Then as a mover and shaker with power:
Newt Gingrich’s Political Magick Chart:
- Political Literacy
- Political Competency
When pundits say that Gingrich is a good debater, what they’re really saying is that he knows how to spell out his political points in enchanting ways. He knows what to say (Political Literacy) and how to say it (Political Competency). Without question he has the most advanced Political Literacy of any candidate, hence I put it in the brightest green WordPress can muster. And he has a proven track record. This is a Genie who has already granted the Conservative Movement two of its wishes in the 1990s: retaking Congress and passing welfare reform.
Gingrich can quickly assemble mental bolts and then fire them so they hit their targets. His supporters are right to promote the fantasy of a Gingrich-Obama debate in which the speaker unleashes the full range of his rhetorical arsenal on a now crippled, exhausted, lost-without-his-Teleprompter Barack Obama.
But that’s still a ridiculous long shot for two reasons. On the spell of Political Authenticity, Gingrich is doubly doomed.
First, how is the Tea Party critique of Mitt Romney (he’s allegedly the Washington Republican Establishment’s flip flopping RINO narcissist who will say anything and assume any position to get elected) not more or less equally applicable to Gingrich? Katrina Trinko hits each of the Newt-Is-Not-The-Anti-Romney notes in this neat article at NRO.
Second, and more important in fatally disrupting voters’ ability to trust Gingrich:
But the Bloomberg poll suggests Gingrich’s marital history — he is on his third marriage and has admitted to having an affair — may mean trouble for the former House speaker. Respondents were split, 48% to 49%, over whether they would rule out a candidate who has been married three times and had extramarital affairs.
Whenever I get into arguments with my friends about Gingrich they usually fail to understand why the “personal baggage” is a deal breaker for supporting Newt at the primary level. They try and argue that someone’s “private life” should be separate from their job. “Who cares if they’re cheating on their wife as long as they’re doing a great job as president? I’m not married to him.”
Gingrich’s “personal baggage” is such a big deal not only in and of itself but because of what it symbolizes: we doubt that this man is in control of his demons. How do we know during the campaign (or worse, as president) he won’t have another “bimbo eruption”? (Oh don’t you just want to take a shower after reading that horrible, Clintonian phrase?)
When my Gingrich-boosting friends point out that Newt will be almost 70 and probably less interested in screwing around they’re missing the point. Read Belladonna Rogers’ masterful article defining the Narcissist. And be glad that you’ve apparently never been victimized by such a personality — the only way to really learn how dangerous such people can be. The other point they’re missing is that 70 is the new 50 – 70-year-old men are romping with 20-year-old women from sea to shining sea thanks to the wonders of the world of medicine.
When Gingrich groupies point to Newt’s third marriage and conversion to Catholicism as having given him greater stability then the pro-Newt case has revealed itself: a blind leap of faith much shakier than the probably to which Cain fans still cling. You want me to trust that the basic psychological orientation not to mention the flaws of character that nearly destroyed a man in his 50s have been magically dissolved by the time he’s in his 60s? So much so that I should trust his judgment and temperament with my family’s lives?
This is not to make Gingrich an untouchable. The man is a force to be reckoned with and he still has many more contributions to make in defense of freedom. But come on: There are plenty of other things magickal people can do other than run for president.
Now exiled to the realm of commentator and cultural figure:
Finally: Why we’re a Mad Country and all of our greatest leaders are insane political narcissists…