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December 6, 2011 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Is Newt really going to be the nominee? As Romney collapses and Newt surges in the polls, the party establishment is worried. Libertarians are panicking. Can the establishment stop him? What about Ron Paul? Can Huntsman save the party from catastrophe?
posted by empath (400 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
bonus link that I forgot to put in the post: 13 reasons why Newt will never be the nominee.
posted by empath at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2011


I said it at the bar and I'm saying it here: If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off a toe.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on December 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


I found Paul Krugman to be right on the mark about this: Send in the Clueless
posted by ninjew at 9:32 AM on December 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:32 AM on December 6, 2011 [101 favorites]


13 Reasons Newt won't get the nomination.
posted by drezdn at 9:33 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please let it happen! Please let there be some consequences to tea party craziness!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Y'know, they really have gone out of their way to make Huntsman look like the least irrational alternative. You know, in that "skinniest kid at fat camp" kind of way.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


The "Answering the Attacks" section of his website is already 10 pages deep when printed.
posted by zarq at 9:35 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off a toe.

It'll just grow back.
posted by DU at 9:36 AM on December 6, 2011 [75 favorites]


Since the advent of the Tea Party in 2009, libertarians finally began to feel more at home with the right.

Eh. Claims that elide the distinction between big-L Libertarians, small-L libertarians, and religious right/ag subsidy/tax-policy-as-social-engineering "libertarians" should probably not be given much weight.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:36 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Those 13 reasons are good reasons to argue that Newt won't win a general election, but only a couple of them - his past support for mandates and his present support for sanity on immigration - are actually real liabilities in a primary. His ethical shortcomings and marriage fiascos are old news that I can't see making a real difference for the GOP faithful if they haven't already.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, some of Newt's "Greatest Hits"
posted by empath at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Inform the clueless: What has Romney done this week to knock himself down in the polls? Some kind of scandal or humiliation please?
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: "If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off a toe."

Whoa whoa whoa. Throw that in a cauldron with some Newt, add some broth, baby you got a brew going!
posted by Riki tiki at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2011 [31 favorites]


I wish that Democrats would just shut the f up about Newt until the nomination process is finished. Let them nominate whomever they want!
posted by goethean at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Newt's secret weapon in all this has been that he was the first GOP nominee that was given up on, back when he went on that cruise instead of campaigning. Now that everyone else has been given up on, Newt gets the first second chance. In the game of musical chairs that is this year's GOP race, timing might be the only thing that matters.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


Inform the clueless: What has Romney done this week to knock himself down in the polls? Some kind of scandal or humiliation please?

Generally sounding like a sad robot
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2011 [41 favorites]


There's not enough Prozac in the world to keep me calm if there's ever such a thing as President Gingrich.

(Dude was busted for ethics violations in Congress, left Washington in disgrace. He is a hypocritical, hateful, lying, pontificating, gaseous pile of shit. That he's even in the running is insane, and a national disgrace.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2011 [44 favorites]


A problem with the things like "why Newt won't win the nomination" is that somebody will win the nomination, and they're pretty much all either buffoons, unacceptable to a large portion of the base, or both.
posted by Flunkie at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


What has Romney done this week to knock himself down in the polls?

He just has a ceiling of support and I think people are realizing that he can't be the nominee. I've been saying that from day one. Anybody-but-Romney has 70% of the vote locked up. I think Tim Pawlenty has got to be kicking himself right now.
posted by empath at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Paging Mr. Goldwater, Mr. Goldwater to the white courtesy phone..."
posted by Chrischris at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I liked the part where his parents named him Newt.
posted by found missing at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [26 favorites]


the toe thing was "He's never going to win a nomination, ever, at all, this is just the fundraising scheme AGAIN and I wish the media would stop paying attention to it and try to create fake drama that ends up with people I despise getting lots and lots of money."
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anybody-but-Romney has 70% of the vote locked up.

But isn't that 6 or 7 people right now? And all of them bozos?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Those 13 reasons are all legitimate arguments but they assume that there's someone better that that could be nominated. I assumed that by this time Romney would be the obvious front runner but he seems to have a serious hard ceiling on his support.
posted by octothorpe at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011


Huntsman's got zero name recognition at this point and is in some cases polling behind people who have dropped out of the race, Romney as the presumed victor forgot to actually do anything (I'm looking at you, Hillary), Ron Paul would be made to look untenably crazy-balls as soon as the general election season starts, and Newt ... hahaha I don't know! Maybe? Two weeks ago it seemed completely impossible that he'd win it. Hell, three months ago everybody had kind of assumed he'd already given up. Going to be interesting.
posted by penduluum at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011


This I don't understand. Gingrich is surging in the polls for the same reason Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and even a couple of guys who didn't bother running did, because he's not Romney. And he'll have the staying power of all those other Romneys too. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee and unless video surfaces of Obama stabbing Osama in the face with a star spangled cross, he's probably gonna win.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


If Romney is a sad robot then Pawlenty is an embarrassing automaton.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:43 AM on December 6, 2011


Inform the clueless: What has Romney done this week to knock himself down in the polls?

He did this.
posted by blucevalo at 9:44 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Some days the only thing that keeps me from total despair is the GOPs remarkable resistance to nominating the person who will win them the election. I still think it's too good to be true though. Newt Gingrich is not really less crazy than Bachman or Cain, just more practiced at it, and I don't think he'll wear any better the long haul. Mitt Romney will tortoise his way to the nomination despite the desperation of the Tea Partiers to vote for anyone else.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My record for predicting political events is abysmal, but I'm going to make three predictions:

1) It won't be Newt.

2) It won't be Romney.

3) It will be Perry.

The R's have been hunting the not-Romney since day one. They do not want Romney, they will not nominate Romney. The only real question was which not-Romney they'd pick. And right now the field consists of Rick Perry and a bunch of also rans.

Yeah, Perry is weak now, his gaffe in the debates was bad, but he'll pull through.

The R's simply cannot get enough stupid, tuff talkin', jackasses, and Perry fits the bill perfectly.

If Bachmann were male she'd have wrapped up the nom, but she's not and they'll put up with a woman as VP, but not leading the ticket. Cain would probably have worked, but he's black and wasn't really running a campaign anyway (quoting Pokemon songs? That's not a campaign, it's performance art).

Romney is too liberal, too Mormon, and too soft spoken. The R's will go for the dumbest, most crazy right, most aggressive lunatic white male they can possibly find. And that's Perry.
posted by sotonohito at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


In the game of musical chairs that is this year's GOP race, timing might be the only thing that matters.

Yes. This. I've been saying for a while that it will either be Romney or whoever times their fifteen minutes of anti-Romney just right relative to the early primaries. If I were a campaign manager, getting that timing right would be the sole focus of my energy.
posted by gauche at 9:46 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't for the life me figure out why Libertarians still think the Tea Party has anything to do with them.

Probably the same reason they refuse to see that freedom is necessarily as finite as physical and economic resources and therefore subject to the same disputes over how it is to be allocated.
posted by Naberius at 9:47 AM on December 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


That's too bad, I thought for a second that a new right wing crazy group had arisen calling themselves "the Huntsmen"... oh well
posted by ServSci at 9:47 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he'll have the staying power of all those other Romneys too.

Six months ago I would have agreed. Now I no longer do. There's nothing awful about Newt that GOP voters don't already know. He's "fully vetted." Only Newt putting his foot in his mouth big time (bigger than he already has) will have any impact on his rise in the polls. Newt's outpolling Romney by almost 2-1 in some states at this point.
posted by blucevalo at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2011


George Will lectures Newt on "intellectual hubris." via
posted by exogenous at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll recycle a couple links I dropped in the Cain thread.

For the last 30 years the GOP has nominated the guy who finished second in the preceding primary.



Mitt Romney will be hard to hate in the general for the same reason he is hard to love in a primary," said another Republican. "There isn't much 'there' there, so the spotlight will gravitate to Obama. Romney makes it a referendum on Obama; Gingrich makes it a choice."

posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


3) It will be Perry.

Perry had back surgery awhile back (maybe over the summer?), which probably accounts for all the videos of him drugged up that have been popping up recently. He’s not going to be able to sustain a campaign.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2011


'The Huntsmen!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he'll have the staying power of all those other Romneys too. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee and unless video surfaces of Obama stabbing Osama in the face with a star spangled cross, he's probably gonna win.

Who is actually going to show up at the polls in a GOP primary and vote for Romney when there is any other choice? Romney has never gone over 20% in any poll in any state. That's not going to be enough to win a single primary.

Ron Paul would have to win Iowa and Romney would have to squeak out a win in NH to get the nomination, I think. If Gingrich takes both, then Romney is going to get pushed aside for Huntsman by the establishment, but it might already be too late.
posted by empath at 9:49 AM on December 6, 2011


Libertarians are panicking

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by mhoye at 9:49 AM on December 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


And he'll have the staying power of all those other Romneys too.
A few things, though:

(1) As opposed to the previous non-Romneys, Newt doesn't have to have much staying power. If he stays for another month, he starts winning actual elections, which might in and of itself give him staying power.

(2) The anti-Romney crowd might very well realize that he's their last chance, and thus be more willing to stick with him through whatever inevitable meltdowns occur.

(3) Unlike most of the other non-Romneys, Newt has a long and well-known history of being a buffoon. Most of the others had short and/or not well-known histories of being buffoons. The anti-Romney crowd knew (or should have known, at least) his issues when they started backing him.

I'm not convinced he will win the nomination. But the "there have been lots of non-Romneys" argument isn't particularly convincing to me.
posted by Flunkie at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gingrich had a six-year affair with his third wife while he was still married to his second. He had an affair with his second wife while he was still married to his first wife. And as we previously reported, during his 1974 campaign, a former aide described "approaching a car with Gingrich's daughters in hand, only to find the candidate with a woman, her head buried in his lap." Another former aide alleged that Gingrich had attempted to seduce her, Chaz Reinhold-style, after the death of a relative.

Yee-ikes

It's only a matter of time before the Rs decide to roll all their ideological tendrils of support into a monstrous, openly amoral, enthusiastically lawless, Might-Makes-Right/We Do What We Want one-plank platform.
posted by clockzero at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


If somehow the ticket ends up as Perry/Bachmann, the Dems could run campaign ads that are just 28 seconds of people laughing followed by a title card that says "WE DARE YOU" in big white block letters, and win 38 states.

It's kind of fascinating how the intuitively obvious answer is that everybody is dead in the water, but we all know that somebody isn't. Something unintuitive is going to happen.
posted by penduluum at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [21 favorites]


The prospect of a brokered convention for the GOP has me all tingly.

And if Newt's the nominee, well... I'd be flabbergasted. Newt's not a politician -- he's a CARTOON SUPER VILLAIN.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huntsman's got zero name recognition

Every now and then to amuse myself, I try to recite all the Republican nominees from memory, and Huntsman is always one I forget. Him and Santorum.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2011


@Empath I'll believe the R establishment going for Huntsman when I see it. Not saying it's impossible, just that I don't see how they'd go for him.

I do agree that it won't be Romney. I may be wrong about it being Perry (though I still think they'll pick another moron from Texas given half a chance), but there is no way Perry will win.

Honestly, and from a purely partisan standpoint I shouldn't, but I'm really hoping for a brokered convention. It'd be awful for the Democrats, massive coverage for the R convention, the eventual winner getting wall to wall coverage, etc. But as a political junkie I'd love to see one
posted by sotonohito at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2011


Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

For at least two reasons. One is that the GOP can't find a half-way intelligent person anywhere in their ranks.

The other is that Obama is for-sure the Dems pick. Because at this point, he wouldn't win a primary either.
posted by DU at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


And Newt's first wife was his high school teacher who came out and admitted she was having sex with him while he was still in school.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd chortle in glee at this but I'm afraid that there may exist such a thing as schadenblowback.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:55 AM on December 6, 2011 [37 favorites]


He did this.

When I saw Fox News trolling Romney, I started wondering why Murdoch doesn't like him (and who are they pushing).
posted by drezdn at 9:55 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Root For Newt!*

*Paid for by Succubi for Justice and the American Way.
posted by swift at 9:56 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think Newt's getting the nomination. They hate Romney--accurate or not, he is thought of as the guy who epitomizes RINOism. Used to be pro-choice, set up Romneycare. Huntsman is the only other alternative and he's got the Mormon stain (to evangelicals) and was Obama's ambassador to China.


Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

If you mean that he's lucky to be black. Because that's what this is all about. I saw all of this happen once before. Check out This American Life on Harold Washington, the first black mayor of a major city. Literally the same damn thing happend, but it was all Democrats. 50 Aldermen, all Democrats. As soon as a black guy elected, 60% of them broke off and refused to vote anything, budgets, anything. Ol' Harold eventually beat them (I won't give it away)--and he played it smart, played the conciliator, avoided the kiss-of-death "angry black man" stereotype.

And you know who ran Harold's 1987 re-elect campaign? David Axelrod, who then went on to run a lot more black candidates' campaigns.

This has all been seen and done before.

Gingrich had a six-year affair with his third wife while he was still married to his second. He had an affair with his second wife while he was still married to his first wife. And as we previously reported, during his 1974 campaign, a former aide described "approaching a car with Gingrich's daughters in hand, only to find the candidate with a woman, her head buried in his lap." Another former aide alleged that Gingrich had attempted to seduce her, Chaz Reinhold-style, after the death of a relative.

There's a difference between denying this stuff and admitting it, especially years ago. He's immune from this in the primary now. The general? It will kill him. The polls show Romney close to Obama. They show Newt getting crushed.

It will be Perry

I highly doubt it. If it is, he will be crushed even worse than Newt. I'll predict that something more tangible will come one out of Texas, run by the man who hates Perry more than life itself Karl Rove. I've heard some tidbits I can't pass on from people who know.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


from 'Libertarians are panicking' link: “Libertarian blogger Will Wilkinson expressed the libertarian frustration with Newt Gingrich with a little dramatic flair on Twitter Monday: ‘If Newt Gingrich becomes president, we all deserve to die in a purifying fire.’”

Well, I am not really a libertarian, but that is a sentiment I can really agree with.
posted by koeselitz at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


@dances_with_sneetches Really?

Dang. I guess he must have had something going for him back then that he lost along the way, cuz right now I can't see any woman not being paid a crapton of money bedding him. He looks kind of like a squashed toad.
posted by sotonohito at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2011


Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

They're all receiving money from the same finance firms.

If the current president was properly prosecuting securities fraud... if Goldman Sachs CEOs were going to jail instead of going to his cabinet meetings, do you really think his opposition would be insubstantial?

Luck has nothing to do with it.
posted by clarknova at 9:58 AM on December 6, 2011 [26 favorites]


With Perry, at least in my opinion, the right shouldn't have made such a big deal about Perry's debate performance, as he would have been the perfect candidate for them.

He could claim Texas leads in job creation and that he would do the same for the country (sure it would be bullshit, but people would eat it up).

He would probably get his clock cleaned in a debate vs. Obama, but that didn't swing Gore vs. Bush. The right would just have to find something Obama did in the debate to hammer him with (like the Gore sigh).

Mostly, this is why I'm glad Perry isn't going to be the candidate because the things that have held him back in the primary wouldn't be liabilities in a well managed general election campaign.
posted by drezdn at 9:59 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Sounds like a creature from Dune."
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The other is that Obama is for-sure the Dems pick. Because at this point, he wouldn't win a primary either.
He has a greater than 3/4 approval rating amongst Democrats. Why wouldn't he win a Democratic primary?
posted by Flunkie at 10:00 AM on December 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


No one knows who is going to win. This primary election is representative of how fractured the party is. For years they have been trying to appeal to a wide range of nutcases to keep the GOP in any sort of position of power.

They have to appeal to hardline fundamentalists, to hardline libertarians, to hardline hawks, and in a continuation of the "Southern" strategy, to anyone who feels better by demonizing the poor since they can no longer demonize minorities. The problem with trying to appeal to all of these factions is that every centrist position is mutually exclusive. They can't get the moderate vote and the Tea Party vote and the Fundamentalist vote and the South from any one candidate.

Newt's in the lead because he's adept at lying. Remember when he accidentally said something intelligent about health care and partisanship?
"I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for free society to operate."
And then a few days later:
"Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood."
In the 1990s, he was a vocal advocate of the health care mandate that Mitt Romney implemented in Massachusetts, but he claims that none of it happened. He makes "the definition of is" look like child's play. And unfortunately, only a sly and valueless politician is going to be able to woo enough votes for this GOP primary. Among the contenders, there's not a leader among them willing to tell their own party that they need to change.
posted by deanklear at 10:00 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, Perry is weak now, his gaffe in the debates was bad, but he'll pull through.

The R's simply cannot get enough stupid, tuff talkin', jackasses, and Perry fits the bill perfectly.


Perry's already lost. There's "boldly straight-talkin' anti-intellectual" stupid. The GOP base loves that shit. But Perry's revealed himself as "fumbling, bumbling, doing everything short of saying "ah-durrrrr" over and over again" stupid. Nobody votes for that. Not even Republicans.
posted by mightygodking at 10:01 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


sotonohito: “It will be Perry.”

I agree with Ironmouth – this seems extremely unlikely.

But in the event that Perry wins the nomination, he won't be running against Barack Obama. He'll be running against George W Bush.
posted by koeselitz at 10:01 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He has a greater than 3/4 approval rating amongst Democrats.

Oh jesus, seriously?

We are completely lost.
posted by DU at 10:01 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every now and then to amuse myself, I try to recite all the Republican nominees from memory, and Huntsman is always one I forget. Him and Santorum.

I'm pretty sure even the Republicans forgot Santorum. He's the only one that didn't even get his 15 minutes of Not Romneyism. Poor bastard.

poor homophobic, creationist, union busting, racist bastard
posted by Naberius at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


He is a hypocritical, hateful, lying, pontificating, gaseous pile of shit.

Yeah, he'd stick out like a SORE THUMB in Washington.
posted by Elly Vortex at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't believe for a minute that Newt will get the nomination, but sometimes I daydream about how hilarious it would be.

Four years of Tea Part/libertarian/anti-elitist rhetoric and they end up with a Beltway insider/lobbyist with a PhD, an authoritarian streak a mile wide and a lack of any religious or "family values" credibility. It would be glorious.
posted by auto-correct at 10:02 AM on December 6, 2011 [35 favorites]


The thing that really gets me with Newt, and I can't put my finger on exactly why this is, is that Newt Gingrich just doesn't look "Presidential." Perry, Romney, Obama, and even Bachmann I could see as a portrait in the White House. Newt just looks wrong somehow (and I say this as someone who used to look like Gingrich).

I realize this is a bogus way of looking at things, but it's about as legitimate as the "president I could share a beer with" test.

In shorter words, Newt Gingrich is the Republican version of Adlai Stevenson.
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


a Beltway insider/lobbyist with a PhD

Not just any lobbyist, one who supported Freddie Mac (and supported the idea behind Obamacare).
posted by drezdn at 10:06 AM on December 6, 2011


He did this.

I'm surprised that would hurt Romney. It was a tough interview, but he pulled through at the end, and sounded intelligent and reasoned through issu... Ah, I get it now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


This has all been seen and done before.

And shall happen again.
posted by yoink at 10:07 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Every now and then to amuse myself, I try to recite all the Republican nominees from memory, and Huntsman is always one I forget. Him and Santorum.

If it makes you feel any better after Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Happy and Bashful I always forget Doc.
posted by Talez at 10:07 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nonetheless, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that Romney’s favorability rating has advanced by 13 points among independents since mid-October; 45 percent now see him favorably, 30 percent unfavorably. That’s improved from a more negative 32-36 percent split on Romney among independents a month and a half ago. Romney’s gained ground among very conservative potential GOP voters as well.

And a month ago Romney polled among Republicans as most likely to win the nomination.

Whoever said upthread that Romney is the tortoise has it right. Ask yourself how all those other people who surged ahead of Romney are doing now. He's been running for the better part of a decade, he's slick, he's smart, he's only got one wife, and he's the GOP's best chance of beating Obama and they know it.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:07 AM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Guess they will give him a shot because he has been serving the party for so long.

I'm just going to quote myself here about the GOP:

Right, current GOP branding is outsider, maverick, rogue. They represent the real America against the coastal elite that are oppressing them. They are the straight talking, no bullshit, tell it like it is rebel that don't need no diploma to know a shit storm is coming.

2/3 of the High-Profile party members, Bachmann, Palin, Huckabee, Coulter, Beck, are just riding the gravy train, they just want to raise their profiles to make more money. They can make up any shit they want because the only thing they believe in is scoring points and making money. They can pass any law they want because they don't give a shit about anyone who isn't them. They just need to keep storing the shit to keep people riled up.

1/3 are the Stones and Luntzs who only care about proving they are smarter, they can make up any plan or play any dirty trick they want because beating the opponent is the only thing that matters.

You cannot fight in these people's level. They are nihilists threatening to jump into the abyss just to fuck us, god knows what we can do.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:08 AM on December 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


This article (one of many gems by Charles Pierce) is brought to perfection by the illustration. If I wasn't trying to quit American politics cold turkey*, it would be my new desktop.

*Yes. I know. I know.
posted by maudlin at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


We just had a "tortoise" candidate in McCain. That went great for the R's. The last time we elected a president who'd spent the last decade running for the office was...what, Reagan? (Sitting VPs are a special case)

It's not a great strategy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2011


The other is that Obama is for-sure the Dems pick. Because at this point, he wouldn't win a primary either.

Sitting Presidents don't get primaried successfully. Yes, it basically happened to Johnson, but he was never elected as President himself, which has to count for something, and his Vietnam policies were incredibly unpopular within his own party. Obama is a relatively weak sitting President; this is very, very different from being insanely unpopular and having a well-organized passionate internal opposition movement seeking to unseat them, as the anti-war movement was during Johnson's day. If there was going to be a remotely serious attempt for anyone to take Obama's position, we'd know about it by now, we'd be debating it and that person would be working to build a massive national movement.

Someone has to win the GOP nomination, even if it's not Romney or Newt. It's an empty seat that anyone might end up sitting in. But Obama is the Democratic Party's nominee, and unless someone specifically tries to stop him, he will be again - and nobody, at all, anywhere in the ranks of the Democratic party, is trying to be The Alternative. Has Dennis Kucinich announced his candidacy on behalf of the 99%? Has Nancy Pelosi gone insane and decided she wants the Presidency? Have the deluded fantasies of a handful of die-hards come true and the Secretary of State has resigned in favor of primarying him all over again? I didn't think so.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:12 AM on December 6, 2011


The only thing the hard core Republican right likes more than one of their own, is an alpha male. Newt is the most alpha of the current candidates besides Perry and he said oops, which took him down a few pegs in the alpha scale.

Newt's current wife has supposedly reformed him. He has converted to Catholicism and become the Catholic version of born-again. I think his hubris plays to the right. I talked to someone from his former district a few weeks ago that told me that Newt would mop the floor with Obama in a debate. They really believe all the Fox News bullshit that Obama can't string two words together without a teleprompter. It is all part of the belief that Barack Obama is nothing but a product of affirmative action that MUST BE PUT IN HIS PLACE.

Personally, I would love to see a Newt/Barack showdown.
posted by readery at 10:13 AM on December 6, 2011 [18 favorites]


I think the point was that if the Obama of today were part of a field of candidates, instead of a sitting president, he would be polling on par with Perry.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:15 AM on December 6, 2011


DU: "
The other is that Obama is for-sure the Dems pick. Because at this point, he wouldn't win a primary either.
"

Only 26% of Democrats say that they want someone else for the nomination. I think that he'd be ok in the primary.
posted by octothorpe at 10:16 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, it basically happened to Johnson, but he was never elected as President himself, which has to count for something

Lyndon Baines Johnson won the 1964 election with 61.1% of the vote to Goldwater's 38%.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:16 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


The last time we elected a president who'd spent the last decade running for the office was...

Romney has won a single contested election in his entire political career.
posted by empath at 10:18 AM on December 6, 2011


The only thing the hard core Republican right likes more than one of their own, is an alpha male. Newt is the most alpha of the current candidates

Newt is definitely alpha-maleish, but he's also nerdy intellectual, and the right tends to come down hard on that (at least when they're Democrats).
posted by drezdn at 10:19 AM on December 6, 2011


Barack Obama is the luckiest man alive.

They're all receiving money from the same finance firms.

If the current president was properly prosecuting securities fraud... if Goldman Sachs CEOs were going to jail instead of going to his cabinet meetings, do you really think his opposition would be insubstantial?

Luck has nothing to do with it.


This reminds me more and more of WWF wrestling.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:20 AM on December 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


Benny Andajetz: “He is a hypocritical, hateful, lying, pontificating, gaseous pile of shit.”

Elly Vortex: “Yeah, he'd stick out like a SORE THUMB in Washington.”

No, that's the thing. He did. He was the first Speaker of the House ever to be censured and fined for ethics violations. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a House full of Republicans so upset at you that they'll fine you for ethics violations? Really, the fact that he was so immoral that Congressmen and women thought he should be disciplined is really saying something.
posted by koeselitz at 10:21 AM on December 6, 2011 [51 favorites]


Gallup: Gingrich 37, Romney 22, everybody else in single digits. What's interesting about this particular poll is that, if you compare it to the last one, where Herman Cain was an available option, all of Herman Cain's voters seemingly went directly to Gingrich.
posted by mightygodking at 10:21 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, remember Howard Dean? Perhaps the most qualified former executive branch, clearest vision, boldly-talking Democrat in the Dem primary at the time? Polling in the top three, then a shout with a bad cold, combined with a microphone that eliminated the contextual crowd noise made him sound like an unhinged maniac when he was giving a pep speech after the Iowa vote. His support cratered overnight and we got, as a result, what may have been the dullest nominee since Mondale.

None of us can really know who is going to get the GOP nod until a few primaries are out of the way. Huntsman is the one who scares me: extremely conservative, but an intelligent, informed, qualified and sensible-sounding candidate that could probably beat Obama in the general. I'm grateful Republican primary voters don't seem like that kind of candidate, though.
posted by darkstar at 10:22 AM on December 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Someone has to win the GOP nomination, even if it's not Romney or Newt.

Do they? Why? There's no law saying the Republicans have to run somebody, is there?
posted by Naberius at 10:23 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not as such, but they're going to assign all their delegates by caucus/election/dice roll/dart game, and then all the delegates will get together until either a majority agrees on a candidate or they run out of booze. That's not likely to take until the second week of November.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:25 AM on December 6, 2011


When I saw Fox News trolling Romney, I started wondering why Murdoch doesn't like him (and who are they pushing).

Rachel Maddow proposes that Newt is the choice of the "Murdoch Primary".
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:26 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course the Republicans wouldn't nominate Gingrich. Doing so would be stupid and spiteful and obviously against their own long-term interests--Oh, wait...
posted by overglow at 10:31 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Reason article:

"As speaker of the House in 1995, Gingrich backed the death penalty for drug smugglers, saying, "You import commercial quantities of drugs in the United States for the purpose of destroying our children, we will kill you." In 1998, a decade after Congress created mandatory minimum sentences that were widely condemned as senselessly severe (including the crack penalties it voted almost unanimously to reduce last year), Gingrich still wanted to "increase penalties for selling illegal drugs" and "impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs." Asked recently whether he still believed in executing drug dealers, he hedged a bit, referring to murderous cartel leaders who are already subject to the death penalty. But he expressed admiration for Singapore's drug policy, which includes forcibly testing anyone suspected of drug use (including tourists), long prison sentences for possession, and mandatory execution of anyone caught with more than a specified amount of drugs (18 ounces of marijuana, for example). "They've been very draconian," Gingrich said, and he meant that as a compliment."

A debate between Obama and Gingrich would not be pretty.
posted by bukvich at 10:32 AM on December 6, 2011


I wish they'd nominate Ron Paul; at least then it would be an interesting race. Obama would be forced to define himself and actually take a stand on a few things.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:35 AM on December 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


A debate between Obama and Gingrich would not be pretty.

No, it would be beautiful. Please please God it is nearly Christmas and miracle time let this happen please.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:35 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ooooooh, my optimistic yet Schadenfreudic fantasy about the state of the Republican Party in 2012, from about a week before the 2008 elections, isn't too far off the mark!
posted by Flunkie at 10:36 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm expecting that someone who had the good sense to stay out of the ongoing GOP clusterfuck will reluctantly offer themselves as a "unity candidate" after Romney falls short of 50% and the anti-Romney-ists fail to fall behind a single candidate - and both Perry and Newt are way too ego-driven to bow out. But who? Chris Christie's too fat. Rick Scott's too bald. Sarah Palin's too female. Gotta be a governor, for non-DC cachet... Indiana's Mitch Daniels is doing some union bating without much blowback, and he bowed out because his wife and daughters pushed him; if he does get into the race, it'll be considered a Heroic Man-Up move, so I'm going with him right now. If he is the nominee, I'll be pointing to this comment forever. If not, I'll probably have a different prediction next month. Thankyouandgoodnight.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:36 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I knew about the sequential wife-dumping, but marrying his high school teacher was news to me:

The woman who helped finance Gingrich's advanced studies was none other than his high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, whom he had started sleeping with at age 19. In 1981, after supporting him and bearing him two children, Gingrich's wife/math teacher got abruptly traded in for a newer model (the second Mrs. Gingrich, Marianne Ginther with whom the ever classy Newt had been carrying on an affair before the separation). To add insult to injury, Gingrich browbeat his wife about the terms of their divorce while she was still in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer.

We need a Gingrich-Schwarzenegger ticket. Together, they have almost 60 years of experience in fucking the help and fucking the poor.
posted by benzenedream at 10:37 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Howard Dean

I've yet to see a candidate more clearly sandbagged by the "mainstream media". I've never talked to anyone who saw the video of the so-called "Dean scream" and thought it depicted anything unreasonable - and yet the media as a whole, left and right, just wrote him off completely and that's the last we heard from him.

That that same media could continue to depict Cain and Palin as legitimate candidates despite endless jaw-dropping media howlers makes me sick and angry.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:37 AM on December 6, 2011 [90 favorites]


I will also add that, regardless of who the R's nominate, I wouldn't feel especially sanguine about Obama getting reelected.

The economy sucks, and unemployment is high and has been for a very long time now.

Sitting presidents tend not to do especially well when the economy is lousy.

Obama is going to have a fight no matter who wins. The R's could nominate Bush jr again, or a man with a lobotomy, and Obama would still have a fight.

And the R's are gaming the system. All those "anti-voter fraud" measures they've been passing in states Obama took in 2008? Yeah, those are designed to prevent him from taking those states again.

I've got my gripes with Obama, but in a choice between him and any R, I'll take Obama. And thus these things worry me. I am not at all confident he'll be able to beat even Gingrich or Perry.
posted by sotonohito at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't agree with much of anything that comes out of the guy's mouth, but they way I see it Newt is the most intelligent person the Republicans have on offer, by a large margin. Granted, that may not seem like it's really saying much, but the guy is bright. Exceptionally bright. Head and shoulders above any of the other Republican nominees. From that standpoint, and combined with his glaring character flaws, he reminds me of Bill Clinton. That's kind of scary to think about, actually.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2011


I hope Gingrich gets the nomination because the American people would never vote for a fool as president.
posted by charlesminus at 10:39 AM on December 6, 2011


Paul Krugman: Newt Gingrich is a stupid man's idea of what a smart person sounds like.
posted by mightygodking at 10:42 AM on December 6, 2011 [24 favorites]


When I saw Fox News trolling Romney, I started wondering why Murdoch doesn't like him (and who are they pushing).

Does Fox News make more money with a Democrat president to bash or a Republican president to fawn over?
posted by straight at 10:43 AM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


If I were Obama, and Gingrich were nominated. My Newt ads would just consist of unedited Newt soundbites, ending with Vote Obama 2012.

For example, Newt's quote about firing school janitors and having kids takeover. He starts off from a reasonable idea (kids need a model of hard work) and spins it into crazy land (lets fire the janitors and put the kids to work).

Granted, Gingrich once said, "Any ad which quotes what I said... is a falsehood.”
posted by drezdn at 10:46 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've yet to see a candidate more clearly sandbagged by the "mainstream media". I've never talked to anyone who saw the video of the so-called "Dean scream" and thought it depicted anything unreasonable - and yet the media as a whole, left and right, just wrote him off completely and that's the last we heard from him.

I say this as a hardcore Deaniac who went door to door and raised money for him. It wasn't crazy, but it wasn't 'presidential', either.

At the time, I thought it was weird, but he collapsed in Iowa even before that speech. He had a small, hardcore group of supporters and the rest was very soft and they abandoned him as soon as they realized he wasn't inevitable.
posted by empath at 10:47 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newt just looks wrong somehow (and I say this as someone who used to look like Gingrich).

That's the saddest thing I've ever read.
posted by goethean at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2011


Who are the people that make up the Establishment Republican Cabal? I've always wondered.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2011


It's only a matter of time before the Rs decide to roll all their ideological tendrils of support into a monstrous, openly amoral, enthusiastically lawless, Might-Makes-Right/We Do What We Want one-plank platform.

That would be something I could respect far more than the current selective outrage and "okay for me but not for thee" positions. It ain't what I want in government - or even in my neighbor - but at least it's honest about being corrupt.

I can't be as sanguine as some of you above about "woo Newt" since every election is a chance. I guess I'm "woo Newt" compared to Perry/Cain type moral nuts but I think I'd rather stomach 4 years of Romney. At least he's shown a willingness to compromise on policy.

I don't know how much that matters anymore since the Senate has become fillibuster-dysfunctional and you only need a few people willing to torpedo the country for their own political purposes to keep things from happening.

Sometimes I wonder if the states system just can't survive the population density they have reached in the last century. Perhaps when the interests were small enough it was possible for federal government to reach compromises, but with so many states having larger populations and economies than entire countries maybe you just can't come up with a working balance anymore.
posted by phearlez at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I would not count Newt out. He's certain to give Obama a run in the general election, given his penchant for being particularly vicious (if not truthful). This will go far energizing the Republican base. And if they're willing to overlook his many shortcomings and flip-flops, he only has to work on Independents, who are not exactly flocking to Obama this election cycle.
posted by sutt at 10:50 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


And the 2012 Republican nominee is... this inanimate carbon rod!
posted by weinbot at 10:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


Newt is just the latest money-maker for the GOP coffers prior to their putting their actual candidate, Romney out there. He's going to go through his 6 week cycle just as Perry and Cain did all the while filling his own coffers (as well as the GOPs) with campaign cash. A nice little warchest to be transferred to the Romney campaign. The polls are either rigged or filled with the kind of mindless idiots who elected Bush for his 2nd term. It's all a game , it's all preplanned. Democracy has nothing to do with this.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:51 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's the saddest thing I've ever read.

I meant to say, he doesn't look presidential.
posted by drezdn at 10:52 AM on December 6, 2011


Honestly, all I want is for Obama to step up and be the New Deal liberal we all want him to be.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:54 AM on December 6, 2011 [20 favorites]


GOOGLE MELANCHOLIA
posted by hermitosis at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Newt just looks wrong somehow (and I say this as someone who used to look like Gingrich).

That's the saddest thing I've ever read.


It's also untrue! I've known drezdn since high school and at no point did he look like Gingrich (unless he did in elementary school or something...)
posted by Jpfed at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2011


He starts off from a reasonable idea (kids need a model of hard work) and spins it into crazy land (lets fire the janitors and put the kids to work).

He often has some decent insight in identifying problems and trends, and sometimes even has good solutions, but it's always over-whelmed by crazy, stupid and megalomania. One thing I like about Gingrich is he actually bothers to consider the poor and underprivileged and minorities, unlike most GOP politicians (see his stance on immigration). He actually does seem to care in his own weird way. It's just that his understanding of the problems of poverty and his proposed solutions are usually astoundingly ignorant and/or crazypants.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on December 6, 2011


I wish they'd nominate Ron Paul; at least then it would be an interesting race. Obama would be forced to define himself and actually take a stand on a few things.

Really? If I was Obama, in that situation, I'd just take out a full-page ad in the NYTimes and WaPo, reprinting some of Ron Paul's more racist screeds. I wouldn't even need to show up to a debate.

Paul screwed his presidential aspirations the moment he opened his mouth about all black men being terrorists. This isn't the 1990s, any longer, and you just can't get away with that kind of talk, at least not when running for President.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Democracy has nothing to do with this.

If only this were true. The republicans are real people and they really vote for these guys, though.
posted by empath at 10:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The last time we elected a president who'd spent the last decade running for the office was...what, Reagan? (Sitting VPs are a special case)

I'm not sure how/why George H.W. Bush should be excluded. He ran in 1980 and beat Reagan in Iowa. That's part of how he ended up the Veep in the first place.
posted by Jahaza at 10:58 AM on December 6, 2011


Who are the people that make up the Establishment Republican Cabal? I've always wondered.

Mostly people you've never heard of working in think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, but if I were to say who the guy at the top is, I'd go with Grover Norquist.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:58 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He starts off from a reasonable idea (kids need a model of hard work) and spins it into crazy land (lets fire the janitors and put the kids to work).

It's dog whistle racism. When he says
Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits for working and have nobody around them who works. ... They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal.
he conjures up images of the illegitimate spawn of ghetto drug dealers. And we all know what color those are.
posted by clarknova at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Mitch Daniels will never be able to reach the brass ring of a Republican presidential nomination.

Last I checked, Indiana's unemployment numbers are higher than the national average. Just another reason his presidential dreams will always come up short.
posted by drezdn at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck grills Newt Gingrich (w/ video).
posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2011


The thing that really gets me with Newt, and I can't put my finger on exactly why this is, is that Newt Gingrich just doesn't look "Presidential." ... I realize this is a bogus way of looking at things

Bogus in the sense that "it shouldn't be that way," maybe, but I actually think this is the most important thing. If Gingrich were a character actor, no director in the world would cast him as POTUS. He just looks wrong for the part in a way that's completely different from how George W. Bush or Ron Paul are kinda goofy looking.
posted by straight at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: 'The Huntsmen!"

Every time I hear John Huntsman gets mentioned that song goes through my head.
posted by JHarris at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2011


Who are the people that make up the Establishment Republican Cabal?

if I were to say who the guy at the top is, I'd go with Grover Norquist.


Roger Ailes.
Rupert Murdoch.
The Koch brothers.
The NRA.
The US Chamber of Commerce.
The Club For Growth.
Oil industry and other resource extraction companies.
The banking/finance industry.
Drug companies.
James Dobson (Focus on the Family) and other conservative christian groups.
Elected officials.
Employees of the RNC.

etc..
posted by empath at 11:04 AM on December 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Esquire did a good profile of him last year which was posted here: Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican
posted by homunculus at 11:05 AM on December 6, 2011


I've yet to see a candidate more clearly sandbagged by the "mainstream media".

GOOGLE RON PAUL!
posted by The Bellman at 11:05 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits for working and have nobody around them who works. ... They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal.
he conjures up images of the illegitimate spawn of ghetto drug dealers. And we all know what color those are.


Yeah, this is what I mean by Newt correctly identifying a problem (and one that not many people want to talk about) and then suggesting a completely insane solution to it. These kids not having adult, working role models is genuinely a problem, but its also a symptom of the insane drug war and a legacy of institutionalized racism, which he completely ignores or would actually make worse. I don't even know that he's intentionally dog whistling, because he gets no benefit out of it. I'm sure he didn't focus group 'let's fire all the janitors and get rid of child labor laws'. It's so dumb and pointlessly malicious that he probably came up with it 5 seconds before he opened his mouth.
posted by empath at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE RON PAUL

I never was sure which side that slogan was on. I saw it on posters last election, followed its advice, and found a racist anti-choice gold-standard chap who I'd never want as president.

Desired outcome? Or unintended consequence?
posted by bitmage at 11:12 AM on December 6, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'm still on the Cain Train. He only suspended his campaign, not end it, so I think there's still a chance.

CAIN TRAIN.
posted by Fister Roboto at 11:12 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


My Cain dream, especially since he suspended his campaign, is Perot-style third party run.

CAIN TRAIN!
posted by drezdn at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I think about how this current crop of Rs got chosen for this election, I imagine a smoky meeting room on Skull Island with all of the faceless Machine folks gathered there.

They've pretty much decided that - based upon advanced modeling and analytics - this election isn't one they want to win, because it's more profitable to salt the earth at a state level with cheap ALEC written legislation, and to stymie all momentum in the Federal legislature. Media circus + blamestorm - accountablity + continual distrust of government = Profit!

So, they gathered all of their second-string candidates that might have a claim at this one being "their turn" ( plus a few folks for comic relief ) and have given them their instructions. If one actually gets too popular and might win, various media toggle switches are thrown - ones labeled "Verbal Gaffe", "Sex Scandal", "Campaign Staff Revolt", etc.

So, just as Newt peters out ( sorry for that imagery ) Santorum will have his time in the spotlight just as primaries heat up, and will get the Nod, broadsiding everyone.

None of these faceless Machine folks actually believes that Bachman has a chance as the nominee, but is good for a chuckle.
posted by HannoverFist at 11:15 AM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


A Republican referendum on Mormonism will be interesting to watch.
posted by telstar at 11:17 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it just me or do all of the Republican candicates resemble muppets in some way?

How can you take Newt Gingrich seriously when he looks like this?

For more info, check out the wiki.

I'm Ralph Wiggum and I've been a good boy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Republican primary post? I feel like a kid in a candy store --

What has Romney done this week to knock himself down in the polls? Some kind of scandal or humiliation please?

Last week a photographer snapped a picture of him while he was in his recharging pod. It was nothing we didn't already know but it was a kind of embarrassing photo-op.

Throw that in a cauldron with some Newt, add some broth, baby you got a brew going!

You'd only do that if you wanted to summon up Belphagroth. Admittedly, not being Mormon it'd have a better chance than Romney, but no independent political observer thinks It would have a serious chance in the primary due to being in favor of gay marriage, regardless of Its mind-affecting charms.

3) It will be Perry.

Perry is like Bush except further along the graph. If the Republicans would just overcome their aversion to intellectualism they'd be able to master the art of differential calculus, and they could jump straight to their Platonic ideal candidate rather than trying to find him through an iterative process. (Of course this ideal, who scientists would speak in coded dog-whistle gibberish referred to as "Texease" and would think in a symbolic pandering language, probably doesn't exist in nature, and their aversion to stem cell research deprives them of the means of creating it in a lab, so they may have painted themselves into a corner ideologically.)
posted by JHarris at 11:18 AM on December 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Let's not forget that the bar set by G.W. Bush is PRETTY DAMN LOW.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:20 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


One thing I really can't wait for is an in depth tell all behind the scenes of the Republican side of this election. There's so much crazy stuff that has happened already.
posted by drezdn at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


NYT Article on Gingrich fundraising efforts: In late September, at the close of the most recent fund-raising period, Mr. Gingrich reported that his campaign was more than $1 million in debt, three times the cash he had on hand. By that point, he had raised less than $2.9 million. By contrast, Mr. Romney had raised more than $32 million through Sept. 30.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:24 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is what I mean by Newt correctly identifying a problem (and one that not many people want to talk about) and then suggesting a completely insane solution to it. These kids not having adult, working role models is genuinely a problem, but its also a symptom of the insane drug war and a legacy of institutionalized racism

On top of that it's a skewed view. 12 million people in the US are the working poor. Those kids have extremely hard-working adult role models. But listening to Newt? Ghetto crack babies whose babydaddies never did a day's work in their lives.

You think his statements are insane. I think he's consciously, and with malice aforethought, pandering to racists.
posted by clarknova at 11:26 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Let's not forget that the bar set by G.W. Bush is PRETTY DAMN LOW.

New Perry campaign slogan: The bar is too damn high!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:34 AM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


A Republican referendum on Mormonism will be interesting to watch.
posted by telstar at 2:17 PM on December 6 [+] [!]


Interesting, isn't it, that the Republican party will probably be the first to nominate a non-mainline Christian Presidential candidate.

People I know personally, who absolutely abhor Obama, will most assuredly either stay home or grudgingly vote for Obama because of this issue.
posted by Chrischris at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2011


Interesting, isn't it, that the Republican party will probably be the first to nominate a non-mainline Christian Presidential candidate.

Nixon was a quaker. A lot of the early presidents were deists or unitarians.
posted by empath at 11:39 AM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder how Newt's Catholicism will play with the christian right. He talks like an evangelical, but there are some who see Catholicism as a black mark worse than Mormonism (though it could help him in places like Wisconsin).
posted by drezdn at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2011


Newt running might help OWS, by pushing right wingers their way, which might help prevent the Democrats from co-opting them.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:47 AM on December 6, 2011


You make your bed and then you get to sleep in it.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:49 AM on December 6, 2011


He is a hypocritical, hateful, lying, pontificating, gaseous pile of shit.

Sounds a bit overqualified if you ask me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:53 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else surprised that Romney just hasn't converted? I mean he's changed every other position he's ever had, he doesn't strike me as a man of any particular conviction in really anything. The right would love it. Born again, make a big show of it. Sure, he'd have to sell it. Some would be cynical, but those people are already are. And it totally plays into the born again script coming at a pivotal place in his life. Those outside the right might not take too kindly, but he could just downplay it after the primaries and really there is anti mormon sentiment outside just the Evangelicals, so it would likely help him all around. I'm very, very surprised he hasn't done it.
posted by whoaali at 11:57 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I gather Romney is pretty involved in the Mormon church, I can't imagine he'd turn his back on it now.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, remember Howard Dean? Perhaps the most qualified former executive branch, clearest vision, boldly-talking Democrat in the Dem primary at the time? Polling in the top three, then a shout with a bad cold, combined with a microphone that eliminated the contextual crowd noise made him sound like an unhinged maniac when he was giving a pep speech after the Iowa vote. His support cratered overnight and we got, as a result, what may have been the dullest nominee since Mondale.

The problem was that Dean didn't want to be president. He broke down in front of Joe Trippi and explained that he had started running to be notice to be DNC chair and never expected to be front runner.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:03 PM on December 6, 2011


All I know is from what I've seen if Jeb ever steps into the fray, Barack is toast. I am going to be reading mostly this time around, and acting. For me I guess I am at least happy that the election is based off of actual issues (the economy) and not just complete nonsense.

Romney needs to get some confidence going and slow the fuck down when he's talking. Oddly enough, even though he thinks producing tons of information makes him look smart and helps people pay attention, his stammering and quick talking and responses actually hurts him. The day he starts slowing himself down and taking a more relaxed approach that lets people gravitate to him instead of it seeming like he's poking you in the head with little tiny speech jabs, then he'll be a real contender.

Talk about surprise, I'm surprised he hasn't learned that yet.
posted by cashman at 12:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


How the Gingrich Stole Christmas.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:08 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Really I think the Republican primary is part of the culmination of the reality TV trend. Here we have a team of doofuses woefully unsuited to the job but making for good TV with a continual stream of silly gaffes. The ultimate point will be when one of them wins it.

But I'm going to go with Barney Frank and say none of us have been good enough for an Obama/Gingrich miracle.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off The Whelk's toe.
posted by heathkit at 12:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If a Republican wins, I hope Palin becomes the Sec of State
posted by Postroad at 12:15 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off The Whelk's toe.

It would be like the Metafilter version of Four Rooms.
posted by drezdn at 12:16 PM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fister Roboto: "
CAIN TRAIN.
"

I heard that in the voice of the GI Joe in the "body massage" Fensler remix.

BODY MASSAGE!
posted by notsnot at 12:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


If a Republican wins, I hope Palin becomes the Sec of State
What makes you think there will be a Department of State?

Seriously. I mean, yeah, I'm snarking, but it's seriously a matter of debate amongst actual Republican presidential candidates exactly how many cabinet-level departments should be eliminated.
posted by Flunkie at 12:22 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


All I know is from what I've seen if Jeb ever steps into the fray, Barack is toast.

IIRC, the few times Dubya's reputation was mentioned in polls, his numbers were significantly lower than Obama's. So I don't see running another Bush, even Jeb, working nearly as well as you fear. It's also likely that Axelrod et al have got a lot of oppo research on him since he was the biggest 2012 GOP name mentioned after Obama won. In any event, it's essentially too late for anyone new to enter the race.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:25 PM on December 6, 2011


In any event, it's essentially too late for anyone new to enter the race.

The filing deadlines have passed for a significant proportion of states. There will be no new entrant.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:30 PM on December 6, 2011


Well, unless there's a brokered convention, then who the hell knows who the nominee would be?

I'd throw my vote to The Whelk's slightly dessicated but fully sentient toe. It's a miracle!
posted by maudlin at 12:32 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently, Gingrich cannot win NH because he doesn't have enough delegates/supporters.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:34 PM on December 6, 2011


The filing deadlines have passed for a significant proportion of states. There will be no new entrant.

Oh, right, good.
posted by cashman at 12:34 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I meant to say, he doesn't look presidential.

Jesus Christ, have you seen his latest wife? Vampyra. She looks like she sleeps in a coffin, makes John McCain's wife look relaxed and natural.
posted by kgasmart at 12:34 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump has a new book out and is showing interest to rejoin the race. I wonder if he'll use his Trump-moderated debate as a way to insult all the current candidates and join the race himself. It's a move straight out of pro-wrestling, but he's no stranger to that.

On preview: The filing deadlines have passed for a significant proportion of states. There will be no new entrant.

Thank goodness.
posted by Gary at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2011


Why a brokered GOP convention is highly unlikely.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He talks like an evangelical, but there are some who see Catholicism as a black mark worse than Mormonism

I don't think this is nearly as true as it once was. There was some talk about this around the time Mel Gibson came out with that movie about Christ...evangelicals were thrilled with it, even though it was Catholic in some important ways.
posted by OmieWise at 12:37 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who are the people that make up the Establishment Republican Cabal? I've always wondered.

I seem to recall Mr. Burns, Dr. Hibbert, Wolfcastle, Krusty and Dracula. After that, I get fuzzy remembering some of them.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Apparently, Gingrich cannot win NH because he doesn't have enough delegates/supporters.

It's not winner take all, so it doesn't matter.
posted by empath at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2011


link to above
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:42 PM on December 6, 2011


Yes, he really did say "People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz."
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:44 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nixon was a quaker.

Wow, that completely blows my mind.
posted by dialetheia at 12:46 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Surely there is enough reasoned criticism of Gingrich's career and proposed policies to keep us busy without resorting to disparaging his appearance or that of his wife. I mean they may well be terrible people, but attacks like that say more about the accuser than the target, I think.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 12:47 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jen Bush.
posted by newdaddy at 12:53 PM on December 6, 2011


Jesus Christ, have you seen his latest wife? Vampyra. She looks like she sleeps in a coffin, makes John McCain's wife look relaxed and natural.

kgasmart, let's not do this ok? She's not running for office and if she was, her looks still shouldn't matter. We don't talk about male spouses this way.
posted by emjaybee at 12:54 PM on December 6, 2011 [24 favorites]


I don't see Jeb entering the field this year, he's too smart a politician for that. I lived in Florida back when he got elected, and the his brother, and I have always thought we'd have been much better off as a nation if it had been Jeb in the White House.

I'm not a fan by any means but he's far more sensible about finding compromise positions and accommodating majority opinion. Case in point: offshore drilling, which he was a fan of but the citizens of Florida, at least then, majority opposed. So he continued the existing ban.

It makes me wonder what would have happened with Iraq and the public resistance if it had been Jeb.

But regardless, he's no dummy. GWB is too fresh and too polarizing to be running for office with the Bush name in 2012. I wonder sometimes whether the current field is so shitty because of possible candidates deciding that it's too challenging to unseat a sitting president to risk a loss in 2012 rather than wait. The money in play is too high now for anyone to get a second bite at the apple. You lose the general you don't every get another party nomination.

But I'd wager a week's pay that in 2016 we'll see Jeb run if there's not a sitting republican.
posted by phearlez at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


We don't talk about male spouses this way.

I think I know more about Marcus Bachmann than any other candidate's spouse. In fact, I know what he does for a living, while I don't even know the names of most of the other candidates' wives.

As for Newt's wife being an issue, she was supposedly one of the big reasons staffers quit en masse during the summer.
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because of her looks? The face that launched a sinking ship.
posted by found missing at 1:00 PM on December 6, 2011


But I'd wager a week's pay that in 2016 we'll see Jeb run if there's not a sitting republican.

Honestly, if the expected problems under a sitting GOP president* would even be only half as bad as I assume--said assumption starting at 2nd Great Depression including at least one more massive military engagement--I'd say a Johnsonesque primary challenge in 2016 may actually be likely. But by that point, who knows how voting laws will have been changed by Deputy Attorney General Hans von Spakovsky.


* If the GOP takes the White House, there is a near 100% chance of a near-filibuster-proof Senate for at least two years and a solid lifetime Supreme Court appointment (maybe two) that will help further fuck things up.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:12 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


How the Gingrich Stole Christmas.

From today's Washington Post: The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas.
posted by ericb at 1:12 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Newt's Catholicism will play with the christian right. He talks like an evangelical, but there are some who see Catholicism as a black mark worse than Mormonism

Luckily for Newt, Mel Gibson made Catholicism cool with evangelicals.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2011


Also in the Post: Gingrich fighting massive debt racked up in campaign’s extravagant early days
posted by peeedro at 1:21 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Santorum will have his time in the spotlight just as primaries heat up

You shouldn't leave Santorum out under a spotlight or any heat source. It will dry out and the stain will set.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


kgasmart, let's not do this ok? She's not running for office and if she was, her looks still shouldn't matter. We don't talk about male spouses this way.

Please. Goes to electability. I realize we're all so intelligent and above the fray here at MeFi, but out there in the real world there are many facets to a candidacy besides his or her ideas.

And this is, in fact, the woman with whom Newt had a six-year affair while married to wife #2.
posted by kgasmart at 1:23 PM on December 6, 2011


Dear Lord, I haven't asked for much in this life. But if you give me a third-party independent candidacy by any of the following, I'd be most grateful and promise to stay on my best behavior for the subsequent four years:

- Sarah Palin
- The Donald
- Rudy Giuliani
- Any member of the Bush clan
- Mel Gibson
- Herman Cain
- Rick Santorum (*snicker*)
- Any of the other pathetic schlubs who lose the Republican Primary
- Anybody that has been a regular contributor to Fox News
- Anybody that has every received a medal for promoting "Family Values" from a socially conservative religious organization
- The reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan
- Dracula
posted by darkstar at 1:28 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Don't waste your good behavior, darkstar. Obama got bin Laden. And the Republicans might have more viable candidates in 2016.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:35 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who's Leading The Anti-Gingrich Offensive? Surprise, It's Ron Paul -- "Texas lawmaker launches a 60-second TV ad in Iowa assailing the former House speaker."
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems like 2012 is ripe for a third party right wing candidate, but from the RW blog posts I've seen, the right won't go for it. They want Obama, bad.
posted by drezdn at 1:41 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. I don't think I've ever seen Ron Paul play down in the mud that far in a primary.

Maybe he's sick of being the also-ran?
posted by Talez at 1:44 PM on December 6, 2011


Maybe he's sick of being the also-ran?

He's also run a pretty hard hitting ad against (IIRC) Romney.
posted by drezdn at 1:48 PM on December 6, 2011


"Donald Trump has insisted that his endorsement would provide a major boost for any of the Republican presidential candidates.

... Trump writes in his new book Time to Get Tough: Making America that his support would help any candidate to defeat US President Barack Obama in November 2012.

"The Republican field has several good candidates in the race - most of whom have come to see me at my office in Trump Tower," the mogul wrote, according to Newser.

"The reason they come to see me isn't just because I am a nice person but because millions of people listen to what I say and know I 'get it'."

He continued: "Some magazines have said I am the single most important endorsement a presidential candidate can have. I don't know if that's true but it wouldn't surprise me."*
Christ, what an asshole!
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


We don't talk about male spouses this way.

I think I know more about Marcus Bachmann than any other candidate's spouse. In fact, I know what he does for a living, while I don't even know the names of most of the other candidates' wives.

As for Newt's wife being an issue, she was supposedly one of the big reasons staffers quit en masse during the summer.


drezdn, you're being intentionally dense. The complaint was actually, "Don't critique candidates on the basis of their wives' looks;" not "Don't bring their families into it."

Bill Clinton looks like a rube. A handsome one, I'm told, but a rube. That was never, ever mentioned during Hilary's campaign... because it had no relevance, as the looks of Gingrich's current wife should not.

Nor, given his track record, should his current mistress'/future wife's looks be mentioned.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:51 PM on December 6, 2011


2012 Republicans are kissing Donald Trump’s ring. But why?
... New polling from NBC News and Marist College shows more voters in Iowa and New Hampshire would be turned off by a Trump endorsement than positively influenced by one. In both states, only about 20 percent of Republicans said they would be more likely to cast ballots for a candidate who had Trump’s blessing while more than one-third said a Trump endorsement would make them less likely to support his chosen candidate.

Those numbers have some GOP strategists wondering how Trump has made himself into such a pivotal figure in the GOP presidential race.

“Why would a movement birthed by William F. Buckley allow itself to be hijacked by the likes of Donald Trump?” asked GOP consultant John Weaver, a strategist to former Utah governor Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign. “In their wildest dreams, [Obama adviser David] Axelrod and company couldn’t come up with this scenario.”

(Huntsman has been outspoken in his unwillingness to meet with Trump and has denounced his opponents who have.)

GOP strategist Mike Murphy, who is unaligned in the Republican race said he was “confounded” by the attention the GOP candidates have paid to Trump. “I have no idea why they kowtow,” he added.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those numbers have some GOP strategists wondering how Trump has made himself into such a pivotal figure in the GOP presidential race.

All the people turning up dead with big-ass grins on their faces have police forensic experts wondering how the Joker has made himself into such a pivotal figure in Gotham City water supply infrastructure.
posted by penduluum at 1:57 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those numbers have some GOP strategists wondering how Trump has made himself into such a pivotal figure in the GOP presidential race.

Because this race is, as a wiser Mefi than I pointed out above, the political equivalent of a Reality TV show.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:01 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


the GOP can't find a half-way intelligent person anywhere in their ranks

I don't think this is an issue. "Intelligence" has never really seemed to be high on the list of traits Republicans are looking for in a candidate. In the end, there seem to be two things that matter most to GOP voters: relatability and taking a hard line. This is why I don't see Romney getting the nomination. He's been too soft on social issues in the past, and comes across as being an intelligent person, both of which are damning qualities in a GOP candidate.

Gingrich, by contrast, is whip smart but can adopt the populist Old West Sheriff talk with aplomb. His previous sexual dalliances aren't going to matter, because he Saw The Light. If anything, a past of debauchery makes his road-to-Damascus reformation all the more appealing. And it wouldn't surprise me if his campaign people decide to adopt a strategy lifted from the final battle rap in 8 Mile: put all your shortcomings right out front before your opponent even has a choice to use them.

Which isn't to say I think Gingrich will beat Obama in the general elections. That's still too early to tell. But getting the nomination? That's Newt's race to lose.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:04 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


drezdn, you're being intentionally dense.

You overestimate me! I had assumed the post meant families should be off limits. I'll agree that the physical appearance of family members shouldn't be made an issue.
posted by drezdn at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will bet you $100 right now that, when it finally comes down to it, the Republicans will hold their noses and nominate Romney.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:05 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


the Republicans will hold their noses and nominate Romney.

Intrade feels the same way. The people funding the campaigns seem to feel the same too.
posted by drezdn at 2:08 PM on December 6, 2011


kgasmart, none of the rationalisations you offer justify continuing to offend all women with your odious attacks. Just don't do it.
posted by peacay at 2:08 PM on December 6, 2011


Now there is $100 and a toe on the table.
posted by found missing at 2:09 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now there is $100 and a toe on the table.

And likely a 'dick' who gets the GOP nomination.
posted by ericb at 2:11 PM on December 6, 2011


And it wouldn't surprise me if his campaign people decide to adopt a strategy lifted from the final battle rap in 8 Mile: put all your shortcomings right out front before your opponent even has a choice to use them.

It's a nice thought, but he'd get incinerated. Because (1) once he introduces them, all you have to do is start repeating them and (2) even if he does that, he'll never bring out everything. He'll never bring out stuff, especially, that's never been publically revealed. Which means now your opponent has carte blanche to start introducing other sleazy or unethical things you've done. It's like having a zero-day exploit for blowing up somebody else's campaign.
posted by penduluum at 2:11 PM on December 6, 2011


Gingrich, by contrast, is whip smart but can adopt the populist Old West Sheriff talk with aplomb. His previous sexual dalliances aren't going to matter, because he Saw The Light. If anything, a past of debauchery makes his road-to-Damascus reformation all the more appealing. And it wouldn't surprise me if his campaign people decide to adopt a strategy lifted from the final battle rap in 8 Mile: put all your shortcomings right out front before your opponent even has a choice to use them.

See, this is where you lose me.

Gingrich has never shown any evidence of intelligence, as far as I can see. He's a bloviator and a pontificator, certainly, but whip smart? His interpretations of American history are bunk. His descriptions of his academic credentials have been out-and-out lies. He dodged the draft. He's a serial-cheat-on-his-wife guy - even while publicly dogging Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky travesty. He was charged with 84(!!!!) ethic violations while Speaker of the House, and was censured and fined $300,000. He could give two shits about real democracy - last week he described the OWS protesters as "complainers" using "facilities that the rest of us (?!) payed for" and they needed to shut up "get a job and take a bath".

Decent people shun assholes like this, not accord him the respect of running for President.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:16 PM on December 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Ron Paul isn't a viable candidate. I'm afraid Clarence Thomas taught the Plutocrats the dangers of true believers with (any) brains. Huntsman John sounds more likely. lol
posted by jeffburdges at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2011


I wouldn't discount the ability of Republican voters to come together and turn-out at the polls, no matter who their nominee is. Their goal is, after all, to boot Obama from office. This is the great, grand motivator that will allow all factions of the right to collectively hold their nose and vote for whomever the nominee is. The idea that large numbers will stay home is a progressive pipe dream.

Eyes on the Prize.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:18 PM on December 6, 2011


His interpretations of American history are bunk. His descriptions of his academic credentials have been out-and-out lies. He dodged the draft. He's a serial-cheat-on-his-wife guy - even while publicly dogging Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky travesty. He was charged with 84(!!!!) ethic violations while Speaker of the House, and was censured and fined $300,000. He could give two shits about real democracy - last week he described the OWS protesters as "complainers" using "facilities that the rest of us (?!) payed for" and they needed to shut up "get a job and take a bath".

I don't know what this might say about his intelligence, except that despite all this, here he is, leading the polls. If that's based on sheer luck, dude needs to go to Vegas rather than raise money the old fashioned way.

I don't dispute anything you're saying here about the guy. He is a vile, opportunistic parasite of a man. But he's not stupid.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:20 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Decent people shun assholes like this, not accord him the respect of running for President.

See that first word you put in there? That's the problem.

Single data point: Nearly all of my very conservative, very religious relatives have told me they are voting for Gingrich. The "hard line, non intellectual" is what they want.
posted by Big_B at 2:21 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Their goal is, after all, to boot Obama from office.

Uh, this. I think we're making the mistake of assuming that there exists a large and well-organized faction on the right that is indeed more committed to right-wing principles than to booting out the President. An 'OWS' of the right, if you will.

But the puppeteers of the Tea Party are not going to oppose the nominee, even if it is Romney whom everyone seems to hate only slightly less than Obama.

The Paulites might make some angry noises or even put up a third-party fight but they do not have enough corporate backing to get anywhere.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:24 PM on December 6, 2011


If Newt gets the nomination I am cutting off a toe.

You didn't specify whose toe. Nice touch.

From today's Washington Post: The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas.

Breaking news: more than one person comes up with obvious joke.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:25 PM on December 6, 2011


He is a vile, opportunistic parasite of a man. But he's not stupid.

I think we see here that the difference between intelligence and animal cunning is causing people to talk past one another when discussing how awful Newt Gingrich is.
posted by mightygodking at 2:26 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think the Republicans will all go out and vote, but they don't have the numbers on their own to take the presidency. What matters is what happens with the mythical independents and which way they'll break come election day.

Much of that will come down to the economy, but it does seem like the right has forgotten that not all of their ideas are charming to the general public. Gingrich is almost at the point of just saying "are there no workhouses, are there no prisons?"
posted by drezdn at 2:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, MeFi. You don't wanna know about it, believe me. Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


She turned me into a newt!
posted by found missing at 2:31 PM on December 6, 2011


Decent people shun assholes like this, not accord him the respect of running for President.

Right, but we're talking about the Republican nomination here.
posted by goethean at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think we see here that the difference between intelligence and animal cunning is causing people to talk past one another when discussing how awful Newt Gingrich is.

Certainly, there are different types of intelligence. His policies are decidedly dumb, but he's not coasting on pure chance or the reptilian brain alone.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2011


So Newtmentum is...
*puts on sunglasses*
Newtonian?

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
posted by Talez at 2:43 PM on December 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


The bombardment of lithium by deuterons of 6.3 Mev energy yields Newtrons of energy up to 20 Mev.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:51 PM on December 6, 2011


One of my old professors posted this on his blog. It's a poem wherein every line is an anagram for Gingrich's full name, "Newton Leroy Gingrich":
We’re crooning nightly,
Renewing thorny logic,
Cheerily noting wrong.
Coiling energy, thrown.

Wrongly enticing hero,
Ongoing wintry lecher,
Reigning theory clown,
Whining electron orgy
Growing incoherently.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:09 PM on December 6, 2011 [44 favorites]


Certainly, there are different types of intelligence. His policies are decidedly dumb, but he's not coasting on pure chance or the reptilian brain alone.

NEWT PRESIDENT = MOAR BLOWJOBS AND NEW WIFE = CAMPAIGN HARDER
posted by benzenedream at 3:16 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Harold Washington, the first black mayor of a major city

The city of Los Angeles begs to differ.
posted by Slothrup at 3:16 PM on December 6, 2011


That's right, the city of Los Angeles was actually the first black mayor of a major city.
posted by koeselitz at 3:36 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd still put my money on Romney, but Newt has a shot. Will be fun to see them duke it out for a few weeks, there isn't quite enough time for Romney to just let him self-destruct like the rest of the clowns did.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:50 PM on December 6, 2011


She turned me into a newt!

A newt?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:02 PM on December 6, 2011


The city of Los Angeles begs to differ.

And:

Cleveland, Washington DC, Detroit, Newark, Raleigh, Atlanta, Oakland, New Orleans, and Memphis.
posted by empath at 4:02 PM on December 6, 2011


I got better.
posted by found missing at 4:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't believe it took 225 comments to get that joke out.
posted by Big_B at 4:17 PM on December 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


I seem to recall Mr. Burns, Dr. Hibbert, Wolfcastle, Krusty and Dracula. After that, I get fuzzy remembering some of them.

Rich Texan, I think. I wonder if he prefers Paul over Perry.
posted by box at 4:28 PM on December 6, 2011


I can't believe it took 225 comments to get that joke out.

They mostly joke at night...mostly.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:15 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"From today's Washington Post: The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas."
Breaking news: more than one person comes up with obvious joke.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:25 PM on December 6 [+] [!]


There's even a song: You're A Loser, Newt Gingrich! (mp3) (from the Santastic Six: 100% Holiday Mashups and Remixes album)
posted by bluesapphires at 6:04 PM on December 6, 2011


Looks Presidential:_____Romney....Yes_____Newt....No
100% Republican:______Romney.....No_____Newt....Yes
Background Clean:______Romney....Yes_____Newt....No
Good at Debating:______Romney.....No_____Newt....Yes
Appealing to Moderates:_ Romney.....Yes_____Newt.....No

Romney it is.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:50 PM on December 6, 2011


Ahh, but you forgot the ever-important Pisses Off Liberals metric, which pretty much throws the race to Newt. Also, they don't seem to care much about appealing to moderates.
posted by dialetheia at 6:56 PM on December 6, 2011


From the point of view of a voter in a Republican primary, Romney's background is not "clean". Romneycare has been inextricably linked to Obamacare, which makes it tantamount to treason.

Newt's background, on the other hand? So he was a serial adulterer who served one of his wives divorce papers on her hospital bed, and so he got chased out of Congress in shame for ethics violations. So what. He found Jesus. The rest no longer counts.
posted by Flunkie at 7:03 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is apparently a Reverse Robocall service for this election season. lol
posted by jeffburdges at 7:04 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


> The R's will go for the dumbest, most crazy right, most aggressive lunatic white
> male they can possibly find.

I'm expecting the call any minute. My bag of crazy is packed.
posted by jfuller at 7:11 PM on December 6, 2011


I'm not a smart person myself, but I like that Newt has a big head. He carries his big head on a body that likes to cheat on his wives, but I like how that big head has so many ideas, just swimming around in that big head, and he lets them come out of his mouth.

PAID FOR BY CITIZENS FOR CANDIDATES WITH ABNORMALLY LARGE HEADS
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:34 PM on December 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Jump into the Mitt Pit!
posted by amitai at 7:42 PM on December 6, 2011


Get Newtered!
posted by box at 8:04 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Romneycare has been inextricably linked to Obamacare, which makes it tantamount to treason

As the Ron Paul video points out, Gingrich had been for the individual mandate for a long time. It hurts Romney more than it hurts Newt, but I think, so far, the average nobama tea party person doesn't know Gingrich supported it.
posted by drezdn at 8:05 PM on December 6, 2011


PAID FOR BY CITIZENS FOR CANDIDATES WITH ABNORMALLY LARGE HEADS

If we're going to support large heads (7 3/4 here), then we've got to back Kevin Mench and his 8 1/4! head.
posted by drezdn at 8:07 PM on December 6, 2011


It's all theoretical for me (Canadian), but I would love to see Ron Paul get it. I've never been a rabid Paulite, but seeing this first Obama term I have realized that he's the first Republican ever that would get my vote. He disagrees with me on a lot of stuff, but ending the drug war and foreign wars are really high on my list of priorities and I actually trust him to follow through on what he says. Even with a lot of wacky Christian and economic stuff thrown in, the anti security state features of his platform would be an important net gain for all of us.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:13 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


See, I think that a pro-life libertarian is a joke, and a pro-life libertarian doctor an even bigger one. Plus there's that racist thing. I'd vote for a moderate Republican before I'd vote for Paul--there's just no way I could take him seriously.
posted by box at 8:29 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't trust him to follow through on anything--when it counts, he's just a regular Republican. Also, Meatbomb is Canadian?
posted by box at 8:31 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we can all agree that when it's Newt's time to join the extended pantheon of heads on Mount Rushmore, that his head will be the largest, causing Lincoln to wish that he had grown a longer beard.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:50 PM on December 6, 2011


Yeah, I could imagine Ron Paul sounding pretty good if you aren't actually American, Meatbomb. You're only directly effected by the War on Drugs, Terror, Terriors, etc. Ain't like they'd actually let him implode the Federal Reserve, right? I'd vote for Ron Paul over Lieberman myself though.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:16 PM on December 6, 2011


How about Lieberman v. Santorum?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:18 PM on December 6, 2011


A Ron Paul America would be pretty weird, and tense. You can smoke a joint, but God help you if have sex.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:25 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newtie nomination = Dems take back the House

Not sure it's going to happen, but I sure as shit hope it does.
posted by bardic at 10:31 PM on December 6, 2011


Newt Gingrich: "There's a large part of me that's four years old," he tells you. "I wake up in the morning and I know that somewhere there's a cookie. I don't know where it is but I know it's mine and I have to go find it. That's how I live my life. My life is amazingly filled with fun."

Ever since I've read this quote the image of Newt dressed as Dennis the Menace has been seared into my mind.
posted by gamera at 11:16 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Over and over again I've been seeing that what Republicans want to elect is not someone who caters to the constituents in their particular locality, but rather someone who can parrot the ideology du jour. Romney is being penalized for implementing policies that appealed to the New England Republicans at the expense of failing the national Republican ideological litmus. Meanwhile Palin managed to rise far above her abilities by ignoring local political needs to issue ideologically consistent sound bites.

Ideological lip service is the only currency for successful Republican politicians.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:59 PM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


A Ron Paul America would be pretty weird, and tense. You can smoke a joint, but God help you if have sex.

Ron Paul would be deserted by his followers. Why? Because he's only the President. All the wishing in the world won't give him the power to make weed nationally legal. Congress will pass a law, and they will override his veto.

The same goes for people who think he will be able to end Gitmo with a snap of his fingers. Congress will defund that, just like they did with Obama. There's not enough obvious critical mass on the ground for politicians to want to remove a lot of this for fear of being called weak by a fear-mongering opponent--and god forbid if there's another terrorist attack.

People consistently treat the Presidency as a dictatorship. Its not. Constitutionally, the Congress holds the power. And its ability to stop things from happening is quite powerful. The modern presidency is an artifact of having 3-4 networks, whose news departments like an easy subject to follow--mainly one person.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:03 AM on December 7, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, this is why it's no bid deal if Romney gets elected.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:04 AM on December 7, 2011


Is Newt really going to be the nominee?

Is she really going out with him? Is he really gonna take her home tonight?
Is she really going out with him?
Because if my eyes don't deceive me there's something going wrong around here.

Around here.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:05 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


*no big deal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:14 AM on December 7, 2011


Ron Paul would be deserted by his followers. Why? Because he's only the President. All the wishing in the world won't give him the power to make weed nationally legal. Congress will pass a law, and they will override his veto.
It would give him the power to give blanket pardons to those convicted of drug offenses, both retroactively and on any new convictions. It would give him the power (maybe not the technical legality, but the power almost certainly) to order the DEA not to do more investigations and the DOJ not to do more prosecutions. It would give him the power to put such departments in total shambles, disfunctionality, and irrelevance through combinations of directives to them, demands of resignations, and refusals to put anyone up for appointment other than zealots. Does Congress confirm those zealots? Maybe, maybe not. Why does he care? From his point of view, the more unfilled positions, the better.

And the power of the purse? Irrelevant. Why does he care if Congress refuses to give him money? He doesn't want Congress to give him money. He wants the things that are being given money by Congress to fall apart and die.

A truly crazy president, which Paul would be, with strong inclinations towards government-annihilating goals, which Paul has, would be extremely powerful. Pretty much the only power Congress would have over him would be impeachment.
posted by Flunkie at 6:07 AM on December 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this is why it's no big deal if Romney gets elected.

Except if Romney gets elected, it will almost assuredly be a wave election, with a Senate and House with either straight GOP majorities or enough Blue Dogs in either to make little to no difference (while making the Senate essentially filibuster-proof). And since we know Romney would be unlikely to veto much of his own party's legislation, we can bet that anything mentioned by GOP legislators--who would now have both their oft-repeated "mandate" as well as the power to pass it--as well as from Romney himself, is fair game in the Romney Administration. This includes:

-All Executive-level political appointees and judicial nominees (including at least one Supreme Court Justice) would be essentially Bush-era or likely worse and easily passed.
-DOMA would be defended again, and undoubtedly strengthened.
-DADT could conceivably be reinstated.
-With that far-right Supreme in place, there's a clear majority to weaken Roe v. Wade, Dodd-Frank, Brady, ACA, and others while strengthening things like Citizens United.
-Voting rights laws like the ones in Alabama would likely become de facto nationwide thanks to a friendly DOJ and especially Attorney General.
-Said voting rights laws would strengthen state-level GOP officeholders and candidates, meaning worse legislatures and governments.
-The EPA, NLRB, FAA and other "troublesome" regulatory offices would be be gutted, along with most of the regulatory arms of civilian Departments.
-Social Security would be sharply cut and the enrollment age raised, while Medicare and Medicaid would become useless to anyone under 50.
-Defense would get Reagan's funding with Bush's waste/corruption.
-Income inequality would rise to Gilded Age levels thanks to vastly expanded deregulation of industry and finance.
-Private prison firms would make a killing due to strengthening of sentences for minor drug violations.

I could go on. So, yeah, other than that, no big deal if Romney is elected.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:14 AM on December 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


including at least one Supreme Court Justice

Ginsburg is 78, Kennedy and Scalia are 75, Breyer is 73, Thomas is 63, Alito is 61, Sotomayor is 57, Roberts is 56, and Kagan is 51.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:28 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


-Income inequality would rise to Gilded Age levels thanks to vastly expanded deregulation of industry and finance.

Rise to Gilded Age levels? Isn't it either already there, beyond there, or at the very least, damned close?
posted by acb at 7:48 AM on December 7, 2011


2006 and 2008 was largely decided by swing conservatives and moderates. Frankly, I suspect that 2012 is going to be decided by nose-holders and stay-at-homes.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 8:51 AM on December 7, 2011


A truly crazy president, which Paul would be, with strong inclinations towards government-annihilating goals, which Paul has, would be extremely powerful. Pretty much the only power Congress would have over him would be impeachment.

Which they would do in a heartbeat.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 AM on December 7, 2011


Gingrich: I know that somewhere there's a cookie. I don't know where it is but I know it's mine ...

I know you're sure that it's your cookie, Newt, but trust me when I tell you that it belongs to someone else, that you've left a lot of other four year olds sad and wondering what happened to their cookie, and that we're all waiting for you to take the cookie from the wrong kid, who'll punch you in your fat little face.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:53 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The modern presidency is an artifact of having 3-4 networks, whose news departments like an easy subject to follow--mainly one person.

I don't know if this is true or not, but it just totally blew my mind.
posted by gauche at 9:07 AM on December 7, 2011


Is it me or does Rick Perry look mildly drugged all the time?
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on December 7, 2011


Republicans' Far-Right Orthodoxy May Cost Them The Election.
posted by ericb at 10:03 AM on December 7, 2011


Rachel Maddow Hammers Newt Gingrich Over Ethics Violations (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2011


Wow, that Maddow segment is positively damning. Expect to see a lot of that old footage come out against Gingrich if he gets the nomination.
posted by darkstar at 10:22 AM on December 7, 2011


In brainstorming notes unearthed in the 1997 House Ethics investigation of Gingrich, he had scribbled: “Gingrich—primary mission: advocate of civilization, definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization, arouser of those who fan civilization, organizer of the pro-civilization activists, leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.”
-Source.

Dude is a total joke. At this point I think the Democratic establishment is hoping and dreaming he gets the nomination.
posted by andoatnp at 10:25 AM on December 7, 2011


I'm a civilization advocate too, Beyond The Sword is the best one.
posted by The Whelk at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is it me or does Rick Perry look mildly drugged all the time?

He's just high on the Love of our Savior Divine in that clip. Surely the USA could stand more politicians high on L.S.D.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2011


Is it me or does Rick Perry look mildly drugged all the time?

The guy had spinal fusion surgery back in July. As one who had back surgery, too, I can attest that you're eating pain meds for a good long time while recovering.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2011


Dude is a total joke.

I think there is truth to the idea that some conservatives back candidates because they piss off liberals. As a liberal (or at the very least, a lefty), I'd just like to say, Gingrich does not piss me off at all. While I think he would make a horrible president, it's hilarious that the right would back a candidate that has supported so much that they say they're against.

Any day now, Gingrich is going to start referring to himself as a "Washington outsider."
posted by drezdn at 10:39 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any day now, Gingrich is going to start referring to himself as a "Washington outsider."

Not sure if you're sincere or not, but:

Gingrich: 'Outsider' status will help White House bid
posted by logicpunk at 10:44 AM on December 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also ...

Video: Former Speaker Gingrich says he's a Washington outsider.
posted by ericb at 10:48 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Republicans' Far-Right Orthodoxy May Cost Them The Election.

During the 2010 state election, I had noticed that the ads of some of the Republican candidates were touting ideas that seemed pretty far to the right, like they had completely given up on "compassionate" conservatism and moved on to here's the bitter pill.

Now, right wing commentators seem to think that Gingrich or someone even farther to the right would easily beat Obama. Granted, Obama is beatable, but they seem to have completely forgotten that there is middle ground in this country, and I think I understand why.

If you follow RW talk radio, even second hand, it's set up solely to reinforce that what you believe is "true" and that any sane person agrees with you. On top of that, the Republicans never lose an election. If they lost it was because of "voter fraud" and not because the majority doesn't agree with a right wing viewpoint.

They've set up a mental system where even when they lose, they win, because it reinforces their world view.
posted by drezdn at 10:49 AM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the last page of part 3 of the exhibits (PDF) of the 1997 House Report on Gingrich's ethics violations, the sheet where Newt was to be the “advocate of civilization,” the “definer of civilization,” the “teacher of the rules of civilization,” the “arouser of those who form civilization,” the “organizer of the pro-civilization activists,” and the “leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.”
posted by exogenous at 11:11 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing that really gets me with Newt, and I can't put my finger on exactly why this is, is that Newt Gingrich just doesn't look "Presidential." Perry, Romney, Obama, and even Bachmann I could see as a portrait in the White House. Newt just looks wrong somehow (and I say this as someone who used to look like Gingrich).

realize this is a bogus way of looking at things, but it's about as legitimate as the "president I could share a beer with" test.


It's much better than the share a beer test. Who wouldn't want to share a beer with Dennis Fucking Kucinich?

I've said it many times on here before, but the presidential election has been a beauty contest for a while now. The ugly guy doesn't have a chance.

Gore-Bush II was a pretty even tossup (though objectively I would have picked Bush as "more attractive," I think; Gore really should have had Clinton with him more, but maybe he didn't b/c he would pale in comparison), but the others--Reagan-Carter, Reagan-Mondale, Bush-Dukakis, Clinton-Bush, Clinton-Dole, Bush II-Kerry, Obama-McCain--were pretty clearly all in favor of the more attractive man.

Bush-Dukakis could have been a tossup, but Dukakis did not manage his height well (think of the tank), nor his eyebrows.

Obama is a sharp, sharp dude. Romney will get the bid. I'll put $20-100 on it straight up to anyone (up to $1,000 total) who wants action. Parlay time!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:41 AM on December 7, 2011


In brainstorming notes unearthed in the 1997 House Ethics investigation of Gingrich, he had scribbled: “Gingrich—primary mission: advocate of civilization, definer of civilization, teacher of the rules of civilization, arouser of those who fan civilization, organizer of the pro-civilization activists, leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.”

it was only Civ II back then. He wanted to trade for Monotheism, apparently.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:44 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow: Newt: I Will Nominate John Bolton For Secretary Of State
posted by Flunkie at 11:52 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newt Gingrich Relishes Role Of Antagonist.
posted by ericb at 12:21 PM on December 7, 2011


Yeah, this is why it's no big deal if Romney gets elected.

Except if Romney gets elected, it will almost assuredly be a wave election, with a Senate and House with either straight GOP majorities or enough Blue Dogs in either to make little to no difference (while making the Senate essentially filibuster-proof). And since we know Romney would be unlikely to veto much of his own party's legislation, we can bet that anything mentioned by GOP legislators--who would now have both their oft-repeated "mandate" as well as the power to pass it--as well as from Romney himself, is fair game in the Romney Administration. This includes:

-All Executive-level political appointees and judicial nominees (including at least one Supreme Court Justice) would be essentially Bush-era or likely worse and easily passed.
-DOMA would be defended again, and undoubtedly strengthened.
-DADT could conceivably be reinstated.
-With that far-right Supreme in place, there's a clear majority to weaken Roe v. Wade, Dodd-Frank, Brady, ACA, and others while strengthening things like Citizens United.
-Voting rights laws like the ones in Alabama would likely become de facto nationwide thanks to a friendly DOJ and especially Attorney General.
-Said voting rights laws would strengthen state-level GOP officeholders and candidates, meaning worse legislatures and governments.
-The EPA, NLRB, FAA and other "troublesome" regulatory offices would be be gutted, along with most of the regulatory arms of civilian Departments.
-Social Security would be sharply cut and the enrollment age raised, while Medicare and Medicaid would become useless to anyone under 50.
-Defense would get Reagan's funding with Bush's waste/corruption.
-Income inequality would rise to Gilded Age levels thanks to vastly expanded deregulation of industry and finance.
-Private prison firms would make a killing due to strengthening of sentences for minor drug violations.

I could go on. So, yeah, other than that, no big deal if Romney is elected.


You do realize Paul is a Republican too, right? If we assume wave elections and a Paul win they will give him the legislation he wants too. I realize it's really important to defend the idea that Obama is powerless with a Supermajority but the talking point gets so twisted when you guys try and have it both ways to say Republicans would be Godzilla.

All that is necessary to stop a President on any issue is 41 to filibuster in the Senate, and the Democrats will not fall below that number so they can stop anything the Democratic party does not support.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:28 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


You do realize Paul is a Republican too, right? If we assume wave elections and a Paul win they will give him the legislation he wants too. I realize it's really important to defend the idea that Obama is powerless with a Supermajority but the talking point gets so twisted when you guys try and have it both ways to say Republicans would be Godzilla.

Ron Paul pardons all those convicted of drug crimes in the past and going forward? He's impeached by the GOP.

This was the hypo presented.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:35 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


1. Not by me.
2. I was replying to a direct reply to me.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:51 PM on December 7, 2011


Newt announced today that, if elected as POTUS, he would name John Bolton as Secretary of State. One more data point to indicate he is a complete and utter moron.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:58 PM on December 7, 2011


I realize it's really important to defend the idea that Obama is powerless with a Supermajority but the talking point gets so twisted when you guys try and have it both ways to say Republicans would be Godzilla.

The Democrats cover a lot larger range of the political spectrum than the Republicans. There are liberal Democrats and conservative Democrats, and the difference between those ends of the spectrum are pretty big. This simply isn't the case in the Republican party. What is so hard to understand about this?

There's a reason Will Rogers said "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
posted by me & my monkey at 1:01 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


All that is necessary to stop a President on any issue is 41 to filibuster in the Senate, and the Democrats will not fall below that number so they can stop anything the Democratic party does not support.

I'm not sure it's a safe assumption that a Republican Senate would keep the current filibuster rules intact. Sure, no one has gotten rid of them yet, but at the state and local levels the right has shown a willingness to throw aside tradition if it helps their cause. That ruthlessness is trickling up to the national level, especially considering how many new republicans there would be.
posted by drezdn at 1:09 PM on December 7, 2011


And, as mentioned above, it's far from certain that they would need to.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:16 PM on December 7, 2011


All that is necessary to stop a President on any issue is 41 to filibuster in the Senate, and the Democrats will not fall below that number so they can stop anything the Democratic party does not support.

I'm not sure it's a safe assumption that a Republican Senate would keep the current filibuster rules intact. Sure, no one has gotten rid of them yet, but at the state and local levels the right has shown a willingness to throw aside tradition if it helps their cause. That ruthlessness is trickling up to the national level, especially considering how many new republicans there would be.


I think it will be a function of how close it looks for them.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:24 PM on December 7, 2011


1. Not by me.
2. I was replying to a direct reply to me.


I'm confused, because the pasted area above your answer refers to Romney. But you said Ron Paul.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:25 PM on December 7, 2011


hay guys ur doing it again
posted by Balonious Assault at 1:30 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Bolton for SecState? Wow, the States is really close to becoming a nation that is completely insane. Surely at some point this far-right stuff has to die down.
posted by jaduncan at 2:09 PM on December 7, 2011


Next up: Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Attorney-General.
posted by acb at 2:13 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Democrats cover a lot larger range of the political spectrum than the Republicans. There are liberal Democrats and conservative Democrats, and the difference between those ends of the spectrum are pretty big. This simply isn't the case in the Republican party. What is so hard to understand about this?

It's hard to understand because it is false. There is a wide difference between folks like Snowe/Collins and someone like Brownback. Or between Brownback and the more libertarian views of someone like Rand Paul. This is just another Democratic excuse for their failures.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:15 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mean, are we not watching a Presidential election now clearly highlighting the sharp divide between the more moderate establishment Romney wing and the Tea Party wing that hates figures like him?

It's amazing watching Democrats call the sky green on stuff like this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:16 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Bolton for SecState? Wow, the States is really close to becoming a nation that is completely insane. Surely at some point this far-right stuff has to die down.

Bolton was in the State Dept during the Reagan years, so it really doesn't surprise me Newt would reach for this guy. It's less a sign of rising insanity than it is a sign of Newt harkening back to the good ol' days of neo-conservatism; before their insane policies were shunned by the public at large. That, and both Newt and Bolton share the same "fuck diplomacy, America first" attitude about international relations.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:19 PM on December 7, 2011


It's amazing watching Democrats call the sky green on stuff like this.

Vote Obama, or die!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow: Newt: I Will Nominate John Bolton For Secretary Of State

"In addition to being a horrifyingly bad selection for many reasons, Gingrich’s promise of an office to someone before the election is apparently a violation of federal law:"
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:36 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


That apparently requires a very narrow and in practice probably entirely silly interpretation of the relevant law. This would hardly be the first time a politician postured about possible appointees in the runup to an election.
posted by cortex at 5:52 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I say we put them both in jail while we figure it out.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:56 PM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


That apparently requires a very narrow and in practice probably entirely silly interpretation of the relevant law. This would hardly be the first time a politician postured about possible appointees in the runup to an election.

can't believe USA Today ran that. It isn't a promise to Bolton. Its a promise to all of us. (shudder).
posted by Ironmouth at 7:11 PM on December 7, 2011


Bolton as Sec. of State? Awesome! Let's fill things out a bit more...

Attorney General: Tom Delay
Sec. of Energy: Tony Hayward (he'll find a way)
National Security Adviser: Oliver North
Treasury Secretary: Donald Trump
Transportation Secretary: Lee Iaccoca
Education Secretary: Rick Perry
posted by Navelgazer at 7:30 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Treasury Secretary: Donald Trump

Nah, he will probably do something that only a crazy bought and paid for by Wall St. Republican would do like name some Goldman Sachs executive to the post.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:35 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


But anyway, the Red ranger will make a great SecDef.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:56 PM on December 7, 2011


Treasury Secretary: Donald Trump

Nah, he will probably do something that only a crazy bought and paid for by Wall St. Republican would do like name some Goldman Sachs executive to the post.


The last Goldman Sachs employee who was Secretary of the Treasury was appointed to the post by George W. Bush.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:15 PM on December 7, 2011


Right right, your tribe is so much different and better.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:25 PM on December 7, 2011


Bolton was in the State Dept during the Reagan years, so it really doesn't surprise me Newt would reach for this guy. It's less a sign of rising insanity...

It's a sign of insanity because Bolton is likely unconfirmable. Bush couldn't get him confirmed as Ambassador to the U.N. and there'd very likely be another filibuster against him for Secretary of State.
posted by Jahaza at 9:30 PM on December 7, 2011


Right right, your tribe is so much different and better.

Really? A year and a half old McClatchy story based on reviewing the President's open meetings releases and saying "Lloyd Blankfein attended fundraiser" and a heated blog post by a nobody? At least people have actually looked at Geithner's Wikipedia page and realized he's been a public servant for decades.

But hey, Mitt "Double Guantanamo" Romney taking away the Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan will get us universal health care. And Bolton as Secretary of State--there's a guy we need running our foreign policy.

Up is down.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:47 PM on December 7, 2011


Nothing to see here, move along folks, vote Obama cause he totally wants to take on Wall Street.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:54 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing here at all.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:00 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama's SEC hires Goldman Sachs asset manager to regulate asset managers.

Goldman Sachs is launching an aggressive response to its political and legal challenges with an unlikely ally at its side — President Barack Obama’s former White House counsel, Gregory Craig.

Mark Patterson, chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for financial giant Goldman Sachs.

"But let me be clear -- this isn't just about ending the failed policies of the Bush years; it's about ending the failed system in Washington that produces those policies. For far too long, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, Washington has allowed Wall Street to use lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system and get its way, no matter what it costs ordinary Americans."

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:09 PM on December 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a friend who traveled back in time from what he calls "the amazing year one hundred billion," who says that we're in just about at the peak of the massive conservative overreaction that was its last gasp. He says that the political scientists of the time graphed American political opinion as three lines, o, o' and o''. o' is the derivative of o, and o'' is the derivative of o'. o is "straight" opinion between (postulated, obviously bogus in absolute terms) liberal and conservative poles, o' is the efforts of entrenched interests to lower o as much as possible through propaganda like Fox News and muddying every important issue our nation faces, and o'' is the underlying upward groundswell that subsumes and negates even that. He points to Occupy Wall Street as being not a cause of o''-'s upward liberalizing trend, but a result of it.

I think he makes some sense but I'm not sure I believe him entirely, not the least reason of which is that he was too busy running from the Death Cats to do much studying of political history.
posted by JHarris at 12:18 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard to understand because it is false. There is a wide difference between folks like Snowe/Collins and someone like Brownback. Or between Brownback and the more libertarian views of someone like Rand Paul. This is just another Democratic excuse for their failures.

You really think there's no difference between the two parties as far as this goes? The "Rockefeller Republican" wing of the party is effectively dead. The libertarians and mainstream Republicans share the same central tenets - government is too big, it's bad, and we pay for too much of it.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:03 AM on December 8, 2011


You really think there's no difference between the two parties as far as this goes?

Romney is Rockefeller Republican (as much as he tries to hide it in his pandering) and about to get the party nomination. If you honestly can't see the distance between Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson I don't know what to tell you, it's a diverse party.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:31 AM on December 8, 2011


Romney is Rockefeller Republican (as much as he tries to hide it in his pandering) and about to get the party nomination.

No. Romney's record is that of a Rockefeller Republican. But he's not running on what he's done, he's distancing himself from that as much as he can. And he's certainly not getting the party nomination because the party is enthusiastic about him.

If you honestly can't see the distance between Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson I don't know what to tell you, it's a diverse party.

Which one of them is in favor of increasing taxes again? I can't remember.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:39 AM on December 8, 2011


No. Romney's record is that of a Rockefeller Republican.

Yes, and everyone knows it, even as they nominate him anyway.

Which one of them is in favor of increasing taxes again? I can't remember.

That is an extremely simplistic way to look at it, the size and scope of government envisioned by Libertarian leaner like Paul and Johnson is massively different from the size and scope envisioned by someone like Santorum and Romney.

If we want to make it that simplistic and only look at the tax issue, unless you are extremely wealthy even Obama wants to lower your taxes and has some great ideas to shrink government spending.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:44 AM on December 8, 2011


Yes, and everyone knows it, even as they nominate him anyway.

If he gets nominated, it will be in spite of his record, not because of it.

That is an extremely simplistic way to look at it, the size and scope of government envisioned by Libertarian leaner like Paul and Johnson is massively different from the size and scope envisioned by someone like Santorum and Romney.

Which of them wants to increase the scope of government, then? Which one wants government to spend more money than it currently does? The only difference between them is how much should be cut and what should be cut.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:13 AM on December 8, 2011


If he gets nominated, it will be in spite of his record, not because of it.

Regardless, it is who he is. He will govern as a pragmatic centrist Republican as extremism is no path to a second term. That is the lesson of his time as Governor and his time in Republican primaries.

Which of them wants to increase the scope of government, then? Which one wants government to spend more money than it currently does? The only difference between them is how much should be cut and what should be cut.

Again, you can say the same for Obama. Did you not notice he talks a lot about cutting spending?

A Romney (or Obama) will be in favor of things like maintaining our extreme military spending and our social safety nets at near their current levels. Libertarians have the goals of drastically reducing both of these. You have passed over into being deliberately obtuse if you don't acknowledge this. Nobody is going to run a campaign on bigger government, not Obama or Romney...but it would be ridiculous to assert there is not a lot of ground covered between their platforms.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:23 AM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


A Romney (or Obama) will be in favor of things like maintaining our extreme military spending and our social safety nets at near their current levels.

I really hope we don't have to find this out the hard way, but I don't think that a President Romney will be nearly as interested in maintaining social safety nets as you think. He's certainly not campaigning on that platform, and he doesn't have support for that within his own party.

And Obama didn't come into office talking about cutting spending. He's basically been painted into a deficit reduction corner - it's the only thing that the current Congress (which makes the laws) cares about, and presumably he's come to the conclusion that if he doesn't talk about cutting spending, he'll lose the election.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:37 AM on December 8, 2011


Did Bush slash social safety nets? No, they don't actually support cutting programs that old people would revolt over losing.

And Obama didn't come into office talking about cutting spending. He's basically been painted into a deficit reduction corner - it's the only thing that the current Congress (which makes the laws) cares about, and presumably he's come to the conclusion that if he doesn't talk about cutting spending, he'll lose the election.

No, he believes cutting spending is necessary and good. That is why he passed a healthcare bill with a goal of reducing the deficit. It's why he presses for defense cuts and why during his campaign he talked about the economic cost of Iraq.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:54 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bush didn't slash social safety nets because he didn't have Congressional support for doing that. He pretty much spent his political capital on Iraq and tax cuts.

And the examples of cutting spending you provided are examples where there are clear reasons for cutting spending other than "government is too big" - healthcare costs are skyrocketing, Iraq is a costly boondoggle, and we spend way too much on defense generally. I mean, I'm as much a tax-and-spend liberal as the next guy, and I agree that we spend too much on defense and healthcare.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:45 AM on December 8, 2011


You do realize Paul is a Republican too, right? If we assume wave elections and a Paul win they will give him the legislation he wants too.

Only as long as it fits with the conservative base. Legalization of pot, drawing down of the military, all of that stuff won't even come to a vote.

I realize it's really important to defend the idea that Obama is powerless with a Supermajority but the talking point gets so twisted when you guys try and have it both ways to say Republicans would be Godzilla.

Obama had a "supermajority"--and it wasn't even that, more below--for all of 9 months. Did he do everything he could? No, I wouldn't say that. But he not only had to work within that time limit, he had to work with the impossibly byzantine structure of Congress, amplified to 100x in the Senate. A Republican wouldn't be bound by that at all.

All that is necessary to stop a President on any issue is 41 to filibuster in the Senate, and the Democrats will not fall below that number so they can stop anything the Democratic party does not support.

Really? I point you to years 2000 through 2006 as ironclad evidence to the contrary.

It's hard to understand because it is false. There is a wide difference between folks like Snowe/Collins and someone like Brownback. Or between Brownback and the more libertarian views of someone like Rand Paul. This is just another Democratic excuse for their failures.

Yeah, that's straight up wrong. As far as I can tell, at least three centrist Dem/Ind senators (Nelson-NE, Manchin-WV, Lieberman-CT) have voted with the Republicans (including Snowe and Collins on almost every single vote) many times not just on filibusters on bills and nominees, but to deny the bills or nominees the chance to be discussed in advance of a filibuster. Several times there have been additional centrists (such as Webb-VA, Tester-MT, and Landrieu-LA) who did the same.

Regardless, it is who he is. He will govern as a pragmatic centrist Republican as extremism is no path to a second term. That is the lesson of his time as Governor and his time in Republican primaries.

Say what? Maybe we're talking about two different Mitt Romneys here, but the one I'm talking about has obviously learned the lesson that being moderate doesn't win him the support of either side, so better to go full moron. In the tenure of the single office he's ever served in, he went from being pro-choice to pro-life, supporting civil unions to pushing to end them, supporting stem cell research to near-"personhood" opposition, and believing in greenhouse gas reduction to defending property values over alternative energy. And all of this was in one of the most liberal states in the country. He then chose not to run in favor of setting up a shot at the presidency, where he moved further to the right, and continued that slide with ever stronger attacks against abortion, gay rights, and taxes; and has essentially disowned both the fairly conservative health care intiative he passed and his prior beliefs concerning climate change.

In other words, I see nothing that tells me he would either govern as a "pragmatic centrist" nor that decisions about a second term (which he's only had to make once) were ever dictated by moving further from the center.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:31 AM on December 8, 2011


"But let me be clear -- this isn't just about ending the failed policies of the Bush years; it's about ending the failed system in Washington that produces those policies. For far too long, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, Washington has allowed Wall Street to use lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system and get its way, no matter what it costs ordinary Americans."

This involves neither lobbying or campaign contributions. It involves hiring experts to handle the job of regulation. Instead of amateurs. Do you have any specific, credible evidence that the the specific former Goldman employee they hired to regulate asset management is engaging in any wrongful practices?

Innuendo is not evidence.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:52 AM on December 8, 2011


Gingrich's Unimpeachable Conservative Credential
posted by OmieWise at 9:03 AM on December 8, 2011


Ron Paul pardons all those convicted of drug crimes in the past and going forward? He's impeached by the GOP.

Not just the GOP. The war on some drugs is a cancer that crosses both sides. Using it as an excuse to funnel money to various law enforcement groups - as well as funding meddling in other countries who dare to supply our demand - is a way to pay off for their constituents regardless of affiliation.

I wonder if this drug-user-pardoning idea is why the candidates continue to be so vocal about not even considering mary jane; they're worried someone will spin this "they'll just pardon them all!" yarn in attack ads.
posted by phearlez at 9:08 AM on December 8, 2011


FLASHBACK: Chris Farley Impersonating Newt Gingrich In 1995.
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do you have any specific, credible evidence that the the specific former Goldman employee they hired to regulate asset management is engaging in any wrongful practices?

You mean, other than being a former Goldman Sachs employee?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 PM on December 8, 2011


GOP Elites May Take One Last Stab At Getting New Candidate Into 2012 Race.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gingrich's Path From 'Flameout' To D.C. Entrepreneur
posted by peeedro at 12:32 PM on December 8, 2011


Pastor slams Newt Gingrich as the 'GOP's Kim Kardashian' in video.
posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on December 8, 2011


Now that Romney and surrogates have really started come out with guns blazing against Newt, it's time to get out the popcorn. Newt says he's going to remain positive, but that's a luxury that only a front-runner can afford (and it's not in Newt's habit, anyway).

The next few weeks are going to be entertaining. I'm going to try to forget what it says about our society that either of those guys has as much support as they do, though.
posted by darkstar at 3:46 PM on December 8, 2011


Do you have any specific, credible evidence that the the specific former Goldman employee they hired to regulate asset management is engaging in any wrongful practices?

You mean, other than being a former Goldman Sachs employee?


Yes, exactly. Specific facts.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:02 PM on December 8, 2011


Here's the other thing. Romney is changing strategy based on vastly more information than we have. He has candidate polls, real time access to contribution data and reports on the ground. Its fucking dire if he's doing this.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:06 PM on December 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think Huntsman is going to get a lot of attention after Iowa and New Hampshire.
posted by empath at 6:02 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You are badly missing the point. Just because the fox doesn't have a hen in his mouth, doesn't mean you let the fox run the henhouse. And that's pretty much what the Obama administration has done putting Goldman Sachs employees, the very people who ruined our economy, in charge of our economy. More to the point that furiousxgeorge was making, Obama said he wouldn't do this, and he turned around and did it, anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:16 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Romney Supporters Slam Gingrich
posted by OmieWise at 5:59 AM on December 9, 2011


The Real G.O.P. Dark Horse: None of the Above
Two of my favorite analysts, Rhodes Cook and Josh Putnam, have a good debate going about just how plausible it is that a Republican who is not currently running for president could enter the race later and potentially win it (probably necessitating a brokered convention). Those of you who follow my Twitter feed will know that I think Mr. Cook has the stronger side of the argument; I think there is a small but nontrivial chance that the Republican nominee could be someone like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty or Chris Christie. (In fact, I was speculating about these scenarios as long as a month ago.)

I’m not going to describe the means by which this would occur; Mr. Cook covers that in great detail. Instead, I’m more interested in the motive.

The motive is simple: Republicans are dangerously close to having none of their candidates be acceptable to rank-and-file voters and the party establishment. It’s not clear what happens when this is the case; there is no good precedent for it. But since finding a nominee who is broadly acceptable to different party constituencies is the foremost goal of any party during its nomination process, it seems possible that Republicans might begin to look elsewhere.

....

All of these conditions seem plausible based on what we know right now, which is what leads me to believe that a brokered convention is plausible as well.

posted by cashman at 9:13 PM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The motive is simple: Republicans are dangerously close to having none of their candidates be acceptable to rank-and-file voters and the party establishment.

How terrible a development that is. My heart, it bleeds for them.
posted by JHarris at 10:17 PM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ever late, but I'm a bit surprised that csmonitor's Is Newt Gingrich the GOP candidate Obama prefers to face? hasn't been mentioned. tl;dnr summary: (a) Gingrich has lots of baggage which the Democrats think they can attack effectively; (b) Gingrich's surge is well-timed to actually gather votes in the Republican primaries.

I think the 2008 election effectively demonstrated that Republicans (+ "Independents" who always vote Republican -- and there are a lot of those) will vote for virtually any Republican ticket, so from the Democrats perspective, who wins the nomination matters only in terms of the tactics & logistics of the election campaign. With Newt, it would be a fairly conventional campaign, and Newt's flaws are so numerous that they can almost trot out a scandal a week (probably a scandal a month until close to the election, then increase the frequency).

It also seems to me that Republicans (increasingly) care far, far more about power, and that the Republican brand is affixed to policy than they do about policy/ideology -- I suspect that the antipathy wrt Romney has far more to do with his Otherness (Morman) than his healthcare program.
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 6:54 AM on December 10, 2011


George Packer and Ryan Lizza interview Barnet Frank in this week's Political Podcast and talk about Newt:

LIZZA: Having watched him up close, and having watching him sort of implode in the ’90s, to put your political handicapper hat on, would you…

FRANK: Oh, I think he’s going to get the nomination, for a variety of reasons. I think it’s a confirmation of how the Republican primary electorate, whether it’s ten, fifteen per cent of the country, is so sharply differentiated from the rest of the country. I don’t think we’ve had a time in American history when the dominant wing of a political party was so out of sync with everybody else.
posted by readery at 12:06 PM on December 10, 2011


Welp, looks like it's gonna be Newt.
posted by telstar at 3:51 PM on December 10, 2011


Did you link to the right article? The link talks about his boneheaded anti-Palestinian comments, but nothing about the nomination.
posted by OmieWise at 5:41 PM on December 10, 2011


Newt’s nastiness comes back to haunt him
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on December 11, 2011


Gingrich opens up big leads in South Carolina and Florida

Toward the bottom of the article:

"In South Carolina -- a reliable Republican state in presidential contests -- Obama’s approval rating stands at 44 percent, and he holds narrow leads over Romney (45 to 42 percent) and Gingrich (46 to 42 percent)."

So the GOP is so bad off that the president is beating the two most likely nominees in South Carolina even with a poor approval rating. I'm not sure that I believe that he could carry SC but it's still pretty pathetic on Gingrich and Romney's part.
posted by octothorpe at 5:02 PM on December 11, 2011


I'm not sure that I believe that he could carry SC

If Gingrich is the nominee, Obama would win about 40 states, I think. He wouldn't even have to spend a dime on 'swing states' like Ohio, PA and Florida. They could pile millions of dollars into the south and play on Republican territory exclusively. His nomination would essentially destroy the GOP as a national party.
posted by empath at 5:44 PM on December 11, 2011


I hope that you're right, empath.
posted by octothorpe at 7:17 PM on December 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


When you've got a party to whom dirty tricks come as naturally as the Republicans, do not count them out. It's possible they'll make a misstep and spill their fiendish plans across the front page of the newspaper, but it's also possible that won't happen. These are people who took all the wrong lessons from Nixon.
posted by JHarris at 4:11 AM on December 12, 2011


I'm a lot less sanguine than empath. We said a lot the same about Bush jr, and look how that turned out.

The Republican base will, very often, vote for just about anyone with an R, no matter how awful they are.
posted by sotonohito at 9:04 AM on December 12, 2011


And the Democratic base will, very often, vote for just about anyone with a D, no matter how right they are. It's disturbing to see that the center continuing to move further to the right with each election cycle. For years now even the Democrats have been running more and more right, just to get elected, all while the Conservative Outrage Machine continues to lambaste each and every one of them as the most liberal ever. For practical purposes, Obama is a Democrat in name only. No matter how ridiculous the Republican party may make itself look, the right still runs the show. Democrats would do well to remember that and work on pushing the center back to the left instead of aligning themselves with any right-leaning candidate who attaches a D to their name. Lesser of two evils, sure, and I get that, but even entertaining the idea that the right is becoming irrelevant is a clear example of not seeing the forest for the trees.
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:23 AM on December 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


homunculus: Newt’s nastiness comes back to haunt him

Yeah, but that's from Dana 'Barney Frank is a bully' Milbank. I agree that Newt has a legacy of fomenting strife, but Milbank isn't the one to talk about it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:34 AM on December 12, 2011


empath: “If Gingrich is the nominee, Obama would win about 40 states, I think. He wouldn't even have to spend a dime on 'swing states' like Ohio, PA and Florida. They could pile millions of dollars into the south and play on Republican territory exclusively. His nomination would essentially destroy the GOP as a national party.”

I don't think that makes much sense. We have first-past-the-post elections, which means we necessarily have a two-party system. The Republicans could not destroy themselves as a national party if they wanted to. The only thing that could actually destroy the Republicans as a national party would be if there were an ascendant third party, and that looks distinctly unlikely right now.

Unless, of course, by "destroy" you mean something different from "marginalize" or "weaken permanently." Maybe you mean that a bad showing in the presidential election will put the GOP out of serious consideration for a few elections, but even that seems highly unlikely to me. The electorate is increasingly fickle over the past few elections; at this point, elections swing every two years. In 2008 they swung Democratic. In 2010 they swung Republican. Maybe that pendulum will speed up or slow down, but I don't see enough stability emerging to put the GOP down for more than a year or two, even in the face of broad and sweeping losses.
posted by koeselitz at 11:46 AM on December 12, 2011


The Republicans could not destroy themselves as a national party if they wanted to.

Tell that to the Whigs.

All it would take is one disastrous election to ruin the party.
posted by empath at 11:59 AM on December 12, 2011


empath: " All it would take is one disastrous election to ruin the party."

Maybe. Big Maybe. Things have changed a lot in the last 150 years, and the GOP is still very popular and has a ton of money and media support behind them.

Remember Reagan / Carter, 1980. Carter gets his ass kicked. Reagan carries 44 states and 489 electoral votes -- the highest ever received by a non-incumbent. The GOP takes the Senate.

Obviously, the Democrats are still kicking.
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the battle for the Republican pro-Israel vote, Newt Gingrich lacks Mitt Romney’s broad base of prominent Jewish donors. But he has something potentially more powerful: the support of one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s most significant American backers, and a relationship with the Israeli prime minister himself that stretches back decades.
posted by readery at 5:30 PM on December 12, 2011


He is a hypocritical, hateful, lying, pontificating, gaseous pile of shit.
Yep, and that's his good side.

He's not stupid. He's devious, smart, conniving, ruthless, and amoral. He's caused a lot of damage already. The primary effect of the Contract with America was to oust Democratic officeholders. Many signatories of the contract blithely ignored their promise when they were ready for term-limitation. He's got a new contract which will probably go the same way - be used to browbeat the opposition, then conveniently ignored.

I have to give him this: He's a politician who is really worth hating. No sense hating the weak, the shallow, the vain, when Newt wraps it up in one blustery, self-serving package.
posted by theora55 at 5:39 PM on December 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


link on drudge: RADIOHOST SAVAGE OFFERS NEWT $1M TO GET OUT...
posted by telstar at 8:02 PM on December 12, 2011


Rubbing our hands together and cackling with glee at the prospect of facing Newt in the general before the votes are cast in the primaries is probably not good tactics if we actually want to face him in the general.

So, we need to get all the Democrats on board with my new strategy:

Bre'er Rabbit: 2012.

Every time Newt Gingrich comes up in any message board or newspaper discussion, we need to talk about how scared we are of him as a general election candidate. How much smarter he is than Obama. How bad it would be for Obama to debate him because it would show Obama up to be the phony we all secretly know he is. How he's the savviest, ass-kicking-est political operator since Bill Clinton. And, so on.

We need to make the Republican primary electorate actually believe that Gingrich is our worst nightmare. They want to believe it. Let's help them.
posted by empath at 8:45 AM on December 13, 2011


Rubbing our hands together and cackling with glee at the prospect of facing Newt in the general before the votes are cast in the primaries is probably not good tactics if we actually want to face him in the general.

Personally, I'd rather not do anything that encourages the right to run Newt on the off chance that he would win. Granted, a moon base does sound pretty sweet.
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


We need to make the Republican primary electorate actually believe that Gingrich is our worst nightmare. They want to believe it. Let's help them.

empath, the problem with your statement of Bre'r Rabbit 2012 is that you repeatedly misspelled "Michelle Bachmann".

Someone so incredibly incompetent that the sentient members of the Republican party would be willing to cross lines, rather than support.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:06 AM on December 13, 2011


Someone so incredibly incompetent that the sentient members of the Republican party would be willing to cross lines, rather than support.


The Democrats could run ads with nothing but quotes but Republicans.
posted by empath at 11:09 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Democrats could run ads with nothing but quotes but Republicans.

Oh man these are great!

Ramesh Ponnuru: “Conservatives who dislike George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism ..."

*spit take*
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:28 PM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


me: “The Republicans could not destroy themselves as a national party if they wanted to.”

empath: “Tell that to the Whigs. All it would take is one disastrous election to ruin the party.”

Yep. All it would take is one disastrous election, a Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln. Those things could easily happen today.

Has it escaped your notice that the last presidential election was pretty disastrous to the Republican party? A landslide victory in the presidential race and a sweeping tide of Democratic victories all over the country. Did that bury the Republicans?
posted by koeselitz at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2011


Yep. All it would take is one disastrous election, a Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln. Those things could easily happen today.

The disastrous election that destroyed the party was before the Republican party even existed, let alone before the civil war. The GOP rose up to replace it after the Whigs had already disintegrated.
posted by empath at 1:02 PM on December 13, 2011


Newt has dropped to a lead of only 1% over Ron Paul in Iowa. Come on Iowa, make Ron Paul happen.
posted by drezdn at 9:50 AM on December 14, 2011


koeselitz: " Has it escaped your notice that the last presidential election was pretty disastrous to the Republican party? A landslide victory in the presidential race

Since when is winning by seven percentage points and 10 million votes a landslide? Decisive, perhaps. Not a landslide.
posted by zarq at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2011


Newt has dropped to a lead of only 1% over Ron Paul in Iowa. Come on Iowa, make Ron Paul happen.

Ron Paul winning Iowa would probably mean Romney is the nominee, because it would mean a weak performance for Gingrich. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Romney people threw their votes to Ron Paul.

Unless Romney also loses NH, in which case, it's anybody's ballgame.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on December 14, 2011


Confessions of a Child Janitor
posted by homunculus at 11:05 AM on December 15, 2011


Andrew Sullivan endorses Ron Paul.
posted by Jahaza at 11:58 AM on December 15, 2011


That's the weirdest and least logical endorsement I've read. Paul is a lunatic, and Sullivan admits as much. He claims to endorse him because he's shown ideas without raging Obama-hatred, but certainly Huntsman has as well, who Sullivan likes a lot better. I can't really figure it, but it does make me think I haven't been wrong for not paying attention to him.
posted by OmieWise at 12:32 PM on December 15, 2011


His reason for supporting Paul over Huntsman is that Huntsman hasn't shown that he can run a decent presidential campaign.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:33 PM on December 15, 2011


It's sort of a spin on the Buckley Rule, support the candidate closest to his idiosyncratic politics who can win in the primaries. The candiates who can win in the primaries appear at this point to be Romney, Gingrich and maybe Paul. (But remember that Huckabee won Iowa in 2008 and didn't win the nomination.)

If Paul did win in the primaries, I'd expect Sullivan to endorse Obama in the general election.
posted by Jahaza at 12:59 PM on December 15, 2011


@Jahaza I expect no less from someone like Andrew Sullivan. After Sullivan came out as a believer that black people are just plain naturally dumber than white people I was sure he'd find a way to rationalize his love for the most racist Republican out there.
posted by sotonohito at 2:34 PM on December 15, 2011


His reason for supporting Paul over Huntsman is that Huntsman hasn't shown that he can run a decent presidential campaign.

Well, nominally. I mean, I read that too, but it doesn't make much sense as a reason given the issues involved. I don't think he seriously things that Paul can win the nomination, so this isn't a practical consideration.
posted by OmieWise at 2:49 PM on December 15, 2011


Andrew Sullivan has believed a lot of things that are not, from a reasonable standpoint, sane. The idea that the guy in third place behind Mitt and the Fox flavor of the month might make it to first isn't all that outlandish, relatively speaking. Even if it is Ron Paul.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2011


What the hell is Andrew Sullivan smoking?
Let me immediately say I do not support many of his nuttier policy proposals. I am not a doctrinaire libertarian. Paul's campaign for greater oversight of the Fed is great, but abolition of it is utopian and dangerous. A veto of anything but an immediately balanced budget would tip the US and the world into a serious downturn (a process to get there in one or two terms makes much more sense). Cutting taxes as he wants to is also fiscally irresponsible without spending cuts first. He adds deductions to the tax code rather than abolish them. His energy policy would intensify our reliance on carbon, not decrease it. He has no policy for the uninsured. There are times when he is rightly described as a crank. He has had associations in the past that are creepy when not downright ugly.
"... and so sure, he would be absolutely terrible for America and would likely destroy our economy if not bring the federal government to a screeching halt but hey! He's such a sweet old guy."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:06 PM on December 15, 2011


After Sullivan came out as a believer that black people are just plain naturally dumber than white people I was sure he'd find a way to rationalize his love for the most racist Republican out there.

He's said no such thing.

and so sure, he would be absolutely terrible for America and would likely destroy our economy if not bring the federal government to a screeching halt but hey! He's such a sweet old guy.

I think he'd be terrible for America as president, but he says vitally important things that deserve more attention re: the drug war and the war on terror, so I support anybody endorsing him or voting for him in any straw poll or presidential primary. Just not, you know, for the actual election.
posted by empath at 4:14 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, it's worth nothing that Ron Paul is the only republican candidate who hasn't pledged to support the DOMA act, which is Andrew Sullivan's #1 issue above everything else.
posted by empath at 4:16 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


he says vitally important things that deserve more attention re: the drug war and the war on terror ... Also, it's worth nothing that Ron Paul is the only republican candidate who hasn't pledged to support the DOMA act

Which is great, don't get me wrong. Like with a lot of libertarians, I'm mostly on the same page with Paul when it comes to social issues and the use of government force.

I support anybody endorsing him or voting for him in any straw poll or presidential primary. Just not, you know, for the actual election.

Heh.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on December 15, 2011


It's a valid point. If nominating Ron Paul means putting social libertarianism on national TV for six months and forcing the Democrats' annual run to the right to include those ideas instead of Newt Gingrich? Hello yeah, nominate him. Just make sure you beat him.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:22 PM on December 15, 2011


Rasmussen's latest for Iowa:
Romney 23%
Gingrich 20%
Paul 18%

Oh dear!
posted by Anything at 7:36 PM on December 15, 2011


Reality has a well-known liberal bias. Rasmussen ... well ...

Yeah, all these candidates are Republicans, but I wouldn't be surprised if Rasmussen was biased toward establishment Republican candidates. Anyone remember what their 2007/2008 Republican primary polling looked like?

Anyway, we'll see how things turn out in Iowa soon enough.
posted by maudlin at 7:43 PM on December 15, 2011


Animation of how Newt gained the lead
posted by exogenous at 6:36 AM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh how I'd love to see undecided voter break to the Mario Party. "A mushroom on every table! Rolling sixes for freedom! Mini games, mega reform!"
posted by cortex at 7:34 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh how I'd love to see undecided voter break to the Mario Party

Sadly, King Koopa's party would probably get more followers, after all, with all that castle/trap building, he's a job creator.
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Newt sinks in Iowa, but birthers stay strong
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on December 20, 2011


In other news: Michele Bachmann Claims Kinsey Report Is ‘A Myth,’ Causes Irony to Collapse In Upon Itself
posted by homunculus at 2:58 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


In other news: Michele Bachmann Claims Kinsey Report Is ‘A Myth,’ Causes Irony to Collapse In Upon Itself

I'm no fan of Bachmann, but there are much stronger anti-gay comments to criticize her for. Kinsey's 10% figure is questionable since it's derived from interviews about behavioral experience rather than identity, and it's not clear from the reporting whether Bachmann was referring to Kinsey's estimate or the study.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:10 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think Michele Bachmann would be a terrible president and has said stupid stuff, but this article is just wrong. She didn't call the Kinsey report a myth, she brought up the Kinsey report and called the 10% number a myth, which is at least arguable.
posted by Jahaza at 3:49 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come on Iowa, make Ron Paul happen.

I laughed when I read this, but what a difference a week makes. Nate Silver has Republican primary projections up on the 538 blog, he has Ron Paul ahead.

Not even Ron Paul is this nuts: posted by peeedro at 7:41 PM on December 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll tell you, of all the nutbar things I've heard the GOP candidates say (and there have been LOADS), the comments by Gingrich that judges whose opinions he disagreed with could be detained and forced to appear before some special committee of Congress to "explain themselves" may be the most chilling.

The idea that anyone in this country that's polling in double digits in a major political party primary would seriously suggest that is evidence of just how far a large part of the country has slipped down the slope of totalitarianism.
posted by darkstar at 8:03 PM on December 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Rick Santorum surge is here: A new poll has him running third in Iowa and peaking at just the right time
posted by homunculus at 7:19 PM on December 28, 2011


The only thing I know about the GOP nomination race is that Mitt Romney can't win.
posted by empath at 7:21 PM on December 28, 2011


empath, I'll bet you a beer that Romney will be the nominee. The Republicans know none of the other candidates stand a chance in the general election.
posted by exogenous at 7:40 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


exogenous, i know everyone says he will, but eventually actual real republicans are going to have to vote for him, and I don't think there's been a single poll showing him drawing more than 25% of the vote nationwide, and he's very few people's second choice. It could be literally anybody, but it won't be romney.
posted by empath at 8:17 PM on December 28, 2011


I've said it before and it's even more obvious now that Mittens will be the GOP nominee. Everyone hates him and he's got negative charisma but who else can they nominate? Seriously?

Newt? Paul? Santorum? Not going to happen.
posted by octothorpe at 8:33 PM on December 28, 2011


Once we've eliminated the impossible (Romney, Paul), whoever is left will win.

Santorum seems to be picking up some momentum. Maybe Huntsman even.
posted by empath at 8:57 PM on December 28, 2011


Did you miss them disqualifying Newt and Perry in Virginia, empath? I'm fairly sure the GOP can keep that shit up until only Romney remains.

Santorum is a moron. And even Republicans don't want foreign heads of state making moist towelette jokes. Isn't Huntsman left of Romney?

Imho, Democrats should cross over to throw the primary to Paul until they start disqualifying him too, after that Republican might realize the GOP machine rigged the primary.

Just fyi, you should link spreadingsantorum.com more often because google has just elevated Rick Santorum news results about spreadingsantorum.com.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:41 PM on December 28, 2011


I think, folks, we're looking at a textbook case of the situation preceding a brokered convention. No one has enough popular support to win the nomination outright, so it's going to take some arm-twisting and wheeler-dealer convention stuff. And once you get into that possibility, then anything could happen. Romney/Paul, Gingrich/Bachmann, Romney/Santorum, Palin/Gingrich, etc.

The question then becomes: to whom do the candidates throw their support/delegates if they, themselves, can't win? Will Paul give his delegates to Gingrich? Will Gingrich give his to Romney? I could well see Bachmann, Santorum and Perry controlling a significantly large social conservative Tea Party bloc of delegates that cumulatively could force one of them onto the ticket, or even give a third-place candidate enough votes to edge out Romney.

It's going to be a wild and wooly primary season and a spellbinder of a convention, I suspect!
posted by darkstar at 10:59 PM on December 28, 2011


Once we've eliminated the impossible (Romney, Paul), whoever is left will win.

Santorum seems to be picking up some momentum.


... ?? I would like to read an explanation of why Romney is impossible but Santorum is not.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Republican referendum on Mormonism will be interesting to watch.

Is this still on Broadway?
posted by rokusan at 6:18 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


the comments by Gingrich that judges whose opinions he disagreed with could be detained and forced to appear before some special committee of Congress to "explain themselves" may be the most chilling.

He's just foolishly saying something most of the other nominees and all of the base would agree with... but they're not dumb enough to say it out loud.

(Like Bush I vs Bush II, the difference between good and bad Republicans isn't the amount of evil or crazy, it's just that the bad ones don't hide it well.)
posted by rokusan at 6:20 AM on January 4, 2012


I would like to read an explanation of why Romney is impossible but Santorum is not.

Because being Catholic is less disqualifying for the evangelical block than being Mormon is. Romney would have a better chance of winning if he were Jewish.
posted by empath at 6:22 AM on January 4, 2012


The hot and heavy three way in Iowa between Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum lasted late into the night. The lead position went back and forth, but despite Santorum surging all over, Romney ultimately pulled out on top. A lack of caucus enthusiasm led to a tight sparring match between the three men. While Romney finished ahead of Santorum, he led by only 8 votes, 30,015 to 30,007. Paul cleaned up farther behind with 26,219 votes. The three way pulled away quickly from Gingrich and Perry. The latter, perhaps a sore loser, is returning to Texas to “assess” his campaign’s future. Michele Bachmann, unsurprisingly, was never really an active participant.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:05 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


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