The title of this post is lifted from a Slate article by Jacob Weisberg.
Is Newt nuts? I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist. Neither is Weisberg. His article is one example of literally thousands of pieces that have appeared in the past month questioning Newt Gingrich’s fitness for office, his hairstyle, his dalliances, his lobbying activities, and his right to breathe.
Why the torrent of panic- and hate-filled anti-Gingrich propaganda? Because everyone who wants Obama to win the next election yearns for Mitt Romney to be the Republican candidate. Why? Because, contrary to conventional wisdom, Romney is the one guy the Democrats know they can beat. Newt’s latest polling numbers put Romney’s nomination in jeopardy.
Until Romney has the nomination securely in hand the Democrats, the press, and the talking heads will go easy on him. But if Romney wins the nomination, you can expect broadsides against Romney along the following lines:
- Wall Street. Romney is the Republican most closely aligned with Wall Street. The Democrats will allege that Romney is linked to every scandal and scoundrel from Lehman Brothers to Bernie Madoff. Romney is a 1-percenter, a man whose life is dedicated to bleeding the working classes dry for the benefit of himself and his rich cronies. The Occupy Wall Street movement will be re-invigorated, at last having a palpable villain. (OWS already is a surrogate for the Democrats. They’re pissed at Obama. They voted for him; he didn’t bring Hope and Change, but they don’t have the balls to burn him in effigy. Romney will be the perfect target).
- Massachusetts. Voters from the other 49 states are abundantly suspicious of anyone or anything having to do with Massachusetts. This is a state where endemic political corruption has been raised to high art. It’s home to people and ideas Republicans love to hate: Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, gun control, and, of course, Romneycare. The press, with some justification, will suggest that Romney is a closet liberal. How else could he have been elected governor of the most liberal state in the country?
- Mormonism. It is an unfortunate requirement of American politics that candidates at least make a claim to adhere to some brand of Judeo-Christian doctrine. Atheists, agnostics, Sikhs, and Unitarians need not apply. Romney is a Mormon, so he meets the basic Judeo-Christian requirement. So far, the pundits have been careful to tread lightly around Mormonism. But if Romney is nominated, it suddenly will become a major topic. The Democrats know that between 20% and 36% of voters will not vote for a Mormon. If you come to an election with this many voters already against you, you’re going to lose. Long ‘analysis’ pieces will appear in the press. The following synopsis will save you the trouble of reading them. (It may even help some media hypocrites write them):
While we (The Atlantic, The New York Times, Huffington Post, etc.) believe that faith is a personal matter, some Republicans and independents harbor deep concerns about Romney’s Mormon faith. Many, like Bubba Goodfellow, a life-long member of the Open Bible Baptist Church of Syracuse KS are suspicious of this rather peculiar American form of Christianity. “Mormons believe their priests receive revelations directly from God,” says Bubba. “I mean, what happens if we have another 9/11 and Romney claims that he received a revelation that is really was the will of God?” Like most adult Mormon males, Romney is a priest.
Even more circumspect observers are skeptical. The Right Reverend Theodore Carruthers, First Rector of the Old Saybrook CT Episcopal Church notes that, “There is simply no Biblical evidence to support the Mormon claim that Jesus was in America and will return to Missouri.”
You get the idea.
Am I supporting Newt? Not really. I don’t much care who is elected president. Congress was, is, and will be the problem. Be sure to vote against the incumbent congressman in your district, regardless of his party and how helpful he was in getting your Aunt Nell her disability check. Remember, your congressman is an idiot.