Dropping Like Flies

The Republican presidential field is a lot thinner than it was three days ago. Donald Trump dropped out as soon as NBC announced it was picking up Celebrity Apprentice for another season. I’m actually a bit disappointed Mike Huckabee dropped out, because I was prepared to go all out to tell the world about Frankie Parker if the Huckster became a contender.

And then there is Newt. Newt is still running, but his campaign has gone so far off the rails it’s almost painful.

Newt became a political powerhouse in the early 1990s both as a lightning rod and as chief spokesperson for a particular moment in movement conservatism. That moment has passed.

It has struck me all along that much of what Newt was saying seemed weirdly dated. He was picking up some of the current buzzwords but didn’t seem to know what to do with them. In his mind, it was still 1994. It’s like trying to talk about popular music with a great uncle who still thinks Neil Sedaka is hip.

On Sunday, on Meet the Press, Newt dissed Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, calling it “right-wing social engineering” and “radical.” No doubt Newt had seen the poll numbers that said the plan is wildly unpopular with a large majority of Americans. It may have seemed a shrewd move to position himself as the Republican alternative for people who don’t like Ryan’s plan.

But the howling from both the teabaggers and the Republican establishment must have caught Newt by surprise. By Monday he was furiously walking back what he had said on Sunday. “There is little daylight between Ryan and Gingrich.” a Gngrich spokesperson said.

Then Newt fell back even further, blaming the media for taking what he said “out of context.” But it’s not just “the media” trashing Newt over his apostasy. It the right-wing punditocracy and other Republican politicians, and they are letting him have it, big time.

One wonder if Newt will get his pundit gig at Faux News back when his presidential hopes finally die. He’s become persona non grata on the Right.

This isn’t what happened back in 1994. Back then, the Republican establishment rallied to back Newt’s every pronouncement. Now it’s obvious Newt has no support from within the Republican establishment, and he doesn’t seem to have a popular base among voters, either.

He’s delusional enough to stay in the race for a while, but for all practical purposes, I’d say his campaign is over.

34 thoughts on “Dropping Like Flies

  1. The Teabaggers have added an element I haven’t seen in a while among Conservatives – they’re breaking their own Reagan rule about ‘Thou shall speak no evil of a fellow Conservative/Republican.”
    Usually they circle around the wagons in defence of one of their own. But here’s what’s recently happened:
    -Mitt is killed as a flip-flopper not on just the health care issue, but on a number of others. And, outside of his being a Mormon, all of this is despite the fact that Mitt is their most electable of all of their candidates.
    Damn it!!! Mitt just LOOKS like a President!
    Or a V*agra or C*alis model.
    Can’t you see Mitt and his wife in adjoining bathtubs, looking at the sunset?
    With Mitt still in his suit and tie.

    -Trump died a horrible (but deserved) political death when Obama’s rapier wit sliced and diced his chances by openly mocking him as surely as US bullet’s killed bin Laden.

    -Newt is imploding. AGAIN! He’s trying to out flip-flop Mitt the master. He loved ‘Ryan’s Hope’ before he threw it under a bus on Sunday, realized his mistake, and tried to show his love again – TOO LATE!
    The bus’s done gone, Newt. Only YOU don’t know it.
    But this should all be good for his grift.
    Plus, if one can be too ‘passionate’ about one’s country, Newt defines that term.

    -Huntsman is also a Mormon. Plus he worked for and then complimented Obama. That’s more of a sacriledge than 3 wives, and serial affairs. Even serial killing would be more acceptable.

    With a couple of exceptions, the rest are jokes. And even F*cker Carlson, in the latest of his lucky sperm meets lucky egg vanity projects, “Daily Caller,” throws Michele Bachmann under the bus. Bachmann!

    The Republicans are eating their own young/old/middle-aged.

    Right now, as I see it, that leaves Paw-paw and Daniels.
    Paw-paw is also a flip-flopper. But he’s like tofu – so bland on his own, he’ll go with anything. So if he’s the pick, his VP pick will be critical. Which probably means some knuckledragger who appeals to the Teabaggers.

    And Daniels, who as Little Boots’ OMB should be laughed out of the room if Republicans were truly concerned about budgets and deficits. But he seems like the serious Conservatives pick. If he is, then there may be more stuff about his marriage, and the fact that he should have done some hard time for dealing drugs. Thank goodness he was white, wealthy, and did what he did before the cruel Rockefeller Drug Laws spread out across the nation:
    Yeah, I know, IOKIYAR!
    That, and the fact that during a debate, Mitch Daniels will look like a Republican Allen Colmes to Obama’s darker, smarter, funnier Hannity.

    Still, Jeb’s may be waiting in the wings.
    I suspect next years Republican candidate will be a cross between a sacrificial lamb and a “Hail Mary” pass, hoping against hope that somehow he/she/it can defeat Obama.

    Rubio, Ryan, and Krispy Kreme Christie are probably waiting in the wings until 2016. Jeb, too.

    With all of these horrible clowns as candidates, we need to ask, “Why do Republicans hate America?”

    • Damn it!!! Mitt just LOOKS like a President!

      Last night on MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell said that Mitt has no support from within the Republican establishment. He is widely disliked, apparently. For what it’s worth, the bobbleheads mostly seem to think the Republican nominee will be either Pawlenty or Daniels. Conventional wisdom also says that the “stronger” candidates (I’m not sure who they are, although I suspect Christie is one of them) prefer to wait until 2016 rather than run against an incumbent.

  2. My codger brain also has a recollection that Huckabee later denied any intervention in the case of William Dumond and a letter written by Huckabee as governor proved him a liar.

    His son was arrested for torturing a stray dog to death at a Boy Scout camp. Huckabee tried to cover it up. You wonder what kind of upbringing his son had.

    On the other hand, I saw a post on Donald Trump’s withdrawl. His comb-over was looking better!

    Neil Sedaka’s not hip?

  3. …I suspect next years Republican candidate will be a cross between a sacrificial lamb and a “Hail Mary” pass, hoping against hope that somehow he/she/it can defeat Obama.

    Gulag, I don’t think you mentioned “the pizza guy”, Herman Cain. He has a radio show, and speaks well, but mouths just the usual GOP platitudes (which their party members love to hear – kind of a black Reagan). In the GOP “debate” a few weeks ago, people were mostly impressed with him. 2012 might be the year for the Farm Team while the serious players sit out till 2016.

    It’s good that Newt’s shelf life has expired and his candidacy is imploding. I’m very biased, but I think all of these conservative candidates and their worn out ideas look pretty old at this point.

  4. Neil Sedaka’s not hip?

    He was pretty un-hip back when I was a young person, decades ago. I used to squirm whenever his bubble-gum music came on the radio.

  5. I don’t think Newt – or Palen or Bachmann or Trump – gives a fig about what he said yesterday or what he’s saying today. His objective is to get in the limelight. As an inveterate narcissist, addicted to self-aggrandizement, the limelight is the aphrodisiac that he craves and has always craved.

    If true, and he’s never really denied it, he shut down the government in retaliation for being shuffled out of the ‘back’ door of Air Force I rather than out the front door with Clinton. No further evidence is really needed to justify the label of narcissist.

    • His objective is to get in the limelight.

      Of course, Newt has no convictions at all. But at some point in his vanity campaign he’s going to have to get some votes, whether in a caucus or a primary, or he won’t even be invited to the televised debates. My point is that in 1994 Newt was being portrayed by media and the Republican establishment as a serious leader. Now they’re trashing him soundly and making fun of him. Republicans are doing this, mind you. He’s in the limelight all right, but this isn’t the kind of limelight that’s going to get him any votes.

  6. moonbat,
    I know he won the debate the other night, but Cain’s got no chance that I can see. And though he’s truly a loony-tune conservative, I mean, he IS black. And I think there’s a limit to IOKIYAR – I think they might have gone for Colin Powell, but then, being a General at least appealed to their inner militarist. Plus, Cain’s pizza SUCKED!!! But then, most of the nation wouldn’t know good pizza from bad if their lives depended on it.

    Ron Paul has no chance as well. Gary Johnson, too. And none of the lesser lights also in there have any shot.

    And I think KKKland Paul will also wait until 2016. I can’t even believe anyone would even consider that fruitcake to be presidential material. But then, I never thought Little Boots was either, so what do I know…

  7. Actually, maha, I don’t think he even gives a fig about the number of votes he gets. Sort of like the little, or not so little, child who acts out in a negative way because that gets him a lot of attention. And kids are famously narcissistic.

    • Actually, maha, I don’t think he even gives a fig about the number of votes he gets.

      His bigger problem is that his campaign contributions, which I don’t think are exactly record breaking, could dry up entirely if he makes a poor showing in Iowa. I assume he’s got some money, but he’s no Steve Forbes. He can’t keep going indefinitely on his own dime. So the votes and the attention are kind of connected.

  8. I like Neil Sedaka and Tony Orlando and Dawn. There are few current performers who have any talent, let alone a voice. My sister sang for a living with quite an astounding voice. The current group of singers can barely sing on key. When we are together we listen to a radio station that plays a combination between early 50s music and big band music.

    • There are few current performers who have any talent, let alone a voice.

      That’s probably true. I completely lost touch with contemporary popular music several years ago. The last really great pop music singer I can think of was Freddie Mercury of Queen. He was awesome.

  9. Last night on MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell said that Mitt has no support from within the Republican establishment. He is widely disliked, apparently.

    I remember a story from 2008 about how Romney was not liked by other Republicans. In fact, there was picture taken at the end of one of the Republican debates in which all of the candidates were talking together, except for Romney, who stood off by himself.

    However, I also remember stories from 2008 about Romney’s support among the Bush clan. It’s hard to get more establishment than that.

  10. I think we’ve reached a point where the process that selects conservative candidates is actually at odds at getting someone that can win – or cares to.

    Modern conservativism is basically financial interests, grafted onto a media empire that shades into religious interests, all of which work to rally people. The entire edifice is about money, and getting more of it.

    What we end up with is a bunch of grifters, profit-mongerers, and self-promoters, with the occasional sort-of-regular candidate (Romney) who is trying to develop the ability to lie at the drop of a hat. None of these people is presidential material, none is a real leader capable of making things happen, but they are able to yell, rally, and manipulate.

    What we’re seeing now is opportunists jumping in – and out – because it’s a field for people and of people who will for the most part say ANYTHING that gets them elected. They play to the base to get votes.

    But in the end? No plan. Just gather the money and push the buttons.

  11. I hope Democrats keep all the video footage of Gingrich as well as Donald Trump. Whichever mediocre Republican wins the nomination can then be framed pontificating in a TV ad alongside a frame of Gingrich or Trump with a simple caption at the bottom: What’s the Difference?

    That would be a potent ad.

  12. Don’t forget Captain and Tennille – nothin’ better than “Muskrat Love.”

    • I have not forgotten the Captain and Tennille, unfortunately. However, Tony Orlando and Dawn grated on my nerves just a bit more than the C & T.

  13. Newt is puke city! A big narcissistic chowder head satyr who is trying to buffalo the public into believing that he’s finally managed to put a lock on his zipper. He’s running around boasting of his supposed rehabilitation from his insatiable carnal appetites and infidelities. He’s also trying to hold his latest female conquest up as a model of virture (she comes complete with rug burns and carpet fibers from being shagged in Newt’s Congressional office). There is no redemption for Newt or the demon who dwells within him.

    He’s a sick man, corrupted to the core, who has applied a thin veneer of substanceless words to his rhetoric in order to trick people into believing he’s not the same creep that he’s always been…He’s a bigger fraud than Rudy Giuliani…and a lot more dangerous to the American public.

  14. Jennifer,

    I’d rather be sentenced to a life sentence of listening to “The Night Chicago Died,” or the execrable “Honey.” Or that new “Friday” song everyone seems to hate so much.
    They are Bach, Mozart and Beethoven compared to “M L.” I can’t even type it. There is NO worse song in the English language. PERIOD!

    Oh, it’s time for my Vodka and Val*um evening cocktail.
    Shaken, not stirred.
    Toodles, all!

  15. There is a kind of interesting feeling about this. Newt was the guy who pushed for the whole “no! Stop talking about how *good* Republicans are, and start talking about how *bad* Democrats are!”

    When he ran GOPAC he produced the infamous memo suggesting that you use words (read as: lies) to differentiate yourself from you opponent. Call your policies “pro-family” or “job-creating” and attach the opposite to your opponent!

    And wow… people started making up lies, and telling the lies, and, oh, golly, started *believing* them.

    And now, he gets to face the perfectly predictable results of what he helped to create, where anyone can be vilified, if they don’t toe the party line.

    I’m sure it’ll be Obama’s fault, somehow.

  16. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned Sarah Palin. I expect her to declare her candidacy very late in the game, probably just before the deadlines for primary filings.

    Yes, you might laugh at her, but I know a couple of expat Teabaggers here in Asia (they’re Baptist missionaries, of course) and they think that Sarah Palin is God’s messenger on Earth. And I gather that many of their fellow religious loons feel the same way.

    Impossible for drama-queen Sarah to get elected? Whoever thought that idiot Ronald Reagan or George W Bush were presidential material? Go rent the movie “Idiocracy” if you haven’t seen it. As Henry Mencken said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    “Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I’m amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, ‘Does any of this really matter?’ “
    – Sarah Palin’s response to independent candidate Andrew Halcro, during the 2006 Alaskan gubernatorial debate

  17. It was in the outro of “Love Will Keep Us Together” that Toni Tennille named-checked “Sedaka is back”…. yes, Sedaka is so unhip that it’s been over 25 years since his brief 2nd brush with hipness in 1975.

    I’m quite amused by the Republican punditry pronouncing Newt dead for having made the mistake of describing a radical right-wing social engineering plan as a radical right-wing social engineering plan.

    The GOP’s ire is fueled by the fact that so many of them are realizing how screwed they are by having voted early for the proposal, and needing to fiercely defend it now, even though many of them would wish that vote back if they could. Hee-hee-hee, thanks, John Boehner!

    I actually agree with Krauthammer for once – Newt never stood much of a chance, but now he’s done. They can’t allow that sort of disloyal honesty to go unpunished, and not even the Newt can twist that soundbite into something permissible.

    It seems to be coming clear that anyone capable of winning the nomination will be too insane to win the general, and many of the possibles have twigged to the fact that it’s a lot more profitable and easier to just juice your own income by pretending to think about running, so you can be thought important and get some buzz, but then go back to cashing in with your existing income streams – TV show, speaking fees, selling books and other tribal propaganda trinkets, etc.

  18. Wow, it looks like Newt got his ears pinned back by daring diss the up and coming darling Paulie Ryan. I guess now he’ll have to crack open one of his history books to find a parallel historical situation to his so he’ll know how to proceed to counteract the effects of his tribal thrashing. Et tu, Krauthammer?

    Talk about disfellowship ? All the ballast in the Consevative movement came out against him..” Newt shot Paul Ryan in the back”, He cut Ryan off at the knees”. Maybe Newt might want to change his name to Pariah Gingrich? Or maybe he might want to console himself and salve his pain with a sexual affair with one of his staffers. After all, that seems to be his M.O.

  19. biggerbox — I wasn’t sure if you knew that Neill Sedaka WROTE “Love Will Keep Us Together,” also recorded it several years before C & T did. I happen to like both Tenille AND Sedaka. If it’s bubblegum music — and as a rule I have no interest in bubblegum music — Neil Sedaka is the J.S. Bach of bubblegum music. OK, they are not hip, but I am, so I could care less …

  20. I like Neil Sedaka and Tony Orlando and Dawn. There are few current performers who have any talent, let alone a voice.

    Hate to say it, but that sounds awfully “conservative.”

    I grew up with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and all that other late ’60s and ’70s music, which I still enjoy. But I’ve found some very good recent stuff. Mostly European though – can’t find too much recent good music out of America. Found some good recent music from Brazil too.

    I rather like Lilja Bloom (Austrian, I believe):


  21. Freddie had some pipes on him. That boy could SING! One of the great R&R voices of all time. What a shame he died so young.

    My friends and I almost wet oursleves when we went to see “Wayne’s World” and saw the boys in the VW bobbing their heads up and down to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the greatest R&R tunes ever – that was absolutely us back in 1976 in my friends Bug, secretly driving to bars after we went out to the movies for a quick, underaged pop. Tequila Sunrise was my drink back then, with Alabama Slammers and Singapore Slings being high on the list, too.

  22. I like John Legend’s voice, but it’s true, he’s no Freddie Mercury. Nor Marvin Gaye. The best are gone.

  23. Well, the merciful cybergoddess wisely sent my comment into oblivion.

    I was kind of joking about Neil Sedaka and regretted not making the obligatory 8- track reference. But, I don’t want to trash anyone’s music. Some research indicates that we acquire the foundation for our musical tastes in utero. Also some people have the same emotional reaction to head banger music that I might have to Jacqueline Du Pre. As John Prine wrote, “It’s a big old goofy world.”

    I still play a bit and this style has caught my attention. It’s very different from the classical and folk styles I was into for years. I probably won’t stay with it, because it’s too demanding at my age. Although, it sure would be nice to have one of those cool guitars.


    There is a bit of similarity in the way people react to music and the way they react to politicians. (Nice segue, huh?)

    This crop of Republican contenders is really quite a phenomenon. When I see them, I see grifters, opportunists and sociopaths (although I am not qualified to make that determination.) Sarah Palin reminds me of a popular, but not very bright highschool classmate, who has never done the assignment, but is confident that she can bluff her way through. But, I know people here in the “Bible Belt” who are far better educated than I am, who love her.

    Michele Bachmann strikes me as someone who should probably have a court appointed guardian.

    Gingrich and Huckabee have a “skeevy” quality. (Note: “Skeevy” was once a hip word.) If they were merely the common stock of humanity, instead of movers and shakers, I really believe that the less I knew about their personal lives the happier I would be. No, regardless, the less I know, the better.

    The “Mittens” reminds me of John McCain in that he seems to be some sort of animatronic device rather than flesh and blood. Maybe I could sell him the slogan I tried to sell McCain, “He’s so LIFELIKE!!”

    My big fear is JEB. He has the big money seal of approval, crime family pedigree and he’s not as stupid as his brother. As governor of Florida, he did some clever, grifty kinds of things. (Check out the graft machine he created when he converted the “Board of Regents” to the “Board of Trustees”. It certainly wasn’t about improving education.} Also google: “Jeb Bush, Broward County Savings and Loan” there’s a Miami Herald story about how he got a 4 million dollar gift from taxpayers’ money. It’s nice to have a daddy, who can pull some strings. A few million here and a few million there, pretty soon it starts to add up.

    Wow, Candide, that Lilja Bloom vid was pretty dark. It was a lot more thoughtful than popular music here. Europe seems to have a definite cultural lead these days. But, I do think she should get a real drummer.

  24. I don’t know about anywhere else, but people who comment on this site really know their skinny – which is why I pull it up every day I can.

  25. I hear snips of promising voices now and then; one that I’ve come to like is Michael Buble of Canada. I don’t think any generation has a monopoly on artistic talent, but I definitely believe that cultures and historical periods are friendly or antagonistic toward their development and expression. I definitely believe the older folks here were lucky to live through such a friendly time as the 60s. One of my favorite quotes is from William Blake:

    When nations grow old
    The arts grow cold
    And commerce settles on every tree.

  26. Hate to say it, but that sounds awfully “conservative.”

    To be foolishly pedantic, or something, don’t forget that just because people have defined “conservative” to mean “holding some damnfoolish ideas that benefit Republicans,” in the real world it used to mean something else.

    Remember, in the early 90s, the idea of getting everyone to carry insurance and helping some people pay for it, was considered a good, solid, conservative solution to a clear and present problem of dealing with health care.

    There was a time when conservatives would ride the brakes on taxes, but only so that the too-big-hearted liberals didn’t decide to start federally-funded homes for wayward kittens and puppies. (I kid, kinda.) They understood that there were things government could, and should, do, like regulate businesses in sensible ways, and that it required taxes to do that.

    The generic Republican is not a “conservative” in any standard sense. There was a time when a good conservative would describe the modern Republicans as spoiled children, endlessly whining about taxes and regulation and necessary expenditures to run a safe, sound country.

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