Forget what Team Obama would do to Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich. The most devastating attacks on the tea party’s latest fiasco candidate are coming from other Republicans, starting with Ron Paul, who might be running the best advertising campaigns of the current political season. Case in point:
But wait, there’s more …
At last check, that ad had 682,743 views on Youtube. Who knows how many more on Vimeo. Paul has made the simplest case against Gingrich: that he is for sale, and has always been for sale. But there’s a second argument against Gingrich that cuts into his core advantage with Christian rightists: the fact that while he’s not a Mormon, he’s not exactly the picture of Christian family values, either. This one, courtesy of a group called Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government, is titled “Newt Gingrich. Judas.” Yep.
Again, devastating, particularly in a state like Iowa, where the Christian far right essentially controls the caucus process on the Republican side. Newt may have clever answers for his skeevy marital record, but over time, attacks like these will drag him down, if not by Iowa, or by New Hampshire, or by South Carolina, or Florida, than certainly in the general election, should Gingrich pull off the incredible, and upset the establishment GOP’s pick, Mitt Romney.
Want more? Here’s more, also from Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government:
And then there’s this, from the neocon wing (which is full throttle behind Romney)… Ramesh Ponnuru, your witness:
Before Republicans put Newt Gingrich at the top of their party, they should consider what happened the last time he led it.
In the mid-1990s, Gingrich was the de facto head of the Republican Party. He helped lead it to victory in the congressional elections of 1994, which brought about real accomplishments such as welfare reform. But once he attained power, both his popularity and that of his party started to plummet. In the aftermath of his leadership, a Republican was able to take the presidency only by pointedly distancing himself from Gingrich.
Conservatives who dislike George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism have Gingrich to thank for it. After Gingrich lost the budget battles with President Bill Clinton, it took 15 years for any politician to take up the cause of limited-government conservatism that he had discredited.
Although Gingrich isn’t solely responsible for the Republican policy defeats of those years, his erratic behavior, lack of discipline and self-absorption had a lot to do with them. He explained that one reason the federal government shut down in 1995 was that he was angry that Clinton had snubbed him during an international flight. The Clinton White House then released pictures of the two men gabbing on the plane. Later negotiations didn’t go well, with Gingrich saying, “I melt when I’m around him.”
Erratic, Undisciplined, Grandiose
Gingrich’s fans say that he isn’t the same man he was then; he has “matured” in his 60s. Maybe so. But he’s still erratic: This year he flip-flopped three times on the top issue of the day, the House Republican plan to reform Medicare. He’s still undisciplined: He went on a vacation cruise at the start of his campaign. He still has the same old grandiosity: In recent weeks he has compared himself to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and said confidently that the nomination was his.
He still has the same need to justify his every petty move by reference to some grand theory. Plenty of politicians competing in Iowa come out for ethanol subsidies; only Gingrich would proclaim that in doing so he was standing up to city slickers in a culture war invented in his own mind. He still has a casual relationship with the truth. In recent weeks he has said that Freddie Mac (FMCC) paid him to condemn its business model, only for reporters and bloggers to find out that he had in fact shilled for the organization in return for about $1.6 million. …
Or John Podhoretz at the Murdochian New York Post:
We’ve made the Fitzgerald mistake: Once again, we forgot that the United States is either an uncommonly forgiving or uncommonly forgetful place.
We remember Gingrich well. Too well. We should; we’re paid to. But we failed to take into account that most people who vote aren’t paid to and have other things to think about.
We remember him going through one of the great political flameouts of our time — first helping to engineer the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress, then resigning after the 1998 midterms.
We remember the brilliant political design of the Contract with America — and how little of it actually made it into law. That would prove to be very much the pattern with Gingrich, who loves to think in grand terms but who tends toward not grandeur as a result but grandiosity, instead.
We remember how he tarnished his own “Republican revolution” even before it started between the 1994 election and the swearing-in of the new Congress by getting himself a $4.5 million book deal (that would be $6.5 million today) — a PR blunder and possible ethics violation that backfired so badly that he had to forswear his advance.
We remember the wildly wrongheaded conviction some of us shared with him that he was powerful enough to go mano a mano with Bill Clinton in 1995 — because he and we hadn’t taken account of the fact that in his races for his House seat, he’d get 100,000 votes while Clinton in 1992 got 40 million.
We remember how that conviction led to perhaps the greatest political blunder of our time — the showdown over the budget in October 1995 that led to the three-week government shutdown and the subsequent GOP cave-in that brought the “Republican revolution” to an end only nine months after it began.
We remember how, by 1997, Republican members of Congress who had once believed they owed him everything actively plotted a coup to remove him from the speakership.
We remember the fact that he led the moralistic charge against Clinton in 1998 — notwithstanding the fact that he himself was having an extramarital affair at the time.
And we remember things from after his time in office, like how he opposed the 2006 “surge” that turned around the Iraq war.
Truth to tell, there are so many things to remember that it’s hard to remember them all. But the GOP primary voters who are considering plighting their troth to Gingrich didn’t live and breathe every moment of his time in the sun the way we did.
They know him mainly from Fox News. They know he got a Republican Congress elected, which they like the sound of. And they’ve watched him playing the debates like a piano and enjoyed themselves enormously in the process.
The point about Newt, and the point about all Americans who disprove Fitzgerald’s crack, is this: He stuck around. He uprooted himself from his power base in Congress in 1998 before he could be uprooted — and then, as a private citizen, he just kept on going.
He wrote books, and he co-wrote novels, and he gave speeches, and he made videos, and he said smart and interesting things, and he said ridiculous and embarrassing things. But he never stopped, not even when his campaign staff resigned en masse this year.
The problem is that there are still all those things to remember and that when you use glue and tape and paste all those things together to form an overall portrait of Gingrich, you’re looking at someone who is probably unelectable as president.
It doesn’t get better from here, Newt. And associating yourself with Donald Trump, and hair-brained schemes to turn poor children into the nation’s janitors? Also unhelpful to a guy’s presidential prospects.