The Coming GOP Gingrich Freakout

December 8th, 2011 at 7:51 am David Frum | 125 Comments |

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Today’s question is: will the Gingrich balloon deflate like all the previous Not Mitt balloons?

The answer is: yes of course–but given that these balloons take typically 6-8 weeks to shrivel, the impending Gingrich bust may not arrive soon enough to save Romney. No question though, it will arrive in time to freak out the Republican party.

The most important thing to remember about Gingrich is not the three marriages, not the dubious financial practices, not the abrupt reversals on healthcare mandates and climate change. It’s not the grandiosity of language, not the habit of casting opponents as un-American, not the lack of self-awareness that allowed him to impeach a president for lying under oath about an extramarital affair while engaged in an extramarital affair of his own.

The most important thing to remember about Newt Gingrich is that his colleagues in the House of Representatives effectively fired him as their leader even before the impeachment crisis, shifting power instead into the more competent hands of Tom DeLay. It was Tom DeLay who ran the caucus while Newt Gingrich was traveling the country giving speeches about Total Quality Management and the Struggle for Western Civilization.

Gingrich was not pushed aside by his caucus for any of the offenses listed above. He was pushed aside because he plunged the caucus into chaos, because he lost fights that he himself had chosen, because he could not control his mouth, because he wanted to be a star more than he wanted to get things done. There’s a reason Gingrich is fascinated by management gurus: he needs the help.

That weakness in Gingrich will not now abruptly change. The chaos that surrounded him as Speaker, the chaos that engulfed his presidential campaign earlier this year – that chaos will replicate itself again. But when? It’s less than 5 weeks to the New Hampshire primary. Perhaps Gingrich can behave himself till then, in which case Mitt Romney has a big problem on his hands. But it’s more than 8 full months to the Republican convention in Tampa.

Prediction: if Gingrich has emerged as the nominee by then, the mood of that convention will be full unconcealed panic.

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125 Comments so far ↓

  • jdd_stl1

    DF:

    So, be the first. Start the wave. State unequivocally that you will NOT
    support Gingrich if he gets the nomination. Be resolved to put country
    before party.

    • arthropod

      If Frum did that, he’d only encourage people to rally around Gingrich all the more. Can’t take your lead from the RINO, you know.

      • Graychin

        Endorsing the Hated Kenyan against ANY Republican would be professional suicide for Mr. Frum. He’s already about as RINO as he can get without turning his many heresies into full-blown apostasy.

        • beowulf

          He could always endorse the Libertarian.

          Anyway, I think the only way the GOP can box Gingrich out (remember the Republicans don’t give elected officials superdelegate votes) is for Romney to encourage “favorite son” campaigns to file in their home states to scoop up their respective state’s delegates (Coburn in OK, Rubio in FL, etc). Since GOP primaries are no longer winner take all, the favorite son candidates will stop Gingrich from winning a majority of the delegates.

          Then at the Convention, the favorite son candidates will swing their votes to Romney.
          Mitt scores the nomination, the GOP wins the general and David gets another White House job… all be right in the world. :o )

    • Anonne

      +1. That doesn’t mean that Frum has to become a Democrat (we know he doesn’t have it in him to do that), but to be an INDEPENDENT. Not being a Republican is not necessarily being a Democrat.

      • jdd_stl1

        Exactly. He doesn’t have to say he’ll vote for Obama. He just has
        to have the stones to say out loud, “I will not support Gingrich. I will not
        vote for him.” He can abstain or he can vote for some minor
        party candidate. If one truly believes his/her party has abandoned
        them and now has abandoned sanity it is time to show some courage.

        • overshoot

          He just has to have the stones to say out loud, “I will not support Gingrich. I will not vote for him.”

          Give DF that much credit: deep down he knows that when shove comes to push-the-buton, he will vote for whoever has an (R) by his name. And he’s honest enough that he won’t lie about it, even if he won’t dilute what influence he has by saying so outright.

        • armstp

          Why would you not vote for Obama? He has been a pretty good president in a very very tough environment. Obama has actually done a heck of a job all things considered.

          Given a choice between Gingrich and Obama there is no contest. Obama is the far superior leader, manager, moral character…. Obama’s track record and achievements for the country are much much greater than anything Gingrich has ever done for this country.

        • jdd_stl1

          Can you step into the booth and vote for someone who you said
          this about:

          ‘A Gingrich presidency, if such a thing can even be imagined, would be a chaotic catastrophe. ”

          http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/11/26/david-frum-in-the-republican-race-its-romney-huntsman-or-bust/

        • Dalai Rasta

          I gave up on Frum having even a scintilla of self-awareness when he wrote, “For an Iraqi, there was no price too high to pay to rid the country of Saddam Hussein.” (“The Week”, Nov. 16) The moral void indicated by that statement is simply too wide to bridge. I can’t see someone voicing that sentiment putting country before party.

  • indy

    I’m afraid I’m a member of that group that thinks the GOP should be punished for making Bush Jr. its nominee in spite of his obvious intellectual shortcomings and inflicting him on the country. The GOP deserves Gingrich so I, for one, hope it gets what it deserves.

    There’s an odd symmetry to the fact that the man who almost single handedly convinced me to stop voting for the GOP at the national level might be its presidential nominee in 2012. It’s almost like I’m being sent a confirmation notice that I did the right thing by someone, not that Bush wasn’t already enough to convince me of that.

    • abc123

      You can’t blame Republicans for picking the guy who won the presidency twice. (Ok, once if you get picky but still once by the people.)

      Blame Republicans for going along with every stupid thing Bush did and acting like they were good ideas back then, and now complaining like they weren’t around. It was those -other- Republicans who did it.

  • Ray_Harwick

    Jack Abramoff was on Morning Joe this morning talking about how Newt was cashing in as a lobbyist and drawing parallels between the relationships that sent him (Abramoff) to jail and the things Newt did with his lobbying firm. Abramoff is quite a different guy these day. He reminds me of Frank Schaeffer, the son of religious big wig Francis Schaeffer, who has made his living exposed the Religious Right after having helped his father introduce the Religious Right to the GOP. Abramoff will have to work pretty hard to match Frank Schaeffer’s zeal for redemption. So far, Abramov is doing a bang-up job. I’ve really enjoyed hearing what he has to say. He’s pitching his book “Capitol Punishment” and it sounds like a blue print of how to corrupt congress. He outlined on Morning Joe a set of thing he thought would be necessary to stop the selling of congressmen.

    The ones I remember: They get *NO* gifts of any kind. You can’t even hand them a glass of water of they’re dying of thirst.

    Another: You can’t have *any* job associated with lobbying after you leave congress. When you finish your term, it’s over.

    Then: Term limits.

    I forget the 4th thing. These three are pretty good for a start.

    • Clayman

      ^+2 Ray_Harwick

    • Another Matt

      I’m not sure that term limits are the best thing to avoid congressional corruption, unless a lot of other things are in place. Writing legislation is a skill that has to be practiced, and if the competent legislators are forced out by term limit, we’re likely to have even more lobbyists and think-tanks writing legislation to hand to the congresspeople. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess, but it probably does subvert plans to reduce the influence of lobbyists.

      • radish2

        Agree with you about this. The other problem with term limits without other controls in place is that they are an open invitation to serve in Congress for a term or two before leaving to reap the financial benefits of all those contacts.

        • Graychin

          Exactly.

          We have term limits for state legislators here in Oklahoma, and the end of their terms the old guys have a way of finding themselves in cushy State jobs at high salaries – jobs for which they have few if any qualifications.

        • Ray_Harwick

          Graychin, We’re both Okies! At least I still claim (admit) it after having lived in California for 35 years. All of my family still live there on both sides of the border around Lake Texhoma.

        • Graychin

          Nice to know you, Ray. I live way up in the NE corner of Okieworld.

          Every heard of Colin Woodward? He calls our part of America “Greater Appalachia.” His theory is very interesting.

          http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/novemberdecember_2011/features/a_geography_lesson_for_the_tea032846.php?page=1

        • Ray_Harwick

          You mean like Picher and Quapaw? There’s a copper mine located there and I grew up where their other copper mine is located, in the extreme southwest corner of the state, southwest of Altus. But I had a high school friend from Quapaw who once dated Micky Mantle’s niece. I think Mantle was from Commerce. That neighborhood?

        • Ray_Harwick

          Graychin,

          Hey! That was a terrific article. I really has a ring of truth about it. I’d even call it scholarly. Since I lived in both Greater Appalachia and Far West (interior California) most of my life, then El Norte at present, I really think this guy is on to something.

        • Graychin

          I live on Grand Lake in Delaware County. The mess of those abandoned mines is up near the KS border. Superfund site. Lead contamination everywhere.. Probably uninhabitable for all eternity. Corporate America treated Oklahoma like some hellhole third world country, then just walked away, and not that long ago.

          Isn’t that a great article? Glad you enjoyed it.

    • The Walking Eye

      As much as I like the idea of no gifts, I know they’ll find quick and easy ways around it.

      The NCAA has had that rule in place forever and it doesn’t stop boosters from getting money or gifts to the kids, and they’re damned good at hiding it even in plain sight like the kids who are driving around in brand new cars with no discernible income. Companies who ban vendor gifts effectively just make the gifts go under the table. When one of my parents’ employers banned vendor gifts when I was in HS, the vendors just had to be more discrete. We still got free 500 parking and tickets, meals and Pacers games, Colts tickets, and at about the same rate as previous (it wasn’t all the time, maybe one of them a year).

  • Emma

    David, it is time for you to find respectable work. Shilling for the GOP, even the better angels of the GOP, is like shilling for the better angels of the KKK. It’s a lost cause.

    • LaLupa

      The KKK was a Democrat organization. Look up your history so that you do not sound so silly the next time.

      • Emma

        You take the cake.

      • jdd_stl1

        Lalupa,

        It doesn’t matter where the KKK came from or who is in it now,
        the analogy Emma used is still apt. What the KKK stood for and
        stands for is reprehensible.

      • MSheridan

        First, the long past political affiliation of the KKK is irrelevant to the fact that in the here and now they oppose the Democrats. David Duke usually ran for office as a Republican.

        But second, even WERE the Democrats somehow associated or complicit with the modern KKK, how would that in any way detract from Emma’s statement? She didn’t endorse the Democrats–we have no way of knowing if she even IS a Democrat. She expressed a negative opinion about the current Republican Party, that’s all.

      • Nanotek

        As you know, the KKK was a conservative organization … conservatives shape-shifted into Republicans when it became more expedient …

        so your point is what?

      • Graychin

        All the KKKers have left the “Democrat” party and become devout Republicans.

        It began with the likes of Strom Thurmond, who ran as a third-party candidate for president in 1948 because his feelings were hurt over the action of Truman (a Democrat) desegregating the military.

        Barry Goldwater accelerated the process in 1964. Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights legislation of the mid-1960′s was the last straw.

        • gravymeister

          The KKK was made up of Southern Democrats, who remained that way because they hated Lincoln’s Republicans that crushed the revolt.
          Northern Democrats kept trying to purge the DINOS for a century. It was none other than Tom Delay that finished the job of converting Southern Democrats into Republicans.
          (With the possible exception of Austin TX.)

      • icarusr

        Yes, and the Republican Party was the party of the 14th Amendment. And here you are: the Republicans could win presidential elections only by stealing the KKK from the Democrats, and now that that in-breed lot is dying out, the Republicans have nothing to offer but that, “our nasties were once yours”.

        Honestly, is it possible to get more pathetic? :)

      • SerenityNow

        No, it was not. The KKK was many things but it was not a political party or openly affiliated with any politcal party. It was a racist, extra-legal organization founded by former Confederate soldiers who were exclusively white men and who introduced terrorism to the United States long before Al Qaida. In the post Civil War era it was not surprising that most men from the former Confederate states found it difficult if not impossible to support the party of Abraham Lincoln. But to blandly conflate the KKK with the Democratic Party is the type of ahistorical rhetoric that has poisoned the well of political discourse in this country.

      • heap

        only the history you like, or something?

        i know when the klan ran my state (indiana) in the 20s, it damn sure wasn’t as democrats.

      • John Q

        The KKK was a Democrat organization. Look up your history so that you do not sound so silly the next time.

        Yes, KKK was supported by the Southern Democrats when they were the party of Jim Crow.

        When the Northern Democrats started to support the civil rights movement, to which party did those southerners migrate? (No prizes for knowing the answer.)

  • TerryF98

    Any article that lauds Tom Delay is way off beam.

    • midwest guy

      Agreed….. Frum must be becoming delirious about Gingrich to make any comment that offers even faint praise to the criminal Delay. Newt is a criminal, replaced with Delay the criminal. The GOP leadership is devolving faster than we can blink. I guess the whole George W / Cheney era created a legacy that was not really such a good idea after all.

  • abc123

    You make it sound like DeLay was just lucky that Gingrich was incompetent. That guy was a an ambitious barracuda and I guarantee he helped push for the job. I can’t help but think of Cantor and how he’s been trying to throw Boehner under the bus whenever possible.

    Newt may not blow up on the same timeline as the others. His dirty laundry is old news, and he’s a smarter politician than Michelle, Rick or Herman. He’ll blow up, sure.. But will it be before he can win the nomination or after?

  • Stewardship

    I think David is correct. I don’t see how Newt implodes in time to deflate his numbers in Iowa, NH, SC, and Florida. Barring a drunken brawl at a the Capitol Hill club over the weekend, it certainly feels like Newt will be the nominee. Voters are not being swayed by the flock of high profile endorsements being rolled out by Mitt.

    If the establishment wants to stop Newt, they’re going to need to get Mitch, Jeb, Erick, Rush, Sean, and several men of the cloth to join together on state and anoint another candidate. And they’re going to need to do it within the next week.

    • overshoot

      Barring a drunken brawl at a the Capitol Hill club over the weekend, it certainly feels like Newt will be the nominee.

      Getting caught on a couch with Nancy Pelosi might do it.

    • wileedog

      “Barring a drunken brawl at a the Capitol Hill club over the weekend”

      Problem is, with Newt, that is hardly out of the question.

  • Emma

    Seems David is in full unconcealed panic right now.

    • overshoot

      Seems David is in full unconcealed panic right now.

      We’re talking shotgun-marriage levels of eep!

      And that’s the nature of it: he may not like the prospect, but in the end he’ll be in bed with Gingrich anyway.

  • Nanotek

    it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

  • mlindroo

    As a PERSON, Gingrich indeed seems to be poorly suited for the job … I would have major ideological issues with a President Perry (or Paul, or Santorum). But I don’t doubt they at least would meet the same standard as George W. Bush did. But Gingrich has been so undisciplined and shown such poor judgment in his private and professional life, even Republican partisans ought to fear what President Gingrich might do to his country and his own party. He is far WORSE than Bill Clinton, who at least was able to make sound political decisions.

    I still can’t believe someone like Newt will be the GOP nominee in the end. If it does happen, I can only conclude the average Tea Party Republican voter has lost the plot completely… The craziest bit is Gingrich isn’t even more conservative than Romney when you look at the issues! This is insane, just insane.

    MARCU$

  • Oldskool

    It looks like George Wallace was a man ahead of his time.

  • overshoot

    Gingrich was not pushed aside by his caucus for any of the offenses listed above.

    That was then, DF, and this is now. Gingrich was ahead of his time, much as Goldwater was. He went down, as Goldwater did, but also like Goldwater he laid the foundations of the Republican Party today. Today’s GOP is very much Gingrich’s creation; the dinosaurs who rejected him then are either gone or gone underground because they would be purged if they came out and admitted to being RINOs.

    The confrontational approach that Gingrich pioneered, and that got him booted back then, is now the most basic doctrine of the Republican Party. It’s about time for Gingrich to do his Napoleonic return.

    When he does, you’ll be one of the cheering crowd.

    • Graychin

      The other day, someone referred to Newt as “The Godfather of Gridlock.”

      And it’s true. No one is more responsible than Newt for the poisonous atmosphere in Congress. He took the “politics of personal destruction” to new levels with his pursuit of Speaker Jim Wright for ethics violations. Therefore Newt was helped to end his own speakership by a weapon of his own making. Isn’t the expression “hoisted by his own petard”?

      Or in more modern terms: Karma is a bi**h.

  • radish2

    looking forward to it. Have to keep reminding myself I want Gingrich to be the nominee.

    Romney lies more flagrantly, with a straighter face, and without the obvious hyperbole that Gingrich uses, and is hence more dangerous (Obama’s an “appeaser” who “apologizes” for American, for example).

    • more5600

      It is truly amazing how the right wing echo chamber can hold on to a meme long after it has any actual basis in fact, regardless how tangential. The “apology” tour, as it is called, was in the first few weeks of his presidency and at no time did Obama actually apologize for anything. He restated traditional American values and promised a return to them, after 8 years of Bush it would be understandable if his predecessor did nothing but apologize, however Obama had resisted that urge. Speeches like his Cairo address were powerful and appropriate, but in no way an apology. An apology would go something like this: “We are sorry for invading Muslim countries under false pretenses and killing thousands of innocent civilians” or “we are sorry for abandoning the rule of law, for torture and rendition and we will never do it again”, those are apologies. Read the Cairo speech and try to find an offending passage. Obama repositioned the US in the world without alienating allies, if fact the allies where thrilled to hear an honest appraisal of the previous 8 years coming from an American President, but if you listen to the actual language of his early speeches they are very forward looking and hopeful. Reestablishing America moral authority is not an apology.

      • John Q

        Another appropriate apology “We apologize to the people of Iran for overthrowing your democratically elected government in 1953, starting the train of circumstances leading to your present miserable condition.”

  • Emma

    Fox is beginning to show it’s preference for Newt over Mitt. When Murdock speaks, it’s time for all good conservatives to fall in line.

  • dante

    No offense, DF, but:

    he plunged the caucus into chaos, because he lost fights that he himself had chosen, because he could not control his mouth, because he wanted to be a star more than he wanted to get things done. There’s a reason Gingrich is fascinated by management gurus: he needs the help.

    Those sound like very appealing attributes to the current GOP base. They WANT their candidate to go out and pick random fights, even if they’ll lose (see: Trump re: Birth Certificate). They want candidates who won’t control their mouths (see Bachmann), they want candidates who want to be a star more than get things done (see Cain). I still think that you’re deluding yourself into thinking that the GOP base is a rational party and it’s not.

  • Oldskool

    R primary voters are acting like a class of high schoolers who’ve been taught too many contradictory things and now they’re ready to beat up the teacher and the principal out of frustration.

  • toetyper

    6 months ago i was in vegas, i put 20 bucks on obama getting 450 electoral votes at 75-1 odds. i feel goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood’///

    • dante

      Wait till it’s “nominee Santorum” and those odds will drop to the floor… :)

  • lilmanny

    “The answer is: yes of course–but given that these balloons take typically 6-8 weeks to shrivel, the impending Gingrich bust may not arrive soon enough to save Romney. No question though, it will arrive in time to freak out the Republican party.”

    Exactly! Every Not Mitt has had basically nine lives with the base as they were exposed again and again to either be frauds or incapable of the job.

    The crisis arises when you consider that each Not Mitt ~ only gave way when another viable Not Mitt arose~! Stupid Sarah begat Trump, who begat Bachmann, who begat Perry, who begat Herman Cain. The only Not Mitts remaining are Ron Paul (ha!) and the other Liberal Mormon Global Warming Gay. There’s no other life raft to cling to.

    Panic then? I’d panic right about, mmm, now.

    • Okie Exile

      There’s Santorum, who has to be sitting there thinking “what about me”?

      • Graychin

        Times have passed Santorum by – already. A one-note anti-gay message won’t take you nearly as far in 2012 as it did a decade ago.

        The first gay marriages in Massachusetts in 2004 very well may have sunk John Kerry’s chances that year by whipping social conservatives into a frenzy. But DATD is gone, gay marriage is commonplace, and more and more gays are open about their orientation. Those same social conservatives are more tolerant now that their sons and daughters (or those of their conservative friends) are openly gay. (Dick Cheney, for example.) Most of the remaining closeted gays seem to be anti-gay Republican politicians.

        Meanwhile, Santorum clings stubbornly to his anti-gay message.

        • Ray_Harwick

          Not just Santorum. Rick Perry, in the past three days, has produced two ads where he doubles down on his anti-gay position and Michele Bachmann was on Glen Beck yesterday and a radio show the day before with her FLAMING husband beating the anti-gay drum. Bachmann, in particular, has hardly missed a single week without beating the anti-gay drum.

          I think Perry is trying to get her votes and that accounts for his recent revisit to anti-gay bigotry.

        • armstp

          Given all the issues in the world and these candidates want to talk about gays… are they just trying to get the votes of the Westboro Church?

        • Graychin

          Ray, you are right about the equal anachronism of Perry’s anti-gay appeals, but I don’t think Perry really believes what he is saying. He’s just pandering to right-wing religious zealots.

          Santorum definitely does believe that stuff. So does Bachmann. (I don’t know what to make of her husband….)

          Funny – when Perry got in, I thought he would win the nomination easily. I had no idea how stupid he actually is. For example – why would Perry be pursuing Bachmann supporters when there are so few of them?

          I guess no one else knew how stupid Perry is except the people from Texas. And they don’t seem to mind. (I’ve heard that they refer to Bush as “the smart one.”)

  • Frumplestiltskin

    I don’t understand why Republican elite don’t abandon Romney for Huntsman who is likely (though with Romney one can never be sure) of the same political persuasion. Romney is toxic in ways that Huntsman isn’t. And damn sure Huntsman is a Conservative, he was the Republican Obama was most afraid of facing and it is why he hired him. It seems now to have been the most brilliant political masterstroke of the Obama administration.

    David never says it so I have one question. Would he vote for Gingrich over Obama?

    • LaLupa

      Same here. Why keep pushing Romney? It should be abundantly clear that the overwhelming majority of Republicans simply do not like Romney. If David wants to stop Gingrich, then it is time to push Huntsman. Romney is a sinking ship. No amount of going over Gingrich’s baggage is going to prop up Romney. Republicans are well aware of Newt’s warts and have made a calculation that they prefer him to Romney. Period. Done.

      • overshoot

        It should be abundantly clear that the overwhelming majority of Republicans simply do not like Romney.

        The theory is that it really doesn’t matter — they can flirt with any number of beaus, but eventually it’s time for the wedding and they find out who they’re going to be sleeping with afterwards. And come the wedding night, that’s who they’ll be with and no “not tonight, dear.”

      • beowulf

        Let’s face it a LARGE chunk of the anti-Romney vote is really an anti-Mormon vote. Giving religious bigots two candidates to vote against doesn’t help.

      • lilmanny

        Hello? Huntsman? The Democrat? The gay loving, global warming believing, TARP supporting, not really a Christian Democrat? The guy that thinks Obama is human and called out the birthers? If Romney is repulsive, how is Romney, Jr. an alternative to the base? You think that catfood is going to sell in South Carolina? In Iowa? In the entire southern United States? Good luck and please send me your bank account number as I have inherited millions and I am willing to share it with you for a small share of the fortune…

        (Disclaimer: I would love me some Huntsman, which is why I am not a republican).

    • Graychin

      Frump, the poor man must be having an epic moral crisis. I’m going to give him time to sort it out. He’ll have to decide one way or the other sometime between now and November.

      But in the meantime, watching him is like enjoying a Shakespeare play.

      • overshoot

        He’ll have to decide one way or the other sometime between now and November.

        He already has, but is still in denial.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        But in the meantime, watching him is like enjoying a Shakespeare play.

        oh man, that is cold. Like the German said on the recent Community “I wish there were a word in German to describe how good it feels to watch your pain”

  • Stewardship

    The only thing that could stop the Newtron Bomb is if the establishment and the tea party get together, pick one of the other candidates, and then hold a massive media event to anoint that person. Mitch, Jeb, Erick, Huck, Grover….they all need to be on stage together with arms locked and lifting the anointed one onto their shoulders.

    • Graychin

      If Ron Paul maintains a strong following, I can picture a convention in which neither Paul, Romney, nor “Not Romney” enters with a majority of delegates.

      Then do the delegates look for a savior to ride on a white horse? Is Bush Fatigue wearing off? Jeb? Or Christie?

      Probably Jeb. No horse is strong enough for Christie to ride. (The guy just keeps getting bigger and bigger!)

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/chris-christie-town-hall_n_1133756.html

      • jdd_stl1

        Is it even conceivable for someone who has not been running
        already to mount a campaign in the general? Seems like the
        resources necessary have to already be in place by
        the time of the convention. Money. Organization. Ground forces.

        • Graychin

          Probably not conceivable.

          But is it conceivable that ANY of these guys can win the Republican nomination? No – but someone will.

          Mounting a credible post-convention campaign is another story. Everyone agrees that Obama is vulnerable. But there seems to be no one who might oppose Obama credibly except that Generic (or “Jesus”) Republican. Jesus might not even be sufficiently pro-Israel to win the nomination.

  • zaybu

    The GOP base has become so incompetent that all it can do is to hire an incompetent as its leader.

    • LaLupa

      Given the pathetic performance by Obama in the last three years, I would not talk about GOP incompetence. Despite all the fanfare about Obama being an exceptional, transformational leader, it is clear to all that he is in over his head. Way over his head. He can run around trying to imitate TR, FDR or whomever… the verdict is in. Obama is not a leader.

      • zaybu

        Obama Administration’s Achievements

        http://obamaachievements.org/list

        • sweatyb

          LaLupa’s not going to read that! Have you seen how long that list is? If Obama was a real leader, he would compress his list of achievements into one or two soundbites.

      • TerryF98

        Obviously a fox viewer. More ill informed than those who have no information.

        • Nanotek

          not to mention the hypocrisy of social conservatives now climbing into bed with Newt and his mistresses

          kiss “character counts” good-bye …

      • Graychin

        “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

        - Attributed to Joseph Goebbels and LaLupa

      • armstp

        I would say Obama’s performance has been very very good. Pulled us out of an economic nosedive, to where we are adding about 1.6 million jobs a year, the stock market has recovered about 80% of its value, we are growing at about +2.0%, the housing market has bottomed, the deficit is falling from its peak during Bush’s last budget year and he has gotten healthcare for all. On foreign policy Obama has been spot on.

        I would hate to think where we would be if McCain was President. We would not have even gotten Bin Laden because McCain said he would not enter the sovereign country of Pakistan.

        • wileedog

          “We would not have even gotten Bin Laden because McCain said he would not enter the sovereign country of Pakistan.”

          We would be too busy with the occupation of Iran anyway.

  • drcme

    “He was pushed aside because he plunged the caucus into chaos, because he lost fights that he himself had chosen, because he could not control his mouth, because he wanted to be a star more than he wanted to get things done. There’s a reason Gingrich is fascinated by management gurus: he needs the help.”

    This exact same thing could be said about the entire GOP.

    Look, this is what you guys get when no one in the GOP, not even you, Mr. Frum, can give the current President any support for the good things he has done. You, and your entire party, excoriate him for things you’ve agreed with in the past. Even you, Mr. Frum, one of the “sane” Republicans, can’t write a single article without giving a swipe to the President. The base is following your lead. They are elevating the man who spews the same vile that you and your GOP leaders have been spewing for the past 3 years. They are following you.

    • LaLupa

      Not amount of ranting about the “vile” GOP is going to cover up the utter failure of the Obama administration. Look at Obama’s approval among indie voters. The verdict is in. Obama is a failure.

      • overshoot

        Obama is a failure.

        Close: the United States Government is a failure. The President, being the most visible figure in that Government, also gets a large share of the disappointment. However, before you go and cheer about how unpopular the President is have a look at the public approval for other players: Congress (slightly less popular than a Communist takeover), and the Republican Party (less popular than Congress as a whole.)

        The public doesn’t seem to be buying the line that the Administration is primarily responsible for the catastrophic failure of Washington at a time of national crisis.

      • drcme

        Ummm, I didn’t call the GOP vile. I simply pointed out that after 3 years (starting before he was even sworn in!) of the GOP leaders NEVER giving Obama credit when due for anything, even the things they agree with, of course the base is going to follow along. Your comment about “failure” is a perfect example, thanks for proving my case.

      • armstp

        Obama has remained the most popular national politician since he was elected. No one else is even close.

        Obama’s approval ratings have average in the mid-to-high 40s for the last 18 month which is at about or above where both Clinton and Reagan were at those points in their Presidencies and they never faced this economic environment and a block everything opposition party.

  • blueshark

    I’m not convinced that Gingich will be the nominee, given his indiscipline, narcissism, and penchant for self-immolation. But what I’m looking forward to is Gingrich (a megalomaniacal phony) and Romney (a cynical phony) savaging each over over the next six weeks – they have no alternative; just criticizing Obama will not be enough. By the time the GOP convention rolls around, whoever emerges from the dust-up is going to look pretty bad

  • overshoot

    It’s not necessary for any one non-Romney to receive the majority of delegates. It’s only necessary for them collectively to get enough to deny Romney the nomination, throwing the Convention wide open.

  • jdd_stl1

    What do you think? Would Newt getting the nomination be enough to
    push Ron Paul to enter as a third party candidate in the general?

  • GrandBargainHunter

    As a Democrat, all I can say is: “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!”

  • MBunge

    Others have touched on it, but a political party or ideological movement that holds up Tom DeLay as superior to Newt is a sick, sick thing. For everything else you can say about Newt, he actually cares about policy. It may be stupid or evil policy but that still puts him above creatures like DeLay who care only about power.

    Mike

  • LFC

    “No question though, it will arrive in time to freak out the Republican party.”

    Uuuuh, what is David’s definition of “the Republican Party?” It looks to me like Gingrich is currently being pushed into the lead by the Republican Party as it exists today. Who are the people who are going to “freak out” and why does he consider them to be the Republican Party?

    David is still trying to separate the party he wants to stand with from the Tea Party, but those days are gone. It’s the Grand Old Tea Party now.

  • Fart Carbuncle

    Looks like the Obots are having a field day on this one. :D

    It seems DF is getting more attack-doggish on the remaining threats to his Mormon saviour.

  • Holmes

    Let´s give Mr. Frum the benefit of the doubt — that he is not in it only for the state dinners at the White House as Emma contends (although I expect that´s Emma shorthand for the prestige, influence, and revenue that comes from being an inside player). But, clearly, Mr. Frum does not speak for the party and, in particular, the party rank and file. Rather, he speaks for the country club patricians who, until recently, ran the GOP show. They have been displaced. Mitt´s surrogates, including Mr. Frum, are voiceless with the new conservative leadership, and that´s what follows from unprincipled alliances. The panic is Mr. Frum´s, as Emma points out, and it is well-deserved. We´ll see whether he has the insight to spot his own role in all of this. I´d say not likely.

  • pdxcitizen

    The most important thing to remember about Newt Gingrich is that his colleagues in the House of Representatives effectively fired him as their leader even before the impeachment crisis, shifting power instead into the more competent hands of Tom DeLay

    Competent.

    When I think of Tom Delay, that is not the word that first comes to mind.

    Maybe Machievellian?

    How about dishonest? Disingenuous? Despicable?

    I think a Texas jury used the word Criminal.

    Delay and Gingrich are just 2 in a long line of duplicitous sociopaths that the Republican party sees fit to foist upon the country as leaders.

    These guys have no sooner finished cleaning the knife they buried in their predecessors’ backs than they find one buried in their back to the hilt.

    Even now Eric Cantor eyes Boehner’s back, waiting for the right moment.

  • icarusr

    “into the more competent hands of Tom DeLay”

    Unless this one was meant in (rather morbid) irony, the author of that sentence has no business castigating anyone for lack of self-awareness. DeLay is just about the most putrid emanation of the pustule that is the post-Willie Horton Republican Party; his ‘competence’, such as it was, was in bullying and political lies, damned lies and even more damned lies. To suggest, with any seriousness, that Gingrich is a bad leader because a pest-exterminator launched a successful coup against him is to miss the boat.

    As Mr. Knightly might have said, badly done, David, badly done. No wonder the Republican Party is in the shape it’s in, when its own putative “reformers” miss the point of political leadership.

  • indy

    The most interesting thing will be if Romney and Gingrich are fairly close in delegates. That makes third place (Ron Paul?) potentially an immense power broker. I think Paul hates Gingrich though. If Gingrich starts attacking Paul trying to erode his support, this might be why.

    Given the Republican primary system of recent years, it seems to me that Republicans aren’t going to very practiced at this sort of convention chaos. Ah, good times.

    • overshoot

      The most interesting thing will be if Romney and Gingrich are fairly close in delegates. That makes third place (Ron Paul?) potentially an immense power broker.

      You’re assuming that Perry, Bachmann, etc. don’t have any to speak of between them. That’s far from given.

      I suspect that one reason the non-Mitts are hanging in is precisely for the chance of picking up the odd delegate here and there to get themselves places at the table when the dealing starts.

      • indy

        Don’t really know but I don’t think the delegate system is so straight forward that minor vote shares are awarded delegates (that is sort of a recipe for really bad things to happen). Probably you need some minimum to collect them but honestly I don’t know what the system looks like. Plus some states can apply to be winner take all. I think Florida will be like that. Again, not sure of all the rule specifics though.

        Update: This post: http://frontloading.blogspot.com/2011/02/update-on-2012-republican-delegate.html appears to confirm that it won’t be a straightforward allocation, and that states can set the minimum vote share a candidate must receive in the state in order to get delegates.

      • Graychin

        The field will be a lot thinner after Iowa. Perry, Bachmann and Santorum will be gone because their money will dry up. Any social conservative who can’t make a decent showing in Iowa has no future.

        New Hampshire will finish Huntsman. He may not run out of money because he has so much of his own and his father’s, but he’s all-in on NH.

        By my count, that will leave only three: Romney, Paul, and Not Romney.

  • Why the GOP Establishment Fears Gingrich | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web

    [...] David Frum says that if Newt Gingrich wins the GOP presidential nomination “the mood of that convention will be full unconcealed panic.” [...]

  • dugfromthearth

    Palin is still waiting to be called upon

  • bdtex

    Good thing for Mitt that the primary calendar is stretched out a little more in this POTUS election cycle. In 2008 there were 7 early states and 24 primaries/caucuses on Super Tuesday which was February 5th. In 2012 there are 12 early states and 12 primaries/caucuses on Super Tuesday,March 6th.

  • Republican Experts Need to Get With The Program » American Glob

    [...] Hume, Ann Coulter and David Frum aren’t the only people who are doing it but they’re the most recent examples. I keep [...]

  • Wahlkampf-Update: Freitag – Amerika 2012

    [...] Newt die Vorwahlen, wird unverhüllte Panik die republikanische Convention dominieren, prognostiziert Bushs ehemaliger Redenschreiber David Frum.Perry zieht praktisch nach Iowa. Nur dort ist er noch [...]

  • aquaman

    The only way the GOP insiders and moderates can regain control of their party and rejoin the community of the sane is to let the crazies run in the general election and get gutted. The right wingers operate under the illusion that the US is a very conservative place, and that any proposal with a D after it is some socialist, America-hating piece of leftie social engineering, which justifies their ever farther drift to the right.

    If you run Newt, you will lose big time, but you will regain the opportunity to quiet the tea-hadists and nut-jobs in your midst for a generation.

  • American Way: Prepare for a Republican war of attrition in 2012 – Telegraph Blogs

    [...] Republican establishment is on brink of what David Frum describes as a “Gingrich freakout” as it contemplates a nominee of such grandiose self-importance and [...]

  • baw1064

    Speaking of Ann Coulter, why doesn’t she run? Coulter-Limbaugh? :-P

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    [...] after his campaign spectacularly collapsed. Not to mention Gingrich’s sordid personal baggage and unethical political career. Does the Republican Party really want Gingrich’s undisciplined brand of chaos and [...]