Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Happy Few -- Newt Gingrich in Defeat

The tone of Newt Gingrich in defeat is feistier and more interesting than Newt Gingrich in victory. (He’s also more interesting than Mitt Romney in victory, who raises boring to unprecedented heights.) After his 14-point loss in Florida last night, Mr. Gingrich delivered what will probably be a standard stump speech. He excoriated the media and Republican Party elites, he whipped up the faithful with rhetoric that, to them, probably seemed as energized as Henry V’s "Saint Crispin’s" speech, and he promised them the moon. At no extra charge.

Well, not literally the moon. That comes in other speeches, his promise of a "moon colony" by the end of his second term. But he did make it clear that we will be paying little to no taxes, radically increasing military spending, and eliminating the federal budget deficit. Mr. Obama’s theme in the previous election was "Hope and Change." We must say of Mr. Gingrich’s fairy tale promises, "Nope, and Strange."

Mr. Gingrich’s math is not the math we learned, what with his insistence on a budget-busting military and space program, and his unwillingness to tax enough to pay for any of it. But he would probably consider our criticisms meaningless, that of the "media elite." After all, we have a blog.

Mr. Gingrich loves to hate elites, rhetorically poising himself as "anti-establishment." Really. Don’t pretend it’s a choice, Newt. It’s not "anti-establishment" when they won’t have you.

Newt, you don’t scare them because of your bold vision. You scare them because you’re so nuts you’ll inspire an Obama turnout that will swamp all the down-ticket candidates, giving the Congress firmly back to the Democrats. (For this reason we support Mr. Gingrich wholeheartedly in his bid to unseat Mr. Romney in the GOP primary.)

Mr. Gingrich says he will continue onward, sally forth and all that, on and on until the late summer convention. It remains to be seen. They always say that, right up until they don’t. In his case, though, it could be true. He loves the attention, that much is obvious. We look forward to seeing if he can find a line of attack that will pull Mr. Romney from his pedestal.

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