When an angry corporate bigwig corners them during cocktails before a lucrative speaking gig, when the rich neighbor who sponsored their membership in the country club starts yelling at them in the locker room, when an angry Congressional aide threatens to cut off access to the boss, when the lobbyist who's promised to grease their kids' way into that great private school calls them up to scream at them about their alleged liberal bias, instead of standing up for themselves and their supposed journalistic principles they can splutter, "But didn't you see we had Newt on the other day?"
And since everybody involved, including Newt, knows that Newt doesn't mean any of it, that he's just out to make himself another million bucks, they can all pretend it doesn't matter, it's just part of the game. You know, the game? The one played with our money and our futures and our nation's security and well-being?
More: Julia on Newt, the whole Newt, and nothing but the Newt.