It’s 3AM, Do You Trust Newt Gingrich?

December 9th, 2011 at 11:13 am David Frum | 87 Comments |

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David Brooks makes a great point in his column today about Newt Gingrich’s temperament:

But how you believe something is as important as what you believe. It doesn’t matter if a person shares your overall philosophy. If that person doesn’t have the right temperament and character, stay away.

I’d make that same point in a slightly different way.

Presidents always aspire to set the course for the nation’s domestic governance, and some occasionally succeed: Reagan, Johnson, Obama for the first 18 months of his presidency.

More typically, however, the president finds his direction rebuffed by Congress, which does the job instead: Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Nixon, etc.

What presidents must inescapably do is respond to emergencies: eg, the financial crisis of 2008, the 9/11 terror attacks, the financial crises of 1997-98, the invasion of Kuwait, etc. And there, what usually ends up mattering most is not the president’s philosophy, but his judgment, coolness and steadiness. Those are the grounds on which Romney reassures and Gingrich terrifies.

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87 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    Another Newt dump? As everyone in the blogosphere knows Romney operatives had a conference call with friendly chatterers yesterday and lo and behold we have a Frum trashing this morning and a Brooks trashing in the NYT on the theme of whose finger on the trigger. So predictable. The long awaited Romney attacks on Gingrich have started.

    • overshoot

      Do you smell — fear?

      • Fart Carbuncle

        Indeed.

        Frum appears unhinged at the notion a brilliant problem-solving conservative dare threaten his man Mitt’s position.

        The anti-anything anti-Romney threads are amusing. :D

        • wileedog

          “Frum appears unhinged at the notion a brilliant problem-solving conservative dare threaten his man Mitt’s position.”

          I think he’s nervous about Gingrich too.

        • Graychin

          ^ +1

        • Rich T Bikkies

          What problems has he solved? What problems has he caused?

          The big worry is that he’ll solve nothing and generate a lot of problems out of nothing because of his arrogance and narcissism. Just look at the record, I’d say. But come on, Mr Carbuncle, let’s hear about problems he’s solved. Do something you don’t often do – supply facts instead of trolling.

      • tommyudo

        Willard’s people are having their embedded scribes do their dirty work for them, so Willard’s dainty digits won’t get soiled. No one cares what Brooks and Will have to say. How dare the rabble decide who they want as their nominee? If Bernie Sanders mounted a credible Paul-like challenge to Obama, the usual lefty journalists would be performing the same function.
        I hope Newton can stay out of the usual gutter that he lives in for the next few weeks.
        Obama would demolish him in a general election. Perhaps by a wider margin than he did with Grandpa McCain.

        • ConnerMcMaub

          Funny you mentioned Bernie Sanders, he pissed off a lot of liberals and libertarians this week.

  • overshoot

    Judgment, coolness, and steadiness. Well, if we’re to judge Romney vs. Gingrich on those counts ….

    1) Judgment: no evidence for either, although Gingrich has a longer track record of finding a way to get things done.
    2) Coolness: zero evidence for either. No emergencies on either’s watch.
    3) Steadiness: I need a better tachometer before I compare the rotational velocity of the two.

    Now here’s a bonus question for DF: add a third candidate to the comparison on those three points. Just for grins, toss in the likely Democratic candidate. How does a three-way comparison look on those three measures?

    • jjack

      If you reject the notion that Obama is an America-hating, crypto-terrorist-muslim(!!), you are left with a moderate with a conservative disposition who spends most of his time continuing George Bush’s foreign policy. He did help enact a radical health care reform that the GOP was championing a few years back, though. He also cut taxes to historically low levels. Obama is really DF’s dreamboat; he just doesn’t want to admit it.

      Really, I’ll have to agree with the Tea Partiers in one respect: people like Frum really are RINOs. They refuse to admit that the Republican Party has moved way past them into lands inhabited by the likes of Gingrich, Bachmann, Trump, and Palin.

      Most Dems, on the other hand, refuse to admit that their party has also moved way to the right. The Right has been enormously successful over the past 30 years at shifting the debate and the political/media landscape. Their only trouble is that they can’t stop moving ever further to the right. And now they are about to jump right off a cliff.

    • dante

      It’s been asked over, and over, and over again here on this board, but the powers that be keep ducking the question. Obviously someone like JV would vote for Mickey Mouse if he had an (R) after his name, but I’m still hoping to get a more cogent answer out of DF. Obviously he feels that Romney is better than Obama, but I’m really wondering what’s going to happen when Romney *doesn’t* get the nod?

      • Primrose

        It’s an excellent question because the more I see of Romney the less likely I think it will be that Romney will win the primary. He’s fundamentally just not very nice or trustable. I mean I’m fairly sure he won’t go Dr. Strangeglove on us but how do I know? I think the constant change of frontrunners indicates, it’s not just Dems who feel that way. So what will Mr. Frum do if it isn’t Romney?

  • SteveT

    Is he with my wife?

  • MBunge

    “Those are the grounds on which Romney reassures and Gingrich terrifies.”

    I can get how Newt’s, let’s say mecurial, temper would be a concern. But why should anyone be reassured that Romney would be cool head in the sort of crisis you’re talking about? I mean, look how he’s responded to emergency situations during his 5 year campaign for the White House. He’s a brittle, fragile guy who freaks out when things don’t go according to plan.

    I think it’s rather illustrative that no matter what Romney does, no matter how craven he behaves, no matter how unsteady or creepy he appears, establishment types like Frum still look at him and all they see is “one of us”.

    Mike

    • overshoot

      I think it’s rather illustrative that no matter what Romney does, no matter how craven he behaves, no matter how unsteady or creepy he appears, establishment types like Frum still look at him and all they see is “one of us”.

      He does wear some very nice tailored suits, and he does it well.

    • Graychin

      MBunge, your final sentence is the most insightful thought I’ve read this week. Well done, Sir.

    • wileedog

      Wait, are you saying the guy who got flustered by Brett friggin Baier wouldn’t be able to stare down Valdmir Putin?

    • nuser

      MBunge
      “he is a brittle fragile guy, who freaks” ……. Truer words were never spoken. Romney ,however,will drop a bomb on Iran, because you see: I’ll be whatever you want, and that is what David Frum, Krauthammer etc, want in a candidate. Do you for one moment believe these people ,even remotely , respect their candidate Romney? Romney can be manipulated and that is what the republican party wants. So incredibly scary! The damage to America and other places that has been done is mind boggling. Spread the word , People!

    • Ray_Harwick

      Careful. O.O.U. (one of us) is a gay meme. It would ignite a flame war like “teabagger” did.

  • Graychin

    In a new ad, Romney’s allies are accusing NEWT of being a FLIP-FLOPPER – on foreclosures, immigration “amnesty,” and climate change. They claim that “Newt supported a health care mandate … the centerpiece of ‘Obamacare.” :shock:

    It’s part of the Karl Rove playbook: attribute your own weaknesses to your opponent. Not that Newt is a model of consistency.

    George Will has said that Romney is “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.” Is he wrong?

    In an unguarded moment of candor, the Romney camp defended its ad featuring an out-of-context, misattributed Obama quote by explaining that televised ads are little more than “manipulative pieces of persuasive art.” In other words, if lying is what it takes – then we’ll lie our rears off.

    Mike Huckabee speculated that Mitt Romney doesn’t have a soul. I think Huck may be right.

    No, I wouldn’t trust Newt at 3 AM. But I don’t trust Mitt Romney at any hour of the day or night. I’d much rather take my chances with Cool Hand Barack.

    • overshoot

      George Will has said that Romney is “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.” Is he wrong?

      Wrong? No. But that’s one of the most tortured phrasings of what could have been a trenchant observation that I’ve read in quite a while.

      Will used to at least be able to turn a phrase. I suspect several here could reword that to keep the good part (the idea of being proudly lacking convictions) while improving the flow.

    • JohnMcC

      When I read that Mitt is a ‘recidivist reviser’ I wondered if that was as horrible as a ‘nattering nabob’.

  • HighCountry

    Seems to me that Romney hasn’t exactly demonstrated cool-headedness either…look how he has reacted to only moderately tough questioning from the home team at Fox News.

  • drcme

    David-panic much?

    Seriously, this is what happens when Republican leaders-both inside and outside Washington-tell the base on a non-stop basis that Obama is a Muslim/socialist/Kenyan/Marxist/ruiner of all things. You, David, as much as I like you, are complicit in this. Every time you write an article, you include a swipe at Obama. You are reaping what you, and the GOP, have sown.

  • Reflection Ephemeral

    Yeah, as others have pointed out, the only reason “Romney reassures” is because of his haircut, jawline, and nice suits. There’s no particular evidence for the proposition that he can face a crisis calmly.

    Leaving aside Romney’s famed flip-floppery, the centerpiece of his campaign is his eagerness to lie about America. He’s lying about an “apology tour” that never happened, and he’s lying about US policy toward Israel. See: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/2011/09/26/romney-and-the-apology-tour/ and (self-link) http://www.poisonyourmind.com/2011/08/thoroughly-postmodern-media/ .

    It seems to me that if Mitt Romney were just getting started in politics now, as an ambitious wealthy, nominally data-driven politician, he’d be challenging Scott Brown as a Democratic candidate for the US Senate. But he happened to get started in the 1990s, challenging Ted Kennedy, and had to ride things out with an R after his name, chucking (ostensible) principles along the way as need be.

    There is no way to know how he’ll react to that 3 am phone call. There’s no way to know what he thinks about anything. I get why Frum doesn’t like Gingrich– it appears that no one who knows Gingrich likes him– but he offers no evidence as to why he feels reassurance when he closes his eyes and dreams of Romney.

  • chephren

    It’s 3AM, and the phone rings upstairs in the residence.

    President Newt rolls over, pulling the satin sheets over his head. After the 8th ring, the First Lady, awakened in spite of the sound insulating qualities of the foam headgear she wears to preserve her unique hairdo, reaches out her bejewelled hand and shakes POTUS: “Neeeewtie . . . honey, come on . . . pick it up, willya?”

    The President sighs. His eyes covered by a layer of Pond’s cold cream and a presidential eyeshade, he extends a dewlapped arm. Feeling for the receiver, he knocks over the bonbon box on the night stand, scattering macaroons on the presidential-seal carpet.

    Finally, he picks up and puts the instrument to his ear:”Mr. President, this is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pakistan has just launched an air and ground attack across the Indian border. A nuclear device was detonated over New Delhi 30 minutes ago. We have evidence of troops massing on the Chinese border . . .”

    The President interrupts: “Call Bolton. I’ll deal with this in the morning.” He rolls over and receives a cuddle from Callista: “What was it, baby?” “Nothing at all, sweetness”, he replies. In a minute he is asleep again. He snores.

    • overshoot

      Same basic scenario:

      President Romney calls an emergency meeting of his top advisors. First up: the Press Secretary, who has spent the last two hours consulting with Gallup and Rasmussen …

    • Diomedes

      @chephren,

      I cannot take your depiction seriously because nowhere in your prose did you make any mention of Newt breaking wind.

      I can’t fathom that Newt the Porpoise would have fallen soundly asleep without letting at least a few burrito induced eruptions of flatulence emanate from his a$$hole.
      Probably followed by Newt throwing the covers over Callista’s head while yelling “Dutch Oven!”.

  • jjack

    “Romney reassures” translation: “Romeny doesn’t really believe the nonsense that we feed to the base all day. Gingrich, Bachmann et al. really believe that crap.”

    To people like Frum, Romney’s lack of spine or any core convictions is a feature, not a bug. They *want* a politician, not a priest. The problem is that the rest of the party wants a priest.

  • jdd_stl1

    I think perhaps for people like DF who are behind Romney it is a
    relative decision. Compared to the alternatives in the GOP race,
    Romney seems reassuring.

    Would Romney removing all the hard drives from the governor’s office
    at the end of his term be a sign of reassuring steadiness?
    Seems like last minute panic to me.

    I think Carville has it about right as to why the GOP is left with
    this array of bad candidates:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/08/opinion/carville-gop-field/index.html

    Why did all the good candidates (Christie, Daniels, Bush, Barbour, Thune)
    decide to not run:
    “The majority of the people in the Republican Party who were going to pick their nominee had been so overwhelmed by misinformation, unworkable simplistic solutions — e.g., electrifying border fences — and anti-science, right-wing pandering, that the potential candidates decided they just could not go through with it.”

    • overshoot

      “The majority of the people in the Republican Party who were going to pick their nominee had been so overwhelmed by misinformation, unworkable simplistic solutions — e.g., electrifying border fences — and anti-science, right-wing pandering, that the potential candidates decided they just could not go through with it.”

      By the time they’d signed onto the various vows and lies [1] needed to secure the nomination, they’d be unelectable. And if they won, they’d have nowhere to hide: they’d own the economy, lock stock and the barrels the electorate would be wearing.

      The ones sitting this out are shooting for the same goal Huntsman is: 2016.

      [1] Now that every single one of the current field is on the record as supporting the incredibly unpopular Ryan “Kill Medicare” plan, the partying at Democratic HQ is getting round-the-clock noise complaints.

  • Rob_654

    “It’s 3AM, Do You Trust Newt Gingrich?”

    As much as wife #1 or wife #2… or wife #3 if she has any sense…

  • Frumplestiltskin

    The only Republican I feel comfortable about at 3 AM is Huntsman. He was Ambassador to China and previously to Singapore, and he was Governor. He knows the world about as well as anyone and would not fly off the handle in a crisis to show how tough he is.

    I have absolutely no idea how Romney would react as he seems to have no core beyond a desire to be President.

    Obama, and his staff, showed their absolute cool and nerves of steel in the lead up to taking out OBL. Obama went to a comedy dinner and acted cool and relaxed without a hint of what was then in the process of going down. Hands down Obama wins the 3 AM test. And he picked a staff of equal cool as that event proved.

    In fact, over the past 50 years only Kennedy, Nixon and Papa Bush were equal to the task. (Ford was never really challenged apart from that minor incident with N. Korea).
    Reagan panicked in Lebanon, Clinton did so in Somalia, the less said about GWB the better.

    • LFC

      +1,000,000

      Obama has proven multiple times that he and his staff have the chops to handle some of the biggest crises ever handed over to a new incoming President. I honestly believe that if he had gotten his way on economic policy, instead of being blocked by a group of wingnuts with no policies, we’d be much better off today.

      From records and rhetoric, I don’t see anybody running on the GOP side who comes remotely close. Obama is major league, the GOP field is Bush league.

    • JohnMcC

      Mr Frumple, may I ask when exactly Mr Nixon showed his coolness under fire? The only moment of his Presidency that I can think of involved the YomKippur war and as I recall he was drunk and Kissenger and Haig stepped in to put the nation on DefCon3 in response to Brezhnev’s threat to use Soviet forces to halt IDF advances. I am someone who hated Nixon with such zeal that maybe I overlook something he did well.

      The not-much-better Pres Ford did well in the Panmunjom incident. Flying B52s over N Korea without blustering threats into microphones was terrific and effective. The Mayaguez Incident was unfortunately poorly handled by the military; one wonders what the career of the person who caused the invasion of the wrong island was like. Which was not the fault of the Commander in Chief, of course, except in the sense that ‘the buck stops here’. It’s peculiar that Mr Ford got a substantial boost in popularity from that expedition when the similarly FUBAR ‘desert one’ operation of Mr Carter had a similar unfortunate fate and cost him dearly.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        I mentioned Nixon only because he had the FP chops to open up to China.

      • Ray_Harwick

        Yikes! I sudder to remember that bit of history (Yom Kippur War/Operation Nickelgrass). I was in the Air Force at the time and it seems like I didn’t get go to bed for a week. My own impression at the time was that it was a vastly more justified action compared to our intervention in Viet Nam. I picked up a gun exactly one time in the Air Force – to qualify on the firing range when I was in basic training. I shot 90 rounds. Period. End of training and the took the guy back and never handed me another. When Nickel Grass launched, I had this dreadful feeling that I was about to be thrust into a war unarmed.

  • sparse

    i would not trust newt at 3 in the afternoon either. he is a gasbag, and it is just a matter of time until he blows.

    i would echo the instinctive distrust of romney that others have pointed out, but in all fairness, at this point in 2007, there was no reason to trust obama or to believe him capable of handling the pressures of office either. that he has done remarkably well in this regard could be taken to mean that romney could also do well. if i were to take my instinctive distrust of the guy and weave from it proof that he is not trustworthy, then i would have done no better than frum or brooks who trust him because of the “one of us” factor.

    • LFC

      “…but in all fairness, at this point in 2007, there was no reason to trust obama or to believe him capable of handling the pressures of office either.”

      True, but within 6 months when he had faced off against Clinton and a large part of the Democratic establishment, and won with a smart strategy while staying cool under fire (and he took some SERIOUS fire, contra the false meme that the MSM coddled him), we knew a lot more about him. The issue is that we already know Gingrich is unstable, we know that the real Romney can’t handle expected questions in an interview without getting on edge (reminds me a bit of Perot in that characteristic), and the rest of the GOP field is just plain nuts.

  • nitrat

    I’m old enough to remember Newt as Speaker. Everyone is right, he is a big factor in why we have a Congress that does not work today. He is mean, petty and nasty. No amount of Catholicism has changed that about him. Apparently, a lot of the Republican “base” is mean, petty and nasty and responds to someone like them.

    More than that, I’m worried that there may be a serious mental disturbance going on with Newt. That red flag went up when he used “hard work” as his excuse for infidelity. I have worked with a clientele of people suffering from mental illness including Bi-Polar Disorder and Adult ADHD. Newt’s description makes me think one of those disorders in going on here. It would explain a helluva lot about his career and personal life. Those are very erratic people if they are not treated, and sometimes when they are.

    As a resident of a state that his sent the nation Mark Sanford and Jim DeMint, it is clear that we have way too many people serving in Congress and in State Houses that have more than just narcissism. We need to stop minimizing the crazy actions we see and realize that another part of our problem with Congress is the people with diagnosable conditions who we are electing and sending there.

    • nuser

      Could it be Romney is suffering from Delusion of Grandeur? Or maybe Tourette syndrome, he can’t help but lie?

      • overshoot

        Professionals know better than to diagnose public figures, but I’m not even that qualified.

        If I had to guess, Romney is trying real hard to be a total narcissist like his role models, but can’t seem to stop wanting people to accept him. So he keeps playing, “I’ll be whoever you want me to be.”

  • jdd_stl1

    It is interesting to note that this is one of the few posts by DF
    that does not take a direct swipe at Obama.
    A slight backhand job with his “Obama for the first 18 months”.
    So, maybe he does accept that Obama has been cool, calm and collected
    under pressure.

  • Lonewolf

    Regarding Gingrich’s temperament: A poll was recently taken. 100 Washington women were asked if they’d willingly have an affair with Newt Gingrich, knowing he was still married.

    14 said “yes”, 21 said “no”, 14 responded “unsure”, and 51 said “What, again?”

  • sweatyb

    First, Brooks is a windbag. I give you credit for sifting through the mental diarrhea that is Brooks’ latest column and surfacing with something substantial. Though I can assure you, it’s not a gem you hold in your hand.

    Second, you must be basing your opinion of Romney on information not available to the general public. Because the Romney that’s running for the Republican nomination is feckless, listless, and dull.

    Even evaluating candidate Romney on your three criteria he comes up lacking:
    1. Judgment: Romney has yet to demonstrate any judgement. He is unwilling to defend or attack any policy (except the policy of having Barack Obama as President).
    2. Coolness: Romney has completely lost his cool ever since Newt started dominating him in the polls.
    3. Stability: Romney is not stable, partly because he does not trust his own judgement. (He was for a health insurance mandate before he was against it before he was for it, but on a state-by-state basis, and then against it even at the state level.)

    The sad thing is no one running for the nomination does well on those three. (Huntsman might, he’s bright and articulate and has led a successful career in public service. But he’s the one person Romney could actually beat for the nomination.)

  • LFC

    I can’t believe I’m going to approvingly quote Ann Coulter, but here goes:

    Newt Gingrich is the “anti-Establishment” candidate only if “the Establishment” is defined as “anyone who remembers what happened the day before yesterday.”

  • LFC

    For your reading pleasure, Sullivan picked up on David’s line on Gingrich and posted some right-wing establishment reactions:

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/full-unconcealed-panic.html

    You also have to watch the ad at the top from Romney’s SuperPAC. It takes some real Chutzpah (insert Bachmann’s pronunciation here) to have a pro-Romney ad that calls somebody else a flip-flopper.

    • Ray_Harwick

      You’ve got Mr Tory (Will), Mr Neocon (Krauthammer), Mr Hamiltonian (Brooks), Mr Tightwad (Coburn), Mr Theocon (Douthat), and Miss Thing (Coulter) in rare agreement. But Fox News viewers and many many others in the base want none of it, at least so far. And so we have a fantastically interesting crisis in which the Republican establishment is trying to persuade the base to drop the candidate who now has commanding leads in four of the five first votes. I’ll have a large popcorn and a Coke Zero please.

      That’s Sullivans summation of the GOP poo-bahs. [Screaming with laughter]

  • jdd_stl1

    This sure is getting fun.

    What would really spice this up is if Rush, Trump and Palin all came
    out and endorsed Gingrich. The intellectual conservatives lining
    up against Newt (but not exactly FOR Mitt) and the
    not-so-intellectual conservatives lining up for Newt.

    More popcorn will be necessary.

    • overshoot

      What would really spice this up is if Rush, Trump and Palin all came out and endorsed Gingrich.

      Close enough: Murdoch has, at least unofficially.

  • indy

    We now have Newt’s first wife, aka the Republican establishment, explaining what an untrustworthy scumbag he is to Newt’s latest wife, aka the Republican base. We all know the dynamics of this situation, so good luck with that.

  • Oldskool

    What a buzzkill. I thought this primary was about who could get the most unintentional laughs.

  • Xunzi Washington

    Frum says “Those are the grounds on which Romney reassures and Gingrich terrifies” but forgets to add the concluding sentence:

    “…BUT if he is the nominee, I will vote for him.”

  • Secessionist

    The fundamental dynamic driving this year’s nomination fight is not Romney versus Anti-Romney but rather GOP establishment versus GOP base.

    The rise and fall of the various anti-Romneys along with Gingrich’s mind boggling surge in the polls prove beyond all doubt that the base simply does not want the establishment’s consensus choice. Judging from the positions taken by the establishment’s media proxies (Karl Rove, David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, Ann Coulter, etc.), it is clear the establishment wants Romney.

    So the obvious problem is that the establishment wants A and the base wants B, but the base controls the nomination not the establishment. In the past, the establishment has always been able to use their money, influence, tricks, and media power to sell the base on their candidate and thereby get the candidate they want even though they don’t cast the votes.

    There is good evidence, however, that is not going to happen this year (the Gingrich polling numbers). The Gingrich polling numbers are in effect a giant middle finger from the base to the establishment despite the best efforts of Rove, Brooks, etc.

    • beowulf

      Which goes to show that the GOP base is deranged.
      Gingrich was a Rockefeller Republican back in the day and has in recent years supported insurance mandates, climate change legislation and continues to support immigration amnesty.
      If he somehow won, there’s no evidence to indicate that he’d be more of a right-wing social engine– excuse me, conservative than Romney. The important point is that everyone who’s worked with him (or, with one exception, been married to him) has grave doubts about his integrity and judgment.

    • indy

      The joke is on the base. Has there ever been a more establishment candidate than Newt Gingrich? If there is anyone who has capitalized on being an establishment politician any more than him, I’d really like to hear about it. He has milked his political moment in the sun like a a four-handed dairy maid on speed. He was too establishment for the establishment.

    • Ray_Harwick

      $10,000.00 on Gingrich.

      Romney imploded tonight. As someone said, “Romney had everthing to lose, and he did.”

      When you can casually wager $10,000.00 right in the noses of an economically stagging nation, many of whom don’t earn $10K in a year; when you don’t answer the question, “When was the last time you had to cut necessities in order to survive?” because you **never** had to cut necessities in your entire life; when you get B*tch-slapped by Gingrich over your “I’m not a Washington insider” manta with “That’s only because you couldn’t beat Ted Kennedy” – you are toast.

      $10,000.00 on Gingrich. May the GOP overlords drain every deep pocket they have in their losing cause.

      • Nanotek

        it looks like the GOP Treaty of Versailles may be cracking and getting personal … I hear the question of marital fidelity came up, as well.

        Obama may yet end up positioned like the ancient Romans, letting his enemies have it out and then come down out of the hills to politically polish off the survivor

      • JBelac

        “Most of whom don’t make $10,000″? The country isn’t in -that- bad shape yet.

  • wileedog

    “There is good evidence, however, that is not going to happen this year”

    Because I think the base is still angry McCain was foisted on them 4 years ago.

    • overshoot

      I think the base is still angry McCain was foisted on them 4 years ago.

      But without McCain, they wouldn’t have gotten Palin. What does that tell us about the base?

      • wileedog

        There’s the thing though. The base would have rather have had Palin at the top of the ticket in the first place.

        It looks like they are not settling for moderate and so called electable crazy/stupid this year, they want the full Monty.

    • Rich T Bikkies

      Foisted? Wasn’t he selected in the usual way in primary elections?

    • Rich T Bikkies

      Foisted? Wasn’t he selected and voted for in the usual way in primary elections?

  • Ray_Harwick

    I’m really getting bored with the Shoot Newt phase so I’m looking forward to the Rave-For-Romney phase because it will be so interesting to see Mr. Frum turns aspects of his recent manifesto into inconveniences to be forgotten. Just to let you know, Mr. Frum, I won’t slit my wrists or move to another country if Romney miraculously wins. I’ll just drink more at Happy Hour and anticipate the inaugral to be beamed live a kibbutz built on the site of a Palastinian cemetery.

    • Nanotek

      I never thought the sounds of Republican prez candidates whistling passed the political graveyard could sound so sweet … but it sure does …

      my fiscal-conservative Republican friends are getting more and more snarly every time I ask “So who’s your guy today?”

      p.s. I hope FF is getting paid a ton of $ for the obnoxious Microsoft ad that pops up all the time

      • Ray_Harwick

        If I weren’t a dedicated Frumdanista, I’d have dumped this place over those ads. They jam my computer.

  • Nanotek

    “It’s 3AM, Do You Trust Newt Gingrich?”

    a question best put to the current Mrs. Gingrich?

    • Ray_Harwick

      “Calista, sweetheart. I was at a private showing at Tiffany getting you a little bobble. Don’t be mad. I wanted it to be a surprise.”

  • Himajin

    By invoking the president’s his judgment, coolness and steadiness, are you secretly rooting for President Obama? From “small things” such as dealing with pirates off Somalia coast to “big things” such as dealing with a somewhat bigger fish hiding in Pakistan and mature handling of the Libyan issue, he’s proven these qualities in abundance. You may not like his policies, but who else would you have at the end of the 3 a.m. call?

  • Emma

    Mr. Frum: I do hope that you are reading the responses to your latest Romney encomium. Few of us believe that you are clear-headed or even sincere in your praise of Romney. Worse, there is a sense that you are part of a establishment GOP cabal whose aim is take the levers of power by installing an empty suit. Many of us thought that about Reagan and Shrub — and still do.

  • TJ Parker

    Gingrich 2012! He’s the candidate the GOP deserves!

  • baw1064

    I don’t trust him at any hour of the day. Why should 3 am be any different?

  • rbottoms

    I trust he’s kicking your boy Romney’s ass.

  • Ray_Harwick

    In fairness to Newt Gingrich I just want to honor his love of history by applauding his advocacy for medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma and cancer patients back in 1982. Then, stunningly, in 1996 he introduces H.R. 4170 to make the sale of marijuana a Death Penality offense. How compassionate. He must have been lobbying for the drug companies who were trying to get the exclusive right to sell pot before the locals made “McPot” franchises commonplace all over the country.

    • Nanotek

      + 1
      these GOP prez nominee candidates are little better than political prostitutes with their whack-a-mole shifting advocacies

      I wonder if Gingrich’s newly minted position of death penalty for drug use caught Limbaugh’s attention

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