Newt winked at me


Did you see how Newt Gingrich kept winking during the Dec. 10 Republican debate? I’ll bet you ” title=”Freddie Mac millions seem” target=”_blank”>Freddie Mac millions seem tiresome to bring up. They may call my moon-mining scheme loopy, but watch me make their list of Newt nuttiness look desperate. Fire away, folks — I’m enjoying this.”

Or, maybe you thought he was giving a ” title=”commercial during Saturday’s debate” target=”_blank”>commercial during Saturday’s debate, in which he lent his credibility and acting chops to pitch reverse mortgages to seniors. In 2008, Thompson was going to rescue the Republican field from disaster, the way Chris Christie or Rick Perry was going to save the GOP this time around. From the way the party establishment is now ganging up on Gingrich, you’d think that a Jeb Bush could be drafted at this late date and still get on enough state ballots to secure the delegates needed to get nominated, or that a brokered Tampa convention could somehow prevent the Republicans from committing Newticide.

But I think the old guard’s fear that nominating Newt will cause a Goldwater-style debacle is misplaced. So is the glee of some Democrats. This is a beware-of-what-you-wish-for moment. A President Gingrich is no less plausible than a Vice President Palin was, which we were spared only because the financial meltdown, played out in real time during the campaign, made McCain seem more interested in scoring political points than solving problems. 

Newt’s dog-whistling to his base is effective. The lazy, inner-city kids with no work ethic: That Republican depiction of American poverty descends from Reagan’s ” title=”psychodrama” target=”_blank”>psychodrama.

” target=”_hplink”>USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.  Reach him at martyk@usc.edu.

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