News & Politics

Why Is Newt So Angry? 

In case you missed it, Newt Gingrich has been viciously lashing out at Mitt Romney, who is in the running to be President-elect Trump’s pick for secretary of state. The former House speaker went on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday, sounding like he was unloading a decade’s worth of frustration, aimed squarely at Romney and his dinner with Trump:

There’s a scene in “Pretty Women” [sic] where Richard Gere goes up to the salesman on Rodeo Drive and says: “We need a little sucking up here.”

You have never, ever, in your career seen a wealthy adult who is independent, has been a presidential candidate, suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up.

I am confident that he thinks now that he and Donald Trump are the best of friends, they have so many things in common. That they’re both such wise, brilliant people. And I’m sure last night at an elegant three-star restaurant, he was happy to share his version of populism, which involve a little foie gras, a certain amount of superb cooking, but put that in a populist happy manner.

You really have to listen to the audio to hear the dripping sarcasm in Newt’s voice and get a sense of his anger.

I admit, I’ve been rather surprised by the ongoing—and visceral—anger coming from Trump’s most ardent supporters post-election, most often directed at anyone and everyone who was not fully on board the Trump Train before Election Day. I (naively) thought a Trump win would abate their rage, or at least we’d all get to enjoy a short reprieve from it while they reveled in their big victory. After all, what do they have to be angry about? Their guy won. They got what they wanted and Trump’s going to make America great! And yet they rage. They’re some of the most bitter, angry people on the planet, to read their Twitter feeds, and they cannot let the election (and past disloyalties to Trump) go.

They continue to attack “NeverTrump” as if it’s still a thing. (Newsflash: NeverTrump ended on Election Day.) They scour the Internet for any sign of disloyalty to Dear Leader, rushing to his defense anytime they smell the slightest criticism (never mind if they’d have blown a cerebral artery had Hillary tried some of the stunts they’re letting Trump get away with). Though some vow they’re going to hold Trump accountable on policy and appointments, nothing in their past sycophantic behavior gives me any confidence they’ll do anything of the sort. They’re more interested in burning heretics than in holding Trump’s feet to the fire.

Next page: Why they’re so upset

Part of the reason for this, I think, is deep down they know. People like Newt know that Trump is not a conservative. They know he’s a New York liberal who is anchored to neither creed nor ideology, loyal to no one but Trump. If the president-elect governs the way he promised, he will be a terrible disappointment to conservatives. Those who supported him with fervor will have sold their conservative birthright for a bowl of Trump™ Soup. Sad.

But for Newt it’s even worse than that. He continued in the interview with Ingraham:

The frog legs are very elegant. Callista and I both had fathers who ate frog legs. I did notice that Reince Priebus of Kenosha, Wisconsin decided not to have frog legs. I can’t wait to talk to Reince and find out exactly how a guy of his background worked his way through the menu.

Luckily for them, Mitt speaks French fluently. So he could help them with the menu. He could say: “Ahh, Mr. President-elect. This would be the perfect meal for you.”

Something like maybe escargot, maybe pheasant. God, I’d love to have been there as a fly on the wall…

Wouldn’t he though? The truth is, he’d like to be in Romney’s seat right now, being considered for secretary of state. Instead, it looks increasingly like the former speaker—one of Trump’s most enthusiastic sucker uppers—won’t be rewarded with a plumb spot in the Trump administration. At least Romney got a nice dinner as a reward for his hour of sucking up. What did Newt get, a hat or something?