January 23, 2016

Exactly 4 years ago, I was thinking and talking about Newt Gingrich the way, lately, I've been thinking and talking about Trump.

A reader sends a link to a post of mine from January 22, 2012 titled "Coming to terms with The Newt." My mental adjustment to presidential candidates is absurdly familiar:
Before going out on that dark night last night, I'd seen that [Newt Gingrich had] won the South Carolina primary. 
Oh! The schedule was a lot earlier then.
At intermission [at some classical music concert], I said to Meade: "I've come to terms with Newt." I didn't mean that I was prepared to vote for him. I still regard the idea of President Gingrich as bizarre. But I live in the moment. I embrace the now. It's fine the way things are. Newt has his role to play, and right now, I'm going to say it's a good one.
That sounds like something I'd say right now about Trump.
... [I]t's good that the Tea Party and other sorts of conservative factions contribute to the political mix in America. Newt — along with Santorum — has established that the Establishment can't dictate who the candidate will be. 
Trump, along with Cruz....
Whoever ultimately becomes the candidate — and I assume it will be Mitt — he won't achieve his place through the nods of insiders bypassing the people who have imperatives of their own. It's strange that Gingrich embodies their wants, but that's the way this strange campaign has evolved....
It's strange that Trump embodies anybody's wants but Trump's, but that's the way this strange campaign has evolved.
... Gingrich has achieved his position through the sheer force of putting ideas into words, words that people heard. There's something quite beautiful about that, quite American. And it's beautiful without the man being beautiful.... You'd think we'd be more influenced by the image of The Newt...



... but we're not. We're hearing the words, the speech, the ideas. I hear democracy maturing! Over The Newt! I think that's pretty cool.
Quite American... beautiful without the man being beautiful.... If I could just photoshop a Trumpion head of hair onto that little guy, that newt, I'd have this post done.

22 comments:

Michael K said...

Newt principle contribution in 2012 was in wrecking the chances of Romney, who really had the skills to fix things, by giving the Democrats their talking points. Newt was like Buchanan in 1992 operating out of a suitcase with no organization and almost no money but just enough to throw monkey wrenches. Now, we are at the end of the road for traditional politics which has failed so spectacularly. The is an age of populism, a bit like 1896 when "Free Silver" was the rallying cry.

Carol said...

Very important, that putting-into-words thing. It's amazing how many things are never put into actual words. They do that so you don't understand what's happening and who's pulling the strings.

EDH said...

If I could just photoshop a Trumpion head of hair onto that little guy, that newt, I'd have this post done.

Makes me think that a little Trump wig sized to fit the head of a penis would be a big seller.

EDH said...

..a big seller among both Trump supporters and opponents.

An episode of "The Apprentice" where everyone comes together?

rehajm said...

Ann said...

It's strange that Trump embodies anybody's wants but Trump's


By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.

Mike Sylwester said...

It's strange that Trump embodies anybody's wants

Millions of people want to resist massive illegal immigration and want to reform birth-right citizenship.

mikee said...

Althouse, when will you do a similar post on Hillary, noting how and when you decided she was a horrible candidate in 2008? Or will we have to wait for a regretful post two years into the reign of Hillary, after perhaps the first US city gets nuked by Iranian-backed terrorists, for you to realize retrospectively just how wrong a vote for Hillary will be?

pm317 said...

Yeah, I have notices your progression toward acceptance of Trump. You (and Meade) started first by ridiculing him and now he is the smartest candidate there is and he can't do anything wrong. But that may also be because all other candidates suck.

AReasonableMan said...

pm317 said...
But that may also be because all other candidates suck.


I'm old enough to remember all the chest thumping about what a deep bench the Republicans had.

Moneyrunner said...

RUSH: Here is Edward in New York, 28 years old, great to have you on the program, Edward. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Longtime listener, first-time caller. I'm in my twenties, and I am a Trump supporter, and I guess I'm also a member of what people are calling the alt right. And I just wanted to, like, explain for maybe a lot of your listeners why Donald Trump is so popular, despite the consternation of many in the conservative movement and the Republican Party. And just really simply, the Democrat Party for the past half century has been openly the party of the fringes, right? The party of disaffected minority voters, black, Mexican immigrants, single women, feminists, all these things, homosexuals in the past, you know, ten years. And the Republican Party, whether it wants to admit this or not, has become the de facto party of white men. The only meaningful difference, though, is that the Republican Party is not allowed to appeal to its own constituency, while the Democrat Party obviously does nothing but appeal to its own constituents. So when you look at the political scene in America like this, Donald Trump not only becomes understandable, but he kind of becomes inevitable....

CALLER: Yes. And when people, you mentioned Charles Krauthammer earlier, you know, being so puzzled as to why Trump seems impervious to dropping poll numbers when he does things like insult Megyn Kelly. It's because, as weird as it sounds, it's not really about Trump. Donald Trump can kind of do whatever he wants because in a lot of ways he's the only person that seems serious. I know that sounds weird to the ears of someone like Jeb --

Moneyrunner said...

Shorter version:

... the Democrat Party [is] openly the party of the fringes ... And the Republican Party...has become the de facto party of white men. The only meaningful difference, though, is that the Republican Party is not allowed to appeal to its own constituency...

Speaking of "fringes," ARM is here.

Bay Area Guy said...

Newt actually accomplished things as Speaker in the 1990s. He did a heluva job.

But he hadn't done anything in 10-12 years, and had become a little goofy. More so, he was much less likable than Romney, and almost zero cross-over appeal. He woulda got beat in 2012 by Obama much worse than Romney did.

Michael K said...

"the chest thumping about what a deep bench the Republicans had"

Only in comparison to Democrats.

The GOP governors I liked dropped out early.

Carly wimped on the Muslim thing and I lost interest in her.

Oso Negro said...

At every turn in 2012, we were reading about the inevitability of Romney. At every turn in 2016, we are reading about the indestructibility of Donald Trump. What is similar is the the East Coast media is quite comfortable with both, but for different reasons.

Michael K said...

"Newt actually accomplished things as Speaker in the 1990s."

Newt did a couple of things early but he got distracted by his book deal and his hurt feelings when Clinton dissed him on Air Force One. The shutdown was the last straw and Newt wimped too soon. Had he stuck it out another few days, Clinton might have caved. Instead we got the shutdown club the Democrats have used to beat us down ever since.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse, when will you do a similar post on Hillary, noting how and when you decided she was a horrible candidate in 2008? Or will we have to wait for a regretful post two years into the reign of Hillary, after perhaps the first US city gets nuked by Iranian-backed terrorists, for you to realize retrospectively just how wrong a vote for Hillary will be?"

Well, the similar thing would be: somebody emails me a link to an old post of mine about her and points out that it's like what I seem to think of her now. You don't even have to email me. Link to it here and I'll see it. It's not like I'm withholding a posting of that kind!

Birkel said...

I am eternally grateful we didn't get that awful John McCain as president. And Newt would have been terrible too.

Onward toward the abyss.

traditionalguy said...

Newt had made politics his real career for 30 years before he ran in 2012. McCain had done the same. They both wanted to re-fight their old victories when life was simpler under Reagan and his winning Cold War crusade.

Trump is a totally current outsider. He has been in a position to observe our Government stooges a selling us out on world Trade deals and surrendering to other World Power blocs that are eating us alive like a tortured prisoner staked out by Comanches and left to die as a meal for animals and vultures.

Forget cute Newt.

cubanbob said...

Newt lost his ability to focus and stay on time and on target. It's a shame since he could have been a good president if he hadn't lost self-discipline. Without him Bill Clinton would have been a complete failure as president.

Birkel said...

Hey traditionalguy. How are things in your The Crack Emcee, Shouting Thomas and Cedarford cul-de-sac?

Fernandinande said...

"I got better."

hombre said...

Newt had ideas. Trump has retorts.