Written by Robert Becker
If you missed the last two, fantastic episodes of the Newt Gingrich circus, check out his deluded, anything-but-concession theatricals. [Here and here.]
No doubt, with electioneering growing uglier, more divisive, and far more expensive, everyone longs for a more transparent, steam-lined system. But for this notorious, career demagogue, allegedly awash with ideas, no problem. Now, all praise Newt for his magic thinking, as straightforward as it is self-serving. First, declare yourself the best candidate, thus owning the presumption you deserve to win. Second, like an instant lottery winner, award yourself the GOP nod, then pre-emptively declare your own victorious ride into the Oval Office. For Newt the sociopath, the world need only create a modest new category, the President-in-Waiting, like the Prince of Wales in the wings for the inevitable succession.
Despite a crushing Florida primary loss, Newt scoffed at the defeat and the “blatantly dishonest” (thus temporary) winner-frontrunner. Then begins an epic rant, armed with a fistful of major reforms he’d enact hours after his presidentialinauguration. Boundless, Gingrich’s denial is beginning to give chutzpah, let alone grandiosity, a bad name. Cosmic inevitability trumps public opinion and elections: the anointed hero need only present himself, then remove Excalibur and accept the glory. Yessiree, lunacy reigns for this ridiculed fan of lunar colonies (yes, both from the same root).
Newt’s litany begins with pre-inauguration demands that Congress do his specified bidding so he can instantly repeal Obama-care, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley. Waste not, want not: Newt’s “goal is to have all three bills sitting there, waiting” so “the minute I am sworn in, I can sign all three and we’re off to a pretty good opening morning.” But wait, there’s more, for rapid-fire executive orders are coming down the pike:
- to instruct the State Department that day to open the embassy in Jerusalem and recognize Israel [say what?];
- to reinstate Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy, so no “U.S. money will go anywhere in the world to pay for abortion, period;” and
- to repeal “every anti-religious act of the Obama administration as of that moment.”
The Certitude of the Deranged
And all delivered with certitude, though laced with Newt’s sneering condescension,“All of this is going to happen about two hours after the inaugural address. OK? No point in hanging out and having fun . . . This is going to be a working presidency. I may not get in as much golf as Obama, but I’ll get in a lot more job creation.” Had enough? Not Newt. Next, he’ll eviscerate all White House czars plus approve the Keystone pipeline. Hell, why not cut the federal budget by 20%, pay off the deficit, and bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?
Not since South Carolina Gov. Sanford gushed about his tragic frustrations with his South American mistress has America experienced such openly jaw-dropping pontifications. Why not top off with fairy dust that gets Democrats to agree?
Obviously, in Newt’s narcissistic, topsy-turvy world, losing is not only NOT losing but winning, the opening gambit to an unstoppable sequence. Had he received 22%, not 32% of votes, would he have fewer delusions? Nah. Of course, hopeless Rick Santorum wasn’t disturbed by his even weaker showing, and Ron Paul was downright gleeful with 7% (having written off Florida). By the way, Gingrich could be third in Colorado and Minnesota, and won’t appear at all on the Missouri ballot (just a negligent screw-up!).
It’s one kind of audacity to toss off drastic proposals for job creation or axing child labor laws, ending abortion or proving American exceptionalism. But absent even spurious policy feints, Gingrich blindly, arrogantly presumes winning is in the bag – despite being cash-strapped and buried viciously by a torrent of GOP leaders as a defective leader. Vs. the small-fry losers favoring Newt’s camp, giants like Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, and Rick Perry. The harder the task, the greater the glory.
Newt’s Suspect “sacred honor”?!
Finally, what sort of out-of-touch jerk would end his Florida rant by insulting the Founders? Newt did just that by echoing the finale of our Declaration of Independence, pledging “my life, my fortune, my sacred honor.” Our original heroic revolutionaries were literally risking life, fortune and honor. Will Newt be terminated, even throw himself off a cliff, or give away what he’s stolen (and forgo that Tiffany bling)? Frankly, how “sacred” is the “honor” of any twice adulterous, twice-censured House Speaker whose malice indicts his opponent for dishonesty while pouring out deceptions like popcorn?
All this campaign folly is turning Newt into a self-parody of himself: trust me, no easy task. He could still compete for Blowhard-in-Chief now that Donald Trump may withdraw (fat chance). I doubt that Newt, this defender of the faith and sacred champion for civilization, will know what hit him. How could God let him lose to second-rate, mere politicians like Obama or Romney?
Frankly, I think Newt the converted Catholic would make a better, Renaissance-style warrior pope than president – for democracy requires some balance and working with people. Actually, with his ultimate, undeterred grandiosity, Newt is ready-made for the power and glory of an office that doesn’t exist: an American Holy Roman Emperor. Too bad this “historian” was born of modest means in the wrong country and the wrong century, for his dreams answer best to a now discredited theory of politics: the divine right of kings.
Robert S. Becker