Sunday, January 22, 2012

Aye of Newt , the Casino Candidate

Gingles cleaned Romney's clock in the South Carolina GOPer primary.  He got more than 40% of the vote to Romney's 29%.  Sanctimonious got 17%, Ron St. Paul 13%.

The rejection of Romney was led by Tevangelicals who didn't vote for a Mormon--this was clear from exit polls.  They coalesced around Gingles' rage rather than Sanctimonious' sanctimony.

Pundit and political pols are split on whether SC was a fluke, a special case, or whether Romney is in trouble, with most moving towards the latter view.  Next up is Florida, and if Gingles wins that one (says Steve Schmidt, former McCain campaign manager), the GOPer establishment will go into full panic mode between then and Super Tuesday five weeks later.  Gingles negatives are so high that many believe--including many GOPers-- he will never be elected President. 

On the other hand, there's the rage, and others are coming around to the pov I expressed yesterday: Gingles could feed it and ride it to the nomination, and it would all be out there to see.

Roger Simon at Politico had an ascerbically funny characterization of Gingles.  "He is not the best-looking guy in Republican race or the best-funded or the most ideologically pure. But he has found his shtick, and he is shticking to it. Newt Gingrich is the angriest man in America." "Anger, umbrage and bitterness are so much a part of Gingrich’s public persona that he likes to attack the very concept of happiness.."

This has always been Gingles rhetoric stance--I remember it from the 90s.  And it has never been more in line with the raw anger and hatred of a rabid and racist GOPer core.  Gingles victory speech was his usual mixture of anger and contempt, and grandiosity--having won exactly one primary, he spoke as if his Inauguration were tomorrow.  He complimented his GOPer rivals, though he suggested anyone who had voted for them had voted in error or by accident.  He again insulted the intelligence of President Obama.   He takes his election as a given. “It will shock the country,” Newt says. “It will shock the world. And shock is what we need.” 

That's the Gingles Shock Doctrine.  He has to hope that Americans will forget they don't like or trust him (his disapproval rating is 60%), or that most sober and intelligent analysts rate his policy proposals as catastrophic or insane, and just go with a generalized rage that things aren't going well enough with that non-white man in the White House.  So what the hell, roll the dice.

Next comes Florida, where the campaign will engage with an even greater ferocity.  Romney won Iowa when he poured millions into ads attacking Gingles, and Gingles didn't and couldn't respond.  Then Gingles got $5 million from his Vegas casino sugar daddy, and won SC after going negative on Romney while Romney tried to stay positive.  Ain't nobody going to be positive in Florida, and a hurricane of  Super Pac paid negative ads will flood that state.  The Romney campaign has already said that it's going after Gingles even harder than in Iowa, and Gingles may well have the millions to exploit Romney's exposed weaknesses (the Bain stuff seems to have hurt him in SC.)  Romney has millions, and I saw a report that Gingles is getting millions from other billionaires as well as his Vegas daddy.

Two years after Citizens United, the coming ten days before the Florida primary will be the biggest and most graphic demonstration yet of what that Supreme Court decision has unleashed.  Right now Newt owes his SC victory to one man with a $22 billion fortune who can spend $5 million on a ego-inflating election in any and every state he wants, at least as much as to his debates and the luck this time of timing.  He's Casino Newt, a bought candidacy.  These are likely to be ten days that will shake democracy.  That's the Supreme's Shock Doctrine.   

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