Newt has GOP establishment sweating bullets

Peggy Noonan does a good job today of telling us just how uneasy the GOP establishment is about the rise of Newt Gingrich:

… What they fear is that he will show just enough discipline over the next few months, just enough focus, to win the nomination. And then, in the fall of 2012, once party leaders have come around and the GOP is fully behind him, he will begin baying at the moon. He will start saying wild things and promising that he may bomb Iran but he may send a special SEAL team in at night to secretly dig Iran up, and fly it to Detroit, where we can keep it under guard, and Detroiters can all get jobs as guards, “solving two problems at once.” They’re afraid he’ll start saying, “John Paul was great, but most of that happened after I explained the Gospels to him,” and “Sure, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize, but only after I explained how people can think fast, slow and at warp speed. He owes me everything.”

There are many good things to say about Newt Gingrich. He is compelling and unique, and, as Margaret Thatcher once said, he has “tons of guts.”

But this is a walk on the wild side.

She also understands that the fact that Newt makes the GOP establishment very nervous is a plus for him with the GOP base. Quite a little self-destructive spiral they have going in that party, huh? If the grownups, who’ve been there and know better, say, “Don’t do it!” they just can’t wait to rush in…

32 thoughts on “Newt has GOP establishment sweating bullets

  1. `Kathryn Fenner

    “He will start saying wild things”

    Start? How about poor kids can work as janitors in their schools? Just for one recent whopper.

  2. Juan Caruso

    “Quite a little self-destructive spiral they have going in that party, huh?” – Brad W.

    “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS [The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program under Obamacare] implementation at this time,” – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a letter to Congressional leaders

    Which party is self-destructing? Should anyone besides lawyers with their tentacles in both parties care? No.

  3. tired old man

    Couldn’t wish this more.

    In SC, you apparently do not need to worry about ethics or transparency. Maybe SC voters are as crazy as the minimum threshhold set for GOP presidential candidates.

    The paper is providing dire warnings about the impact upon our little state of scheduled federal budget cuts, even as the Postal Service urgently points to its congressionally mandated incompetency.

    And all the GOP can offer to oppose Obama is a cast of clowns.

    Nope, take that back. Do not want to cast aspersions on the dignified profession of clowns, knaves, and jesters.

  4. bud

    Who constitutes this esoteric GOP establishment? I would suggest that maybe Newt IS the GOP establishment. He is, after all, a completely shameless hypocrit, a pre-requesite for “establishment” status in this bizzare collection of misfits, deviates, idiots and morons. He has the pedigree to be the leader of this world devoid of any meaningful plans for the welfare and security of this country. Just look at the ads being run by the so-called “mainstream” Republicans such as Carl Rove. He’s produced an ad in Massachusetts attacking “Professor” Elizabeth Warren for coddling the Wall Street bankers. Are you f’ing kidding me! In what out-of-touch universe is he living in? Are the people of Massachusetts so completely stupid that they will fall for this crap that is able to denigrate the title of “professor” and completely twist the actions of Ms. Warren to grossly mis-characterize her actions in the Wall Street bailout.

    But what bothers me the most about our current political environment, and yes I’m harping on this yet again, is the complete adoption of the GOP as a party of intellectul equal to the Democrats. These folks are out of touch, elitists who cannot possibly achieve anything positive for the American people. Only the very rich, and then only for a short period of time, have any hope of benefiting from the proposes economic policies of the GOP. It is such a completly unreal collection of disasterous ideas and yet the press goes along like a pack of lemmings rather than calling them out on this crap.

    But it’s not too late. We can take back our great nation from the charletons and wackos if we vote for the Democrats next year and work toward rebuilding the GOP into a party of real ideas that can stand up to the light of evidence. But until the media does its job we will continue to founder on the rocks of ignorance and deception. A world of make-believe equality in partisanship.

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    but in a bright spot: The State reported today that not only does Haley have an approval rating of less than 40%, she has an approval rating among South Carolinians (!) of less than President Obama. More Republicans (!) approve of the President than our Governor. Quite an achievement!

  6. `Kathryn Fenner

    Juan– Please tell us: what is your underlying beef with lawyers? A divorce? Were you the defendant in some lawsuit?

    What do you do for a living? What is your educational background?

  7. Brad

    Actually, what Newt said about Palestinians was, “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community.”

    That’s a bit odd in its own way (who said they weren’t Arabs, Newt?), but it’s not the same as saying Palestinians “do not exist.”

    I think what he was trying to say is something that I’ve heard many times before, and which is quite true: There’s not a separate ethnicity or anything called “Palestinian.” We use it to refer to the Arabs — and not the Jews — who lived in what the British called Palestine prior to the creation of Israel. Or rather, their descendants, for the most part. Since that was more than 60 years ago.

    Presumably, back when that area was officially called “Palestine,” a Palestinian would have been anyone of any ethnicity who lived there. Now, we use it to refer to non-Jews who style themselves as exiles from that land.

    Basically, what Newt said was impolitic, but not inherently outrageous as assertions go. Not for him, anyway.

  8. bud

    Brad, your take on Newt’s latest faux pas is different from mine. I find it outrageous and among the very worst thing said during the campaign. To denigrate an entire group of people who have been swept under the rug by much of the American establishment is wrong. I would suggest when we talk about a group of people we should do so in a respectful manner that isn’t some veiled attempt to de-humanize them. If something comparable had been said about Catholics or Chinese or people from the Congo most people would easily recognize the slanderous defamation for what it is. But in the neo-con world of the GOP this kind of assault is just accepted as part of the lexicon of the day, part and parcel of the GOP’s ongoing unseemly debate. Yet somehow it just kind of gets sluffed over. Newt Gingrich is nothing but an adulterous, slanderous pig of a politician. (I really shouldn’t insult pigs that way). Come to think of it, he’s the perfect candidate for POTUS from the GOP.

  9. Juan Caruso

    @ Kathryn Fenner

    (a) “Juan– Please tell us: what is your underlying beef with lawyers? See (a) below.

    (b) “What do you do for a living? What is your educational background?”
    – Kathryn Fenner

    (a) Underlying beef with lawyers –
    Lawyers have been elected to offices far out of proportion to their numbers in the U.S. workforce. (e.g. Congress: 40% and 60%). The general public is unaware of obvious conflicts of interest that their current numbers pose considering chairmanship of various ethics and investigating committees: acceptance of “towing the mark” to avoid investigations (or obtain a hand-slapped outcomes).

    Required “collegiality” to assure post-congressional employment as effective lobbyists, etc.

    Said collegiality impacts directly votes on and appointments to SUPCO.
    As hass ABA opinion.

    Also, “We’ve got a Washington that works only for those who can hire
    an army of lobbyists and an army of lawyers, and that means it’s not working for the rest of us.” – Elizabeth Warren (Lawyer)

    Google “Lawyer-Political Complex” for more, as the above is hardly exhaustive.

    (b) When answering those personal questions in response to an earlier BradWarthen post, I stated that it would be the last time. Not sure, but were the questions at that time yours, too?

  10. `Kathryn Fenner

    Okay, “invented” coupled with “in fact Arabs” sounds a lot like “there is no such thing as ‘Palestinian'” or “Palestinians do not exist, per se.”

    What, pray tell, according to Newt, should one call non-Jews who are from Palestine? He’s just defining away the problem, in an attempt to curry favor with the pro-Israel vote.

  11. `Kathryn Fenner

    So, you hate lawyers because lawyers are disproportionately elected to office? Why does this bother you so much?

  12. Tim

    Washington leadership 2000-2008.
    Bush. Not a Lawyer. Cheney. Not a Lawyer. Speaker Hastert. Not a lawyer. Speaker Pelosi. Not a lawyer. Majority Leader Lott. Lawyer. Majority Leader Frist. Not a lawyer. Majority leader Reid. Lawyer.

  13. Mark Stewart

    Where was Newt when the invented people led by Saddam attacked and occupied the country of Kuwait?

    Maybe that didn’t really happen; since Iraq was just a geo-political invention of the British post WWI it’s just something for the history books, right?

  14. `Kathryn Fenner

    Sure, Mark–they certainly don’t deserve their own country–look what they’ve done to the one they have now!

  15. Tim

    Yes. Israelites. Apologies. And speaking of invented peoples, add to that Pakistan. Most of Africa, in particular, America’s experiment with Liberia, and England’s with Sierra Leone. And Belgium. Let’s not forget the invention of Belgium. Pretty much all of The New World. And so on. Newt doesn’t make a point; he panders a meme.

  16. `Kathryn Fenner

    and, Tim, taking it further, you don’t need a PhD in history to cite the problems of nationalism. Being a “people” or a “nation” isn’t always a good thing, but when one group oppresses another based on ethnicity, especially when the oppressed group lived there first, it’s not a good thing.

    I was actually joking about the Israelites. Israelis may be Ashkenazim, who would not have been Israelites, right?

  17. Lynn T

    “Israelis may be Ashkenazim, who would not have been Israelites, right?”

    I’m not sure that anyone can be considered “Israelite” after the fall of the kingdom of Israel. That aside, if you mean that Ashkenazim have European rather than Near Eastern genetic ancestry, there is a percentage of European ancestry in the DNA profile of many Ashkenazi, but on the whole most Ashkenazi and Sephardim have remarkably similar genetic profiles. There is a minor academic industry involved in studying this issue.

  18. Brad

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Ashkenazis are genetically Semitic people. They’re not all converts or descended from converts, which is the only other logical explanation.

  19. `Kathryn Fenner

    So explain naturally blonde, blue-eyed Jews? I thought Semitic peoples were dark.

    Don’t we share more DNA across races than we necessarily do within them?

  20. Phillip

    In the final analysis, any distinction other than “human being” is “invented,” to use Newt’s term. It just depends on which point on the LP you want to drop the needle. It seems likely that ultimately, we’re all East Africans.

  21. bud

    There are 7 billion people on this planet. I would suggest there are 7 billion tribes. Not sure why there can’t be one big nation where Isreal and the west bank are and just let everyone worship who they want, when they want, and how they want. For economic purposes everyone goes to the polls and elects officials to set taxes and fiscal policy. The nation could have it’s own currency with pictures of various Jewish/Palestinian heros or humanitaraians. Once established there would be little need for a huge military. The problem with the world is too much religious fervor not too little. If that could somehow be tamed we’d all be better off.

  22. Lynn T

    “So explain naturally blonde, blue-eyed Jews? I thought Semitic peoples were dark.”

    There is some European ancestry in the population of people who self-identify as Jewish, which accounts for this.

    “Don’t we share more DNA across races than we necessarily do within them?”

    Yes, all of us share a lot of our DNA, and “races” are basically a social rather than a biological construct. However, there are patterned distributions in the DNA of various populations that have shared a gene pool, usually defined by a combination of geography and culture. For example, Jewish men are predominantly from the J1, J2, and E yDNA haplogroups. In cluster analysis, STR values within the subclades of these haplaogroups are very tightly clustered and distinctive. Some Jewish men test, however, into the R yDNA haplogroups that reflect some European ancestry. That is just their yDNA, though, not necessarily their autosomal or mitochondrial DNA.

    Obviously, this is a topic that is a bit complex for the format of a blog response, but you get the idea.

    And yes, Brad, some anti-Semites are happy to claim that there is no genetic origin for Ashkenazi groups. This is one of those “they aren’t a real people” things.

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