GOP Death Watch

Only in the Republican Alternate Universe Could Newt Gingrich Be a Leading Presidential Contender

Newt GingrichAnd now Newt. In its frantic rush to find anyone who is not Mitt Romney, the knuckle-dragging fringe of the Republican party has turned to a thrice-married, Tiffany-loving, organizationally impaired former Speaker of the House who resigned after being reprimanded by his peers for ethical violations.

Only in the current alternate universe of the GOP would such a candidate be considered credible. Yet Gingrich is the main beneficiary of  the womanizing Herman Cain’s implosion, despite having a personal history that suggests he could teach a thing or two to the Hermanator about extra-marital affairs.

As you would expect from someone beloved by the Tea Party, Newt tows an appropriately homophobic line. He has been a staunch defender of the Defense of Marriage Act, whose passage he helped oversee, and contributed money to the campaign to remove the Iowa judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality. The family values candidate once took the occasion of his lesbian half-sister’s birthday to affirm his opposition to marriage equality during a national television appearance. He managed to find his way to the television studio for an ideological gab fest but could not manage to call Candace Gingrich to wish her many happy returns.

Of course, there is the thudding irony that the same man who dumped his first wife while she was undergoing cancer treatment and was having an affair with the woman who became his third wife while still married to his second is such a staunch supporter of the sanctity of marriage, but apparently saying you screwed up (and screwed around) is okay with the religious right if you publicly claim you’re sorry.

But even Newt may not be sufficiently pure (if you’ll pardon the expression) for some wingers. He has said that gay marriage is a “temporary aberration” that will go away on its own (tell that to New Yorkers!), an idea that does not endear him to true believers and may cause him some problems in the New Hampshire primary. He’s also suggested that he’s okay with same-sex partners having hospital visitation rights and some other vague legal protections. For religious right followers who long for the return of sodomy laws, this is heresy. Still, Bob Vander Plaats, the king of the religious right in Iowa, is mulling over an endorsement of Gingrich. (It’s a total coincidence that Vander Plaats was the recipient of Gingrich’s donation to unseat the Iowa judges.)

Of course, Gingrich’s real problem is that he is, as his personal life suggests, ridiculously undisciplined. He is so wildly inconsistent in his views that he makes Mitt Romney look like a granite monument instead of well-coiffed Jello. It takes a laser-like focus to run for president, and Gingrich is more of a disco ball randomly scattering light. He is just now assembling the campaign organization needed to turn out the vote in the key early states and lags well behind not just Romney but Ron Paul as well.

Meanwhile, that splashing sound you hear in the background is Democrats salivating at the prospect of going head-to-head with Gingrich. And if Gingrich is the nominee, you have to assume that God is casting his absentee ballot for Obama the family man. The odds still favor Romney, but fact that at some point Bachmann, Perry, Cain and now Gingrich all passed him in the polls underscores the enthusiasm deficit his campaign faces. It’s hard to be a winner if you’re the fifth choice of the party faithful.



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  • bagooka

    “Yet Gingrich is the main beneficiary of the womanizing Herman Cain’s implosion, despite having a personal history that suggests he could teach a thing or two to the Hermanator about extra-marital affairs.”

    Hahaha. I love you, Queerty.

  • Friend of RWR

    Silly libs: Gingrich is only up in the polls because Cain is falling. He won’t be the Republican nominee, because Republicans want to win this election. Hence, expect an Obama-Romney showdown, and stop giggling about how awful Newt is. It’s reminiscent of all your sniping at Michele Bachmann—all it did was make you feel superior while making you look petulant, because she was never going to be the Rep nominee.

  • bagooka

    Libs? If you spent the minute it takes to read the article, you know Republicans are pushing him forward.

  • RVH

    @Friend of RWR: The only candidate I’ve seen who has consistently stayed neck-and-neck and beat Obama in the polls is Ron Paul. I’m no big fan of him, but it seems if Republicans wanted to win they might pick someone who advocates something different from what Bush did in his eight years as supreme overlord. The candidate who’s actually different from Bush doesn’t even have to be Paul, but thankfully you conservatives are as stupid tactically as you are mentally.

  • Friend of RWR

    Jeez, you seem a little more than typically rude for someone on this website, but I will respond by saying yes, Romney is a default candidate because he’s the most electable. Ron Paul, smart as he may be, is also a little crazy, so he too is unelectable. Frankly, 2012 isn’t likely to be the year that Obama is ousted, but not because he’s done such a bang-up job as POTUS, but, like you say, the Republicans don’t have a strong candidate.

    But wait till 2016, baby, when the force of nature that is Chris Christie bowls down all the “progression” Obama made between 2009 and 2017, and watch the river of tears from the left floating all their sorrows into an ocean of obscurity.

  • pierre

    @Friend of RWR: You mean a river of obesity!

  • RVH

    @Friend of RWR: And you seem a little more than typically stupid for someone on this website. Yes, Chris Christie will be your savior, the man appointed by Bush as New Jersey’s federal prosecutor, who then proceeded to award no-bid contracts to Bush’s cronies. You’ve got a real winner there. But unlike Romney, I think the American people are dumb enough to be conned by him, just like NJ voters were.

  • WillBFair

    IMO, everything depends on whom the media selects. They can elect anyone, the proof being W’s two terms.
    So the speculation over who the candidate will be is pointless.
    Once you can speak repetetively with one voice to millions, it’s game over. We’ve seen this over and over. All you have to do is tally the positive and negative stories for each candidate to know who will win.
    The public are a cross between a ton of wet clay and a herd of narcotized sheep.

  • B

    QUEERTY’s wisecrack about Newt and the Hermanator is second rate in comparison to former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown’s wisecrack about Newt: “Newt has so many skeletons in the closet that he could fill a graveyard and have a few left over to dance on Halloween.”

    But then, Willie was renowned as a wisecrack-meister and practices a lot. Once, when asked if he had actually said something, Willie replied, “How would I know?” (He makes so many off-the-cuff wisecracks that even he can’t remember them all.) When asked about a visit to the White House during the Clinton administration, Willie replied to a question about where he spent the night by saying, “I had a choice between the Queen’s Bedroom and the Lincoln Bedroom, so I went with the voters who elected me rather then the guy who freed me.” Because it was one wisecrack after another, Willie could get away with saying anything.

  • Robert in NYC

    RVH, what many people don’t realize is that Ron Paul supports both retaining and repealing DOMA. He recently stated that he supports a state’s right to legislate for or against it. He’s never actually declared personal support for marriage equality but uses the “states'” right to legislate either way. He’s a phony and going nowhere, thankfully.

    What is so sick is that whoever the GOP nominee is, Romney or Gingrich, both support inequality for gay people and do NOT believe in marriage equality, not even “evolving” on the issue in any way shape or form and gay republicans, be they tea partyers or civil libertarians will vote for whoever turns out to be the nominee, voting against their own interests, but equality has never been high on their agenda, even in good times when the economy is booming and jobs are plentiful. They’d still vote for the haters.

  • RVH

    @Robert in NYC: Again, I’m not some big fan of Ron Paul. The one thing he isn’t is a phony. He’s said that he doesn’t believe the government should have any involvement with marriage whatsoever, that marriage is a contractual matter. That’s his personal belief. He has never said he supports repealing DOMA because under the Constitution he believes that marriage is a state’s right, which he says for almost everything, which I personally disagree with. Paul is one of the few politicians in recent history who isn’t a phony, and I don’t know under what basis you can call him that.

    Why do you say he thankfully isn’t going anywhere? Some of what he has to say is very good, like ending and abstaining from unnecessary wars, ending the drug war, and protecting civil liberties. On the left, only Dennis Kucinich consistently argues for the same things.

  • Friend of RWR

    @RVH: Poor, poor, angry liberal. Ever notice that you’re most at peace when you’re NOT thinking about how to change the world?

  • RVH

    @Friend of RWR: Like most conservatives, you make no sense.

  • geoff

    @WillBFair: In 2000 Al Gore received a half million more votes than Bush and arguably the media was pushing Gore. The Supreme Court elected Bush.

  • lucifer

    The GOP has lost it!!! Newt is a big fat LIAR! I remember when he want ed to impeach Clinton
    for breaking his vows and Newt was doing the same thing at the time. Newt had to be taken to court by his wife to pay the bills at home. this is just no true leadership.

  • tjr101

    Just another example of the right-wing dumbasses that makes up the overwhelming majority of the GOP base.

  • WillBFair

    @geoff: There’s no arguably about it. The media was for Bush, as shown in numerous studies. Besides the studies, that was obvious to anyone who paid attention. Remember the Gore quotes taken out of context, and the many false accusations, all spread far and wide by the media. Please.
    Not only that, but the genuine liberal media, from The Nation to Mother Jones, stumped nonstop for Nader. There is only one of two conclusions to draw from this. Either those Harvard educated journal editors didn’t understand the two party system and basic arithmetic, or they were controlled by the same financial interests that now control Fox News.

  • jason

    I’m seriously thinking about voting for Newt. He’s no frills. You get honesty from him. Obama, on the other hand, promised to be a fierce advocate for gay rights. Yeah, right.

  • Fawkes

    @jason: Honesty from Newt? This is a joke, right?

  • geoff

    @WillBFair: If the media can elect anyone and the genuine liberal media stumped for Nader why was he not elected, receiving only 2% of the vote. The media was for Bush as shown in WHAT numerous studies… please cite all of them. But none of this as relevant as your premise is easily disproved. Gore received more votes than Bush and the Supreme Court (by stopping the FL recount) elected Bush – ergo the media was by your calculation not successful.

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